Skills and Special Training

Characters have both Skills and Special Trainings. They rate from 0 to 5 dots, and are used in conjunction with the character’s Attributes for most draws. The more dots in a Skill or Special Training that your character has, the better they are at it. If a character has zero dots they take a further penalty—for Skills this is -1 and for Special Trainings this is -3.

Your character can do a thing covered by a Skill even if they have zero dots in it. Any character can tell a Lie or Drive a car; draws only happen when things are stressful, challenging, or there is a possibility for interesting failure. This is not true about Special Trainings. Those traits also have a higher penalty for having zero dots because of this, as someone trying to just jump into hospital Medicine is going to have a much harder time than someone who has had at least the most basic of instruction. The Storytellers reserve the right to tell a character that they can’t just do something covered by a Skill without drawing.


Below is list of the skills, with some example uses and draws. The penalty for having zero dots is in parenthesis at the title of that section.

Skills (-1)

  • Artsy
    • Sing a song (Presence + Artsy), Perform a dance number (Dexterity + Artsy)
  • Athletics
    • Run from a monster (Strength + Athletics), Swim across a lake (Stamina + Athletics)
  • Bureaucracy
    • Organize a bake sale (Presence + Bureaucracy), Cook the books (Intelligence + Bureaucracy)
  • Drive
    • Outrun the cops (Dexterity + Drive), Tail someone else’s car (Composure + Drive)
  • Empathy
    • Tell if someone is lying (Wits + Empathy), Read someone’s emotional reaction (Manipulation + Empathy)
  • Fight
    • Throw a punch (Strength + Fight), Analyze a boxing match (Intelligence + Fight)
  • Guns
    • Shoot a gun (Dexterity + Guns), Scope out a hunting perch (Wits + Guns)
  • Handy
    • Fix a sink (Intelligence + Handy), diagnose a car problem (Wits + Handy)
  • Intimidation
    • Scare a nice old lady (Presence + Intimidation), deliver a veiled threat (Manipulation + Intimidation)
  • Lies
    • Downplay a lie (Manipulation + Lies), Brazenly lie in the face of evidence (Presence + Lies)
  • Outdoorsy
    • Hunt an animal (Dexterity + Outdoorsy), Tell if a plant is poisonous (Wits + Outdoorsy)
  • Persuasion
    • Deliver a speech (Presence + Persuasion), convince someone to buy a car (Manipulation + Persuasion)
  • Religion
    • Quote the scriptures (Intelligence + Religion), Proselytize (Presence + Religion)
  • Stealth
    • Hide behind a couch (Dexterity + Stealth), Disguise yourself (Manipulation + Stealth)
  • Theft
    • Steal a small object (Dexterity + Theft), Plan a heist (Intelligence + Theft)


Special Trainings (-3)

  • Academics
    • Research a topic (Intelligence + Academics), Deliver a lecture (Presence + Academics)
  • Computers
    • Make a Computer part (Intelligence + Computers), Diagnose a problem (Wits + Computers)
  • Engineering
    • Determine whether a bridge is safe (Wits + Engineering), Design something new (Intelligence + Engineering)
  • Investigation
    • Check out a crime scene (Wits + Investigation), Fish for information (Manipulation + Investigation)
  • Law
    • Know whether something is really illegal (Wits + Law), Act as a lawyer in a court (Presence + Law)
  • Local Lore
    • Tell a ghost story (Presence + Local Lore), Recall someone’s family tree (Intelligence + Local Lore)
  • Medicine
    • Perform field surgery (Dexterity + Medicine), Diagnose a problem (Wits + Medicine)
  • Science
    • Investigate novel phenomena (Wits + Science), Synthesize a chemical (Intelligence + Science)



Some Skills and most Special Training draws require specialized tools. If your character is without them (like attempting to do surgery with a kitchen knife and some gin), she gains a -1 to -3 penalty to her draw depending on the circumstance. If she has very good tools for the job (like performing surgery in a Big City hospital), she gets a +1 to +3 on the draw depending on the circumstance.