Skill Rules

Non Weapon Proficiencies or SKILLS

This section summarizes the fundamentals of Skills.

Employing a Skill is a D20 roll. The character must roll his or her MODIFIED skill OR less in order to succeed. Modifiers can be positive and negative in nature.


All characters have a set number of Basic Skills that reflect the fact that he or she grew up in the world/society of the game. These include their native language, basic literacy, knowledge of their home area (town, surrounding countryside, neighborhood…) General History (who the King is, and the last King, neighboring countries…) Basic Manners and Social Customs, General Life Skills (money, common laws, personal care, using a knife and fork, etc) A native Englishman will have the same Basic Skills as a Frenchman, but their actual knowledge will be different to reflect their upbringing. Characters start the game with points in these skills as shown in the Basic Skills Chart.  The points reflected there ARE NOT deducted from a character’s starting points.  The starting ability in these skills is a reflection of Social Class and the educational opportunities that social class afforded them. Raising these skills beyond the Basic Level does cost additional skill points that the character must provide.


These are skills that anyone may learn, but it does not automatically follow that everyone has the skill. Example: Horseback Riding. Anyone can learn to ride a horse. Someone who grew up in the countryside is likely to know how. Someone who grew up in the city is less likely to have had the opportunity to learn how to ride.

There is a normal cost for these skills. Learning these skills, or finding a teacher, is usually easy.


Some skills are particular to a certain class or sub-class of characters. A Rogue will know how and where, to Fence Stolen Goods, an honest citizen won’t. A Soldier or Sailor may know how to operate cannon, a Priest is not likely to have that skill. Someone outside of these classes will find it difficult to learn these skills without being a member of the class. Characters (of the right class) start play with SOME class skills at no cost. Specifically, each class has certain Inherent or Core Skills that are native to their class and associate life style. Mystics know the tenants of their religion, soldiers know military protocol, sailors the fundamentals of seamanship and so on. Raising these skills beyond that starting level, or adding additional class skills, does cost skill points.

Both the Basic Skills and SOME Class Skills come at no cost to the starting character. (See the class description.) Anything beyond that must be ‘bought’ using Skill Points.  A 1st level character starts with X number of Skill Points, determined by their Class and their Intelligence, and gain more as they advance in levels.

MOST skills are Intelligence based. Some are Dexterity, some are Strength and a few are Charisma, Wisdom or Constitution. The chances of a character successfully utilizing a skill is based on his/her ability score that corresponds to the skill AND the number of skill points used on the skill.

Spending .5 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score -3

Spending 1 Skill Point on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score – 1.

Spending 2 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill Equal to your Attribute Score.

Spending 3 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score +1.

Spending 4 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score +2.

Spending 5 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score +3.

Spending 6 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score +4.

Spending 7 Skill Points on a Skill gives you a skill equal to your Attribute Score +5*

NOTE:  *+5 is the maximum improvement possible through spending Skill Points

A character may spend Skill Points on known skills to improve their ability at any time they have a Skill Point available.

Learning a NEW Skill usually requires a teacher as well as an available Skill Point.

For MOST Skills the character’s ability with that Skill is based on the Skill’s Attribute and the number of Skill Points the player has spent on the skill.

Attribute 0 Skill Points .5 Skill Points 1 Skill Points 2 Skill Points 3 Skill Points 4 Skill Points 5 Skill Points*


ST -5

ST -3

ST -1


ST +1

ST +2

ST +3


DX -5

DX -3

DX -1


DX +1

DX +2

DX +3


IN -5

IN -3

IN -1


IN +1

IN +2

IN +3


WS -5

WS -3

WS -1


WS +1

WS +2

WS +3


CN -5

CN -3

CN -1


CN +1

CN +2

CN +3


CH -5

CH -3

CH -1


CH +1

CH +2

CH +3

* points beyond 5 continue to progress. 6 =+4, 7= +5  This is the MAXIMUM Improvement possible from Skill Points.

After the investing the initial .5 Skill Point to start a skill, half points DO NOT improve skills. So 1.5 Skill Points in a Strength based skill is STILL ST -1.

If the character has an exceptionally good, or bad, score in the Skill’s base Attribute (IN, DX, ST, WS, CN, CH.) the character’s chances to employ the skill improve or worsen. An Attribute score of 16 makes the attempt +1…. These benefits apply even when a character attempts a skill that he/she does not have. AND will also apply if circumstances temporarily lower the characters Attribute!

        Attribute Score Skill Bonus or Penalty





















Using a Skill you DON’T KNOW.

A character may attempt to do something that requires a Skill that he/she does not have.

Generally such attempts are at -5. However, if the attempted Skill is related to a known Skill (DM’s call) then the Attempt starts at -3.

Example: An English Lawyer asked to offer an opinion on American Law. A few skills are so closely related that they are almost interchangeable. In such cases the unknown skill is at -1. Example: Someone with the Skill Locksmith attempting to pick a lock. The Lock Smith CAN pick the lock, but would take longer then a Rogue with the same degree of Lock Picking ability. The Lock Smith is not accustomed to working stealthily, in little or no light and with speed…


Dr. Jones attempts to use his Knowledge Archeology Skill to identify the origin of a statue. The Skill is Intelligence based. Dr Jones has an IN of 16 and has invested two Skill Points into the Knowledge Archeology skill. Dr Jones’ skill is: 16+1 = 17 If he rolls a 17 or less he identifies the statue as Etruscan.

Jason attempts to pilot a small boat across the bay. Boating is a Wisdom based skill. Jason’s Wisdom is 13 and he has invested one Skill Point into Boating. Jason’s Boating skill is 13-1 = 12 If he rolls a 12 or less he makes it uneventfully across the bay.

Skill Modifiers

Various circumstances can modify a character’s ability to perform a skill. These can be cumulative!  Additionally, some tasks can prove to be very easy, such that to a person with the right skill, it is childishly simple.  For example, a Priest translating a familiar passage of Liturgy from Latin to English.  On the other hand, the difficulty can increase dramatically and this general difficulty is cumulative with circumstances.

Degree of Relative Difficulty Adjustment
Very Easy example: An English Historian naming the last three rulers +2
Easy example:  A sailor or skilled Rogue climbing a knotted rope +1
Average example:  A sailor or skilled Rogue climbing an unknotted rope   0
Tough example:  A sailor or skilled Rogue climbing a wet, slimy unknotted rope -1
Challenging example: Swimming in stormy weather or against a strong current -2
Circumstance Modifier
No tools, research materials or physical materials to work with -10
Improvised tools, raw and unprepared materials, no library -6
Minimal tools, limited books, small library -3
Basic tool kit, library 0
Advanced tool kit, large library +1
Shop, extensive library or multiple libraries +2
Total darkness -8
Limited light -5
Light Fog or smoke -1
Heavy Fog or smoke -2
Light Rain, snow… -3
Heavy Rain, snow -5
Stormy -6
Windy -3
High Winds -5
Unstable work area (moving carriage/horse, rocking boat…) -3
Extremely unstable work area (galloping carriage/horse plunging boat…) -6
Noisy or distracting environment -1
Minor Interruptions -2
Major Interruptions (must stop work to address) -4
Dangerous environment (Burning building, gunfire…) -8
Pressed for time -1
Severely pressed for time (1/2 hour…) -2
Critically pressed for time (10 minutes or less) -3
If Failure = Death!* -5

* An experienced character, who has done this before (for example trying to defuse a bomb) will not suffer the same -5 penalty as someone doing it for the first time. (GM’s call as to what degree the penalty is modified or eliminated.)


Weapon Proficiencies are handled differently then regular skills.

Each Class has an allotted number of Weapon Proficiencies at creation, and a predetermined rate of improvement/addition that is determined by level advancement. The starting number IS NOT affected by Intelligence. Additionally, the character’s skill with the weapon is determined by his/her level progression on the Combat Table. Characters DO NOT use Skill Points to buy or improve Weapon PROFICIENCIES!


These are skills that can enhance a character’s use of a weapon that he or she is already proficient with.  For example:  Learning the Quick Draw Skill for the handgun proficiency.