04.2 Agility Skills

Acrobatics

Performing feats of gymnastics, extraordinary balance, and dance (and related performance arts), as well as jumping and breaking falls. It is also useful for running obstacle courses or doing courtly promenade.

Using acrobatics can also improve many of a character’s climbing, jumping, and running attempts. The game-master determines the difficulty of the acrobatics stunt. One-half of the difference (rounded up) between the difficulty and the acrobatics roll is added to the complementary skill. The acrobatics attempt and the climbing, jumping, or running try must be done on the same turn.

Instead of adding a modifier to the running or swimming difficulty for particularly challenging obstacle courses, the gamemaster may have the hero make an acrobatics roll in addition to a running or swimming roll.

Acrobatics can make a character appear more intimidating. The player may add one-half of the difference (rounded up) between the difficulty and the successful acrobatics roll to her intimidation attempt. The intimidating attempt may be made on the same turn as the acrobatics roll or on the next round.

During a fall, acrobatics may be used to reduce bodily harm. If the character has not already used his turn for the round, he may rely on acrobatics in an attempt to land properly. The character generates an acrobatics total. For every five points over the base difficulty number of 10, the hero reduces the damage total by one point, in addition to a base reduction of one point. The damage total, however, cannot be lower than zero.

ManeuverDifficulty
Somersault; pirouetteEasy
Handspring; cartwheel; handstandModerate
Swing over a obstacleModerate
Round-off; backflipDifficult
Vaulting over an obstacleDifficult
Bouncing off a surface to reach a specific destinationVery Difficult
Walking up a wall*Heroic

*The character may “walk” a maximum of her Move in one round; she must have a flat surface to stop on at the end of her turn or she falls and takes damage from the fall.  Some conditions that might effect the skill check are how flat the surfaces are, how much landing space the person has, and the type of terrain the character is making the attempt on.

Suggested Specializations: Jumping, Leaps, Tumbles, Balance, High wire, Trapeze work.

Note: Characters may combine one or more maneuvers in the same action. In this case, use the difficulty of the most challenging maneuver, subtract 3 to the roll for each additional maneuver (up to five additional maneuvers), and include modifiers as if the complex stunt was one maneuver.

Contortion

The ability to escape from otherwise secure physical bonds by twisting, writhing, and contorting the body.

The chart below contains sample difficulty numbers for escaping from various kinds of restraints. Modify the difficulty based on the circumstances of the escape, such as the conditions the character works under or specially designed restraints. The character may not use this skill if completely immobilized. If in multiple restraints, the character must make a separate roll for each one. A Critical Failure indicates that the character has pulled a muscle (and he does his Strength Damage to himself). The gamemaster decides whether he may try again.

Note that this skill does not substitute for the lock picking skill. The character may be able to pull his arms over his head to use his hands, but he may not be able to slip out of the shackles unless they are improperly secured.

Sample RestraintsDifficulty
RopesModerate
Wires, chainDifficult
ShacklesVery Difficult

Dodge

This is the skill to slip out of danger’s way, whether avoiding an attack or a sprung booby trap. See Combat for uses of Dodge.

Fighting

This is a competence in unarmed combat.

Special Knack Synergy: Blind-fighting (Prerequisites: Search 5D) – A character with blind-fighting can operate or battle in dark or otherwise reduced-sight conditions (blizzards, blindfolded. And so forth). (Character in combat normally suffer a +4D (+12) to the combat difficulty during full darkness conditions. See Combat for more information.) The character must make a blind-fighting check (using Search) roll every 5 seconds to continue to enjoy the skill’s effect.

Suggested Specializations: Brawling, Martial Arts

Flying

This is the skill to maneuvering under one’s own power (such as with wings or in zero gravity). Difficulties for these skills are included under Movement.

Melee Weapons

Wielding and attacking with handtohand weapons.

Special Knack Synergy: Blind-fighting (Prerequisites: Search 5D) – A character with blind-fighting can operate or battle in dark or otherwise reduced-sight conditions (blizzards, blindfolded. And so forth). (Character in combat normally suffer a +4D (+12) to the combat difficulty during full darkness conditions. See Combat for more information.) The character must make a blind-fighting check (using Search) roll every 5 seconds to continue to enjoy the skill’s effect.

Pilot

A character must make a piloting roll whenever he attempts to perform a stunt (see the Vehicle Combat chapter). Piloting a vehicle under normal circumstances does not require a roll. Types of vessels include starships, boats, and hovercraft. It also includes cars, trucks, and motorcycles in which case the skill can be called driving. See the Movement for details on using these skills.

Skill Focuses: Aquatic, Aerial, Space, Light Land Vehicle (i.e. cars or motorcycles), Medium Land Vehicle (i.e. trucks), Heavy Land Vehicle (i.e. Tanks)

Example Specializations: (sci-fi) Light Land – Exoskeleton, Medium Land – Powered Armor, Heavy Land – Power Mech.

Ranged Weapons

This is the skill must have a focus of either Archaic or Modern.  Also, the skill have a specialization (not all small arms experts are good at heavy weapons, etc).  Modern Ranged Weapons include shooting any kind of man-portable modern ranged weapon. See Combat for difficulties and uses of this skill. Archaic weapons include shooting any kind of man-portable primitive ranged weapon that projects missiles across a distance, like bows, crossbows, etc. See Combat for difficulties and uses of this skill.

Archaic Skill Specializations: Bow, Crossbow, Sling, Heavy Weapons, Artillery, Ship Gunnery

Modern Skill Specializations: Light Arms (i.e. Pistol, Rifle), Heavy Weapons (i.e. Machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket launchers), Artillery, Ship Gunnery

Special Knack Synergy: Blind-fighting (Prerequisites: Search 5D) – A character with blind-fighting can operate or battle in dark or otherwise reduced-sight conditions (blizzards, blindfolded. And so forth). (Character in combat normally suffer a +4D (+12) to the combat difficulty during full darkness conditions. See Combat for more information.) The character must make a blind-fighting check (using Search) roll every 5 seconds to continue to enjoy the skill’s effect.

Sleight of Hand

This is a measure of the character’s nimbleness with the fingers and misdirection, including picking pockets, palming items, and stage magic. The difficulty for a sleight of hand attempt is usually the opponent’s Perception or search, either as a die roll (if the opponent is actively watching for tricks) or as a derived Passive value.  Modifiers that may affect the roll may be the level of how watchful the target is and the level of distractions around him or her.  Also the level of complexity of the trick may affect the roll.

Stealth

Stealth is hiding self or items as well as moving silently and avoiding detection, whether through shadows or crowds. The difficulty for a hide or stealth attempt is usually the opponent’s Perception, search (for hide), or tracking (for stealth), either as a die roll (if the opponent is actively trying to find the object or person) or the derived Passive value.  Gamemasters may also opt to  have the size of the creature or item affect the roll when hiding something.  Additionally, when using Stealth would be affected by weather conditions, lighting, number of observers as well as how attentive the observers is.

Skill Use: Sneak – Moving silently and avoiding detection, whether through shadows or crowds.

Skill Use: Hide Item/Camouflage – Concealing objects, both on oneself and using camouflage.

Throwing

Throwing is the ability to hit a target accurately with a thrown item, including grenades, stones, javelins, bottles, and knives. Also used for catching thrown items. A character’s ability to grab projectiles out of the air is enhanced by the throwing skill. The difficulty of catching an object is typically the thrower’s throwing roll. If the thrower wants the catcher to get the object, and thus takes care to throw well, reduce the thrower’s skill total by 9. For Combat difficulties for this skill, see Combat.

Skill Specializations: Knives, Grenades, Spears

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