This is how you survive.

Rolling Skills/Talents

The basic roll is 4df, modified by your skill bonus. For example, if you had Fair melee, you would roll 4df+2. If you have no points in a skill, you are assumed to be Mediocre, and add nothing to the roll (except possible situational modifiers).

The Ladder

Skills and Talents follow the following ladder for both skills possessed by characters and for results of skill rolls.

8 Epic
7 Legendary
6 Fantastic
5 Superb
4 Great
3 Good
2 Fair
1 Average
0 Mediocre
-1 Poor
-2 Terrible
-3 Abysmal
-4 Worthless

Buying Skills/Talents

For Skills, spend a total of 24 points, capping at 4 points per skill, bringing that skill up to Great. List only the skills you have spent points in on your character sheet.

Talents represent small things your character is good at on an individual basis, and may be delegated at will with no limitation besides a judicious measure of common sense (they don't use skill points, and are not capped at 4) to fit your character concept. This is subject to scrutiny. After creation, Talents may be added WITH DISCRETION.

Linked Skills

Several skills (Medicine, Ranged, and Melee) are considered "linked." Taking categories in that skill allows you to roll at your skill level in those categories; rolling something outside of those categories is done at a -2 penalty to your skill level. This penalty will never cause you to roll less than 0.


Paranormal Skills

Exactly what is says on the box, Paranormal Skills are skills that paranormal characters might have. Currently this only covers the Magic skill.


Magic is the ability to perform supernatural effects through rituals, spellcasting, or even simple force of mind. Like the other skill groups, it represents a number of related categories, but due to the esoteric nature of the category, there are no set "schools;" this are left up to the creator. Some examples include pyromancy, mentalism, or healing. Only a character with a related power can take the Magic skill, though they are able to use points to fill out multiple schools of Magic.

Social Skills

Social skills are used to try to get more information, pressure another to do or not do something, or even to gain a better reward for the work being done. Social skills are also different in that they require more role playing than other skills.

In the event of a character attempting to use a Social skill on a PC, the targeted player rolls his or her own Mental Defense or Perception (depending on context) to oppose. Players are encouraged to take a roll into account, but the targeted player ultimately decides if or how the roll has any effect.


Characters with Persuasion may have a way with words, a way with their body, or sometimes even just a particularly trustworthy face. It can be used for diplomacy, getting more information, trying to convince someone on an idea or course of action, or any number of similar things.


Some times a character isn't blessed with a pleasing countenance or a silver tongue, but nevertheless seems to get their way. Intimidation can be used to scare or threaten another person into bending to the character's will.


If your character isn't particularly persuasive or intimidating, they may have a better time with a solid poker face and a lie. This skill can let characters more believably spin elaborate yarns, hide their true intent, or become someone they are not.

Physical Skills

Physical skills cover what you character can do with their body. Can they bend bars, lift gates? Maybe they're fast, or acrobatic. Perhaps they're very perceptive. This is where you flesh these things out.


Some characters possess great strength, can lift heavy objects, or throw things really far. This skill covers anything you'd need a lot of muscle for. It can be helpful when moving heavy things, lifting debris off of a fallen comrade, or lobbing grenades. The Strength skill can also allow characters with no other offensive skills to have a way of defending themselves.


Sometimes muscle doesn't cut it, and for those times, a character needs to be fast. Agility is the skill that covers speed, balance, and acrobatic ability. It could be used to close a distance is a shorter time, vault over a wall, walk across a narrow ledge, or throw something precise, like a knife.


Awareness of the world around you, and those in it. This represents a character's ability to see what's happening in their vicinity, as well as the ability to read other people and get a feel for what they really mean. It's also used to oppose stealth and some social checks. A high result can reveal Aspects of a scene, or even allow a player to declare a new Aaspect or detail in the current scene.

Technical Skills

Technical Skills are the knowledge and application of specific subjects, learned through years of formal training, or lessons learned over the course of a lifetime. This might be what they did as a job, what they were studying in school, or maybe something they needed to know in order to get by.


This is the knowledge of how to treat physical ailments, injuries, and infirmities. Medicine is divided into two categories: Surgical and Trauma. A character with Fair (+2) or higher in Medicine has a equivalent degree of skill with someone who has a license to practice in the real world.

Occasionally, characters will suffer Body damage - physical harm. Unlike Mind, Body can be healed outside of the normal recovery rate. That's where the rules for Medicine come in. The character performing the medical act will roll his or her medical skill against the amount of health the patient has lost. Therefore, someone who has lost one point will roll Wound at 4df+1, and so on. If that roll succeeds, on the next combat round the doctor must make another roll, at a DC that is one less than the initial roll. However, these rolls are insufficient by themselves to restore Body. An Action Point must also be expended by the doctor to heal. If the doctor does not have or does not wish to spend an Action Point, the patient may also spend one. However, using anything designed for first-aid or trauma care off of the Equipment page will negate the AP cost and consume the kit. The Body point will be restored at the beginning of the next combat round. Neither doctor nor patient may take any other action during this time.

  • Surgical - This represents knowledge of surgical procedures with experience in performing them.
  • Trauma - This pertains to emergency first aid and traumatic wound treatment.

Characters may have significant training in a particular field of learning. There are two categories: Hard Sciences and Life Sciences.
Average in a Science skill equates to a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent).
Fair in a Science skill equates to a Master's degree (or equivalent).
Good in a Science skill equates to a PhD (or equivalent).
Great in a Science skill equates to at least some postdoctoral work (or equivalent).

  • Life - This pertains to studies and knowledge relating to living things, such as botany, herpetology, etc.
  • Hard - This encompasses such fields as physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc.
Paranormal Knowledge

Paranormal Knowledge pertains to a character's familiarity with the strange things present in the world. It's divided into two categories: Researched and Occult. A character must have relevant history to take points in Researched.

  • Researched - knowledge of the paranormal that has been documented by one or more groups of interest.
  • Occult - knowledge of folklore, ghost stories, and cultural legends.

Practical knowledge of computer use, electronics, and mechanical devices. The ability to maintain, repair, build, modify, (and at high levels, design) technological equipment. It falls roughly under two categories: electronics and mechanical.

  • Mechanical - This deals primarily with vehicle maintenance, repair, construction, and sometimes destruction, useful for building crafted items.
  • Electrical - dealing with the maintenance, repair, and sometimes destruction of electric systems, useful in powering crafted items.

Like Perception, Survival is a measure of awareness of a character's surroundings and ability to sense danger (such as opposing Subterfuge). Survival is the ability to not only survive, but thrive in an environment. Survival falls under two categories: Urban and Wilderness.

  • Urban - This represents street savvy - the instinct of city life, rules, gang culture, how to move in places grittier than most.
  • Wilderness - This is knowledge gained in the way of the land - skills and senses required for living in isolated environs away from civilization.

Sometimes your characters will need to be underhanded, sneaky, or get into somewhere without violently busting down the door. The Subterfuge skill will cover just about everything they need, and falls under two categories: Fieldcraft and Tradecraft.

  • Fieldcraft - This pertains to sniper work, setting up hides, applying and setting up good camouflage and concealment, moving sneakily, etc.
  • Tradecraft -This deal with such things as picking locks, hacking computers, setting up surveillance, getting information remotely, etc.
Vehicle Operation

The Vehicle Operation skill covers the operation and light maintenance of Aircraft and Heavy Armor. A character must have a background that backs up having this skill.

  • Aircraft - Anything that flies, be that fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft.
  • Heavy Armor - Tanks, LAVs, armored cars, amphibious vehicles, just about anything that operated different than civilian vehicles.

Offensive Skills

When your character's diplomacy and good sense has failed, they have nowhere to run, or maybe just wants to stab or shoot something, these are the skills that come into play.

Ranged Weapons

The ability to accurately shoot with a hand-held firearm and to keep it properly maintained. Opposed rolls are made against a target's Physical Defense. At creation, you get to choose your Ranged Weapon skill+1 in categories, up to four.

Ranged categories are Linked Skills.

  • Heavy Weapons - This encompasses things like rocket launchers, recoilless rifles, and flamethrowers used to destroy vehicles or hardened targets. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - has a context-appropriate catastrophic effect applied to the target.
  • Sniper Rifles - Military sniper rifles or hunting rifles, used to deliver long-range, precise fire. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - instantly kills normal human or animal targets.
  • Machine Guns - This covers big, belt-fed automatic weapons used for suppressive fire. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - pins an enemy in place, forcing them to skip their next action, and reducing any defense roll they make by 2.
  • Assault Rifles - Larger, more overt weapons, covering things like military rifles and their analogues. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - allows them to engage two targets at once in one round, using the same attack roll.
  • Submachine Guns - Small, compact automatic weapons like submachine guns and personal defense weapons. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - will interrupt a melee attack made against that character, and cause damage as normal.
  • Shotguns - Just about any scattergun falls under this category. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - allows them to roll 1d3 bonus damage to be added to the weapon's normal damage at close range.
  • Pistols - This encompasses small sidearms, like pistols, revolvers, and machine pistols. At the cost of 1 Ammo. a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - automatically occurs before all other actions taken in that turn.
  • Bows - This covers not just things like bows and arrows, but crossbows as well. At the cost of 1 Ammo, a character can make an attack roll that - if successful - strikes the target in such a way as to cripple it with a -2 penalty on Strength, Agility, or an Offensive Skill, or causes it to bleed for -1 damage per turn until the arrow is removed. Removing the arrow takes one turn.
Melee Weapons

The ability to attack effectively with a hand-to-hand melee weapon, or unarmed. Opposed rolls are made against a target's Physical Defense. At creation, you get to choose your Melee Weapon skill+1 in categories, up to two.

Melee categories are Linked Skills.

  • Edged - Anything that's got a sharp edge to it, be that a knife, a sword, or an axe.
  • Blunt - This covers thins like baseball bats, truncheons, or even a heavy piece of wood.
  • Unarmed - This is the ability to throw down and fight with bare hands.

Defensive Skills

Defensive Skills protect your character's body and mind from outside attacks.

Physical Defense

This skill is rolled whenever your character is targeted by a hostile physical ability intending to inflict harm on them. It can represent sheer bloody-minded determination not to die as your body's shredded, the agility necessary to dodge incoming blows, or other methods of absorbing or deflecting harm.

Mental Defense

This skill is rolled whenever you are targeted by a hostile mental ability intending to inflict harm on you. It is a function of your character's willpower and determination.

Innate Stats

These are the simple stats that govern your character's health and sanity.


This is your actual health, representing your character's ability to stay standing after getting hit. It isn't rolled, but may be lowered should you fail a Physical Defense roll or otherwise take damage. When this skill reaches zero, your character is incapacitated. If the character is attacked again, they are dead. Body starts at 5 for every character, and is linked with Physical Defense up to an additional three points. The limit for body at creation is 8, and 10 after creation.

Body is regained at one point per day if not treated.


This is your character's mental stability, their mind's ability to continue to function after being attacked by outside forces. It isn't rolled, but may be lowered if you fail a Mental Defense roll or otherwise take psychic damage. When this skill reaches zero, your character is incapacitated. If your character is attacked again, it is fully open to the mental influence of whatever attacked it, possibly resulting in coma, possession, or death. For every point spent on Mental Defense, add a point to your or Mind score, for no extra cost up to three. Raising Mental Defense beyond three at creation will not raise Mind beyond three. Raising Mind beyond three at creation requires the expenditure of two points to raise that skill from three to four.

Mind is regained at a rate of one point every two weeks.


Talents are skills not represented by what Greater Skills do. These are things like cooking, musical ability, crafts such as carpentry or tailoring, and spoken languages. Feel free to consult a GM about what constitutes as a Talent. Talents do not typically require rolls, but may be rolled under certain conditions. Talents may be delegated at will with no limitation to fit your character concept. This is subject to scrutiny. Talents can be raised with GM approval, with the player seeking to raise them needing to justify how their character's used the talent to improve their skill at it.

Action Points

This simply serves as a method of tracking how many points you begin a scene with. Every character starts with 3.

These points may be used to fuel Powers, to Tag Aspects, and to resist Compelled Aspects. Further information on this can be found here.

Action points may be expended to make a Declaration on a Scene. Declarations are usually small, governed by coincidence. For example, if your teammates are outgunned and separated from the main Convoy, you may spend an Action point (at GM discretion) and have your character just happen to be following along behind. You can't fiat something convenient and game-breaking, like "Those barrels I'm shooting at are filled with gasoline, exploding the monster in front of them." However, you COULD say "Those barrels I'm shooting at are filled with vegetable oil, creating an oil slick underneath the monster."

If the Declaration will make the scene more fun for the whole group, it'll generally be considered.

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