04.4 Perception Skills
Gamemasters can rely on the Observation Difficulties chart below for situations involving the gathering of information, spotting hidden things, and general observation.
To see if a character notices details of a scene or situation, the gamemaster may have the player make a Perception roll. Unless the characters are actively eavesdropping, searching, tracking, or performing a similar activity (and thus using the search or tracking skills), this passive observance of a scene does not count as an action. Use this chart as a guideline for how much the character notices. If the skill total meets or beats the difficulty, the character gains that much information.
|Noticing obvious, generic facts; casual glance||Easy|
|Noticing obvious details (ex. number of people)||Moderate|
|Noticing a few less obvious details (ex. gist of conversation)||Difficult|
|Spotting a few specific details (ex. identities of individuals)||Very Difficult|
|Spotting a few obscure details (ex. specifics of conversation)||Heroic|
|Noticing many obscure details||Legendary|
Focuses: Various areas of Art and Creative endeavors – Painting, Dance, Acting/Theatrics, a specific musical instrument etc.
The creative ability skill covers everything from drawing to singing to poetry to dancing. This is a Focus skill and the focus of each type of Artistic or Creative skill should be one of the languages of the setting.
Focuses: Modern Vehicles, Starships, Aircraft, Traps or Security Devices, Locks, Torture, Construction/Engineering, Exotic Items, <setting specific device>; (modern/sc-fi) Computers, Cyberdecks, Robotics, Scanners, Communications, Shields, Alien Items; (fantasy) Magic Items, Arcane Items.
The base difficulty to build, fix, or modify any piece of equipment or vehicle is Moderate.
Design/Build: Characters who want to create new items must first makes blueprints or design instructions for them, using this skill. The more complex the piece, the higher the difficulty and the longer it takes to determine the correct design. The base difficulty is Moderate.
Repair: The amount of damage sustained, the character’s familiarity with the item (through Synergy with Device or Craft), availability of parts, and complexity of the task can modify the difficulty. The gamemaster may require a separate tech roll to determine whether the character can figure out how to repair an unknown item. Destroyed parts must be replaced, which raises the difficulty. Additionally, if the character rushes the job, not only is there an increased chance of failure, but the item could also break again soon after its next use.
Craft/Repair Modifiers would include the complexity of device as well as tools and supplies available. Repairing roll modifiers depends on the level of damage.
Skill Use: Alchemy/Chemistry – This skill allows characters to create explosive or incendiary substances out of various materials including herbs and other chemicals. Explosives inflict up to half of their skill dice (rounded up) in damage (e.g., a character with a chemical concoction skill of 7D+2 could create a substance that could cause 4D). Incendiary fluids inflict standard fire damage and the flames last a number of seconds equal to the roll made when creating the substance.
Skill Use: Demolitions: Using corrosives and explosives to achieve particular destructive effects.
Skill Use: Build Trap – To install a trap, the base difficulty is based on the level of complexity of the trap. Primitive traps are Easy . Advanced is Moderate . Highly Advanced are Difficult or Very Difficult depending on the context.
The Results Points can be used to design a system by spending them on the following options. Trap Points are 4 times the number of Result Points
|Trap Component||Trap Points Cost|
|Use existing structure (door and frame, nearby saplings)||0|
|Single functional part (open pit, poison on a handle)||0|
|Pressure plate trigger||2 per plate|
|Tripwire or switch trigger||1 per tripwire or switch|
|Speed||1 per 5 points of initiative total|
|Combat attack total versus target||2 per difficulty level|
|Multiple release portals for gas, arrows, etc.||2 per additional portal; -1 to Disarm roll each|
|Multiple targets||2 per additional target; increases pit opening by 1 meter-square area|
|Additional damage (spikes in pit, more push behind arrows)||3 per additional 1D or per additional 1.5 meter drop|
|Add to structure |
(clockwork mechanism, false walls)
|3 or more|
The gamemaster may award the remaining Result Points as a modifier to future disarm-rolls. This represents the character adding a few extra improvements to the base design.
Once it’s the trap’s turn in the initiative, compare the trap’s combat attack total to the defense totals of its intended target or targets. (The combat attack total takes into account range.) The trap affects those whose defense totals it meets or beats, up to the number of targets it can affect.
Dart Trap: Triggered by stepping on one of three plates placed across a hallway, this traps shoots four darts (two each; damage 1D each; speed 10; combat difficulty Difficult) at the first two adventurers in the area. Trap difficulty: Very Difficult.
Lock Trap: When a character attempts to pick the lock and is successful, a large poisoned needle (damage 5D; speed 15; combat difficulty Difficult) shoots out and stabs the thief. Trap difficulty: Very Difficult.
Pit Trap: The floor falls away from beneath the characters, dropping them into a large dug-out area about 4.5 meters high (damage of 3D from fall). The pit opening is about two meters on a side. Trap difficulty: Difficult.
If a character has the Scholar – Arcane skill (and therefore exists in a world with magic) and makes a Heroic alchemical concoction roll, she may create magical fluids, though she must also have access to the spell she wishes to transfer into the liquid (i.e .. she must be able to cast the bon ish spell to imbue a potion with that power).
|Magical Elixirs||Heroic||1D months|
Skill Use: Cartography – The cartography skill use of Craft/Repair allows characters create maps of various types from topographical to political.
|Create small-scale maps||Easy|
|Create terrain maps||Moderate|
|Create world maps||Difficult|
|Create dimensional space maps||Very Difficult|
Suggested Specialization: Any game of chance.
Skill Bonus: Persuasion ( specifically called Gamblers Feint or Gambler Bluff)
Gambling doesn’t affect games that are purely random, but does influence games with an element of strategy, like poker. All characters make opposed gambling rolls, without spending Character or Fate Points, and the highest roll wins. A character may cheat by using Character or Fate Points on the roll, and the gamemaster may give bonuses to rolls for people looking for a cheater or helping the cheater. The gamemaster should consider as many “angles” as possible when using the gambling skill, and add these as modifiers to one or more participants’ rolls.
Skill Bonus: Persuasion; Scholar – Streetwise (Knowing the Streets)
There are three uses of Investigation – Gathering Information, Research and Evidence Analysis. When used to research a topic, a separate roll must be made for each source checked.
Skill Use: Information Gathering
Information gathering measures a character’s ability to pick up rumors. street talk. and current underworld events from various informants.
|Type of Information||Difficulty|
|General feeling of “underground” populace||Moderate|
Skill Use: Research
|Requires searching through several sources; |
|Sources are of varying reliability; |
specific information about harmless individual or event
|Esoteric information; |
specific information about dangerous individual or event
Conditions that would affect the roll are the following: Information closely guarded, Character unsure of information sought, and Character knows exactly what information is sought.
Skill Use: Evidence Analysis
When used to figure out clues from a scene, the base difficulty is Moderate. The character must use search first to find the clues or evidence (or have them pointed out); investigation helps the character figure out what they mean.
Situation Modifiers that would effect the roll would include how sketchy the information in question is, how extensive the information is, how clear the evidence is, how many clues exist, and how unusual the evidence is. Also, if the perpetrator repeatedly commits similar crimes related to this evidence, the situation may be more favorable. Distance, time and overall cleanliness of the location would also affect an investigation.\
|Result Points||Evidence Analysis|
|0||Basic information about the situation (a rope was used, type of gun).|
|1||Precise information about situation (probable manufacturing origin of evidence, small details about items in room).|
|2||Previous results plus how all items in an area were put to use.|
|3+||Reconstruction of events from the evidence.|
This is the skill for spotting hidden objects or people, reconnoitering, lipreading, eavesdropping on or watching another person, as well as tracking.
Skill Use: Tracking
Following the trail of another person, animal, or creature, or keeping after a moving target without being noticed.
Skill Use: Shadowing
The shadowing skill represents a character’s ability to covertly follow a given target.
|Follow target in open area||Very Easy|
|Follow target in small town||Easy|
|Follow target in small city||Moderate|
|Follow target in large. congested city||Very Difficult|
Focuses: Aquatic, Wilderness, Desert, Polar/Tundra, Space, Urban/Street
Character can rely on survival to figure what to eat, where to sleep, how best to deal with native dangers, and other information needed survive in specific region. Survival: Urban/Street is also referenced as Streetwise (see below).
Skill Use: Streetwise
Streetwise helps characters get around urban environments. Some situations call for seeking out those living outside the local law, while others can be handled through upstanding citizens. Generally, the modifiers are the same for each situation, but the gamemaster should adjust them depending on the circumstances. It is possible, though generally unlikely, that a character would be well-liked by both upstanding residents and local criminals.
|Things that are usually easy to find like directions to the nearest police station.||1|
|Things that require discretion or careful investigation like asking if the local law is straight or crooked||2|
|Risky services; finding illegal and well-regulated items like finding out an appropriate bribe for the local law.||2|
|Services of unusual skills; finding dangerous or carefully controlled items like seeking a fence or a safecracker.||3|
|A specific criminal in hiding; finding items whose possession means immediate imprisonment||4|
Modifiers to the Skill Test include Size of the urban area, amount of local law enforcement, tolerance of the residents of criminals and the reputation of the character seeking information. These can range from +1D to -3D.
Skill Bonus: Arts/Creative: Art (Art of Counterfeiting)
Skill Use: Lockpicking
Characters may not attempt to pick locks without some kind of tools (hairpins, wire coat hanger, telekinesis, etc.). Improvised tools do not add to character’s skill roll, but specialized tools will.
Simple Locks take an Easy Devices: Locks check. Every level of complexity increases the level of Difficulty. Conditions of the Lock may also effect the Difficulty. It is assumed that the lock is well-constructed and relatively new. Better construction may increase the Difficulty but it should not be more than a +1. If it’s older or worn, it may reduce the difficult by 1 or 2.
Skill Use: Forgery
Creating and noticing false or altered documentation in various media (paper, electronic, plastic card, etc.), including counterfeiting, though tasks may require other skills to help detect or make the forgery. If the Forgery is in another Language outside the character’s base, the character needs at least 1D in that language to create a Forgery in that language.
|Item Forged||Difficulty||Time Required|
|Unofficial note or correspondence||Easy||10 minutes or more|
|Official document (driver’s license, legal tender, king’s decree with seal)||Difficult||20 minutes or more|
Reduce the amount of time spent on creating a forgery if the character has repeatedly succeeded at creating similar items in the past.
Familiarity with Item will affect the roll as well as the tools available. The above difficulties assume Moderate Familiarity
|Familiarity with Item Forged||Difficulty|
|Intimately familiar||-1 to Difficulty|
|Unfamiliar||+1 to Difficulty|
|Completely unfamiliar||+2 to Difficulty|
Situation modifiers to the roll include whether or not the character has a sample, how good a quality the sample is and whether or not it requires special tools or techniques to make.