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SKILLS: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

After the player has determined their Attributes, they may choose their Skills. Each character has 20 Skill points which they may distribute as they see fit.

 

SKILL LIST

ARMOURER

Armourer allows the character to make and restore all types of armour.  Repairs without the proper equipment and time can only restore Wear equal to half the character’s score in this skill; repairs with the proper resources and plenty of time (1 hour per point of Wear restored) can restore 1 point of Wear per success.  Each point of Wear takes 1 day to repair; the player may elect to use successes to reduce the time instead of increasing the Wear restored. Each success sacrificed in this way halves the time taken.

If the Armourer has access to a Nanotech Forge (High Tech, High Complexity Facility) then they may halve the time needed for the repairs.

 

ATHLETICS

Athletics covers all aspects of physical activity – running, jumping, swimming, and so on.

 

AXE

Axe allows the character to wield axes, from small hatchets and tomahawks, to Monoedge axes and cleavers, to the giant DU-headed axes wielded by Battlesuit pilots.

 

BATTLESUIT

This skill allows the character to pilot the combat exoskeletons used to fight the Machines in the Real World.  Characters who are able to jack into the Matrix are also able to jack into the exoskeleton, which gives full use of the Battlesuit’s sensorium systems.

 

BIKE

Bike allows the character to ride two- and three-wheeled motorbikes.

 

BLADE

Blade allows the character to use edged weapons in combat, from a makeshift shiv, through conventional swords and knives, through to the mighty DU Blade claymores of the Battlesuit pilots.

 

BOW

Allows the character to use cross- and regular bows.  Despite their archaic overtones, an experienced bowman with a quiver of EMP-head arrows can bring a flight of Squids to a standstill.

 

CAMOUFLAGE

Camouflage allows the character to hide.  Using this skill is, in most cases, an Opposed Test.  The GM may impose situational modifiers to this Target, like lighting, surveillance measures, and so on.

 

CAR

Car allows the character to pilot cars, vans and smaller trucks.

 

CLIMBING

Climbing allows the character to climb vertical surfaces.  Modifiers for climbing depend on the grade of the climbing surface: an ordinary wall would have no modifiers (or even a small bonus), while a sheer rock-face (or a 20-storey building) will incur high penalties.  Climbing equipment, if provided, may reduce these Targets.

The character must make a test every (Dexterity÷2) metres (which is how far they can climb in one turn), or at the start of every Combat Turn.

 

CLUB

Allows the character to use weapons that rely on blunt trauma to do damage: clubs, maces, even the humble 2×4.

 

CODING

The ‘modern’ version of Computer, Coding allows the character to read, comprehend and manipulate the code of the Matrix in its raw form.  Coding is used to create objects and training programs in the Construct, as well as building the Constructs themselves.

 

COMPUTER

The lifeblood of most Freemind characters, the Computer skill allows the character to use computers.  This includes programming, hacking, and data processing.  Freemind characters that take this skill receive a +1 bonus.

 

CONSTRUCTION

Construction gives the character knowledge of building things, from simple ramps and walls to full-scale houses.  It also allows the character to assess such buildings and discover any irregularities.  A character with this skill will also have the ability to use construction equipment (cranes, dump-trucks, cement mixers, and so on) using their Large Vehicle skill.

 

CON

Con allows a character to bamboozle the subject with double-talk and so on.  It is basically used to bluff past guards, gain the confidence of others, and to get out of jams without resorting to violence.  Using this skill is an Opposed Test, with the targeted person using either their Intuition attribute or Con skill.  The GM may impose modifiers to the result as they see fit; for example, bluffing your way past the doorman of an apartment building would be much easier than trying to get past a SWAT team member guarding a crime scene.

 

DEMOLITION

Demolition allows the character to work with explosives.  It includes knowledge of fuses, timers, accelerants, and how exactly to bring that 12-storey apartment down without crushing the school-house next to it.  A character with this skill is also able to work with Demolition machinery (cranes, wrecking-balls, and so on) using their Large Vehicle skill.

 

DISGUISE

Disguise allows the character to change their appearance; they may appear to be of either sex, age or race (within reason, of course), and about 5cm taller or shorter than they already are.  Using this skill is an Opposed Test.

 

ELECTRONICS

Allows the character to understand and operate electronic machinery not covered by Computer: Jump chairs, ATMs, Mobile Phones, and so on.

 

ENERGY WEAPONS

Covers the use of plasma and laser weapons in the Desert of the Real, as well as Gauss rifles and railguns.  Because they don’t exist in the Matrix, this skill is usually only possessed only by Freeborn characters.

 

FIRST AID

The art of putting people back together.  Allows characters to heal others with the right equipment: a Medkit, or a medical facility of some type.  The character attempting First Aid draws cards equal to their score against a Target equal to following table:

Damage level

Target

Green

6

Yellow

8

Red

10

Black

12

 

If the character is using medical equipment (a first aid kit, nantotech medical expert system, operating theatre, you know the kind), then they may use the rating of the equipment to either augment their own First Aid ability, or to reduce the Target by 1 per Rating level, or even both, if they were so inclined.  This may only be done if the character has First Aid to begin with, or has it loaded into their Flash Memory.  If a medic was using a Rating 5 First Aid kit to try to minister to a fellow character with Red-grade wounds, they could reduce the Target to a minimum of 7, or increase their First Aid score by 5 for the purposes of healing the injured character, or anything in between.

For each success, the character may remove 2 points of damage at the level desired.  If a character is healed their entire damage level, then start at the end of the next lowest level and keep counting.  So if the medic above managed four successes, and their patient only had 5 points of Red-level damage, then they would also be healed for 3 points of Yellow-level damage.

 

FORENSICS

This skill gives the character knowledge of the processes involved in crime scene analysis: fingerprinting, reconstruction, and so on.  A character with this skill and First Aid may determine the cause of death of a subject, according to the actual cause of death (so a gunshot wound to the head will not require a draw, but something like internal bleeding or head trauma would).

 

FORGERY

Forgery allows a character to make and identify fake documents.  Using this skill is an Opposed Test.

 

GUNNERY

Gunnery allows the character to effectively fire large weapons such as those mounted on vehicles, in defence towers, and so on.

 

HEAVY WEAPONS

The Heavy Weapons skill allows the character to effectively use any big-ass guns – medium and heavy machine guns, miniguns, and rocket launchers.

 

HOVERCRAFT

This skill allows the character to pilot conventional air-thrust hovercrafts in the Matrix and the slightly more snazzy varieties in the Real World.

 

INFORMATION GATHERING

Information Gathering entails using the character’s contacts to find information.  The GM draws against the character’s score in this skill, using the relative difficulty and obscurity of the information as the Target.  The GM then compares the result with the table below.

 

Successes

Result

Example

None

No Information

"Black, Black, hmm...Sorry, name doesn't ring a bell."

One

Very Basic Information

"Mr Black? He's staying in a hotel downtown, the Regent or the Emperor, I'm not sure which."

Two

Basic information

"He's at the Regent. I don't know why he's here, though."

Three or more

Detailed Information

"Black? Regent Hotel, room 202. He's here to cut a deal with the Machines."

As always, it is up to the GM as to how much a draw reveals.  The basic time for gathering is four hours, plus one hour per category above a No Information result (ie 5 hours for Very Basic information, 6 for Basic, and so on).

This skill cannot be loaded into the character’s Flash Memory.

 

INTERROGATION

Interrogation: the not-so-gentle art of getting information.  When interrogating, the Target is equal to twice the interrogated person’s Willpower.  Success is determined on the Information Gathering table, with False information counting as No information instead.

 

LANGUAGE

A character must take one Language skill for each language they learn (ie, one for Japanese, one for German, and so on); also, a character can never learn more levels in Languages than they have points in their Knowledge attribute.  The Target for the roll depends on what the character is trying to say.  Simple phrases (like “What is your name?” and “Where is the hospital?”) may be draw-free, while more complex phrases (detailed directions and descriptions, for example) will require a draw.

 

LARGE VEHICLE

Large Vehicle allows the character to pilot larger vehicles, such as buses, large trucks and semis, and, as a special bonus, any half- or full-tracked vehicle.  Now you too can go from bus driver to tank operator in one easy lesson.

 

LOCKPICKING

Lock-picking allows the character to open locked doors.  An average lock requires a draw against a Target of 6; a security lock is Target 8 to 9, and so on.  Generally speaking, the more valuable the thing protected is, the higher the Target to pick the lock.  This skill is useless without a Lock-picking Kit (See Gear).

 

MACHINE GUNS

Machine guns, include any burst-fire or full-auto weapons larger than a pistol or rifle but smaller than a Heavy Weapon.

 

MARTIAL ARTS

Characters with this skill cause may add their level in this skill to the damage of each unarmed attack, which is usually Green-level damage equal to the character’s Size attribute.

 

NAVIGATION

The art of using navigational equipment.  This skill imbues the character with a decent sense of direction, and it also allows the character to effectively use the sensor equipment installed in most Desert vehicles, as well as GPS and sat-nav equipment installed in some Matrix vehicles.

 

PISTOLS

Allows the character to use semi-automatic handguns, machine pistols, revolvers, and any other small arms.

 

POLE ARMS

Pole-arms is a catch-all category that includes any long-handled weapons: spears, staves, glaives, and so on.

 

REPAIR

Repair allows the character to maintain and repair the indicated equipment.  The character must decide what type of items they are able to practice on, from:

Weapon (Close-Combat/Projectile/Firearm)

Electronics/Computers

Vehicle (Including Battlesuits)

This skill also allows the character to do repairs on existing equipment.  The Rank Difficulty for repairing the item is equal to twice the existing Wear – hence, it is easier to repair something that has been lightly scuffed than something that has just been run over by a tank.  The character draws cards equal to their Repair score; every success removes 2 points of Wear, to a minimum of zero.

Worker B, with Repair (Hovercraft): 4, is making some repairs on his hovercraft (Wear 4) after an encounter with a group of Sentinels.  Worker B’s player gets to draw four cards against a Target of 8 (4×2).  He draws two eights, a nine, and a ten, for four successes.  This is enough to restore up to 8 points of Wear.  However, the extra four points are not needed, as the hovercraft is restored to perfect working order.

The base time for repairs on items depends on the size and complexity of the item.

 

Item

Base Time

Plus

Reduce Time by:

Electronics

2 hours

1 hour per point of Wear

½ hour per success

Close-combat weapon, Bow

12 hours

2 hours per point of Wear

1 hour per success

Firearm

36 hours

4 hours per point of Wear

2 hours per success

General Mechanics

2 days

12 hours per point of Wear

6 hours per success

Bike

3 days

1 day per point of Wear

12 hours per success

Small Vehicle (Car, Pick-up, Van)

1 week

1 day per point of Wear

12 hours per success

Large Vehicle (Truck, Bus)

10 days

36 hours per point of Wear

1½ days per success

Aircraft (Chopper, Plane)

10 days

2 days per point of Wear

1 day per success

High-Tech vehicle (Hovercraft, Battlesuit)

2 weeks

2 days per point of Wear

1 day per success

 

The item is unable to be used during the period in which it is being repaired.  At the GM's discretion, extra successes may be used to reduce the time needed to repair the item, according to the chart above; the repair time may only be reduced to the Base Time, never lower. So, in the above example, Worker B will have to wait a base time of 14 days (High-tech vehicle), plus (4 points of Wear × 2 days per point=) 8 days, putting the Hovercraft out of action for a total of 22 days, or a little over three weeks. If Worker B elected to use the two successes to reduce the repair time, the hovercraft would only be out of action for (22-[2×1]=)20 days.

This skill is useless without some kind of Repair tools.  An ordinary Repair Kit (Low Tech) can restore up to its Rating in Wear; a Repair Shop (Low Tech) can restore up to twice its Rating; and a Repair Facility (Low Tech) can restore up to three times its Rating.  A Nanotech Forge (High Tech) can restore up to twice its Rating, as well as cutting the downtime of the object in half.

This skill also allows the character to create or modify the indicated equipment given the right parts and time.  The Target depends on the complexity and size of the construction or modification; for instance, it is easier to install a laser sight on a pistol, than to build a Battlesuit from scrap.

 

RESEARCH

Research grants the character a proficiency at finding information in written material ie libraries, the Internet, and so on.  The base Category and results are the same as those for the Information Gathering skill.  A character with this skill and Computer who uses the computer as a primary source of information may reduce the Target by 1.

 

RIFLES

The Rifles skill includes the use of shotguns and single-shot and semi-auto rifles.

 

ROTORCRAFT

Rotorcraft allows the character to pilot all manner of helicopter and autogyro.

 

SALVAGE

This skill allows the character to scrounge for useful things, as well as recycle junked or damaged equipment into spare parts. These parts have half the Wear of the thing that they are looted from, and may be used to automatically (pending a successful Repair draw) restore Wear to an item.  In this case, the remaining Wear of the parts (ie 10-existing Wear) is automatically removed from the Wear of the repaired item.  So, if Geezer wanted to use parts from an augured-in Hovercraft (Wear 8) to repair his own ship, a successful Repair roll would restore (10-8=)2 points of Wear.  Repairing an object in this fashion takes half the listed time.

Salvaging is a tricky business; one has to know where to look, and what to look for.  The GM must decide if there are modifiers for the location and rarity of the part.  For example, looking for a replacement circuit board in a computer junkyard may require a draw against a Target of 6 or 7, whereas looking for water in the desert may attract a target in the high teens.

This skill cannot be loaded into the character’s Flash Memory.

 

STEALTH

Stealth allows the character to move around undetected.  This skill may be modified by the situation; for example, it’s a lot easier to sneak around an abandoned warehouse in the dead of night than across open ground at midday.

 

THEFT

Theft allows a character to achieve several tasks: pick-pocketing, sleight-of-hand pilfering, and so on.  When using this skill, the character pits Theft against twice their opponent’s Intuition.

 

THROWN WEAPON

Covers the use of grenades and other less explosive hand-thrown weapons, like shiruken, darts and throwing knives.

 

TRACKING

Tracking allows the character to follow a trail made by person, vehicle or animal.  The Target is twice the hunted’s Stealth or Dexterity score, modified by weather, freshness of trail, and so on (GM’s discretion).

 

TUMBLING

A character with this skill may flip, dodge, and cartwheel.  It also imparts an ease of movement that allows the character to reduce all damage done to them by 1 while their armour does not restrict the character’s movement (ie if the character’s armour decreases their Speed, it also negates this bonus).

 

VECTORED-THRUST AIRCRAFT

Vectored-thrust vehicles rely primarily on directed air to keep them airborne.  Such technology is really only available outside the Matrix; inside, only military and government agencies have access to such equipment.

 

WHIP

Not just an Indiana Jones wannabe skill anymore, whips have progressed a long way in the Desert.  The latest development is a nanotech-maufactured ‘monowhip’, a hair-thin filament of carbon atoms that can slice through the toughest armour like butter.  However, people untrained in its use often find themselves sort a few extremities. For the ninja in all of you, the Whips skill also encompasses the use of multi-piece club weapons, like morning stars and nunchaku.

 

WINGED AIRCRAFT

Winged Aircraft covers piloting aircraft, from Cessna to Harrier.  The latter may be a little harder to pass off as a recreational vehicle, though.

 

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