Current Skills List

  • Acting
  • Beast Training
  • Beast Medicine
  • Appraisal
  • Astronomy
  • Weapon Smith
  • Blacksmith
  • Brewing
  • Bribery
  • Bureaucracy
  • Charioteering
  • Sailing
  • Climbing
  • Pottery
  • Sculpting
  • Jewelry-Making
  • Sewing
  • Basket-Making
  • Cooking
  • Cryptology
  • Dancing
  • Deception
  • Disguise
  • Empathy
  • Escape Artist
  • Farming
  • Fishing
  • Forgery
  • Fortune-Telling
  • Gambling
  • Haggling
  • Heraldry
  • Herbalism
  • History
  • Hunting
  • Interrogation
  • Intimidation
  • Jousting
  • Law
  • Leadership
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Local Knowledge
  • Medicine
  • Mining
  • Instrument
  • Navigation
  • Ornithology
  • Painting
  • Pick-Pocket
  • React
  • Read-Nature
  • Resistance
  • Riding
  • Seduction
  • Singing
  • Slight-of-Hand
  • Stealth
  • Stone-Masonry
  • Storytelling
  • Streetwise
  • Survival
  • Swimming
  • Tanning
  • Teaching
  • Theology
  • Throwing
  • Tracking
  • Weaving
  • Wood-Working

Alternative Skills List

  • AUTOMATIC SKILLS: The skills listed in CAPITAL letters are automatic skills.
Acrobatics Acrobatic Skill is tested when a character attempts a gymnastic feat that is more than a simple matter of native Agility/Dodge. These include vaults, somersaults, back-flips, twisting in mid-air to land on one’s feet, etc. Acrobatics may be used as a substitute for Dodge in combat /unless/ the character is wearing metal armor.
CLIMBING Tested when a character attempts to climb a difficult obstacle. The Admin/Storytellers/Room +Status assesses a climb as Easy, Hard, or Very Hard. If the character has climbing gear (rope and grappling hook) they receive a +1/+2 modifier.
Dancing The ability to perform the art of dance. Dance can be anything from folk dancing used for public entertainment and cultural celebrations to the erotic dancing preformed by the Shadow Districts Dolls.
JUMPING Jumping is tested when a character attempts to leap for height or distance. Results assume a running start; for standing jumps, -2 modifier.
Legerdemain Legerdemain (sleight of hand) is tested when a character attempts to perform a feat of manual dexterity without being detected by observers or victims. Examples include cutting a victim’s moneypurse from behind or moving shells in a shell game. Once Legerdemain success level is determined, the victim tests AWARENESS to detect the attempt. If the victim is not paying attention add a -1 modifier. If the victim’s level of success is greater, the legerdemain is detected. Audience rolls should also be made for any/all potential witnesses.
STEALTH Stealth is tested when a character attempts to move without being detected. It can only be applied in situations where an observer would not automatically see the sneaker. The attempt presumes reasonable cover and/or poor light. Rolling any failure indicates detection, although with it may be reasonable to test Awareness of potential observers by rolling Audience or the awareness of actual characters.
Swimming This skill is rolled as soon as a character reaches deep waters where they can no longer touch bottom. Difficulty of swimming conditions is rated on a scale from calm waters [0] to stormy waters [-4] with large waves. Test SWIMMING once per turn to determine maximum progress.
THROWING Throwing for accuracy is covered under Missile Combat. When throwing for distance, an “ideal” throwing object is spherical, and fits comfortably in the hand. An ideal situation is one where the target is stationary and clearly visible, and the thrower has room to swing arms, good footing, and no distractions. Heavier objects may apply -modifiers.


Acting The ability to play a role. Used to determine the success of a masquerade or dramatic performance. Those with this skill may be able to speak with different accents, feign emotions, tears or even pain.
AWARENESS Subliminal sensitivity to the environment. Awareness may be tested when a character says something like, “I’ll look around.” It also is tested if an event occurs and the staff/players/storyteller wish to determine who might have noticed it, or at least have noticed that something is out of place.
INTRIGUE The ability to assess and/or act effectively within a social/political situation over a period of time. Intrigue is used as a discretionary shortcut by the staff/Stroyteller to avoid the playing out of an information-gathering process. For example, an NPC’s Intrigue might be tested when sent by a PC to gather intelligence in a town or camp.
Lovecraft The ability to charm or seduce. Lovecraft is used to assess the success of an act of seduction.

Mental Conflict

Musician Each type of musical instrument is a separate skill, but it is uncommon for a character to play more than one. Among the most common instruments are: Flute, Harp, Horn, Pipes, and Lute. Musician is used to assess the performance quality. This skill may include the ability to read music, depending on the character’s background and education.
ORATORY The ability to impress or persuade crowds by logic, eloquence, or charisma. This is something of a shortcut skill and highly discretionary; some players have more fun actually making speeches, in which case this skill is used to gauge the impact the speech has on the NPCs in an area.
SINGING A character’s ability to carry a tune. Singing is used to assess the quality of a performance.
Language All characters speak Isstirian, which is the native tongue of the land. Isstirian is not coded into the language system (because everyone speaks it in the game). Outside of Isstirian, there may be characters who are bilingual and speak another language of the world. Our languages are coded here in the language code, and can be selected in CG where they will be automatically added to the characters sheet.


INITIATIVE An automatic combat skill. Initiative reflects battle experience, discipline, and morale. Initiative determines the order in which characters take turns in combat (characters with higher INI move sooner).
UNARMED An automatic combat skill. Unarmed Combat is used to punch or kick an opponent, applying hand or foot impact to determine damage. The skill is also used to wrestle an opponent when grappling.
Riding Riding is used to determine the ability to ride/control a steed in combat. The skill may also be used for other difficult mounted maneuvers.
Axe The ability to use edged weapons. Specialties include Battleaxe, Handaxe, Hatchet, and Warhammer. Poleaxes are treated as Polearms (a separate skill).
Bow The ability to use bows. The bows used in Isstia culture are composite bows (Military only) or shortbows. Crossbows are not part of Isstia culture and are not used.
Club The ability to use clubbing weapons. This includes the Club, Mace, Maul, and Morningstar.
Knife The ability to use short-bladed weapons, mostly as secondary weapons. This includes the Knife, Dagger and throwing knives.
Polearm The ability to use heavy, two-handed, poleweapons. This includes the Lance, Glaive, Pike, and Poleaxe.
Shield The ability to use shields, which are just about the only defensive weapons available. It is often said a warrior entering combat without a shield is “as good as dead.” Warriors with exceptional skill in two-handed weapons (and lots of armor) sometimes prove this dictum false.
Sling The ability to use a sling weapon. These are nonlethal.
Spear The ability to use thrusting, and staff-type weapons. This includes the Javelin, Spear, Staff (Quarterstaff), and Trident.
Sword The ability to use swords. This includes the standard Shortsword used in Isstia culture.
Whip The ability to use the whip. These are nonlethal.

Crafts & Lore

Agriculture 1 Month The ability to grow crops. It determines the quality/quantity of crops produced. Agriculture is also crop management ability, useful for running a farm or fief.
Animalcraft 1 Month The ability to domesticate, breed, and train animals. Animalcraft also includes basic veterinary medicine. Animalcraft is used when breaking or domesticating animals, and for each trick/task to be taught. More willful and older animals are harder to train, and few animals tolerate more than two hours training daily. Each species of animal is a Specialty that is selected in CG. Common specialties include cattle, sheep, dogs, horses, birds, goats and swine for breeding. Only dogs, horses and birds can be trained.
Brewing 1 Month The ability to prepare alcoholic and other beverages. Used to determine the quality of brewed ale, beer, cider, etc. This also include the ability to make wines and spirits as well. Players can select their specialty in CG.
Ceramics 2 Months Determines the quality of pottery items produced. This also includes the ability to decorate pottery produced with skill.
Cookery In Use Determines the appeal of meals created using this skill. Marginal Failure results in poorly-prepared and/or bad-tasting food. Critical failure may cause food poisoning.
Art In Use The ability to produce a likeness, or to assess the quality or realism of a work of art. Different styles may be selected in CG. These specialties are: Drawing, Painting or Sculpting.
Fishing In Use Determines the ability a character has in assessing the waters and fishing for a productive catch from both ship or land. Different techniques are treated as specialties. These are: Line Fishing, Spear-fishing, Net-fishing.
Fletching 1 Month The ability to make and repair bows and arrows.
Folklore In Use Knowledge of myths, legends, and history of the characters land. This is an oral tradition in Isstia. Successful use of the skill means the character remembers information relevant to the subject being inquired about.
Glasswork 3 Months The ability to produce glassware. Glass is used for tableware, objects, alchemical equipment. It is expensive and the preserve of the wealthy.
Heraldry 1 Month The ability to recognize heraldic achievements, and to blazon (properly described) arms. A storyteller or staffer may need to provide access to heraldic data and also be used to determine recognition of obscure achievements. Any player whose character has Heraldry skill should become familiar with the rules of Heraldry.
Herblore 1 Month The ability to find and identify individual types of plants; an important skill for physicians and apothecaries. Skilled gatherers earn a reasonable living. When trying to find and gather specific plants in the natural environment, test Herblore once per turn of searching. The difficulty of the search is modified according to the plant’s rarity. Seeking a plant in an inappropriate locale should further complicate things, and may even be impossible.
Hidework 1 Month Determines quality of furs or hides cured, and the quality of leather goods produced.
Jewelcraft 2 Months Determines the quality of jewelry and/or fine metal work made by the character. Difficulty depends on the complexity of the task attempted. Materials are necessary and failure can be expensive. This skill is also used to appraise gems, fine metalwork, and/or jewelry.
Law In Use Knowledge of local law.
Lockcraft 2 Months The ability to analyze and pick locks. Lockcraft is tested after each one-minute attempt. Locks are rated on a complexity scale of one to nine; reduce EML by 10 times lock complexity. This may make a lock almost impossible for some lockpickers to open. The GM makes the roll secretly and informs the picker whether or not the lock has opened. The skill may also be used to appraise the complexity of a lock and/or to see if it is trapped. Lockcraft is averaged with Metalcraft to construct locks and other small/complex/delicate mechanisms.
Metalcraft 2 Months Used to determine success/quality when producing commonplace metallic goods. This skill may not be used to produce jewelry, weapons, or armor. Metalcraft is used to create daily items, like horse shoes and tools.
Perfumery 1 Month Used to determine success at inventing and producing perfumes, soap, incense, etc. Perfumers deal mainly in organic alchemy.
Healcraft In Use The ability to diagnose and treat medical ailments, wounds, etc. Usually the physician first tests to diagnose the ailment.
Seamanship 1 Month Seamanship is tested when a character attempts a difficult task having to do with the handling of a ship or boat, such as setting sails in high seas. Seamanship does not include navigational skills.
Survival 1 Month The knack of surviving in the wilderness, used for outdoor activities like Foraging, establishing a lean-to, building fires under difficult circumstances, and so on. Does not cover Tracking, or Herblore.
Textilecraft 1 Month Used to determine the quality of textile goods produced by the character. Task complexity, and quality and availability of tools and materials affect results. There are two specialties that fall under Textilecraft. These are: Weaving, which covers things like spinning and weaving fabrics. Tailoring, which covers things like sewing/constructing clothing from fabric, as well as finger skills like embroidery.
Tracking 1 Month The ability to detect and follow tracks. When spores are encountered, Tracking is tested to determine whether the character has detected them. Thereafter, if the tracker tries to follow a trail, additional tests are made periodically.
Weaponcraft 4 Months The making/assessing of weapons and armor.
Armorcraft 4 Months The making/assessing of armor.
Woodcraft 1 Month Used to determine the quality of a wooden item made by the character. Appropriate tools and materials are necessary, and the quality and complexity of an item affects the result.
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