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Skill Mastery System

by George Hrabovsky

Skills taught by an instructor = weapon skills based upon the skill of the teacher.

Time to learn a skill in this way takes:

Basic = 1/2 time 5% per attribute bonus, 10 gp per week

Skilled = full time 5% per attribute bonus, 25 gp per week

Expert = double time 5% per attribute bonus, 50 gp per week

Master = quadruple time 5% per attribute bonus, 75 gp per week

Grand Master = Eight times normal time 5% per attribute bonus, 100 gp per week.

Learning on your own: Similar to spell research, this allows people to gain skills without needing skill or weapon slots. The formula is as follows,

Chance of Success = (Stat + Lvl) x 2 - (Skill Level x 3)

Melee weapons are strength based, missile weapons are dexterity based. Skill levels are:

Basic = 1, Skilled = 3, Expert = 5, Master = 7, Grand Master = 9.

Learning a skill on your own takes twice as long as normal.

Using a weapon or skill slot gives you a free chance at success.

Failure gives you a +10% chance for the next attempt.

Some Specific Skills:

Acrobatics (Dex based)

Base Time: 1 month

Basic: The character can perform impressive feats of acrobatics. Success allows the character to reduce the effective height of a fall by 10'.

Skilled: Choose one specialty from the list below:

Manual Dexterity: +1 to any dex-based skill other than acrobatics.

Moving Skill: +25% movement rate.

Steadiness: +1 to hit with any weapon, or perform any precision work.

Agility: +1 to any movement related skill other than acrobatics, -1 to AC.

Expert: Choose one specialty from skilled, if a specialty is taken a second time see below:

Manual Dexterity: as above.

Moving Skill: the character can leap their level in feet up, and twice that across (beyond what is normal for the race).

Steadiness: +1 to surprise or stealth type skills.

Agility: +1 to hit with melee and thrown weapons.

Master: Choose another specialty, none can be taken more than twice.

Grand Master: As Master.

Acting (Cha based)

Base Time: 2 weeks

Basic: The character can make a living as an actor. The ability to assume a different personality or show false emotions convincingly. Allows the character to lie convincingly over a period of hours.

Skilled: The actor can keep up the fiction for up to a week.

Expert: The actor can keep the fiction going for up to a month.

Master: The actor can keep up the fiction for an indefinite period of time.

Alchemy (Int based)$

Base Time: 3 months

Basic: The character can identify common alchemical substances, potions, and poisons. The character can also make antidotes for the substances, potions, and poisons. Alchemists start with this level of skill. Such antidotes should have a price of 10 gp per PP of the effect they will counteract (with 50% of the cost going for ingredients). A day can substitute for the cost on a successful Alchemy roll.

Skilled: The character can make common alchemical substances, potions, and poisons. The character can also identify uncommon and researched substances, poisons, and potions after 1d6 hours per power level of the substance being identified in a laboratory. If identified, the character can research an antidote. Begin gaining 1 Power per level from this level on. Alchemists gain this mastery at 3rd level. Such potions should have a cost of 10 gp per Power of the effect they duplicate (with 50% of the cost being for ingredients). A day can substitute for every 10 gp of cost on a successful alchemy roll.

Expert: The character can research new alchemical substances, potions, and poisons. The character can identify common alchemical devices and constructs. Alchemists gain this mastery at 5th level. Research of new potions and the like requires 100 gp per day. The length of time to perform such research is 7 days + 1 day per PP of the substance. Ten days per Power can substitute for the cost of research on a successful Alchemy roll.

Master: The character can make common alchemical devices and constructs. The character can recognise true alchemy. Begin gaining 2 Power per level from this level on, this supersedes the 1 Power gained from Skilled level. Alchemists gain this mastery at 7th level. Alchemical devices are identical to magic items except that they can only be dispelled by gods or named spirits. Alchemical constructs are magical machines which likewise are immune to the dispelling of all but gods and named spirits. The base cost for creating such things are equal to their initial value x 5. The actual cost will be their initial cost x the total Power for each operation they perform. Divide this cost by 100 to determine the number of days required. On a successful Alchemy roll this cost can be converted into time on a ten days = 100 gp ratio.

Grand Master: The character can begin the Great Work.

Alertness (Dex based)

Base Time: 1 week.

Basic: Draw a weapon without losing an action. Negate the effects of surprise. Wake-up at the slightest out-of-place sound.

Skilled: Ability to negate surprise the round prior to its need.

Expert: Ability to negate the effects of a sprung trap.

Master: Ability to detect and fight invisible beings with only a -2 detriment, rather than the normal -4.

Grand Master: Ability to fight invisible beings at no detriment.

Alternate Magics (Int based)$

Base Time: 3 Months

Basic: Familiarity with spell casting not of your style. Knowledge of the magical powers of common beings.

Skilled: Extend familiarity to uncommon beings.

Expert: Extend familiarity to rare beings.

Master: Extend familiarity to very rare beings.

Grand Master: The character can use magic items which would not otherwise be possible due to class restrictions.

Animal Empathy (for a specific animal type) (Wis based)

Base Time: 2 Months

Basic: The character can communicate intuitively with the type of animal specified.

Expert: The character can form a telepathic link with their type of animal.

Grand Master: The character can call 1 HD/level of the specified animal type.

Animal Training (for a specific type of animal) (Wis based)$

Base Time: 1 Month

Basic: The character can raise, train, and care for their type of animal.

Skilled: The character can train one animal per level at once.

Expert: The character can communicate intuitively with the animal type.

Master: The character can train an animal in skills not normally associated with that animal.

Grand Master: The character can awaken mystical/magical/psychic skills within the animal.

Art (choose type)$

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: The artist can make a living at making art. +2 to NPC reactions.

Skilled: The artist can make a good living. +3 to NPC reactions.

Expert: The artist can trade artwork for specific goods and services. +4 NPC reactions.

Master: The artist can make a lavish living with their art. +5 NPC reactions.

Grand Master: The artist is wealthy and has political power. +6 NPC reactions.

Artillery (Int based)*

Base Time: 1 Month.

These are large weapons, specified under the weapon system for each land.

Assassin (Str, Int, or Dex for learning only)*

Base Time: 3 months

Basic: If striking from surprise there is a chance 50% 5% per level difference between the assassin and the target (+ if the difference is in favour of the assassin, - if in the favour of the target). Additionally, the assassin has learned the capabilities of hiding, moving silently, concealment of weapons, setting/locating/removing traps, evading capture,

Skilled: +5%

Expert: +10%

Master: + 15%

Grand Master: +20%

Banditry (Dex based)*

Base Time: 2 Months.

Basic: The bandit has the ability to set ambushes and traps in the wild, detect and remove traps in the wild, hide and move silently in the wild, orienteering, and survive in the wild.

Expert: The bandit gains the ability to disguise his/her trail, or the trail of others.

Grand Master: The bandit can sense the presence of unnatural creatures in the wild.

Bargaining (Cha based)$

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: Allows the character to get the best deal possible.

Skilled: 5% Bonus in favour of the character.

Expert: 10% Bonus.

Master: 15% bonus.

Grand Master: 20% bonus.

Blind Shooting (Dex based)

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: The ability to shoot at a target only heard.

Master: The ability to shoot at a target unseen or unheard.

Bravery (Wis based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks

Basic: Ability to resist fear.

Expert: Raise morale of those with the character by 1.

Grand Master: +1 Bonus to Save vs Fear of all who can see the character.

Brawling (Str based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks (50% chance of losing 1 hp each day)

Basic: The ability to fight crowds (only). Allows double damage for each point of strength bonus. Only 1/4 of the damage is real.

Expert: Triple damage per bonus.

Grand Master: Quadruple damage per bonus.

Burglary (Dex based)*

Base Time: 2 Months

Basic: Allows the burglar to pick locks (with suitable tools), climb walls and similar objects, find and remove traps, spot hidden hiding places where treasure might be found, evade capture by pursuers, hide, move silently, appraise goods, and gain local criminal connections.

Skilled: Can sense danger.

Expert: Can open locks with common items.

Grand Master: Can become invisible while standing perfectly still.

Caving (Wis based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: The character has underground orienteering.

Expert: Can sense danger underground.

Ceremony (Wis based)*

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: Allows the cleric to perform ceremonies of worship, adulthood, marriage, and death.

Skilled: Allows the cleric to perform initiation ceremonies. If the cleric is 2nd level or higher they can perform consecrations of places, people, or things.

Expert: If the cleric is 4th level or higher they can ordain other clerics. May prepare holy manuscripts.

Master: If the cleric is 4th level or higher they can perform an excommunication.

Grand Master: The cleric may call upon direct divine aid: miracles, spiritual servants, or the appearance of an avatar.

Cheating (Dex based)$

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: Winning games of chance by cheating. At the beginning of the game make the Cheating roll. Each opponent gets a cheating roll, a Gambling roll at -1, or an Int roll at -4 to detect the cheating.

Clericism (Wis based)*

Base Time: 2 Months

Basic: The cleric understands the religious doctrine and theology of the religion. The cleric also understands the administrative concerns of the religion.

Expert: The cleric can become inspired to produce new revelations and new doctrine. This includes personal prayers.

Master: The cleric can produce special prayers for use only by selected members of the religion.

Grand Master: The cleric can create new general purpose prayers for the whole religion.

Climbing (Dex based)

Base Time: 1 Week

Basic: The ability to climb normal (climbable) objects.

Craft (Dex based) (Choose a craft)$

Base Time: 1 Month

Basic: The character knows one craft. The character can make a living with this craft.

Skilled: The character can make a decent living at the craft.

Expert: The character is in high demand and is recognised for his/her work.

Master: Make a good living off the goods produced.

Grand Master: On a Master work, the character creates a +1 magical item.

Cut Purse (Dex based)*

Base Time: 2 Months

Basic: The cut-purse has the ability to pick pockets, perform sleight of hand, spot guards and the police, spot tails, evade pursuit, hide, and move silently.

Skilled: The character can strike a target while in a crowd and not be seen.

Expert: Ability to disappear completely into a crowd, or to follow someone who can.

Master: The ability to "sense" surveillance.

Dancing (Dex based)

Base Time: 1 Week

Basic: The character can dance at social events and make a good impression. The character has some grace.

Skilled: The character can make a living as an personal escort.

Expert: +1 to all movement related Dex skills (other than dancing).

Danger Sense (Wis based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: The DM makes a roll against your skill, if successful the character knows there is imminent danger. Negates surprise.

Skilled: As above, but up to a minute in advance.

Expert: As above, there is some information about the nature of the danger, not usually complete though (based upon the level of success; master-work: complete knowledge, journeyman level: a good idea of the type of danger, skilled level: some idea).

Deception (Cha based)

Base Time: 1 Week

Basic: The ability to lie convincingly.

Skilled: The character can tell extraordinary tales convincingly.

Expert: Empathic powers will not detect the lie. The character can pull off small con jobs.

Master: Can fool interrogators. Can pull off big cons.

Grand Master: Cannot be detected as lying even by ESP or similar powers.

Detect Deception (Wis based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: Ability to detect lies.

Grand Master: The character can detect grand master deceptions.

Disguise (Cha based)$

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: The character can look like someone else. The target gets an Int roll to see through the disguise (less the level of success).

Drinking (Con based)$

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: The character can drink without getting drunk. First failure, the character is drunk. Second failure, the character is out cold.

Endurance (Con based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks.

Basic: The character can perform an arduous task for an hour. Check each hour with a -1 penalty (cumulative after the first hour).

Engineering (Int based)$

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: Planning, designing, building, and evaluating major constructions.

Equestrian (Dex based)$

Base Time: 3 Months.

Basic: The ability to perform amazing feats of riding.

Escape (Dex based)

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: Ability to get free from imprisonment (this can take a LONG time depending on the imprisonment).

Grand Master: Can escape from magical imprisonment.

Evade (Int based)

Base Time: 1 Week.

Basic: Ability to elude pursuers.

Fighter (Str based)*

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: The character has the requisite training for being a soldier in an army. Specifics: basic tactics for the type of unit they specialise in, knowledge of encampment, rudiments of fortification, understanding of battle signals, understanding of the battlefield itself, and battlefield leadership ability.

Expert: The character can organise and run an army.

Master: The character has a knack for understanding the enemy and identifying weaknesses once an enemy force has been spotted.

Grand Master: The fighter can inspire followers to fight without morale checks.

Fighting Frenzy (Con based)

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: The ability to fight on after reaching 0 hp or below. Collapse at the end of the battle, or when a check is failed.

Find Traps (Int based)

Base Time: 2 Months.

Basic: The ability to locate hidden traps.

Food Tasting (Con based)$

Base Time: 1 Week.

Basic: Ability to sense food spoilage, avoiding food poisoning.

Skilled: Ability to sense poisons.

Gambling (Wis based)$

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: Ability to win money at games of chance by skill rather than cheating.

Healing (Int based)$

Base Time: 1 Month.

Basic: Ability to treat one set of wounds and diagnose illness. A successful roll allows the healer to cure 1d3 of damage. A success of greater than 3 allows the healer to know if a disease is magical or natural.

Skilled: The damage healed is now 1d6. Natural illnesses can be cured with an herbal concoction requiring d10 gp or on a successful Nature Lore roll following an entire day.

Expert: The damage healed is 1d10. Poisons may be treated now, as illnesses were for skilled.

Master: The damage healed is now 1d20. Magical illnesses may now be treated as natural illnesses at skilled, though substitute an Alchemy roll for the Nature Lore.

Grand Master: The damage healed is now 3d12.

Hear Noise (Int based)

Base Time: 1 Week.

Basic: The ability to hear faint noises of importance.

Hiding (Int based)

Base Time: 2 Weeks

Basic: The ability to remain unseen while motionless.

Hunting (Int based)

Base Time: 2 Months

Basic: The ability to locate, stalk, and hunt game. This confers the ability to move quietly and to hide. +1 to hit with their primary hunting weapon vs. an unsuspecting target. The level of success determines how many people you can supply food for each day.

Skilled: +2 vs unsuspecting targets.

Expert: +3 vs. unsuspecting targets, +1 vs all other targets.

Interrogation (Wis based)

Base Time: 2 Months.

Basic: The character can cause their target to reveal facts by just talking with them for a couple of hours.