Author Topic: 3: Your Character Sheet [Abilities & Attributes]  (Read 565 times)

Offline Raven

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3: Your Character Sheet [Abilities & Attributes]
« on: October 06, 2019, 21:32:16 PM »
The following guide is a thoroughful explanation to the attributes and abillities in your character sheet, what they do and what they represent.

Attributes


Your characters have innate capabilities, weaknesses, limitations and strengths. Attributes gauge such potentials. With the simple 1 to 5 rating system, Attributes show not only how well a character performs in a given area, but elaborate on that character's potential compared to others. Most people have Attribute ratings from 1 (poor) to 3 (good), with a rare few holding 4 (exceptional) or 5 (world-class) capability. In rare instances, your character surpasses the limits of human potential, as well.

Physical:
A character's Physical Attributes define how strong, agile and resilient she/he is. If you want to create an action-oriented character, you should take the Physical Attributes as your primary category. Such characters might include those who have military or police experienc, athletes or blue-collar workers. The character's history plus her/his focus on physical health help you decide how many points to assign to these Traits.

Strength
The points you assign to your character's Strength Attribute represent how much brute strength they have. Strength determines how much weight you can lift, carry or push. It directs how far you can jump. Furthermore, it expresses how hard you can hit another character or object, as well as how much damage you can do during hand-to-hand combat. When determining the damage your character inflicts with a hand-to-hand attack, you add your Strength score to your damage dice pool.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Lift 40 Ibs.; you're a wuss.
• • Average: Lift 100 Ibs.; you're Joe Average.
• • • Good: Lift 250 Ibs.; you're a stud.
• • • • Exceptional: Lift 400 Ibs.; you're an Atlas bodybuilder.
• • • • • Outstanding: Lift 650 Ibs.; you're a freight train

Dexterity:
The Dexterity Attribute measures a character's overall athleticism. It expresses a character's general physical prowess, including grace, speed, physical reflexes, hand-eye coordination and agility. Dancers, mechanics, artists, speed skaters, gymnasts, surgeons and good bartenders all have a high Dexterity.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Clumsy; you trip on your own shadow.
• • Average: No klutz; you don't embarrass yourself often.
• • • Good: Smooth; you have athletic potential.
• • • • Exceptional: Graceful; you impress.
• • • • • Outstanding: Liquid; you inspire.

Stamina
represents your character's ability to withstand physical stress. It is a measure other body's resilience, toughness and adaptability. It expresses how long your character can continue to exert herself and how much physical punishment character can take before suffering trauma.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Wimp; you're tired after brushing your teeth.
• • Average: Couch potato; you can run a mile, if you have to.
• • • Good: In shape; you work out regularly.
• • • • Exceptional: Stalwart; you swim in Arctic conditions.
• • • • • Outstanding: Formidable; even torture can't break you.

Social:
In general, people (as well as supernaturals) are social creatures who need one another to survive. They have their politics in the chantries. Each character has Social Traits that represent how well he maneuvers in social situations. Representing a character's social graces and general attractiveness, these Traits express the character's ability to make an impression on other people.

Charisma
A character's Charisma score shows how charming and likable they are. It represents ability to flirt, please, compliment and impress others. You may do so through a look or a conversation, though having the Charisma Trait doesn't necessarily grant the character a silver tongue. You may stumble over words, but do it in such a charming way that everyone forgives it and likes you all the more for the clumsiness at expressing herself. It also may indicate the ability to get along with people from all different walks of life. A charismatic individual doesn't necessarily get people to do what character wants through looks or force of personality; rather, causes people to like you and to want to help you.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Socially inept; you offend others often.
• • Average: Acceptable; you don't turn people off.
• • • Good: Likeable; you make friends easily.
• • • • Exceptional: Congenial; you impress immediately.
• • • • • Outstanding: Irresistible; you can't lose.

Manipulation
This Trait has many nuances. It covers a character's ability to get others to bend to their whim, to spot when someone else is manipulating them and to hide their true motivations. In many ways, it also represents a character's honesty and frankness. On one hand, a character with a low Manipulation score will have more trouble getting others to see things their way or to do what they want them to do. On the other hand, the same character will probably seem more honest because they don't have the ability to hide their true feelings. They may want badly to bluff, but their poker face sucks. A character with a high Manipulation score, however, can use guilt, blackmail or cleverly chosen arguments to control someone without that person becoming aware of it. Doing so often involves dishonest methods. Manipulation is used to trick, bluff, fast -talk and railroad another character.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Transparent; you have no poker face.
• • Average: Inconsistent; you fool some of the people, some of the time.
• • • Good: Guileful; you have a few good lines and methods.
• • • • Exceptional: Convincing; you play people and usually win.
• • • • • Outstanding: Conniving; you always get your way.

Appearance
The Appearance Attribute represents your character's overall attractiveness. It includes their physical beauty, their grace and those indefinable qualities that make a person appealing. This Trait has little to do with verbal expression or social smoothness, but it defines the first impression the character makes, even before they have opened their mouth. Though we would like to deny it, a person's physical appearance affects how others treat
them. A beautiful character will not always get special considerations from everyone, of course. On the contrary, there may be some who abhor the beautiful people.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Ugly; you need a paper bag to get a date.
• • Average: Unimpressive; you blend with the wall.
• • • Good: Attractive; you get second looks sometimes.
• • • • Exceptional: Beautiful; you could work as a model.
• • • • • Outstanding: Exquisite; you stop traffic.

Mental:
The three Mental Attributes define your character's mind. The scores you choose for these Traits reveal your character's memory capacity, intelligence and alertness to details in her environment. If your character is a scientist, university professor, doctor, journalist, air-traffic controller, stand-up comedian or any oilier concept that requires quick mental acuity or high IQ, then you'll want to make the Mental Attributes your primary category.

Intelligence
The dots in a character's Intelligence Trait define what most people would classify as "smarts." This Attribute represents their facility for solving problems, remembering facts, evaluating situations, reasoning and making leaps of logic. It expresses their innate ability, though it doesn't necessarily mean that they had years of education. A person can have a powerfully logical or deductive mind and still be a store clerk who didn't finish high school. Other factors play into a character's career choice, though any character with a college education or an intellectually demanding position should have that ability reflected in their Intelligence score.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Thick; you have trouble with child-proof lids (IQ 80).
• • Average: No dummy; you were a "C" student (IQ 100).
• • • Good: Smart; you do the hard crosswords for fun (IQ 120).
• • • • Exceptional: Brainy; your intellect leaves most others in the dust (IQ 140).
• • • • • Outstanding: Genius; you solve universal mysteries (IQ 160+).

Perception
This Trait expresses your character's ability to notice details in their environment. Sometimes, the character actively applies their perception, such as when they're searching for something specific. The majority of the time, however, it's an intuitive awareness that allows them to catch details via one of their five senses. Although they may see, taste, smell, feel or hear something that others would overlook, it doesn't mean that they have the experience or knowledge to identify that thing. A character's Perception score helps them find, spot or recognize things. This awareness includes spotting an ambush, noticing that lost keys are peeking out from behind the dresser, finding clues in piles of useless junk, hearing the hesitation in one's answer to your question and catching secretive glances exchanged by two people who are hiding something.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Inattentive; you don't pay much attention to what happens around you.
• • Average: Heedless; you catch the gist of your surroundings.
• • • Good: Sensitive; you're aware of moods and textures.
• • • • Exceptional: Alert; you have a keen awareness of your surroundings.
• • • • • Outstanding: Intuitive; you sense things most others never would.

Wits
Your character's Wits score represents their ability to think quickly, to react with expedience to critical situations and to creatively find solutions to immediate problems. This Attribute Trait reveals a character's level of adaptability to changing circumstances and their cleverness in extracting herself from difficult situations. Unlike the Intelligence Trait, it expresses a more immediate and pressing mental acuity. It's not about how much you know or could know, but rather about how quickly your mind reacts to surprises, ambushes, cutting comments and the unexpected in general.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Poor: Slow; you're an easy target.
• • Average: Paced; you figure things out eventually.
• • • Good: Snappy; you often have just the right response.
• • • • Exceptional: Sharp; you can handle almost anything.
• • • • • Outstanding: Instinctual; you don't even break a sweat in a gunfight.

Special traits

These are the special traits for all or certain races.

Coinscience
Conscience is a Trait that allows characters to evaluate their conduct with relation to what is "right" and "wrong." A character's moral judgment with Conscience stems from their attitude and outlook.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Uncaring
 •• Normal
 ••• Ethical
 •••• Righteous
 ••••• Remorseful

Self-control
Characters with high Self-Control rarely succumb to emotional urges, and are thus able to restrain their darker sides more readily than characters with low Self-Control.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Unstable
 •• Normal
 ••• Temperate
 •••• Hardened
 ••••• Total self-mastery

Courage
Courage is the quality that allows characters to stand in the face of fear or daunting adversity. It is bravery, mettle and stoicism combined. Characters with high Courage meet their fears head-on, while characters of lesser Courage may flee in terror.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Timid
 •• Normal
 ••• Bold
 •••• Resolute
 ••••• Heroic

Willpower
The Willpower Trait measures confidence, drive and resolve. A character with a high Willpower rating is steady and self-assured; one with low Willpower has limited self-control and determination.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Weak
• • Timid
• • • Unassertive
• • • • Diffident
• • • • • Certain
• • • • • • Confident
• • • • • • • Determined
• • • • • • • • Controlled
• • • • • • • • • Iron-willed
• • • • • • • • • • Unshakable

Humanity
It is a moral code that allows living (or unliving) beings to retain their mortal sensibilities in the face of their transformation into parasitic monsters. Mortals also typically follow the Path of Humanity, though this is largely out of ignorance: They don't know they can be anything else. As such, this mechanical system for morality rarely comes into play for them. Certainly, some mortals - rapists, murderers and the like - have low Humanity scores.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Horrific
 •• Bestial
 ••• Cold
 •••• Unfeeling
 ••••• Distant
 •••••• Removed
 ••••••• Normal
 •••••••• Caring
 ••••••••• Compassionate
 •••••••••• Saintly

Note: because some races do not have certain traits under same name, it doesn't mean they don't RP it. Example - humanity for mages is replaced with Resonance. Crafts are replaced by Engineering. Only werewolves have "Honour" trait, but it doesn't disallow any other race to be honourable or not having to be honourable in order to keep their humanity up, etcetera. Most traits/abillities are remade to fit into each race, but under new names.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 17:46:18 PM by OldBen »

Offline Raven

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Re: Abilities & Attributes by Bogdan
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 21:32:39 PM »
Abillities

During character creation, you also choose and assign points to your character's Ability Traits. These Traits represent the more specific Talents, Skills and Knowledges that your character possesses. They describe their level and field of expertise in the subjects that they have pursued during the course of their life, as well as the natural talents that they have developed.


Talents

Alertness
Your character's Alertness score describes how intuitively aware he/she is about other surroundings. Such a character naturally pays attention to their senses and has learned to note changes in their surroundings and environment. Generally, it relates to physical aspects of the area and a character with a high Alertness may be more likely to spot an ambush in the shadows, notice a particular person's perfume, hear the snap of a twig or taste the taint of poison in a drink. They have honed their senses to the point where they instinctually notice things without having to look for them. More often than not, the Alertness Trait pairs with the Perception Ability in creating dice pools.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Slow; you're an easy target.
• • Practiced: Paced; you figure things out eventually.
• • • Competent: You keep an eye on things.
• • • • Expert: You don't miss much.
• • • • • Master: You sense changes in barometric pressure, literally gaining additional sense on surroundings.

Art
Also known as Artistic Expression, this Talent reflects your ability with a visual or performing art: drawing, singing, acting, writing, painting, dance, sculpture, and so forth. Given such talents, you can work within your chosen medium to produce works of startling power. Depending on your idiom, you might create realistic renderings, engaging exaggerations, or wildly avant-garde experimental art. Higher levels reflect your ability to impress your audience; in art, that means striking a chord of Truth in people even when your work isn’t remotely realistic.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You’re creative but unskilled.
•• Practiced: You’ve put some time and work into
your chosen medium.
••• Skillful: Professional art could be a viable career option.
•••• Expert: You’re a working pro whose work
displays fascinating appeal and skill.
••••• Master: You’re an acknowledged master of your field.

Awareness
You’ve got uncanny perceptions. While alert folks spot everyday clues, your instincts cue in on the so-called supernatural side of life. Perhaps you’ve simply got that feeling about things some people do, even if they’re not Awakened as such. More likely, you’ve spent enough time around the magical world to sense its effects in your presence. At lower levels, this Talent grants a nebulous perception of uncanny phenomena; higher ratings in the Trait reveal auras, expose the secretive Night-Folk, and open your eyes to the spiritual Periphery. In game terms, you can use Perception + Awareness to spot paranormal effects, detect magick, recognize Resonance Echoes, and so forth, assuming they’re within close proximity of you. The more successes you roll, the more detailed your impressions become.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You possess a gift for spotting hidden
truths.
•• Practiced: Magic exists, and you often sense
its presence.
••• Skillful: You can see auras, and you understand
what those colors mean.
•••• Expert: The supernatural world reveals itself
to you in disturbing detail.
••••• Master: You’re so attuned to the mystic realm
that many folks consider you insane.

Athletics
This trait incorporates the previously used Dodge.

This Talent describes the basic athletic ability that your character has developed through physical training, sports or other rigorous physical activities. It differs from the Physical Traits (Strength, Dexterity and Stamina) in that it takes your character's natural athleticism and adds the benefit of any training or sport aptitude to your innate physical potency. Athletics governs your character's ability to jump, climb, throw, run and do any other athletic feat for which you may need to have trained or learned specific methodologies.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You're good at watching sports.
• • Practiced: You played basketball in high school.
• • • Competent: You learn new moves with ease.
• • • • Expert: You put most other athletes to shame.
• • • • • Master: You defy the laws of physics

Brawl
The Brawl Talent represents your character's hand-to-hand combat prowess. The Brawl Ability covers everything from scratching, clawing and biting to martial arts. Unarmed combat comes in many forms, and your character may have picked up their techniques on the street, in bar brawls, in the boxing ring or in a dojo. They may have trained and studied hard, or they may simply have lived a lifestyle that gave them enough experience to take care of themselves in a fight. The Brawl Ability assumes that your character isn't using any weapon aside from their body.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can throw a jab or poke someone in the eye.
• • Practiced: You hold your own when necessary.
• • • Competent: You've fought regularly and usually won.
• • • • Expert: You could be a contender.
• • • • • Master: You've made fighting into an art.

Empathy
You understand the emotions of others, and can sympathize with, feign sympathy for, or play on such emotions as you see fit. You are an easy hand at discerning motive, and might be able to pick up on when someone's lying to you. However, you may be so in tune with other people's feelings that your own emotions are affected.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You lend the occasional shoulder to cry on.
 •• Practiced: You can sometimes literally feel someone else's suffering.
 ••• Competent: You have a keen insight into other people's motivations.
 •••• Expert: It's almost impossible to lie to you.
 ••••• Master: The human soul conceals no mysteries from you.

Expression
The manipulation of words comes easily to characters with a high Expression score. This Talent covers the ability to use words (either verbal or written) to sway others, to evoke emotions and to get a point across to an audience. A politician character might use this Talent to make his speeches so moving that he wins voters, whereas a poet character might use this Talent to write poetry that touches the heart and makes his readers feel with him. This Ability ties directly to the Social Attributes. A Talent for Expression can help a character motivate others, tear down someone's ego with bit ing criticism, charm an audience or manipulate a person into doing something he normally wouldn't do.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You express stuff.
• • Practiced: You have a good vocabulary.
• • • Competent: You choose your words well and make your point.
• • • • Expert: You touch people with your words.
• • • • • Master: You could found a new religion.

Intimidation
People have many fears, so they can be intimidated in many ways. It can occur subtly without your character even realizing they're doing it. Perhaps their strength of character alone makes them an intimidating figure. Perhaps their physical stature intimidates. In certain instances, they may wish to intimidate someone actively as well, through verbal or physical assault. The Intimidation Talent represents your character's awareness of their ability to overshadow others and their skill at using this factor to get their way, draw information from an unwilling target or frighten others away from taking action against her.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Your bark is worse than your bite, and it shows.
• • Practiced: You intimidate those smaller than you.
• • • Competent: You make people think twice before acting.
• • • • Expert: You don't try; people just avoid pissing you off.
• • • • • Master: You scare vicious pit bulls

Leadership
Some characters have a knack for taking the leadership role with others. They exude a certain quality that makes people follow their orders, listen when they speak and embrace their agendas. The Leadership Talent has more to do with Charisma than it does Manipulation. It represents those indefinable qualities of appearance, mannerisms, vocal tone and eye contact that makes one a leader. A high score in this Talent doesn't necessarily mean, however, that the character makes all the right decisions for the group, only that her/his people will follow like lemmings off the edge of the cliff, just because you seem to know what you're doing.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You could be a scout leader.
• • Practiced: You have held office in college clubs.
• • • Competent: You exude an aura of confidence.
• • • • Expert: You inspire loyalty and excitement in your followers.
• • • • • Master: You could lead a nation

Streetwise
The streets have a language and a rhythm all their own. This Talent allows your character to fit in on the streets, gather information from the street rumor-mill and take advantage of other street resources. It gives your character the necessary knowledge and understanding to tap the black markets successfully, to stay safe and to blend with the people who belong to the street.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You're not trusted entirely, but you can talk to people.
• • Practiced: You're accepted, and you can find what you need eventually.
• • • Competent: You know how to earn respect on the streets.
• • • • Expert: You blend with the gangs and the drug dealers.
• • • • • Master: You haven't heard it, it hasn't happened. You always know what's going on.

Subterfuge
This Talent represents your character's ability to conceal their true motives and act in a manner completely different from how they truly feels. Usually, a character will use this Talent to manipulate people, to hide an emotion that would not be well-received or to fit in with those around them. The Subterfuge Ability also allows them to recognize when others are acting contrary to their own feelings or are pretending to do something for reasons other than their true motives. Characters with a high score in Subterfuge have a knack for secrets, double-dealing and intrigue.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can pull off the occasional lie.
• • Practiced: You hide your true feelings well.
• • • Competent: You put on a believable act.
• • • • Expert: You have no cracks in your performance.
• • • • • Master: You're the last person anyone would ever suspect.

Skills

Animal Ken
You can understand an animal's behavior patterns. This Skill allows you to predict how an animal might react in a given situation, train a domesticated creature, or even try to calm or enrage animals.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can get a domesticated horse to let you pet it.
 •• Practiced: You can housebreak a puppy.
 ••• Competent: You could train a seeing-eye dog.
 •••• Expert: Circus trainer.
 ••••• Master: You can tame wild beasts without benefit of supernatural powers.

Crafts
The Crafts Skill includes anything related to working with your hands, such as engine repair, electronics, plumbing, carpentry and the creative arts. Your character can even create a lasting work of art with enough successes. If you put points in Crafts for your character, then you must choose a Specialty for that. Because this Skill encompasses so much, the Specialty helps you define exactly what your character has learned.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can handle the simplest projects.
• • Practiced: You know little tricks to improve your work.
• • • Competent: You make things others want to buy.
• • • • Expert: You amaze people with your work.
• • • • • Master: Your artistry sets you apart from the mainstream.

Drive
Although a character can usually handle a car without specialized training, it takes some level of the Drive Skill to handle a car in dangerous situations, tough terrain or really nasty traffic. The higher your character's Drive score, the more expertise you have with different driving conditions as well as different kinds of vehicles. You should establish with your Storyteller what kind of experience your character has, because a person skilled at riding a motorcycle may not have the first clue about driving 18-wheelers.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can drive an automatic transmission.
• • Practiced: You can drive a stick and handle rush hour in New York.
• • • Competent: You're as good as a professional chauffeur.
• • • • Expert: You could be a stunt driver.
• • • • • Master: You and your Porsche share one mind.

Etiquette
Etiquette gives your character the knowledge and grace they needs to do all the right things. This Ability helps your character when they're trying to impress others, fit in unobtrusively, be diplomatic or haggle. A character with a high score in Etiquette understands the nuances of proper behavior in both mortal and mage society. You may choose a Specialty for her that represents the culture with which they're most familiar.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You manage to stay out of people's way.
• • Practiced: You know some of the lingo and don't insult anyone.
• • • Competent: You impress others with your ability to blend.
• • • • Expert: You're the epitome of tactfulness.
• • • • • Master: You'd make others feel like oafs in your shadow, but you're too smooth to let someone feel that bad around you.

Firearms
This Skill represents your character's familiarity with various firearms, from pistols to heavy machine guns. It doesn't, however, include heavy artillery such as mortars or tank guns. Someone skilled in Firearms can recognize, clean, load and shoot most types of small arms. This Ability is also used to unjam a gun (using Wits + Firearms).

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: The bullets come out of that end, moving very fast.. that's pretty much your knowledge.
• • Practiced: You spend time at the shooting range.
• • • Competent: You've had to use your gun in a firefight or two.
• • • • Expert: Marksmanship is more than a hobby; even skilled gunfighters come to you for tips. The gun is an extension of your hand.
• • • • • Master: Your gun is an extension of your eye. If you can see it, you can hit it.

Performance
Whenever your character attempts to perform something in front of an audience, this Skill governs your success. It covers all performance arts, such as singing, dancing, playing an instrument and acting. You will undoubtedly have a Specialty in one area, but truly talented performers may have developed expertise in several. This Trait not only represents your character's skill with the act itself, but also her ability to work the audience. Combined with the Expression Talent, the character can not only sing, dance or act, but can evoke strong emotion and improvise or create powerful messages for a given medium; with Subterfuge, the character can easily feign specific emotions or motives , perfect for a strong actor.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You sing and the audience doesn't boo.
• • Practiced: You're relaxed and comfortable on stage.
• • • Competent: You have a following of groupies.
• • • • Expert: You wow audiences with your talent.
• • • • • Master: Your performances draw awe-filled standing ovations.

Melee
In close proximity, a melee weapon , such as a knife, club or sword , can be just as lethal as a gun. This Skill describes your character's expertise with a variety of bladed and blunt weapons. It includes the use of clubs, knives, daggers, rapiers, stakes, katanas, axes, staffs, nunchaku or any other such weapon.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You know the right way to hold a knife.
• • Practiced: You've had experience with street fighting.
• • • Competent: Sword, axe, club, severed limb , if it's a weapon, you can use it.
• • • • Expert: Carving up your opponents is just like cutting a Thanksgiving turkey.
• • • • • Master: You flick your wrist and heads roll.

Stealth
The points you assign this Skill determine how well your character can sneak and hide. It applies whether your character is moving or not.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can hide behind big things.
• • Practiced: You sneak like a teenager escaping the house.
• • • Competent: Shadows are friends to you.
• • • • Expert: Even dry leaves and branches do not betray your passing.
• • • • • Master: Ninjamatics-R-U.

Security
This skill entails familiarity with the tools and techniques for picking locks, deactivating car or burglar alarms, hot-wiring automobiles or even safecracking, as well as countless forms of breaking and entering. Security is useful not only for theft, but also for setting up "the unbeatable system" or deducing where a thief broke in.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can pick a simple lock.
••  Practiced: You can hot-wire a car.
••• Competent: You can bypass or disable house alarms.
•••• Expert: You can crack a safe.
••••• Master: You could get a bomb out of - or into - the Pentagon.

Survival
Every person has a special environment in which he's particularly comfortable. With this Skill, your character has learned all the little tricks necessary to survive in the environment he knows. Dangers abound everywhere and often a person unfamiliar with the terrain won't know how to avoid these dangers. Whether the environment is natural (such as a jungle or a desert) or urban (such as cities or sewers) it can be treacherous if you don't know what you're doing. You should choose a Specialty for your character to reflect what type of environment you know.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You know enough not to drink stagnant water.
• • Practiced: A few camping and survival trips are under your belt.
• • • Competent: You could lead an inexperienced group into your environment and bring them out alive.
• • • • Expert: You avoid even major discomforts easily with your skills.
• • • • • Master: You know your environment inside and out

Technology
Skill with Technology covers all manner of repairs, electronics, mechanical aptitude and other gew gawgery with devices. Characters skilled in Technology can not only use all manner of devices, but they can also repair or modify such items. Of course, tools and diagrams are most helpful in this endeavor, but sometimes there's no help for it but to trust to luck. Characters without this Skill can probably operate a toaster or a microwave oven, but they wouldn't even know how to change the oil in a car.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Fuse boxes, broken toasters and oil changes are your purview.
• • Practiced: You've done some electrical or mechanical hobbying, and you put together all sorts of useless crap in your garage.
• • • Competent: Electrical and mechanical engineering are well within your range of skill, and you can repair many objects or make new
ones.
• • • • Expert: You can even program a VCR.
• • • • • Master: If it works on a technological principle, you can break, build, repair or rewire it.

Knowledges

Academics
Study in Academics represents your character's expertise in the "liberal arts and sciences." Academics includes the theoretical and sometimes practical study of anthropology, music, history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, literature, art and any other of the so-called "soft" sciences.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You've read all the basic high school books on the arts.
• • College: Casual intellectual discourse is no problem for you.
• • • Masters: You could publish a paper in an academic joumal.
• • • • Doctorate: New theories and techniques result from your studies.
• • • • • Scholar: You're recognized as one of the foremost experts in your areas of study

Computer
Computer operation and programming fall under the sway of the Computer Knowledge. Though the Technocracy makes great use of computers, today's highly information-based society relies on them a great deal as well. Those characters with low scores in Computer may know how to manipulate their way through simple software, whereas those with high scores can program, build their own and hack.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You can play computer games.
• • College: With some help files, some reference manuals and a little time, you can install or work through most software.
• • • Masters: Programming is one of your talents, and you craft utilities to your own standards.
• • • • Doctorate: Not only do you write code, you can hack or debug other peoples' products, and you're familiar with the most recent and
efficient innovations of computers.
• • • • • Scholar: You created the most recent computer technology.

Enigmas
Mysteries are stock in trade for magic-workers. Some magicians make an especial study of puzzles, riddles and mysterious circumstances, though. When gut instincts fail and logic can't offer a solution, the character with a broad knowledge of Enigmas sees clever solutions, hidden meanings and the motives behind such tricks. The Enigmas Knowledge can be used for figuring out the best way to approach a puzzle, the answer to a spirit's riddle or even just the morning crossword.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: How'd those riddles go in The Hobbit?
• • College: Towers of Hanoi, foxes and geese and a plethora of riddles all fill your head.
• • • Masters: You can puzzle out the motives of spirits and madmen.
• • • • Doctorate: You do crosswords in pen , in 10 minutes.
• • • • • Scholar: You are an enigma.

Finance
You know the ins and outs of commerce, from evaluating an item's relative worth to keeping up with currency exchange rates. This Knowledge can be invaluable when brokering items, running numbers or playing the stock market. Sufficiently high levels in Finance allow you to raise your standards of living to a very comfortable level.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You've taken a few business classes.
 •• College: You have some practical experience and can keep your books fairly neat.
 ••• Masters: You'd make a fine stockbroker.
 •••• Doctorate: Corporations follow your financial lead.
  ••••• Scholar: You could turn a $20 bill into a fortune.

Linguistics
All characters are assumed to be able to speak, read and write their own native tongue. Any other languages known are represented by this Knowledge. Additional dots in Linguistics give a character a broader range of languages. You determine, with your Storyteller's approval, what languages you want your character to speak.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: One extra language.
• • College: Two extra languages.
• • • Masters: Four extra languages
• • • • Doctorate: Eight extra languages.
• • • • • Scholar: 16 extra languages.

Investigation
Whenever your character investigates a crime scene, looks for clues or performs more detailed forensic exploration, the Investigation Knowledge is invoked. This Trait implies that your character has learned to read specific clues that give her information. More than just the ability to notice things, it shows that your character has learned specific methods for discovering the truth. You may have studied Criminology or Forensics, for example. It's more than just noticing a clue, it also involves interpreting that clue.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You've read plenty of detective novels.
• • College: Beat cops and amateur stalkers are in your class.
• • • Masters: Experienced detective work is under your belt.
• • • • Doctorate: You could profile crimes for a living.
• • • • • Scholar: You rival Sherlock Holmes.

Law
A character with a high score in the Law Trait knows local or national laws well enough to manipulate them to their benefit. You can find loopholes in the law, prosecute a defendant with aplomb or advise people on how far they can go without breaking the law.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You watch late-night civil court shows.
• • College: You may have done professional law studies, or else you've done a lot of reading.
• • • Masters: You could have your own law practice.
• • • • Doctorate: Your reputation for winning precedes you in court.
• • • • • Scholar: You could find loopholes in a contract with the Devil.

Medicine
The Medicine Trait gives your character an understanding of the human body, for both constructive, reparative and destructive purposes. It represents knowledge of medication, ailments and first-aid. At higher levels, it allows diagnosis, treatment of disease, surgery and the use of highly technical medical equipment. A character with Medicine is not necessarily formally trained or licensed, but they can practice with the best of them as long as they're careful not to let anyone know! Of course, this Knowledge can also represent a character who is a certified medic, doctor or nurse.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You know basic first-aid and CPR.
• • College: You can handle basic trauma and diagnosis.
• • • Masters: General practice is within your range of skill.
• • • • Doctorate: Surgery, specialties and the big bucks all await your practice.
• • • • • Scholar: At the cutting edge of medicine, your skills are in demand
throughout the world

Occult
This Trait describes your character's depth of occult knowledge, including mysticism, curses, magic, folklore, Umbral lore and various other lore related to the strange creatures and occurrences in the world. It doesn't necessarily imply that everything your character knows is correct, but it does give them insight to weed out the total nonsense. (Although they may still think that voodoo doesn't work, for example, they do know the general way others think that it does.) A character with a high level of Occult also knows a good amount about mages and magical practice, though again such knowledge may be incomplete or inaccurate. It's better than nothing, though!

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You have some friends who are into weird stuff.
• • College: Curiosity has gotten you into the occult, but it's bigger than you've imagined.
• • • Masters: Bizarre phenomena haunt your dreams, and you can place the significance of all manner of symbols and artifacts.
• • • • Doctorate: You're a true believer, and you can usually weed out the crap from the valid.
• • • • • Scholar: Not much surprises you anymore

Politics
You are familiar with the politics of the moment, including the people in charge and how they got there. This Knowledge can aid you in dealing with or influencing politicians.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: Activist.
 •• College: Political science major.
 ••• Masters: Campaign manager or talk-radio host.
 •••• Doctorate: Senator.
 ••••• Scholar: You could choose the next President of the United States.

Science
This Knowledge describes your character's familiarity with the physical sciences, such as biology, chemistry, physics and geology. If you choose a specialization for your character, you still have a broad understanding of all the sciences.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You survived high school science.
• • College: With a broad general picture of science, you're familiar with most prominent theories and a few experimental procedures.
• • • Masters: Overseeing or setting up new projects and experiments is within your capabilities.
• • • • Doctorate: Discovery is your watchword, progress your goal.
• • • • • Scholar: You may soon solve science's greatest mysteries.

Note: do not pick Abillities that do not fit your character. Do not pick Abillities and max them out only out of profit for rolls. Example - your character can be a badass fighter if you insist, but if he's brought upon interrogation - if he has low Subterfuge, it'd be obvious your character is lying (depending on Intimidation/Manipulation etc of person interrogating you). Roleplay your character correct, he might have good fighting skills, but his Wits are so small that he'll have bad reaction time, etcetera. Thank you for reading.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 15:54:17 PM by Raven »

Offline Raven

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Re: 3: Your Character Sheet [Abilities & Attributes]
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 21:44:05 PM »
Secondary Abillities

Secondary or Race Specific Talents

Cooking
Food’s your thing. You’re good at preparing it, pulling meals together from odds and ends, and noting when something’s not quite right. What good is this sort of talent for a mage? Ask any decent witch! A gifted cook can whip up an impressive meal on the go (perhaps even working some Life, Matter, Mind, or
Time magicks into the mix to spoil or sweeten the food); spot tainted or poisoned chow; discern unusual ingredients (griffin, horse-meat, Soylent Green…); or create nutritious meals from whatever’s close at and  a vital skill in the wilderness or certain Realms!

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Pretty decent in a kitchen.
•• Practiced: Good enough to work a restaurant gig.
••• Skillful: A culinary artist.
•••• Expert: Able to make food from normally
inedible substances.
••••• Master: A master of each aspect of food preparation,
from skinning to serving.

Diplomacy
You’ve got a knack for smoothing things over, making friends, and getting people to see past their differences. When you need to, you can also back up your guile with spine. A combination of ingratiating people skills, social psychology, knowledge of the situation, and innate timing allows you to gain people’s respect and then maneuver them to your desired point of view. A good diplomat can be transparent about his motives and yet still have people doing what he wants them to do while believing it’s their idea to do so. As an adjunct to Mind-based magicks, this Talent can become a huge (and occasionally fearsome) edge in group dynamics.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Advice columnist.
•• Practiced: Relationship counselor.
••• Skillful: Hostage negotiator.
•••• Expert: Noted diplomat.
••••• Master: Jimmy Carter.

Instruction
You’re really good at relaying information, teaching material, and helping other folks understand potentially complex principles. It’s not so much that you’re an expert on the subject at hand (though you might be), but that you’ve got a knack for taking your subject and making it easier to comprehend. A very
useful Talent for mentors, professors and, of course, instructors for any given course of study, this Ability helps your character share his expertise with other characters.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can pass along basic concepts.
•• Practiced: A topic’s finer points are easy for
you to express.
••• Skillful: Assuming you know something, you
can teach it.
•••• Expert: You’re one of those folks that people
want to learn from.
••••• Master: A master of all aspects of learning,
you’re a teacher that pupils recall for the rest
of their lives.

Intrigue
Machiavelli’s ghost smiles upon you. In the vicious whirlpools of backstabbing power, you’re a force to be reckoned with. A combination of instincts, audacity, knowledge, guile, and ruthlessness gives you insights and edges that most folks lack. You may serve a greater purpose, work toward hidden agendas, or simply enjoy making puppets dance. Whatever your ultimate purpose, you’re a player, not a pawn, in your personal Game of Thrones.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Ned Stark.
•• Practiced: Cersei Lannister.
••• Skillful: Varys the Spider.
•••• Expert: Littlefinger.
••••• Master: Tyrion Lannister.

Intuition
Also known as Instinct, this Talent represents a primal sort of perception that runs beneath your conscious mind. Essentially, you possess an animal-like awareness of your surroundings and circumstances. Though it’s not mind-reading per se, your Intuition helps you spot cues about people’s moods and intentions, notice when “something’s not quite right,” and recognize patterns and connections that your conscious mind might otherwise have missed. Combat vets, street survivors, primal folks, and animal-favoring shapechangers tend to develop such instincts as a survival skill; even then, though, such awareness comes more from innate talent than from practiced techniques. In situations where your character might pick up on subconscious clues or subtle giveaways, add your Intuition to a Mental Attribute to see whether or not that character’s instincts kick in.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You’ve got strong gut-feelings.
•• Practiced: You’re learning how to follow your
instincts even when you’re not sure why.
••• Skillful: Things that other people miss seem
obvious to you.
•••• Expert: You possess uncanny insight into things
you shouldn’t even have noticed.
••••• Master: It’s scary how much you notice about
stuff no one else even sees.

Kenning
Kenning is faerie sight. It allows a character to sense Glamour in all of its forms. He can recognize the power of cantrips and freeholds, identify “slumbering” changelings, and even discover the elusive prodigals and their magic. This insight is usually an impression. Gremayre is required to know specifics about what the changeling senses.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Glamour tickles your senses.
•• Practiced: You get impressions from locations that
house freeholds.
••• Competent: You can recognize an Undone changeling.
•••• Expert: Even the faintest traces of Glamour are clear
to you.
••••• Master: The world of the supernatural is laid bare
before you.

Mimicry
A skilled imitator, you can mimic voices or sounds; the higher your rating, the greater your ability. The human larynx is quite flexible, capable of a wide vocal range. (A touch of magick can make that range even wider if you augment your natural abilities with Life 2 or 3.) At the lower levels, you can imitate accents or the voices of specific people, while higher levels help you fake an impressive range of sonic phenomena.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You mock celebrities for fun.
•• Practiced: Given time and practice, you can
mimic a decent range of accents and voices.
••• Skillful: Your impersonations can fool folks
who’re familiar with the people or sounds
you’re imitating.
•••• Expert: You’re like that dude in those old Police
Academy flicks.
••••• Master: Your ability to mimic almost anyone
or anything is downright unsettling.

Negotiation
An acute perception for what people want makes you a master wheeler-dealer. Combined with social savvy and the ability to say “No” when you need to do so, this perception lets you bring other folks around to your point of view, helps them strike bargains, and puzzle out the potential agendas that drive them to and away from the bargaining table.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You mediate disputes at home.
•• Practiced: You’re good at herding cats toward
a common destination.
••• Skillful: Your arbitration skills are in professional
demand.
•••• Expert: Regardless of the dispute, you often
get your way.
••••• Master: You could forge lasting peace between
old enemies, and leave them happy to have
followed your lead.

Newspeak
Language is your playground. In a brave new age, you coin brave new words. Why? Because language is the gatekeeper of status and initiation. Obfuscatory miscourse is keycode. Disinfotech relegates the bleaters to Sidelinedia. Coprosperity sails on neochop, and so you bait the beespeakers and decompartmentalize linguiblocks. What the hell are you saying, anyway? Whatever the hell you want it to mean! Essentially, this Talent helps you spin and juggle buzzwords, either existing or original. Beyond the roleplaying fun you can have with this Trait, Newspeak provides a verbal arsenal for social entanglements. By pairing Social Attributes with this Ability, you can excite, incite or inspire your audience (Charisma + Newspeak); dazzle, befuddle or intimidate opponents (Manipulation + Newspeak); or blast holes in Preconceptionsville by pairing beauty with brains (Appearance + Newspeak). Intelligence + Newspeak may help you decipher or deconstruct someone else’s wordstorm, while Perception or Wits might help you keep track of a slogan-spitting raconteur… or beat her at her own game!

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: LOL
•• Practiced: u mad, bro?
••• Skillful: Your neologic metaphases into commcom.
•••• Expert: Masspeak is youspeak. Youspeak is
allspeak.
••••• Master: That whirring sound you hear is
Orwell’s grave.

Primal-Urge
This Talent describes a character’s connection to her bestial nature, and her level of gut feelings in her various nonhuman forms. A character with high Primal-Urge relies not just on her heightened instincts, but a whole range of sensory information that humans don’t fully understand. Her understanding of her feral nature gives her an easier time when changing form, and can let her instinctively notice signs of supernatural activity — though this rarely goes beyond the level of a chill down the spine or the hairs on her neck standing on end.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Merely a pup. The urge is there, but
hasn’t been honed.
•• Practiced: Your instincts put you on a safe path
through danger.
••• Competent: You know when something weird is
going on, and have an easy time taking the right
shape to deal with it.
•••• Expert: The wolf within drives you to act, and
its guidance is never wrong.
••••• Master: You have an innate understanding of
what it means to be Garou: a synthesis of man,
wolf, and spirit created to be Gaia’s warrior.

Scan
Your quick eyes spot things other people miss. Darting your gaze across a place or situation, you can catch a quick appraisal that would take most people a while to observe. Generally combined with Perception, this Talent helps your character scope out potential targets, threats, clues, faces, escape routes, and other vital details. He might not always know just what it is he sees, and he has to actually think about scanning an area in order to use this Ability. Given time for a fast glance or two, however, he’ll probably snag enough material to work with once he’s got the chance to process what he’s seen.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You catch the obvious hints.
•• Practiced: You’re good at noticing the little
stuff.
••• Skillful: Quick appraisals are your specialty.
•••• Expert: Few details escape your gaze.
••••• Master: Sherlock Holmes wishes he were you.

Scrounging
Dude! Where’d you find that? You’re pretty good at spotting goodies in the oddest places. A skilled scavenger, you can discover all kinds of unlikely stuff. Granted, said stuff has to be there first… but then, if you’re a mage, this Talent provides a wonderful excuse for coincidental magick. Even without magick, though, the toss-out nature of consumer culture often puts the odds in your favor.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You and Macklemore hit thrift shops
together.
•• Practiced: You are Macklemore.
••• Skillful: You scrounge most of what you need
from society’s cast-offs.
•••• Expert: Given enough time and trash, you
could find almost anything you need.
••••• Master: Money-wise, you live off little or nothing.

Style
You know how to look good. And although you’ve got an eye for fashion, this Talent’s not so much about what you wear as how you wear it. Style helps you make good impressions based on clothes, bearing, behavior, and appearance… and while it’s most obvious on pretty people, it can have striking effects on those who otherwise look plain.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Clothes horse.
•• Practiced: Sharp dresser.
••• Skillful: Professional model.
•••• Expert: Lady Gaga.
••••• Master: Queer Eye for the Mage Guy.

Secondary or Race Specific Skills

Blind Fighting
Either through training, meditation or grim necessity, you can get around without sight even under extreme conditions. Each dot in Blind Fighting reduces, by -1 per dot, your penalty for performing actions while visually blinded. (It does not, of course, give you a bonus for fighting in the dark, although it certainly gives you an edge if your opponents are blind as well.) This Skill does not give you the ability to see in darkness, nor does it add to Correspondence Effects; it does, however, reflect an extraordinary perception of your body and immediate surroundings even when you cannot see.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can move through a darkened
room without running into things.
•• Practiced: Through sound, you can figure out
where things and people are.
••• Skillful: Your opponents are as obvious to you
in the dark as they would be if you could see.
•••• Expert: You essentially “feel” the presence,
movements, and location of various obstacles
and opponents.
••••• Master: Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman.

Climbing
The phrase “sheer surface” means less to you than it means to most folks. You can scale walls, trees, mountains, and other surfaces so long as you’ve got something to hold onto. Although this Skill does not grant superhuman abilities, it’s really amazing what a skilled climber can do, even without gear.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You spend time at the local gym’s
climbing wall.
•• Practiced: Given gear or strong handholds,
you can scale and descend perilous surfaces.
••• Skillful: You’re an experienced climber on a
variety of surfaces.
•••• Expert: No gear? No problem.
••••• Master: Even without gear, you’re a human
gecko.

Disguise
Looking like someone else is your specialty. This might involve impersonating an existing person, concealing your own identity, or creating a whole new persona independent of yourself. Even without Life or Mind magick, your expertise can fool casual observers… and, at the higher levels, fool almost anyone. Add Life and /or Mind to this Skill, and your disguise skills can become damn near perfect. With or without make-up and such, the art of disguise depends upon an ineffable quality that allows a person to slip into another personality. A truly magnificent disguise-artist can change personas with a few shifts of physicality, though most folks need make-up and clothes to complete the illusion. Disguise means “remove appearances,” and so the core of this Skill involves changing the way you come across – not simply gluing on a moustache, but appearing to become an entirely different person.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Is that you?
•• Practiced: You can pass a brief inspection.
••• Skillful: You fool some of the people some of
the time.
•••• Expert: You fool most of the people most of
the time.
••••• Master: Given time and materials, you can
appear as almost anyone it’s physically possible
for you to resemble.

Elusion
You’re good at giving people the slip. With enough cover to work with (crowds, underbrush, rooms filled with boxes, etc.), you can shake pursuit, hide from observation, trick pursuers, and blend in with the landscape. Cleverly employed, Elusion can help you puzzle out new surroundings (Intelligence + Elusion), confuse your pursuers (Manipulation + Elusion), spot traps and hiding places (Perception + Elusion), duck quickly behind cover (Dexterity + Elusion), and trick antagonists into following false leads or falling into hazards (Wits + Elusion). And, of course, you also know what to look for if someone else is trying to hide from you… (Again, Perception + Elusion.) In itself, this Skill is not magickal – it’s all about knowing how to use your surroundings to your advantage. Certain magickal Effects, however, can bend light and sound (the Forces Sphere), shift probability (Entropy), influence bystanders (Mind), or spot “perfect moments” (Time) that take your mundane skill to the next level, often without so much as rippling the Consensus.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can shake a casual pursuer.
•• Practiced: Folks tend to look for you where
you are not.
••• Skillful: It takes a pro to track you down.
•••• Expert: Even the pros have a hard time tracking
you down.
••••• Master: Where are you, you wascally wabbit?

Escapology
Through a combination of tricks, misdirection, muscular control and really flexible joints, you can shuck most forms of physical restraint. Ropes, chains, holds, and death-traps slow you down, but… given time and perhaps a hidden lockpick or two… you’ve figured out how to foil most of them. This Skill does not confer any supernatural ability, although you can use it to justify magickal escapes if your “audience”  lnows that you’ve studied escapist techniques.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can slip out of poorly-tied ropes
or simple holds.
•• Practiced: You give fits to the average dominant.
••• Skillful: “I’m sorry, officer – you must’ve
forgotten to lock those handcuffs.”
•••• Expert: Chains, locks, straitjackets… few of
them can hold you for long.
••••• Master: With a bit of time, you can escape just
about anything short of a locked bank vault.

Fast-Draw
You’re quick. They’re dead. A roll of Dexterity + Fast- Draw (three successes or more) lets you pull a weapon and have it ready to use. The roll’s difficulty depends on where you’d been keeping that weapon stored – a hidden ankle-knife is harder to draw than a pistol in an open holster! This Skill works with any weapon, and can “explain” why that gun in your hand just appeared from nowhere. With the Storyteller’s
approval, you can add the dots in this Skill to your Initiative roll when either you or your opponent is trying to get in the very first shot. (It does not, however, add to that roll after the initial turn.)

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You fumble less than most folks do.
•• Practiced: Decent reflexes and a steady hand.
••• Skillful: Holy crap, you’re fast!
•••• Expert: “Fill your hands, you sonofabitch!”
••••• Master: Han didn’t shoot first – you did.

Fast-Talk
Weaving a blizzard of words, you dazzle folks with brilliant bullshittery. A surprisingly effective tactic (assuming that your target has a Wits rating of three or less; brighter folks are less easily bamboozled), this Skill lets you overwhelm a person’s ability to understand or deflect your agenda. You’re so distracting,
convincing, or downright puzzling that people are inclined to believe you… at least until they’ve had a chance to think about what you’re saying. Deployed by a pundit, debater, salesman or crook, Fast-Talk can be a devastating weapon.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Street-corner hustler.
•• Practiced: Used-car salesman.
••• Skillful: Political pundit.
•••• Expert: Slick politician.
••••• Master: Master of puppets.

Fencing/Kenjutsu
The Art of the Blade, Fencing reflects expertise with an array of European sword-and-dagger-fighting techniques, while Kenjutsu reflects Japanese samurai swordsmanship. Other cultural forms of bladed martial arts, such as Chinese wushu weapon techniques, can be considered as “fencing” for the purposes of dice pools and maneuvers; just change the name to whatever art is appropriate for that character. At its lowest levels, such knowledge is purely sporting; an accomplished fencer or kendoka, though, can be deadly in true hand-to-hand combat. As with most martial arts, a dedicated study of swordsmanship includes philosophy, meditation, vigorous exercise, and a refinement of mind, body, and soul… which makes it an excellent magickal focus technique.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: “The pointy end goes into the other
man.”
•• Practiced: Kikuchiyo or Elizabeth Swann.
••• Skillful: Katsushiro Okamoto or Elena Montero.
•••• Expert: Inigo or the Dread Pirate Roberts.
••••• Master: Ogami Itto or the Bride.

Fortune-Telling/Assessment Analysis
Whether or not you actually possess accurate gifts of prophecy, you often have folks believing that you do. Scanning anything from cards to entrails to scripture verses, you can convincingly predict future events, read a person, or otherwise get someone to believe in your incredible prescience. This makes an excellent instrument for Mind-, Entropy- or Time-based magicks, although its believability (and thus, its ability to be considered coincidental) will depend upon both your audience and your own beliefs. A true believer will easily accept an accurate Tarot reading, but a skeptic might prove far harder to convince. A Technocratic variation, Assessment Analysis, does exactly the same thing but with a very different explanation. Instead of using symbolic or religious trappings, such Analysis involves psychological cues, deductive reasoning, body language, and other methods to read a person’s inner landscape, predict potential behaviors, or estimate the probabilities of future events. This lets Assessment Specialists size people up at a glance, determine accurate calculations, or strip away deceptions to perceive the truth beneath them. In the modern world, this sort of thing tends to be coincidental, so long as the Specialist can point out cues or clues that might lead to a rational conclusion.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You know your way around a single
divination method well enough to convince
people of what they want to hear.
•• Practiced: You’re pretty convincing with your
chosen method, and you understand one or
two other methods as well.
••• Skillful: You can rattle off credible readings
with a handful of different methods, and can
be frighteningly precise with your specialty.
•••• Expert: An expert at the means and principles
of divination (or analysis), you can assure most
people that you know what you’re talking about.
••••• Master: Your mastery of divinatory arts convinces
even hardened skeptics that you have

Gambling
Games of nerve and chance are your specialties. Even without the aid of Entropy Arts (which can add a devastating edge to this Skill), you’re good at gauging odds, bluffing rivals, spotting cheats, hedging bets, faking people out, and employing the mind-games and slight-of-hand essential to card games, betting, and apparently random luck.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Poker-night shark.
•• Practiced: Vegas tourist.
••• Skillful: Professional gambler.
•••• Expert: High-roller.
••••• Master: “Your call, Mr. Bond…”

Gunsmith
Shooting guns is easy. Knowing how guns work is a bit more complicated. This Skill reflects a practical knowledge of weapon manufacture, modification, design and repair. The various levels cover expanding categories of firearms expertise. Given time, tools, and enough dots in this Skill, you can fix guns, craft firearms and unique ammo from scratch, and even use Matter and Forces Effects to alter or supercharge mundane firearms in surprising ways. It’s worth noting that modern mass-produced firearms are far easier to modify than antique or archaic weapons are. Attempts to modify or repair older-model mass-produced
weaponry (pre-Vietnam), or small-run models of more recent vintage, will add +1 or +2 to the difficulty of Gunsmith rolls, while firearms from before the twentieth century add between +1 to +3 to the difficulties of such attempts, depending upon the complexity of the attempted modification. Shoddy weapons, of course, will be harder to repair or modify.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Basic gun repair and minor modifications.
•• Practiced: Advanced modification of simple
firearms and ammunition.
••• Skillful: Extensive design, repair, and modification
experience with conventional firearms.
•••• Expert: Dazzling mastery of most gun and
ammunition types.
••••• Master: Mack Bolan comes to you for advice.

Heavy Weapons
Military-grade weaponry is a world apart from commercial- grade firearms. Your training, however, allows you to employ serious gear: machine-guns, rocket-launchers, Stinger missiles, and other high-impact forms of portable destruction. Becausesuch weapons tend to be finicky, you know how to field-repair them as well. Perhaps you even have your own YouTube channel,for thrilling the armchair-testosterone set. (“Now that is what I am talking about… And, as always, have nice day!”)

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Basic training.
•• Practiced: Field experience.
••• Skillful: Heavy-weapons specialist.
•••• Expert: Master of disaster.
••••• Master: Rambo.

Hunting
You score food old-school style: by tracking, trapping, spotting, stalking, killing, gutting, skinning, and packing it out yourself. Some folks think you’re a testosterone sadist, and they might even be right. As far as you see it, though, you’re keeping an essential skill alive. Especially among mages who spend time in the wilderness or Otherworlds, this Skill means the difference between being a live magus and a dead child of the supermarket age!

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Weekend warrior.
•• Practiced: Rural native.
••• Skillful: Practical provider.
•••• Expert: Full-time hunter.
••••• Master: Ted Nugent wishes he were you.

Hypnotism
Using mundane psychological techniques (as opposed to Mind-based magicks), you can place someone in a trance and then rummage around a bit inside his head. Though it’s not nearly as effective as people seem to believe it is, such mesmerism is quite potent under the proper circumstances. Mesmerism typically demands a setting that encourages a subject to surrender himself to the hypnotist’s control; traditionally hypnotic settings, tools, and techniques include religious rituals, quiet clinics, repetitious music, dramatic contrasts of light and darkness, and – believe it or not – television screens. Drawing the subject into a receptive state of mind, the hypnotist gets him to lower his defenses and let her in. If the subject resists, the hypnotist will probably need to resort to Mind magicks rather than simple mesmerism. System-wise, the player makes a resisted roll that pits her Charisma + Hypnotism against her subject’s Intelligence (for
a willing subject) or Intelligence + Willpower (for an unwilling subject). The number of successes reflects the depth of the trance, with one to three successes indicating a mild trance and four or more successes revealing a fairly deep one. For each success rolled, the hypnotist adds one additional die to her second roll; three successes, for example, would add three more dice to that second roll’s dice pool. Next, the hypnotist player rolls a second time against a difficulty of the subject’s Willpower; for each success, she man ages to uncover one piece of information; instill one “trigger phrase”; inspire one idea, behavior or memory that the subject will think is his own; “command” one simple activity; or reduce the difficulty a related Mind-based spell by -1. This process, in turn, takes roughly one minute of in-game time per task
involved. (It would, for instance, take four minutes to instill four triggers or memories.) Contrary to popular perception, short sessions of hypnotic influence cannot drive a person to commit things he wouldn’t do otherwise. Extended influence, on the other hand, can be surprisingly efficacious. Hypnotism is a psychological art, not an exact science. Its effects are unpredictable – not even “experts” can fully control another person’s mind without hardcore Mind-magick. Ultimately, the Storyteller decides how much influence our mesmerist exerts upon her subject. That said, a skilled hypnotist can do some pretty impressive things with a willing subject… especially if she’s adept with the Mind Sphere as well.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can do some basic parlor tricks.
•• Practiced: You’ve studied professional mesmerism
techniques.
••• Skillful: A devotee of the art, you can uncover
or inspire surprising results.
•••• Expert: It’s scary just how much you can do
when you set someone else’s mind to it.
••••• Master: Dr. Caligari was a fraud. You are not.

Jury-Rigging
With a bit of luck and a lot of skill, you can rig a gadget, make temporary repairs, or cobble together something vaguely workable from a pile of spare parts. Naturally, you’ll need the appropriate Traits as well – stuff like Hypertech, Computers, Energy Weapons, and so forth. You can’t rig something you don’t
understand. A brilliant technician, though, can make gear jump through hoops long enough to get through an immediate crisis. Clever technomancers can also use Jury-Rigging as part of their focus if they’ve got something to work with and enough time to make things happen. That said, this is a Skill, not a Sphere; it can’t do something blatantly impossible on its own. Whether or not a Jury-Rigged device is vulgar magick depends on just how outlandish it seems. An armored suit made out of forged steel and weapon-parts? Okay. A flying car composed of Frisbees and dog treats? Um, no.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Garage tinkerer.
•• Practiced: Mr. Fixit.
••• Skillful: Field gadgeteer.
•••• Expert: MacGyver.
••••• Master: Tony Friggin’ Stark.

Microgravity Operations
Things get weird when you leave Earth’s gravity. Although there’s no such thing as true “zero-G,” the radically altered gravitational forces found in strange Realms, spacecraft or Etherspace demand specialized training and experience. Without the Microgravity Operations Skill, a character in such environments cannot use dice from any Physical Ability; sure, he’s still strong or dexterous, but that martial arts training won’t do him a damn bit of good when the physics upon which those arts depend have been replaced by micro-gravity. A rare skill-set outside the ranks of Technocratic Void Engineers, Microgravity Operations teaches you how to move and act in altered gravity. Each dot in this Skill allows your character to use a dot in his other physical Abilities. Let’s say that the guy mentioned above has four dots in Martial Arts; he could use one of them at Microgravity 1, two at Microgravity 2, and so on. Without such training, a person bounces and floats with very little control of personal physics; with this Skill, that same person knows how to use that environment to his advantage.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Don’t hyperventilate and don’t
throw up.
•• Practiced: You’re good so long as you have
something to hang on to.
••• Skillful: It feels weird, but you’ve started to
get the hang of things.
•••• Expert: You move almost as well in micro-G
as you do on Earth.
••••• Master: You’ve spent so much time in space
that you’re not sure what earthly gravity feels
like anymore.

Misdirection
“Look! Over there!” Okay, you’re usually more subtle than that. Still, you’re good at distracting folks from what you’re actually trying to do. An essential skill for magicians, pickpockets, seducers, and other people who prefer to redirect attention, this Ability helps you steer someone’s concentration elsewhere. In a fight, this Skill also helps you set someone up for an unpleasant surprise. Each success in a Dexterity + Misdirection roll (difficulty 5 + the target’s Wits) lowers the difficulty of your next strike. Essentially, you throw a fakeout, your opponent responds, and you clock him. Similar applications of this Skill let you set up distractions and then do something else when your target’s back is turned… in game terms, reducing the difficulty of your next roll if you succeed with a Misdirection attempt. Naturally, this sort of trick stops working if you rely upon it too often. Each subsequent attempt with the same target (or group of targets)
raises your Misdirection difficulty by +2. Dude – they’re on to you! Time to try a different tactic…

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: “My God – what’s that?”
•• Practiced: “Nothing up my sleeves…”
••• Skillful: “What about that guy over there?”
•••• Expert: “You mean this hand…?”
••••• Master: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking
for…”

Meditation
Ground, center, breathe, and relax. This Skill helps you sweep aside the clutter of everyday existence and find a spot within yourself that offers calm. Depending on your preferred style, your background, and the purpose for which you practice meditation, this could involve simple quiet time, elaborate postures and breath control, religious devotion, and even ecstatic dance or prayer.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You can ground and center for short
periods of time.
•• Practiced: Regular practice has deepened and
extended your abilities.
••• Skillful: Even under distracting conditions,
you know how to find your center.
•••• Expert: “Use the Force, Luke…”
••••• Master: An island of calm is yours whenever
you want or need it.

Networking
You’re good at making contacts and working them for all they’re worth. While these networks won’t actually act on your behalf (certain Backgrounds cover that sort of thing), they’re real lifesavers when you’re trying to assemble data (Perception + Networking), get something done (Manipulation +
Networking), or win someone over (Charisma or Appearance + Networking) through your various contacts. Simple tasks have lower difficulties, while obscure or difficult tasks demand much better rolls – or, in story terms, a more thorough and dedicated network. Networking demands time, access, and attention. Although cell phones and laptops can link you to your contacts in most tech-enabled locations, you still need to spend time reaching out and maintaining your network. Occasionally, they’ll ask you for favors too  you get nothing for nothing, after all! The nice thing, though, about extensive networks is that the people in them have a greater ability to help one another when need be.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You’ve got some friends who know
some friends.
•• Practiced: You know how to sweet-talk certain
gatekeepers.
••• Skillful: You know who to talk to and how to
talk to them.
•••• Expert: With two hours and a phone, you
work wonders.
••••• Master: Access to almost anyone is just a matter
of time.

Pilot
Most folks, when confronted with the complex control panels of conventional aircraft, don’t have the slightest idea where to start. You do. Training and experience allow you to fly, land, and control most types of Sleepertech flying machines; the higher your rating, the more sophisticated the craft.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Small prop planes.
•• Practiced: Private jets.
••• Skillful: Commercial aircraft.
•••• Expert: Military war machines.
••••• Master: Damn near anything.

Psychology
Versed in the practice of clinical psychology, you can help folks deal with mental and emotional ailments. Also known as Psychoanalysis, this Trait takes time and trust to deploy you can’t cure phobias during a firefight! Given the space and opportunity to work your craft, though, you can win someone’s confidence and then help him sort out the traumas in his head. For each session of focused psychoanalysis, roll Intelligence + Psychoanalysis, with a difficulty of the subject’s Intelligence + 3. If he’s resisting your efforts, use Manipulation or Charisma + Psychoanalysis, with a difficulty of his Willpower + 3 (max 10). Each success counts toward at least a temporary resolution of an illness or neurosis. Simple quirks are easy to fix (five to 10 successes), while severe mental illness can be much harder (20 successes or more).
On the shadow-side, the same techniques can be used to instill mental quirks and illnesses – false memories, induced phobias, that sort of thing. This application assumes that the subject is resisting you subconsciously (Willpower +3), but can still be quite effective if your patient trusts you. The Satanic ritual
abuse panic of the ‘80s and ‘90s came largely from dishonest psychologists “leading” their patients to “discover” things that had never actually happened. Corrupters, seducers, and “conversion specialists” study psychoanalysis for that very reason. Whether you’re trying to help or harm someone, Mind magick obviously helps with this sort of thing. Thus, “miracle cures” can be explained by your reputation as a skilled psychotherapist.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: A trusted shoulder to cry on.
•• Practiced: High-school guidance counselor.
••• Skillful: Professional therapist.
•••• Expert: Acclaimed authority.
••••• Master: Miracle-worker.

Research
So the building was constructed in 1927, but the site it occupies has occult associations going back almost as far as there were records for the time, Senachib mused. The financier behind its construction committed suicide following the stock market crash, or at least his death was ruled a suicide. It was clear that someone had invested a lot of time and effort into having a building there, but why? For most questions, the answer is out there, if only you know where to look. Research is the skill of knowing where to look for information, gathering it efficiently and organizing it so other people can absorb it without too much trouble. With this Ability, you know the best places to start looking for particular information and the best ways to go about it. Research differs from Academics in that it involves looking for information, while Academics involves knowing information, and Research tends to turn up more detailed information than someone can recall from memory.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You know how to use the card cata
log in the library and your favorite search
engines on the Internet.
•• College: You actually know what the Dewey
Decimal numbers mean and how to find things
without a card catalog or search engine.
••• Masters: You’re familiar with the best resources
of particular subjects of interest to you.
•••• Doctorate: It’s not a matter of if you will find the
information, just a matter of how long it will take.
••••• Scholar: You have tremendous information at
your fingertips, and more only a phone call or
email away.

Speed-Reading
Through a combination of concentration and skill, you can scan and retain large amounts of information in very short periods of time. Speed reading utilizes a number of tricks that help you process things you read quickly. Although complex works demand more time and focus than simple ones do, this skill comes in handy when you’ve got research to do and not much time with which to do it. Although this is a valuable talent for Technocrats, Hermetic mages, Virtual Adepts, and other folks who need to absorb huge chunks of data, it’s a hazardous trick to employ when you’re reading about advanced magickal or scientific matters. Both advanced science and ritual magick, after all, depend upon precise reading in order to get the proper results. Speed-reading techniques depend upon mnemonic shortcuts, and “shortcuts” and "magick” tend to make poor bedfellows. The Storyteller might inflict a penalty upon rites or procedures whose details have been learned through speed-reading, with potentially horrific results if the attempt fails. The moral behind this principle: Don’t try summoning Elder Gods with a ritual you skimmed in your hurry to get through the book!

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: Twilight in an hour.
•• Practiced: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
in two or three hours.
••• Skillful: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows in
two or three hours.
•••• Expert: A Game of Thrones in two or three
hours.
••••• Master: War and Peace in two or three hours.

Swimming
You don’t sink – you swim. Under normal circumstances, you can move roughly 8 yards + your Dexterity rating in a turn. By focusing solely upon your speed, you can move up to 12 yards + your Dexterity rating; and by throwing everything you have behind the strokes, you can roll your Stamina + Swimming (difficulty 7) to add three more yards to your movement that turn. Each turn demands a separate roll, though, and you can do this for only one turn per point of Stamina you possess. After that… well, sinking might become an option…

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You’ve had some swimming lessons.
•• Practiced: You spend plenty of time in pools,
lakes or oceans.
••• Skillful: You could score a place on a
swim team.
•••• Expert: You’d probably pass a professional
lifeguard test.
••••• Master: Olympic-level competition is yours if
you want it.

Secondary or Race Specific Knowledges

Conspiracy Theory
“They” are not merely the projections of a delusional mind. You know damn well that secret power-players manipulate the world, and you’re on to their schemes. In the World of Darkness, paranoia is a survival technique, and so this Knowledge gives you clues to the conspiracies that may or may not be eating that world from the inside-out. Naturally, such information makes you a target… and though you may indeed
be paranoid, They probably are out to get you… especially if you’re working for Them too.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: Fox News anchor.
•• Student: Glenn Beck fan.
••• Scholar: Glenn Beck.
•••• Professor: Art Bell.
••••• Master: The Truth is Out There… and you
have it.

Chantry/Construct Politics
In the corridors of Awakened and Enlightened power, you know your way around. Alliances, rivalries, histories, influential players, status and weaknesses… they’re your bread and butter. Chapter One: Heroic Traits With such expertise, you’re able to accomplish things that leave lesser mages scratching their heads.
This Knowledge comes in two forms: Chantry Politics covers the internal workings of a mystic stronghold, while Construct Politics reveals the inner workings of Technocratic installations. The higher your rating, the more you know. Certain levels of this Knowledge, however, are off-limits to characters under a certain rank. Low-level mages or Technocrats won’t have the security clearance necessary to access high-level
secrets (that is, C-Politics higher than 3), and members of rival factions probably won’t be able to find out much about the other guys at all unless they’re skilled infiltrators walking a very dangerous line. Regardless of the character’s rank or affiliation, C-Politics just gives you data and rumors, not the ability to act on what you think you know. Putting that knowledge to good use requires Traits like Diplomacy,
Subterfuge, Allies, Patron, and Spies.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You know the major places and
players.
•• Student: You’ve got a moderate assessment of
your chosen base.
••• Scholar: Anything that’s common knowledge
in the ranks, you know.
•••• Professor: Classified access is yours to command.
••••• Master: You know enough rumors, data, secrets
and dirt to make lots of people nervous; given
how much you know, you should be nervous
too!

Cosmology/Sub-dimensions
Known by Technocrats and many hypertech mystics as Subdimensions, this trait reflects a working
knowledge of the puzzling Otherworlds beyond the Earthly plane. With it, you stand a decent chance of finding your way around out there without getting yourself killed. (Without it, you’re seriously screwed.) The specific way in which you view the Otherworlds will depend a lot on what you expect to see there; this Knowledge simply gives you the tools to navigate paths, spot hazards, deal with entities, and recognize opportunities or threats when you run across them.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: Student of the mysteries.
•• Student: Occasional voyager.
••• Scholar: Experienced traveler.
•••• Professor: Seasoned explorer.
••••• Master: World-walker.

Covert Culture
In the alphabet soup of international intrigue (CIA, NSA, ICPO, etc.), you’ve got a backstage pass at the shadow-plays. Probably thanks to hard-won experience, you can spot cues, identify agents, play connect-the-dots between government agencies, and rattle off covert operations as if they were football games. In order to put such knowledge to use, of course, you’ll need other skills to back up the things you know. Still, even James Bond needs to know who to trick, seduce, take orders from, and shoot on sight.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You know the names and general
data pertaining to the secret service agencies
of major world powers.
•• Student: You keep tabs on every major covert
operations agency in the world, and know
tidbits about various “paraintelligence” groups
(the Arcanum, Zaibatsu, Inquisition, etc.) as
well.
••• Scholar: Beyond the obvious facts and figures
involved in covert operations, you’ve got dirt
on important figures in the community, solid
data about “nonexistent” groups, and enough
so-called “secrets” to make certain folks uneasy.
•••• Professor: You know about, and are known to,
every major party in the covert-culture world,
with plenty of knowledge about other groups
as well.
••••• Master: They just call you “M.”

Cultural Savvy
You’re a walking travel guide, even in places you’ve never visited before. A combination of prior knowledge and innate savvy helps you spot cultural sweet spots and pitfalls before you (or your companions) trip over your own ignorance. Unlike the Etiquette Skill, this Knowledge is less about making friends than it is about figuring out how cultures work as a whole. With it, you can grasp foreign manners, catch subtle cues, unravel complex social roles, and draw conclusions about the importance of gender, politics, ethnicity, and – perhaps most importantly – the cultural expectations of the people in question. In a chronicle that employs reality zones, this can be a subtle but important weapon in the global Ascension War.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You read travel guides for fun.
•• Student: You’re a smart tourist.
••• Scholar: A cultural chameleon, you catch on
fast.
•••• Professor: Versed in several societies, you know
more than many natives do.
••••• Master: The world is your playground, your
oyster, and your home.

Esoterica
Esoteric knowledge comes in many forms: astrology, angelography, fortune-telling, yoga, herbalism, demonology, the lore of stones, even the secret code languages of occult societies. For centuries, such mysteries were the province of selected initiates; these days, it’s relatively easy to find the basics in any decent bookstore or website. Even so, the deeper levels remain obscure to all but the most devoted students of the art. Anyone can take a yoga class in the modern world, but the more arcane applications of that art demand years of practice, study, and devotion. Game-wise, the Esoterica reflects your pursuit of an esoteric discipline which suggests the practices and instruments for your magickal focus. The Trait’s overall rating reflects your general knowledge of arcane subjects, whereas each specialty reflects your expertise within a certain field. Unlike the Occult Knowledge – which in reflects an understanding of “secret history” and shadow-cultures – Esoterica represents the practical application of unusual fields. Occult can teach your character who Aleister Crowley was, while Esoterica helps her understand what Crowley did…
and to use those principles herself. In short, this Knowledge sums up a lot of previous editions’ Abilities into a single united Trait. Because esoteric disciplines are often interrelated, you can use the Well-Skilled Craftsman option to purchase a new specialty for only four experience points, assuming that you already have at least four dots in the Esoterica Knowledge, an existing specialty, and a story-based reason to learn that discipline. Say, for example, your character has four dots in Esoterica, with a specialty in Herbalism;
if he gets some time to study yoga, he can spend four experience points and then add a specialty in Yoga to that Knowledge… after which time he can use yoga as a focus tool (assuming that it fits his magickal paradigm), and count 10s as two successes on mundane or magick-casting rolls that employ that practice.
Given an opportunity to study and practice an art, any character can learn Esoterica. Although such disciplines don’t give magickal powers to unAwakened characters, the Knowledge lets them use mundane applications – teaching yoga classes, doing horoscopes, deciphering alchemical texts and so forth – and count 10s as two successes if and when they do so. Understanding the principles of bakemono-jutsu – the ninja “ghost technique” – won’t make you invisible, for instance, but a specialty in that esoteric technique would let you count 10s as two successes on your Stealth Skill roll. Even though they can’t employ mystic powers, non-mages can be far more knowledgeable about such subjects than mages are. Such mentors may teach a mage this Knowledge or allow him to add another specialty to his existing expertise. Let’s say that Dante needs to learn demonology; he goes to the best teacher he can find – an unAwakened monk named Brother Silence – and studies his ass off. In time, Dante understands the names and rituals associated with Infernal powers and can put them to practical use. In such cases, the student may indeed
surpass the master, thanks to the Awakened understanding that unlocks the greatest potential of the art.
Again, an Esoterica practice must fit the character’s belief system if you want to use it as a focus; a computer mage will have a hard time wedging her study of herbalism into a technomagickal hacking routine! This rule, however, helps flesh out your character’s belief system and gives you a practical use for the arcane disciplines that any mage worth that name understands.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You’ve skimmed some New Age books
or taken a handful of classes in the subject.
•• Student: You’ve devoted some time and energy
to esoteric subjects.
••• Scholar: A devoted esotericist, you’ve spent years
building up a working knowledge of odd subjects.
•••• Professor: Nowyouunderstandtheinterconnected
patterns of arcane disciplines; knowing one allows
you to master others more easily.
••••• Master: You possess a profound understanding
of esoteric subjects and the practical uses
behind them.

Gremayre
Gremayre is a character’s understanding of magic, lore, and the ways of Glamour. She uses it when creating an oath, weaving an enchantment, forging a treasure, and understanding faerie history. Gremayre is essential for comprehending all things related to the Dreaming, including mortal and Prodigal magic and mystic practices.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You grasp the fundamentals of faerie magic,
such as oaths.
•• College: You are able to differentiate between similar
Arts in use.
••• Masters: You have an in-depth understanding of the
ebb and flow of Glamour.
•••• Doctorate: You know lost secrets that predate the
Shattering.
••••• Scholar: You understand the inner workings of the
Dreaming.

Helmsman
The baroque complexity of starship controls is enough to give most folks a headache. Not you. Rigorous training and practice have taught you how to maneuver the weird craft that operate beyond the mundane realm. Although you probably need a support crew to help you (starships are complicated!), you’re got practical knowledge regarding the various screens, buttons, keys, and monitors involved in navigating and steering such advanced vehicles. Despite some cosmetic similarities to the Pilot Skill above, Helmsman works with a very different sort of vehicle. And because this Skill deals with spacecraft, very few characters – other than Void Engineers and certain Etherites – know that it exists… and even fewer have studied its techniques. On a related note, there are some pretty significant differences between the standardized controls of Technocratic-fleet vessels and the more… um, elegant designs of unique Etherite craft. In game terms, the Storyteller should impose a penalty, typically -1 to -3, on a helmsman who’s trying to puzzle out an unfamiliar set of controls. Oh, the consequences of a blown roll can be downright ugly. In (Ether)space, no one can hear you die.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Novice: You’re been trained in basic shuttle
operations.
•• Practiced: They let you take the helm when
things are calm.
••• Skillful: You’re an experienced helmsman
who’s seen some scrapes and come through
fine.
•••• Expert: “Mr. Sulu – take the helm!”
••••• Master: Han Solo considers you a peer.

History
Those who forget history are doomed to be stupid mages. You’re not one of them. A pursuit of historical knowledge includes not only the usual facts and figures but – especially in recent years – an exploration of the cultural trends behind the big events, the role of “little people” (marginalized populations, commoners,
women, etc.), and other things that old-school historians didn’t think were worth recording but which turned out to be vitally important. Hermetics, Technocrats, and historical recreationists and reclamationists take history very seriously; some of the older ones may even have experienced “historical events” in person.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: Time-Life books are your friends.
•• Student: You’re starting to learn the stuff they
don’t teach in school.
••• Scholar: A professional teaching gig might
suit you.
•••• Professor: You know the ins and outs of common
and alternative history.
••••• Master: If you weren’t actually there, you may
as well have been.

Power-Brokering
When it’s time to set up puppets and get them dancing, this Ability reflects your ability to consolidate connections, facilitate access, introduce power-players to one another, and then lay foundations for the type of influence that gets things done. An “offstage” ability (like Research and Networking), Power-Brokering allows you to set up and manipulate networks of authority and then sit in the center of them and employ the folks who owe you favors. Is this magick? Oh, hell yes. Members of the Syndicate, NWO, Solificati, Virtual Adepts, and Celestial Chorus swear by this type of “enchantment,” as do the most efficient and influential Nephandi. Even Ecstatics, witches and shamans employ these sorts of connections among their related peers. Faces and titles may differ, but social power is universal. Especially when combined with Mind spells, Power-Brokering lets you “make a few calls” to bring influential parties together and point them at common goals. Social-based rolls create those connections – typically composed of Manipulation + Power-Brokering, although Charisma, Appearance, Intelligence, Perception, and perhaps even – within some cultures – Strength could be combined with Power-Brokering as well. In conjunction with Backgrounds like Allies, Influence, Resources, and Spies, or Abilities like Etiquette, Cultural Savvy,
Media, Politics, Subterfuge, and similar Traits, you can forge potent connections without ever resorting to Spheres; if you do nudge things a bit with True Magick, the results can be astounding… just ask the Technocracy… and the Nephandi…

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You know how to talk to receptionists.
•• Student: Getting your foot in the door… and
keeping it there… is easy enough.
••• Scholar: Power-players know your name and
take your calls.
•••• Professor: “Mr. Koch will see you now.”
••••• Master: World-leaders consider you a friend.

Propaganda
From your lips to the world’s ears. You know how to influence public opinion on a mass scale, often by bending an inflammatory truth just enough to boil the blood of John and Jane Q. Public. Given a few days, some resources, and the right venue, you can make your chosen party look as good or bad as possible. Obviously, this demands media access (computers, social media, TV network connections, etc.); assuming you have it, though, you can craft messages that lodge and burn in the public consciousness. Like other “offstage” Abilities, this Trait requires time and patience to employ. In game terms, you decide the message you want to send, the instruments you want to employ when delivering that message, the methods you plan to use in order to get that message across, and the effect you want it to have once it’s out there. A Manipulation + Propaganda roll sends that message out to the court of public opinion; the better you roll, the stronger that idea takes hold. That roll’s difficulty depends on your target, the message, and the general public’s receptivity to the idea. Claiming that the first dark-skinned American president is a malignant foreign infiltrator appears to be a very easy task; convincing the general public that their favorite news sources are owned by an Arabian prince is far more challenging. To many Technocratic Operatives, this Trait makes a perfect venue for large-scale coincidental Mind Procedures. Note, however, that such propaganda, even in Awakened hands, is effective but not perfect. The pervasive
and contradictory nature of mass-media culture assures a certain degree of skepticism in even the most gullible audiences.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: Daily Kos blogger.
•• Student: Fox News anchor.
••• Scholar: Rush Limbaugh.
•••• Professor: Noam Chomsky.
••••• Master: Dick Chaney.

Rituals
Rituals are an important part of werewolf life. Ritual behavior helps a werewolf control the Rage within. This Knowledge lets the character know about the traditions, mysteries, and ceremonies of the Garou, including how to participate in common rites and how to behave properly towards elders and leaders. Some werewolf rituals are more than formalized behavior: they call upon ancient spirit magics to powerful effect. A character cannot learn a rite of higher level than his Rituals rating.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You’ve watched a number of rites closely.
•• College: You know how to carry yourself at tribal
moots.
••• Masters: Other tribes invite you to attend their
moots.
•••• Doctorate: Even Black Spiral Dancers know and
respect your knowledge.
••••• Scholar: You’ve quested into the Umbra to develop
new rites.

Religion
Recollections of Creation, the war and the Fall lingerin humanity’s collective consciousness as myths and legends. Around those beliefs, humans have built religions, some of which unite more people than any nation or force in the world. At the same time, religions divide people and serve as excuses for atrocities. As focuses for human faith, religions are a subject of keen interest to the fallen, and many study them, both for means of influencing and garnering worshippers and to find clues to the secrets of the past they have lost. Religion covers theology and comparative religious studies along with knowledge of major religions and (with increasing rank) knowledge of lesser-known ones as well. Characters often take a specialty in a particular religion.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Student: You’ve taken a course or two in
comparative religion.
•• College: Divinity student.
••• Masters: You could be a member of the clergy
(yeah, right).
•••• Doctorate: You debate religious ideas and
principles with experts, and impress them.
••••• Scholar: You could create your own religion.

Theology
You understand religious structures, doctrines and histories… not necessarily from a believer’s standpoint (although many theologians are believers by default) but from an informed perspective. At the upper levels (three dots or more), most people with this Trait tend to notice the common threads between different creeds; that, however, is not a universal tendency – plenty of dedicated theologians remain locked, with intense devotion, into a single religious belief.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You know the basic tenets.
•• Student: Deeper study reveals the inner workings.
••• Scholar: Esoteric elements of your chosen creed
become obvious.
•••• Professor: You’re a dedicated authority in your
creed… and perhaps in others as well.
••••• Master: Few people alive understand as much
as you do about the pillars of belief.

Unconventional Warfare
Perhaps the biggest hot-button topic of the new millennium, unconventional warfare is as old as war itself. Originally referred to as the Knowledge: Terrorism, this field of expertise deals with the techniques of mass terror, the instruments of fear, the underworlds associated with unconventional warfare, and the most efficacious methods for “sending a message” or catching the people who do. Combined with Traits like Computer, Demolitions, Intimidation, Security, Politics, Media, Covert Culture, andso forth, this Knowledge can reflect the practical as well as the organizational, ideological, and social aspects of terrorism.
Theology or Occult may let a character recognize the religious or mystic aims of terrorism, while Expression and Cultural Savvy unlock the potentially artistic side of mass murder. Since the difference between heroes and terrorists is almost entirely subjective, experts in this field often veer into exceedingly
hazy moral territory with regards to the people they know and the things they’ll do. And while terrorism is unquestionably a dirty business, it can be profoundly effective… especially for mages locked in a shadow war to control Reality on a global scale.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: You know the major organizations
involved in terror, as well as their usual tactics,
targets, methodologies, and key personnel.
•• Student: You’re a consultant for the UN Security
Council, the U.S. Army, al Qaeda, or
some other interested party.
••• Scholar: You know the majors, the fringes,
and the fakes.
•••• Professor: You’re a key player in the terror-wars.
••••• Master: You’re either a leader or the power
behind one.

Vice
You’re a master and a scholar of decadent pleasures. Sex, drugs, booze, and other thrills both common and forbidden are your specialty. You might be a vice cop or Interpol agent tasked with cleaning such places up; a criminal rooted in those undergrounds; a wizard with a shady past; or a sensation-seeker
of the first and final order. Perhaps you’re a sex-worker, a drugmule, or some other street-level professional… or a tourist in places the guidebooks never mention. Regardless of the source of your information, you know how to find dens of iniquity, chase your favorite dragons, and get what you want or need without getting killed in the process… that is, of course, assuming that you “get lucky” and stay that way.

Spoiler for Hiden:
• Dabbler: Mr. Bachelor Party.
•• Student: Taxi driver or hotel concierge.
••• Scholar: Vice cop.
•••• Professor: Working pro.
••••• Master: Overlord of Sin.