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3.11 Skills and Governing Values

As well as their Attributes and Affinities, all characters are expressed in terms of their skills. In order to determine a character's skills, you must first select which skills you wish them to have (see
Table 5) and then determine how much of the character's life was spent engaging in or practising for that skill. Each character has 100 skill points representing 100% of their useful time) to divide between the skills they choose.

It is important to realise that this time encompasses all their practice at the various skills in the character's life up to the time of `creation'. Therefore, a realistic picture of their past life should be envisioned. Having a character spend 50% of their skill points at swordplay is ridiculous if that character was supposedly brought up on a farm, working hard all their life. Skills should be chosen realistically, emphasising the character behind the skills.

For each skill, allocate a suitable number of skill points, representing the amount of time the character has invested in that skill over the years, and work out the governing value for that skill. The governing value is determined by the character's Attributes and Affinities, with each skill being defined in terms of which factors affect it (see Table 5).

If the character has any of the Demeanour Traits, each one is worth +4 to the governing value. If the character has opposing traits (e.g. Fearful and Cautious, in this case), each is worth -2 to the governing value. Each Concept Affinity (e.g. Rivers) is worth +2 and each Aversion is worth -2. Lastly, the Attributes which affect the skill are given, and these are worth between +5 and -4, per Attribute (see Table 3: Attributes and Governing Values).

Table 3: Attributes and Governing Values
Level Modifier Level Modifier
Up to 2 -4 13-14 +1
3-4 -3 15-16 +2
5-6 -2 17-18 +3
7-8 -1 19 +4
9-12 +0 20 +5

The final totals of governing values should fall between the +20 and -10. If they exceed these limits, treat them as being equal to the limits. A summary of the factors involved in governing values is given below:

Demeanour: +4 per supporting trait, -2 per opposing trait
Affinities: +2 per Affinity, -2 per Aversion
Attributes: Between -4 and +5 depending on value

Once the governing value is known, and the number of skill points allocated has been decided for each skill, the player needs to look at Table 10, below, cross-referencing the skill point total (down the side) against the governing value + 1d20 (along the top) to determine the starting level for that skill. Each additional 5% of time spent above 40% is worth +1, so a person spending 60% of their time on a certain skill with a Governing value of 12 and a roll of 7 would have a skill of 32 + 4 = 36.

Table 4, below, gives some idea of what the skill levels mean. In game play, 1d20 is added to the skill level and the resulting value is compared to a Task Difficulty, with success occurring when the skill roll exceeds the Task Difficulty. More on this subject can be found in Chapter 4.

Table 4: General Aptitude Levels
Skill Level Description
0 No skill
1-5 Some natural aptitude
6-10 Novice or untrained
11-20 Average competence
21-25 Adept
26-30 Expert
31-40 Master
41+ Grand master

The descriptions used in Table 4, above, have no game meaning, and are provided simply to provide a rough benchmark as to how `good' a particular skill level is.

Table 5: Skill List
Skill Governing Demeanour Traits Governing Concepts Governing Attributes
Ambush Cautious, Subtle, Pragmatic Concealment Awareness
Camouflage Cautious, Subtle, Pragmatic Concealment Awareness
Carousing Arrogant, Courteous, Hedonistic, Inquisitive, Subtle Drugs, Drink Endurance
Cartography Candid, Erudite, Inquisitive, Truthful, Persistent, Pragmatic Communication, Documentation, Exploration Awareness
Climb Bold, Intrepid, Reckless Challenge, Cliffs, Height, Mountains, Stone Strength, Endurance, Agility
Combat See Table 6: Fighting styles See Table 6 See Table 6
Craft See Table 7: Crafts See Table 7 See Table 7
Disguise Cautious, Deceptive, Fearful, Secretive, Suspicious Concealment Awareness
Dodge Cautious Survival Agility, Awareness
Evade Abeyant, Cautious, Sedate, Subtle, Pragmatic Concealment, Survival Awareness
First Aid Cautious, Compassionate, Constructive, Sedate Healing, Survival Dexterity
Forgery Avaricious, Deceptive, Persistent, Selfish, Subtle Challenge Dexterity, Awareness
Gambling Capricious, Impulsive, Mystical, Reckless Chance Awareness, Phase
Jump Bold, Intrepid, Reckless Challenge Strength, Agility
Knowledge Erudite, Inquisitive Documentation -
Language Erudite, Inquisitive, Persistent, Conformant Communication, Language -
Literacy Erudite, Inquisitive, Persistent, Conformant Communication, Documentation, Language -
Legends Erudite, Inquisitive, Mystical, Religious Documentation -
Magic See Table 8: Schools of Magic See Table 8 See Table 8
Memorise Abstemious, Erudite, Inquisitive, Persistent - -
Navigation Intrepid, Pragmatic Exploration, Travel Awareness
Pick Lock Avaricious, Inequitable, Persistent, Sedate, Selfish Technology Dexterity
Plant Lore Erudite, Inquisitive, Pragmatic Cultivation, Food, Plants, Survival -
Play Instrument Emotional, Erudite Entertainment, Music Dexterity
Ride Bold, Sedate, Trusting Horses, Speed, Travel Agility
Rowing Pragmatic Rivers, Seas, Travel, Water Dexterity
Sailing Bold, Erudite, Pragmatic Air, Seas, Travel, Water Agility
Search Inquisitive, Persistent, Pragmatic, Secretive Concealment Dexterity, Awareness
Set Trap Constructive, Cruel, Deceptive, Pragmatic, Secretive, Violent Survival, Technology Dexterity, Awareness
Shadow Deceptive, Persistent, Secretive, Subtle Concealment Awareness
Sing Emotional, Erudite Air, Entertainment, Music -
Survival Abstemious, Cautious, Pragmatic, Stoic Nature, Plants, Survival Endurance, Awareness
Swim Bold, Reckless Rivers, Seas, Water Strength, Endurance, Agility
Teach Candid, Erudite, Inquisitive, Persistent, Sedate, Trusting, Truthful Communication, Humanity -
Thief Avaricious, Cautious, Deceptive, Inequitable, Intrepid, Secretive, Sedate, Selfish Challenge Dexterity, Awareness
Theomancy See section 7.12 See section 7.12 See section 7.12
Tie Knot Erudite, Pragmatic Rope Dexterity
Track Inquisitive, Persistent, Pragmatic Earth Awareness

Table 6: Fighting styles
Style Governing Demeanour Traits Governing Concepts Governing Attributes
Archer / Crossbowman Cautious, Destructive, Persistent, Predictable Weaponry Dexterity, Awareness
Assassin Cautious, Cruel, Deceptive, Impulsive, Suspicious, Pragmatic Weaponry Dex, Agl, Awa
Berserker Angry, Bold, Destructive, Emotional, Impulsive, Reckless, Violent - Strength, Endurance
Bladesman Persistent, Predictable, Violent Challenge, Weaponry Dexterity, Awareness
Brawling Angry, Capricious, Destructive, Emotional, Impulsive, Reckless, Violent - Strength, Endurance, Agility
Feral Angry, Bold, Emotional, Violent Survival Str, End, Dex, Agl, Awa
Footpad Abeyant, Capricious, Cautious, Inequitable, Suspicious - Strength, Dexterity, Agility
Gladiator Arrogant, Bold, Cautious, Suspicious, Persistent, Pragmatic, Violent Challenge, Weaponry End, Dex, Agl, Awa
Horseman Bold, Persistent, Trusting Horses, Weaponry Dex, Agl, Awa
Hunter Bold, Persistent, Pragmatic, Predictable Survival, Weaponry Str, End, Dex, Agl, Awa
Knight Arrogant, Bold, Intrepid, Persistent Weaponry Str, End, Dex, Awa
Legionnaire Cautious, Conformant, Loyal, Persistent, Pragmatic, Predictable, Trusting Weaponry Strength, Endurance, Agility
Martial artist Bold, Cautious, Persistent, Pragmatic - Dex, Agl, Awa
Shieldman Cautious, Pragmatic, Predictable Weaponry Str, End, Dex, Agl, Awa
Skirmisher Bold, Destructive, Intrepid, Violent Weaponry Str, End, Dex, Agl, Awa
Spearman / Poleaxeman Bold, Cautious, Destructive, Pragmatic, Violent Weaponry Strength, Dexterity, Agility
Specialist Bold, Persistent Weaponry Str, End, Dex, Agl, Awa
Swashbuckler Bold, Emotional, Impulsive, Intrepid, Reckless Challenge, Weaponry Dex, Agl, Awa

Table 7: Crafts
Craft Governing Demeanour Traits Governing Concepts Governing Attributes
Animal trainer Bold, Persistent, Pragmatic, Trusting Animals Phase
Armoursmith Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Leather, Metal Dexterity
Artist Constructive, Emotional, Persistent Art Dexterity, Awareness
Blacksmith Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Fire, Metal Dexterity
Bowyer Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Wood, Weaponry Dexterity
Brewer Constructive, Hedonistic, Persistent, Pragmatic Drink, Drugs, Recreation Awareness
Carpenter Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Wood Dexterity
Cook Constructive, Hedonistic, Persistent, Pragmatic, Romantic Food, Drink, Recreation Awareness
Courtesan Altruistic, Carnal, Compassionate, Courteous, Hedonistic Recreation Dexterity, Awareness
Fletcher Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Wood, Weaponry Dexterity
Jewelsmith Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Jewels, Stone Dexterity
Leatherworker Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Leather Dexterity
Potter Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Art, Earth Dexterity, Awareness
Raconteur Candid, Emotional, Erudite, Inquisitive, Intrepid, Mystical, Romantic Entertainment -
Rope maker Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Rope Dexterity
Sculptor Constructive, Emotional, Persistent Art, Stone Dexterity, Awareness
Stone mason Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Stone, Earth Dexterity
Weaponsmith Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Fire, Metal, Weaponry Dexterity
Weaver Constructive, Persistent, Pragmatic Art, Fabric Dexterity, Awareness

Table 8: Schools of Magic
School Governing Demeanour Traits Governing Concepts Governing Attributes
Alchemy Arrogant, Bold, Constructive, Erudite, Inquisitive, Mystical, Pragmatic Challenge Phase
Alteration Arrogant, Bold, Inquisitive, Mystical, Pragmatic Challenge Phase
Divination Arrogant, Bold, Erudite, Inquisitive, Mystical Challenge Awareness, Phase
Elementalism Bold, Emotional, Inquisitive, Mystical Air, Earth, Fire, Water Phase
Illusionism Arrogant, Bold, Emotional, Inquisitive, Mystical Art, Challenge Awareness, Phase
Mentalism Arrogant, Bold, Inquisitive, Mystical, Pragmatic Challenge Phase
Naturalism Bold, Emotional, Inquisitive, Mystical Nature Phase
Necromancy Arrogant, Bold, Inquisitive, Mystical Challenge Phase
Summoning Arrogant, Avaricious, Bold, Inquisitive, Mystical, Pragmatic Challenge Phase
Translocation Arrogant, Bold, Inquisitive, Mystical, Pragmatic Challenge, Travel Phase

Table 9: Language and Literacy
Education Enlightened Trading/Invading Isolationist Empire Literacy
Highly educated 40 30 10 30 20 10 30 10 - 20 +0
Well educated 30 20 10 25 10 5 25 5 - 15 -10
Average 25 10 5 20 5 1 20 1 - 10 -15
Poorly educated 20 10 1 20 1 0 20 0 - 5 -20
Uneducated 20 5 0 20 0 - 20 - - 1 None

Table 10: Skills Table
Skill Point Total Governing Value
-9 to -5 -4 to 0 1 to 5 6 to 10 11 to 15 16 to 20 21 to 25 26 to 30 31 to 35 36 to 40
0 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 8 10
1 1 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
2 2 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
3 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
4 4 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21
5-6 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
7-9 7 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
10-14 10 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27
15-19 12 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29
20-24 15 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32
25-29 17 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
30-34 20 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37
35-39 22 23 25 26 28 30 32 34 36 38
40+ 25 26 27 28 30 32 34 36 38 40

3.12 Skill List

Table 5 is a list of the main Skills, with the various factors which determine the Governing values. If you want a Skill that isn't here, consult your GM and get them to draw up a definition for that Skill. For more explanation about Governing values, see section 3.11, above. If a certain column does not apply to a particular Skill, a '-' appears.

Three of the Skills - Combat, Craft and Magic, are not specific Skills, but groups of Skills. The details for these are given in Table 6, Table 7 and Table 8.

Apart from those Skills listed in italics, everyone will have some degree of proficiency in the various Skills listed. If a Skill is listed in italics, a character must put at least 1% of their time into that Skill to gain a Skill level. Note that this means that no-one gets any Schools of Magic, Crafts or Fighting styles (apart from Brawling and Skirmisher) without putting at least 1% of their time into it.For non-italicised Skills that are not chosen by a character, roll for Skill level on the 0 line of Table 10. For unselected, italicised Skills, the starting level is recorded as a dash (-), and any Task Resolution rolls are made at a level of -10. More on Task Resolution can be found in Chapter 4.

3.13 Basic Skill Descriptions

Ambush:
The art of surprising opponents from a concealed position. See section 5.21.
Camouflage:
Proficiency in concealing items by disguising them to look like their surroundings. Disguising an object in this way is generally quite time consuming.
Carousing:
The ability to acquire information from someone by sociably engaging in drinking of intoxicating beverages or the consumption of recreational chemicals.
Cartography:
Art of constructing maps that accurately describe a certain geographic area, and in interpreting maps.
Climb:
Competence in scaling steep or sheer surfaces, usually without the aid of any apparatus.
Combat:
Any of the various Skills involved in fighting. See Table 6 and section 3.14.
Craft:
Any of the various Skills involved in manufacturing specific objects. See Table 7 and section 3.15.
Disguise:
Ability to alter a person's appearance to resemble someone else.
Dodge:
Adroitness at avoiding objects or strikes that would otherwise impact on the person.
Evade:
Ability to conceal oneself from others, usually by utilising the local environment to maximum effect. This Skill includes the ability to silence oneself such that others cannot detect any sound of movement, but not the ability to follow someone without being detected (given by the shadow Skill). Unlike the camouflage Skill, evade requires no preparation time.
First aid:
Competence at emergency aid and healing techniques. See section 8.2.
Forgery:
The art of producing deceptive copies of objects.
Gambling:
The dubious Skill of rapid wealth accumulation by engaging in activities in which the outcome is uncertain and wagering on the result.
Jump:
Competence at propelling oneself from the ground to a greater height or across a certain distance with a reasonably high degree of accuracy.
Knowledge:
General Skill covering anything which could be learnt academically, and not specifically covered by another Skill.
Legends:
Knowledge of historical events, both actual and fictional.
Magic:
Any of the various Schools of Magic. See Table 8, section 3.16 and Chapter 7.
Memorise:
The ability to fix any piece of information firmly into memory so that it can be recalled at a later date.
Navigation:
Proficiency at navigation, with or without equipment such as maps and compasses.
Pick lock:
Knowledge of suitable techniques to overcome mechanical devices of all kinds, especially locks.
Plant lore:
Knowledge of the plant kingdom, including being able to identify poisons, cures, narcotics and edible substances.
Play instrument:
The ability to produce harmonic or rhythmic expressions from a suitable device.
Ride:
The technique of utilising an animal as a mode of transport. Although all animals are different, once the rudiments have been learned, they can be applied to most kinds of appropriate livestock.
Rowing:
The art of propelling an aquatic vessel through water using oars or paddles.
Sailing:
The art of controlling a wind driven vessel.
Search:
The ability to locate a hidden object, or to find concealed doors, switches, marks or other such items by careful observation and methodical exploration of the surrounding area.
Set trap:
Proficiency at producing snares, traps and other constructions designed for entrapping or injuring other people or animals.
Shadow:
Expertise in tailing people without them realising, including the ability to lose someone who is following you. Shadow does not usually include the ability to tell that someone is following you, and this should be rolled on the Awareness Attribute, unless the player was specifically looking for someone tailing them. In this case, the higher of Awareness and shadow should be used. This does not include the ability to conceal oneself, or to move silently as these are covered by the evade Skill.
Sing:
The art of producing pleasant and harmonious sounds using the voice alone.
Survival:
Knowledge of how to sustain life and health in a predominately hostile environment.
Swim:
The ability to maintain buoyancy and propel oneself through a liquid medium.
Teach:
The art of imparting knowledge to another person. See section 3.21.
Thief:
The art of thievery, including breaking and entering, some forms of shop lifting, and picking pockets. This Skill also includes the art of deceiving someone such that they are unaware that a certain action has actually occurred (slight of hand, for example).
Tie knot:
The ability to construct various firm fastenings.
Track:
Knowledge of how to follow someone from their tracks.
See Table 5 for Governing Values and section 3.11 for further information.


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Last Updated: April 16th, 1999