**A note to current players with current characters**
Fear not. Your characters will not be undergoing drastic changes. Will we be working with each of you on a personal basis in order to get your characters migrated over to this scary new system. You will not be losing Build points. If anything, there are many situations where you may receive a Build refund. Just be patient with us while we work all of this out. Thank you!
- Long Arms
- Small Arms
CLICK HERE to view the list of spheres and skills.
After you create your character it’s time to choose your Skill Spheres! Skill Spheres contain the skills from which your character can purchase. There are over twenty skill spheres to choose from, with each one having a plethora of unique skills from which to purchase. Your character may choose up to three spheres as your Primary Skill Spheres. These skills represent your character’s main focus and drive in their life and career. The skills purchased on these paths will always be at base Build cost for your character. Any other paths you choose to purchase from are always purchased at double the Build cost. You do not need to choose all or any at Primary Skill Spheres at creation, but do note that purchasing skills from a Cross Skill Sphere will result in spending double Build, even if you decide at a later date to choose that path as a Primary Skill Sphere.
When a new tier is unlocked in a sphere, any skill that appears in that tier may be purchased at any time. If a skill has prerequisite skills, those must be purchased first before learning the new skill. This allows for purchasing only the skills you want and skipping any you don’t.
The exception to the Cross Skill Sphere rule is Basic Skills. Every skill sphere contains Basic Skills which are indicative of the skills learned on that sphere. These Basic Skills are always purchased at their given Build costs, every time. This is an effort in getting you comfortable with your character’s choices. If you find you don’t enjoy the path you are taking yourself down, you need not fret that you spent exceedingly high amounts of Build just to try out a play style.
By allowing purchase of skills from any sphere, we hope to provide players with the opportunity to create unique and effective characters. You may choose to follow only one skill path and become particularly adept at the skills available there. Or you may wish to build a character with a broader skill base who has some ability in a variety of skills or trades. This system is designed to accommodate all character concepts and all player styles. Additionally, as the game develops, new skills or variations of existing skills may be introduced. Players are encouraged to be imaginative in the use of skills and combinations of skills. If you think you have an idea for a new skill, see a game director to discuss it. We will entertain all ideas and suggestions from our players.
Just as new skills may be introduced at future times, there are also “hidden” skills that are available but not listed on the skill paths. These are primarily advanced, specialized, or rare skills that are usually reserved for particular situations or exceptional role-players. These skills will never be announced or published prior to their introduction. If you hope to obtain these advanced skills, role-play well and consistently. Players who create solid character concepts and histories, and who remain in character consistently, have the best chance of receiving an advanced skill.
All skills require build points to purchase them. Aside from the skills you begin the game with (and some racial abilities) all skills also require a teacher to instruct on their use except in certain situations. When you think you want to learn a new skill, you must first have the build points available, and then find an instructor. Seek someone, either PC or NPC who already possesses your desired skill and also has the ability to Teach it to others. Teaching/Learning a skill requires five minutes of role-playing instruction per one point of build cost.
When you purchase a skill in any given skill, you begin a tally known as a Sphere Rank. For each sphere purchased, you add one to your Sphere rank total. The exception to this rule is Basic Skills. Basic Skills only count once in a given sphere toward your Sphere Rank total. Sphere Ranks hold three purposes. Primarily, a Sphere Rank is used to unlock additional tiers of skills in the skill spheres. Once you meet the sphere rank requirement for a given tier, you can begin purchasing from that tier in that skill sphere.
The secondary function of Sphere Ranks is to represent the character’s knowledge of a specific topic. Certain tidbits of information may be gated behind having a specific Sphere Rank or a puzzle might require a certain Sphere Rank in order to get a hint at its solution. A character may combine related Sphere Ranks in order to meet their goal. An example may be an attempt at identifying a signature sword of a group of people. A character could go to a staff member, provide their Sphere Ranks for Small Arms and Smithing, and attempt to produce a result in the form of additional knowledge. At any time, a character may ask a question of a staff member, present their applicable Sphere Ranks, and ask for a result. The reverse is also true, where a staff member may approach a character for their Sphere Ranks in any given Spheres for a similar result. Keep in mind that the results may not always be static. The same answer may not present itself to one character with one Sphere Ranks while it may to another. This is purely at the discretion of the game staff based on a number of given elements.
The final function of Sphere Ranks is to unlock bonus skills within your Skill Spheres.. At certain ranks in each Skill Sphere these bonuses will unlock. These skills do not require a teacher and are just passive knowledge gained from gaining more proficiency within the Sphere. These are always skills that are continuous and are considered ‘always-on.’. For example, when you reach a Sphere Rank of 5 in Small Arms, you unlock the Small Arms Prof +1 passive for Small Arms. This means you get to swing every weapon under the Small Arms Sphere at +1 damage. Sometimes there are multiple passives under a given Skill Sphere, sometimes there is only one. Be sure to keep track of your Sphere Ranks and make a note on your character card when you think you qualify for a passive. The game staff will try to give you every passive you have available, but the burden is on the player to help and mention when they qualify.
If you’ve run out of skills to purchase or simply wish to skip over skills in a tier, a character may purchase Sphere Ranks at a rate of 5 Build per rank in your Primary Skill Spheres and 10 Build in Cross Skill Spheres.
Understanding how and when to use your character’s skills will make the game run more smoothly and make your character more effective. Most skills and abilities can be divided into three types: Continuous, Ability-based, or Packet. Continuous skills, once purchased, can be used any time, all the time. They include weapon skills, literacies, First Aid, and other. You may use or “call” the skill whenever appropriate. There is no limit to how many times it can be used in any given period or day. You can never run out nor over-expend a continuous skill.
Ability-based skills require the expenditure of one of three types of ability points: DEXterity, ENDurance, or PREsence. Dexterity represents physical coordination and fine manipulation. DEX is required for most surgery skills and thieving skills. Endurance represents strength and prowess in physical tasks. Most combat skills require END. Presence represents the capacity for self-awareness and charisma. PRE is required for many non-physical skills like Fear and Courage. Each type of Ability point is purchased individually, and separate from the skills that require them. You cannot use an ability-based skill unless you have the required number of the correct point type.
The effect of a skill is described in the skill definition. When using a skill, be sure you have enough ability points on your character card. When the skill is used mark off the necessary number and type of points. This represents the expenditure of resources to perform certain actions.
When all of your Ability points of a particular type are spent, you may no longer use the associated skills for the remainder of the period. Ability points are restored to full at the turn of a new period. Be careful never to spend more ability points that you have on your character card. Overspending is cheating, and will be punished accordingly. However, there is also an in-game penalty. Over-expending ability points causes your character to fall to complete exhaustion and heart failure. You are instantly in the 3rd phase of your death count with only two minutes left to live. This is why you must have a thorough knowledge of your skill costs.
Mage spells and Cleric prayers are “memorized” at the beginning of each period cycle. You must go to Logistics or a game marshal with your character card and spell/prayer book. There, you will indicate which spells or prayers you wish to allocate to the applicable slots. (For more information on spell and prayer slots see the Casting rules for Sorcery and Clerics.) A staff member or game marshal will write each spell name on your card. Upon casting the spell or prayer, you then mark off the appropriate spell or prayer on your card.
Ability Points skills expire at the end of each period as do spells and prayers. You must always be sure to use all ability points spells and prayers for the appropriate period.
In addition to the expenditure of Ability Points, spells or prayers, all skills and abilities require some form of role-playing. Some also have time and/or material requirements as well. The skill definitions contain an explanation for each skill and ability. Use common sense when role-playing skills. Most skills just require you to act out the procedure. For First Aid, you should pretend to bandage cuts and close up wounds. If you are researching something, rifle through books and scrolls, etc. Better role-playing of skills will get you more RP points to purchase Build. Pay close attention to the skills that have time requirements such as forging and repairing weapons and armour. These time requirements are not optional or flexible. They represent the expenditure of resources and must be adhered to.