The Edge of Night
Almost everything a character does is covered by one of his skills. When it is dramatically appropriate (such as when an element of risk is involved), the character will roll dice and add his relevant skill to the roll. If a character does not have a skill (either because the character didn’t take it or because no skill covers the action) skills default to Mediocre.
While the players (including the GM) can agree to make modifications to the skill list, such as combining existing skills or inventing new ones, a basic list is provided below:
Basic and Advanced Skills
Basic skills default to Mediocre (+0) if a character does not possess the skill at some higher level. This represents innate abilities that all people possess to some degree, in the way that anyone may attempt to be stealthy or carry a heavy load.
Advanced skills default to Terrible (-2) if a character does not possess the skill at some higher level. This represents abilities that require knowledge, training, or experience to have any reasonable chance of success.
Crossbows (Combat; Basic)
Crossbows are ranged weapons that resemble horizontal bows mounted on stocks that assist with stability and aiming. They fire “quarrels” or “bolts” rather than arrows. Unlike most other weapons, the basic crossbow is relatively simple to operate and can be effectively fielded by large numbers of untrained conscripts. Specialized variants exist including repeating crossbows, which store a magazine that can fire several bolts in short succession without the need to manually reload, and heavy crossbows or arbalests, specially enginnered to have enough force to penetrate heavy armor.
The Crossbows skill is most commonly used to make physical attacks at range. It can also be used to hit difficult but passive targets (an Overcome action), or for trick shots and special maneuvers (Creating an Advantage).
Stunts: Pavisier, Arbalestier, Sharpshooter
Archery (Combat; Advanced)
Archery is the skill of firing a bow and arrow, usually for hunting, combat, or competition. Though common across the world and practiced since ancient times, bows are difficult to aim and extensive practice is required to become an effective archer. Bows come in numerous variants between various cultures and applications, from the basic shortbow used by skirmishers and rural hunters, to the composite longbow used by professional soldiers, which is reinforced with metal or bone for maximum range and penetrating force. There are also variations on arrows and arrowheads, designed for different flight characteristics and to penetrate different types of targets.
Archery is most often used to make physical attacks at range. It can also be used in Overcome actions (such as hitting an inanimate target), or to Create an Advantage (such as a trick shot or special maneuver).
Stunts: Uncanny Accuracy, Called Shot, Horseback Archer
Heavy Weapons (Combat; Advanced)
Heavy Weapons governs the use of large, bulky weapons usually wielded with both hands, such as the great sword or long-handled great axe, and weapons that rely primarily on mass and powerful impact force, such as the warhammer or morning star. In addition to simple practice to hone skill, effective and sustained wielding of these weapons requires significant upper body strength developed by repeated use. Users of such weapons are typically a bit more cumbersome than other combatants, but their strikes can be thunderous and devastating – they are seen almost exclusively among professional soldiers and nobility.
The Heavy Weapons skill is primarily used for making physical attacks and defending in melee. It can also be used to Create an Advantage, such as by disarming a foe or altering the environment. It might see occasional use as an Overcome action such as breaking an obstacle.
Stunts: Sunder, Sweeping Blow, Menacing, Executioner
Light Weapons (Combat; Advanced)
Light Weapons governs the use of small weapons usually wielded in one hand, such as short swords, daggers, and small clubs. Quick and versatile, such weapons are often deadly and concealable, but can be quite dangerous to the user if unskilled. They are found in diverse hands, from thieves and assassins to hunters and guardsmen.
The Light Weapons skill is primarily used for physical attacks and defense in melee combat. It can sometimes be used to Create and Advantage.
Stunts: Dual Weapon Wielder, Duelist, Whirlwind, Holdout Weapon, Killing Blow
Polearms (Combat; Advanced)
Polearms governs the use of long melee weapons with a deadly component fixed to end of a long shaft, such as spears, halberds, glaives, and poleaxes. In addition to extended reach in melee combat, such weapons may give the wielder the benefit of increased striking power. They are also relatively easy to produce, and as such are frequently used in mass by untrained conscripts, though they are no easier to wield than most other weapons. However, wielded by disciplined soldiers in formation, polearms are frighteningly effective.
The Polearms skill is primarily used to make physical attacks in melee combat, but is also quite useful for both defense and when Creating an Advantage.
Stunts: Bracing, Lancer, Shorthaft
Thrown (Combat; Advanced)
Thrown governs the use of small, hand-powered ranged projectiles such as throwing knives, javelins, darts, and slings. Though they do not have the range of bows or crossbows, thrown weapons are frequently easier to conceal and carry in small numbers – they are most often used by skirmishers and assassins, though the simplest and most common use of the skill is simply throwing a common rock or other improvised weapon. Anyone can throw a projectile, but it takes dedication and training to do so effectively.
The Thrown skill is often used to make physical attacks at range, but is often useful for Overcoming an obstacle, such as throwing a scaling hook over a wall, or for Creating an Advantage by throwing a torch or alchemical concoction.
Stunts: Quick Draw, Heave, Precision, Flurry
Investigate (Mental; Basic)
Investigate helps to discover information and uncover secrets. It is possessed by thieves and guardsmen alike, and sees widespread use by anyone who makes it their business to learn things firsthand, through concentration and scrutiny rather than passive observation. It covers all sorts of information-gathering activities such as eavesdropping, searching for clues, examining records, and conducting surveillance.
Investigate is extremely useful for Creating an Advantage, as you can use it to learn a person’s secrets, the details of a place or object, or the weaknesses of an organization (creating all sorts of interesting and useful Aspects). It can also be used to Overcome an obstacle when a character needs to discover or confirm an established piece of information.
Stunts: Student of Human Nature, Eavesdropper, Deduction, Scout, Bounty Hunter, Magistrate
Perception (Mental; Basic)
Perception represents the sensitivity of the five senses, a mind for detail, and general powers of observation. Possessed by scouts, watchmen, and hunters, Perception frequently helps to foresee danger or notice helpful details without having to actively spend time and effort looking for them.
Perception is most useful to Create an Advantage – declaring an Aspect on a person or place such as a hidden escape route or a hidden injury. It can also occasionally be used reactively to defend against Stealth or observation, or to Overcome an obstacle when it requires you to notice a interesting or important detail.
Special: Perception is used with some magical abilities. For more information see Magic.
Stunts: Wary, Body Language, Night Sight, Seer
Will (Mental; Basic)
Will is representative of mental fortitude, focus, and determination. It is possessed by true believers, great leaders, and those who wield mystical power.
Special: Will gives you additional mental stress boxes or consequence slots. Average (+ 1) or Fair (+ 2) gives you a 3rd stress box. Good (+ 3) or Great (+ 4) gives you a 4th stress box. Superb (+ 5) gives you an additional mild consequence slot that can only be used for mental consequences.
Special: Will plays a major roll in both Ceremonial and Innate magics. For more information, see Magic.
Stunts: Mind Over Matter, Dedicated, Discipline, Indomitable, Sorcery
Craft (Mental; Advanced)
Craft represents skill with tools, materials, and complex mechanisms. It is possessed by blacksmiths, tanners, carpenters, alchemists, jewelers, and many more types of craftsmen to turn raw materials into useful and valuable goods.
Craft represents a general handiness and mind for design, creation, and repair. Most craftsmen have a moderately high Craft skill at best, but possess a stunt to reflect their specialization in a specific type of crafting. As such, there are a nearly infinite number of possible stunts for Craft, only a few of which are represented below.
The Craft skill allows an Overcome action to build, break, or repair items under interesting or time-sensitive circumstances. It also lets you Create an Advantage by creating Aspects that represent useful features, strengths, or vulnerabilities in objects and structures. Craft isn’t used to directly attack or defend, but it does come into play when creating weapons, armor, or other objects that play a role in combat.
Special: Craft plays a significant role in creating Alchemical mixtures and Astrological charms. For more details, see Magic.
Stunts: Prolific, Better Than New, Smith, Artisan, Siege Engineer, Alchemist
Lore (Mental; Advanced)
Lore represent general knowledge and education, possessed by scholars, shamans, and more than a few mysterious travelers. It encompasses everything from knowledge of history and religion, to poetry and esoteric secrets.
Because Lore indicates a general level of education and learning, many people with a decent Lore score have a stunt that aids in rolls relating to their specific field of expertise.
The Lore skill is useful for both Overcoming obstacles that require applying knowledge, such as deciphering ancient texts, knowing the origin of an artifact, or carrying out magical rituals. It is also useful for Creating an Advantage, particularly if you have the time and resources for research.
Special: Lore plays a significant role in both the Natural and Ceremonial magics. For more information, see Magic.
Stunts: Magos, Well-Read, Shield of Reason, Scion of Nobility, Chronicler, Archivist
Survival (Mental; Advanced)
Survival represents skill and experience in the natural world, how to endure its hardships, and how to thrive by manipulating it to one’s own purposes. It might be possessed by wise hermits, determined farmers, or grim wilderness rangers. Survival corresponds to husbandry, but deals primarily with the physical environment and passive living things such as plants and other flora.
The Survival skill is best used to Overcome an obstacle that involves some difficulty faced in the wilderness, such as starvation, exposure, or simply navigating around a rough landscape. It can also be used to Create an Advantage by determining some useful characteristic of the environment.
Stunts: Herbalist, Navigator, Tracker, Green Thumb
Agility (Physical; Basic)
Agility is a measure of dexterity, coordination, and speed. It is possessed by athletes and messengers, among many others.
The Agility skill can be used to defend against physical attacks. It is also useful for overcoming obstacles that require jumping, falling, or outrunning, or to Create an Advantage by outmaneuvering an opponent or reaching otherwise inaccessible locations.
Stunts: Evasive, Swift, Acrobatic, Retaliation
Endurance (Physical; Basic)
Endurance is a measure of physical toughness and fortitude. It is possessed by many who live harsh lifestyles, from wilderness wanderers to street urchins.
The Endurance skill can be used to Overcome an obstacle that requires physical effort or sheer stubborn persistence. It might be used to defend against the effects of poison, disease, or other physical threats.
Special: The Endurance skill gives you additional physical stress boxes or consequence slots. Average (+ 1) or Fair (+ 2) gives you a 3rd stress box. Good (+ 3) or Great (+ 4) gives you a 4th stress box. Superb (+ 5) and above give you an additional mild consequence slot that can only be used for physical harm.
Stunts: Laborer, Ascetic, Resilient
Might (Physical; Basic)
Might represents physical strength and tenacity. It is possessed by nearly everyone whose lifestyle requires extensive physical activity, whether soldiers or slaves.
The Might skill can be used to Overcome a physical obstacle that is heavy or large, or to Create an Advantage by manipulating the environment or overpowering another. It can also be used to make physical attacks in melee combat, but cannot be used to defend against an armed aggressor.
Stunts: Strong Back, Brutality, Charger, Grappler
Stealth (Physical; Basic)
Stealth represents your ability to hide and move about unseen. Hunters may use it to stalk prey, while thieves and assassins may have more clandestine purposes for avoiding detection.
The Stealth skill is best used Overcome an obstacle that depends on awareness, such as guard patrols or being chased. It is also quite useful for Creating an Advantage by placing an aspect on yourself that sets you up for an ambush or ideal spot to observe others. Finally, it can be used to defend against being detected or tracked, such as by Perception or Survival.
Stunts: Face in the Crowd, Vanish, Slippery Target, Assassin, Camouflage
Husbandry (Physical; Advanced)
Husbandry is the art of dealing with domesticated animals and wild beasts, caring for them, taming them, and otherwise knowing how to act and what to do around them. In many ways it corresponds to Survival, but deals primarily with active living things such as animals and other fauna.
The Husbandry skill is best used to Overcome obstacles that involve controlling the behavior or dealing with the needs of animals – one particularly common use is to ride a mount under risky conditions or get them to perform tricky feats. It can also be used to Create an Advantage by taking exceptional care of a mount or animal companion, knowing a specific creature’s weaknesses, or coercing animals to act a certain way.
Stunts: Rider, Whisperer, Herdsman
Larceny (Physical; Advanced)
Larceny represents the capacity for crime, theft, and getting into places they aren’t supposed to be. It covers a general proficiency with locks and other security, as well as a sense for avoiding suspicion and figuring out how to sneak past observers and steal things (though actually carrying out those plans may involve multiple skills). Most users of Larceny have a stunt reflecting their special capacity for some specific illicit activity.
The Larceny skill can be used to Overcome locks and other security measures, steal something, or avoid leaving traces. It can also be used to Create an Advantage by making educated assessments of a location or organization and identify any weaknesses in security, or to find clues or evidence about how someone else committed a crime.
Stunts: Pickpocket, Burglar, Disguise
Deception (Social; Basic)
Deception is the art of lying and misdirection, used to manipulate and sow confusion.
The Deception skill can be used to Overcome an obstacle that involves bluffing or overcoming suspicion, or manipulating someone into doing something they shouldn’t – an single roll for minor NPCs, but a contest against Empathy against major NPCs and players. It can be used for sleight-of-hand and doing things without making your intent known. It is also useful for Creating an Advantage by creating a disguise, distracting an enemy, or lying about your identity. In some cases it can be used to defend against Investigation by providing false information, or against the Empathy skill when someone tries to discern your true motives or feelings.
Stunts: Lies upon Lies, Web of Lies, Mind Games, Many Faces
Empathy (Social; Basic)
Empathy is the capacity to know, understand, and share in the feelings of another. It helps when trying to provide emotional support, or simply to gather information about someone’s mood or motives.
The Empathy skill is mostly used to Create an Advantage by learning something about another’s emotional state, or passively learn about them through personal interaction. It may let you figure out a person’s mental and emotional weaknesses. It is also very useful in defending against attempts at deception.
Stunts: Truthseeker, Nose for Trouble, Wise Counsel, Warm Soul
Provoke (Social; Basic)
Provoke is the art of inspiring a specific negative emotion in others such as fear, anger, or shame. Using it typically involves some sort of justification by knowing what will incite the desired emotion in the target or audience.
The Provoke skill is often used to Overcome some sort of emotional or mental resistance, provoking a reaction that the target wouldn’t normally carry out (against major NPCs or players, this is a contest against Will). Provoke is also useful when Creating an Advantage by creating an emotional state in the target. Lastly, Provoke is one of the primary ways to make attacks and inflict mental stress during social exchanges.
Stunts: Intimidation, Taunt, Armor of Fear
Rapport (Social; Basic)
Rapport is the art of making positive connections and inspiring positive emotions such as courage, adoration, or loyalty – it is possessed by those who need to be liked or trusted.
The Rapport skill is used to Overcome obstacles based on social pressure or emotional resistance, such as talking your way past a guard or consoling a grieving friend. It can also be used to Create an Advantage by establishing a positive atmosphere or mood in a scene, or gain someone’s trust. Rapport can be used to defend against social attacks.
Stunts: Leadership, Silver Tongue, Captivating Performer, Popular, Demagogue
Contacts (Social; Advanced)
Contacts represents your friends, acquaintances, and partnerships. It is also the ability to network and locate people.
The Contacts skill is mostly used to Overcome obstacles by locating someone or gathering information indirectly. It can also be used to Create an Advantage by creating NPCs with a specific aspect, spreading rumors, or acquiring information. It is possible in some cases to defend against social attacks using Contacts.
Stunts: Ear to the Ground, Rumormonger, Reputation, Guilded, Lineage
Resources (Social; Advanced)
Resources represents material wealth and lifestyle, including not only currency, but also physical assets such as land and precious artwork, and intangible assets such as vassals and servants.
The Resources skill is most often used to Overcome obstacles that require a simple purchase or bribe, or potentially a contest if competing with a rival. Alternatively, it can be used to Create an Advantage by spreading around money and ingratiating oneself to others.
Stunts: Landed Title, Merchant, Ancestral Relic, Money Talks