Where Is Occult?

Traditionally, the Storytelling System has a Mental Skill called Occult, which covers knowledge of occultism, metaphysics, and the like. In the World of Darkness, it can be quite useful for gleaning some truth about the supernatural. But in the wizarding world, the kinds of things one would "know" from Occult would usually be dead wrong, or highly misleading. It didn't seem fair to ask players to spend valuable Experience on a useless Skill. So, Occult was replaced with Gramarye. As for those Muggle characters with occult "knowledge", it is now just one of those things one needn't have a Skill for, like movie trivia or being really good at video games.

Skills reflect a character’s knowledge and training. Skills are fluid, changing over time. You choose an initial set of Skills during character creation and may improve them or learn new Skills during the course of the game.

Keep in mind that some uses of skills should only be tried if a character’s background justifies it. For instance, a brawler with high Fighting that picks up a rapier for the first time might muddle through a fencing duel but will probably be slaughtered by a mediocre swordsman who has focused on fencing.

A character’s age will determine how many points a player has to start with. The ** +cg/check ** command shows how many points are available to distribute at this stage. Assign points to reflect the talents the character has cultivated. More points will be available later in the character creation process to further pad out the skills, but this initial stage will focus help attention on the core strengths the character has.

Use the following code to set the points for skills:

+stat/set <skill>=<value>

For example: For an Academics at 3, the command is: +stat/set academics=3

Youth Skills

Children are still growing, and as such, their capacity for learning and mastery is not as great as that of adults. Child and teen characters (i.e. characters who are still in school) cannot exceed three dots in any Skill unless they purchase the appropriate Prodigy Merit.

Mental Skills

These are skills that reflect a character’s studies in a broad range of areas. If an “unskilled” roll is made in any of these skills, add a penalty of -3 to the roll.

  • Academics: Education in the arts and humanities (e.g. English, history, economics, law, etc.).
  • Computer: Operating computers. Can program at 3 or more.
  • Crafts: Creating works of physical art or construction, from paintings to car engines.
  • Gramarye: Knowledge of the wizarding world.
  • Investigation: Examining evidence, answering riddles, actively searching for clues, etc.
  • Medicine: Treating injuries and illness. This is a Muggle skill and does not cover magical healing. Wizards have historically considered Muggle doctors to be "butchers", although modern advances in medical science have begun to alter this perception.
  • Politics: Understanding political systems and bureaucracies.
  • Science: Physical and natural sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, physics). Wizards may also apply this to herbology and other magical sciences. Magical healers use Science to diagnose magical ailments.

A note on Gramarye:
The wizarding world, while existing right alongside the world Muggles know, is a vast and unique place. Even those born to it aren’t always familiar with its intricacies. Gramarye (pronounced: GRAM-uh-ree) presents knowledge of the customs, places, and history of the wizarding world.
Possessed by: Wizards, wizard-born, sanctioned Muggles
Specialties: History of Magic, Wizard Culture, Specific Region/Country (e.g. United States, England, France, Romania)

Physical Skills

These are skills that reflect training or practice in a character’s physical pursuits. If an “unskilled” roll is made in any of these skills, add a penalty of -3 to the roll.

  • Athletics: Physical training, sports activities, and throwing weapons. Also used for riding animals, brooms, etc. (Riding or Flying Specialty required).
  • Brawl: Unarmed combat, from street-fighting to martial arts.
  • Drive: Operating land and sea craft (aircraft require Piloting Specialty).
  • Firearms: Identify, operate, and maintain most types of firearms.
  • Larceny: Criminal activities like bypassing security systems, picking pockets, and concealing contraband.
  • Stealth: Moving silently, keeping to the shadows, blending into a crowd, and other methods of avoiding notice.
  • Survival: Foraging for food, navigating the wilderness, and otherwise living off the land.
  • Weaponry: Fighting with close range weapons (i.e. clubs, swords, chairs, etc.).

Social Skills

These are skills that reflect talents a character has developed for social interactions with others. If an “unskilled” roll is made in any of these skills, add a penalty of -1 to the roll.

  • Animal Ken: Understanding and training animals. Wizards may also apply this to magical beasts (dragons require a Dragonology Specialty).
  • Empathy: Reading and interpreting emotions.
  • Expression: The art of communication: journalism, poetry, creative writing, acting, music, dance, etc.
  • Intimidation: Influencing others through fear.
  • Persuasion: Inspiring or changing minds through logic, charm, or sheer fast-talking.
  • Socialize: Gregariousness, sensitivity, etiquette, and custom. Used for interaction in social settings, such as bars, dinners, or parties.
  • Streetwise: Understanding and taking advantages of the culture and resources of the urban streets and underworld.
  • Subterfuge: The art of deception.

Skill specialties

These allow a focus on the narrower fields that the character is particularly good at. When a roll involves a specialty, the roll gains a +1 modifier. There is no list. Invent whatever specialty the character should have, as long as it’s specific. For example, a Brawl specialty could be Taekwondo, instead of Martial Arts.

Use the following code to set a skill specialty and its point value.

+stat/set <Skill>.<Specialty>=<value>

Example: For Brawl specialty in Karate at a 3 point value, the command is: +stat/set Brawl.Karate=3

Skill Point Level Meanings

Points Level Description
0 Unskilled No skill in this area to speak of.
1 Average The common level of competency.
2 Good An above average level of skill.
3 Great Impressive demonstration of this skill.
4 Excellent A prime example of what can be achieved.
5 Legendary Beyond what most could ever hope to achieve.

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If your character is not a magic user, proceed directly to Merits.

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