New and Altered Skills
Athletics as a catch-all for a number of physical endeavors, ranging from climbing to swimming to jumping. Athletics should be used instead of Agility in foot chases, when making a Jump check, and effectively replaces both the Climbing and Swimming skills.
Climbing is removed from the game and replaced with the Athletics skill.
Boating covers all mundane aspects of handling boats, ships, and even submarines, including steering, basic navigation, and maintenance. The Game Master should sometimes treat this like Common Knowledge. A sailor who spent most of his time on submarines, for example, might suffer a –2 penalty for his few days aboard a battleship, or the first few hours he attempts to steer a PT boat. Briefly noting your character’s experience in his background should help figure out exactly when and when not to apply any penalties.
The use and maintenance of wireless radio equipment and landline communications devices is covered by this skill. Those who have it also know Morse code. Successful use of Knowledge (Communications) means that messages the operator sends are clear and accurate, while failure indicates the message was garbled or incomplete in some way. When receiving a message, success means the operator can pick a message out of the static, or more finely tune the receiver to get a clearer signal.
Those who use encoding and decoding devices should have this skill, which also covers knowledge of the history and theory of cryptography. Characters can also create their own codes and attempt to break codes for which they do not have a key.
Successful use of demolitions can mean the difference between destruction of the target as planned, and unplanned loss of life and property. The skill also lets the character have an understanding of what the best type of explosive is for the obstacle, and how much they will need to remove such an obstacle. In addition, a raise on the result will let them know the exact distance they need to be from the explosion, based upon the size of the charge, the confines, and damage created by said explosion. This skill is used any time a character wants to put a satchel charge together, or set explosives. A Critical Failure will result in immediate detonation. Simple failure will result in premature detonation or no detonation at all.
The Hacking skill is used whenever a character wants to hack, secure, or sabotage electronic systems or computer networks. Characters who wish to use the internet for everyday purposes such as research or finding news pertaining to the Deep, do so with their existing Investigation and Streetwise skills.
- Battle: This skill is used to employ military units in combat. Battle is broken down into Aerial, Land, and Naval specialties, with each one a separate skill. An Army officer knows how to maneuver a platoon of infantrymen for example, but wouldn’t be able to do anything with a squadron of PT boats. The skill is used to resolve mass engagements using the Mass Battles system. It can also be used to analyze an enemy battle plan or other subjective uses.
- Medicine: Characters with this skill can select the correct herbs, plants and narcotics needed in order to create or resupply Healing kits.
- Navigation: Navigation can be used to determine position, plot a course, or determine how long it will take to get to a destination while no landmarks are visible. This skill is especially important for pilots and those on ships. Failure on a Navigation roll means the character is either lost, off course, or will take longer to get to a destination than planned (which can be dangerous if one’s vehicle is low on fuel). Land Navigation is handled under the Survival skill.
Piloting handles all aspects of flying and routine maintenance of aircraft, from transports to fighters and bombers. Like Boating, working with new equipment should inflict a –2 penalty until the pilot gets used to the craft. Most penalties should disappear after 10 hours of flight time in the new machine. A few remarks in your character’s background about the types of aircraft he’s flown or worked on should help decide when penalties should be incurred.
Repair works as usual, but particularly complex or specialized jobs outside a character’s regular background suffer a penalty of –2. An aircraft mechanic, for example, might suffer the penalty when working on a submarine’s hydraulics. After a few days of working things out, the War Master can eliminate the penalty.
Shooting covers all types of direct fire weapons including personal firearms from pistols up to heavy machineguns, man-portable rocket launchers, flamethrowers, and aircraft mounted machineguns, cannon, and rockets. This also covers crew-served tanks, anti-tank, and anti-aircraft guns. Indirect fire weapons, mortars, and artillery pieces use the Knowledge (Artillery) skill.
A character with the Survival skill knows the basics of survival in most situations. Note which climates your hero is familiar with— such as arctic, desert, temperate, or mountain. When the character is out of his element, he typically incurs a –2 penalty on his rolls.
Swimming is removed from the game and replaced with the Athletics skill.
The Tracking skill is not used in this setting and is folded into the Survival skill.
This ability covers aspects of spycraft such as setting up and running surveillance and counter-surveillance, running spy networks, and tradecraft, which involves things like arranging clandestine meetings and “dead drop” transfers. Use of this skill generally determines your character’s success or failure at spotting or recognizing other agents’ handiwork, or the quality of his own espionage activities.
The Throwing skill is removed and split between Fighting skill, Shooting skill, and Agility Traits. If throwing a heavier weapon like a hammer, spear or throwing axe it is a Fighting skill check. If throwing a shuriken, dagger, dart, knife, rock, or other small and precise weapon it is a Shooting skill check. If throwing a grenade, grappling hook, or other non-targeting combat item it is simply an Agility trait check, the GM may allow the character to use their Fighting or Shooting skill in place of agility if deemed applicable.