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Skills and Backgrounds

Art Form
This is primarily for the Cerddor, but may be possessed by anyone. Each art form requires a separate skill. Sometimes other skills may be used in conjunction with Art Form.
Examples: Tailoring, Dance, Chess, Painting, Sculpting, Matchmaking, Kata, Encryption
Business Management
The skill allows an increase to income from 1 territory or from the resources of the person with the skill, by the following factors at each rank.
1: 20% Increase in resource gain/ month
2: 40% Increase in resource gain/ month
Computer Intrusion/Security (Rare Skill)
1: Set up Network, takes 1 week and £2000
1: Bypass Basic Computer Security
1: Set up Basic Computer Security, takes 1 or more weeks, and £2000 or more
2: Write Basic Security/Intrusion Software, takes 1 week
Disguise (Rare Skill)
1: Party Entertainer. Would fool someone who had never met you before. If impersonating a specific person this level will only fool those who have never met the person before.
2: Create Disguise Kit. Required for level 1, costs £50 and a week
Electronics
How to make, use, and bypass electronic devices
1: Make Tracking Device (Range 1 mile), takes 1 week and £75
1: Bypass Basic Security
1: Set up Basic Security, takes 1 or more weeks, and £500 or more
2: Make Listening Device (Range 200 metres), takes 1 week and £100
Escapology (Rare Skill)
1: Can escape from loose or poorly tied bonds in 2 minutes
2: Can escape from well tied bonds in 2 minutes, poorly tied bonds in 1 minute
Explosives (Rare Skill)
Manufacture, application and disarming of explosive devices. For acquiring the materials for ranks 3 to 5 you will need to find a supplier. The term batch is a number at the Ref’s discretion, usually between 3 and 6.
0: "But ref, the recipe is on the Internet!" - As level 1 but automatically requires a roll on the Explosives Missfire Table, cost £5
1: Petrol bomb - A thrown weapon which does 1 hit to all impacted areas, which are then on fire taking 1 hit per 10 seconds. Armour blocks as normal. - 1 batch per 1 week, costs £25
2: Part-time Anarchist - Can make pipe bombs etc. explode with a blast radius of about 2 metres doing 1 hit per to all within range. Fuse controlled only. Low-grade thermite is also an option. - 1 batch per 2 weeks, cost £100
Forgery (Rare Skill)
You may need an appropriate art form to perform the higher level of forgeries. E.g. to copy the Mona Lisa you will need Art Form - Painting 5 as well as Forgery 5. On the other hand if you have it at this level no one is going to be able to recognise it from the original. But there is always some one somewhere who will be able to catch you.
Also you will need appropriate skills e.g. electronics, computing etc. at Ref’s discretion. The time taken is also GM discretion. Level indicates being able to make forgeries which will pass the vast majority of the time.
1: Simple forgery - Simple ID, e.g. copying low security tickets
2: Basic forgery - Basic ID, e.g. NUS card, proof of age, birth certificate
Investigation /Obfuscation
1: Frisk - May find skill level in concealed items on person automatically. Contested by thier level in this skill.
2: Conceal - Skill level in items may be hidden about person (carried by the ref OOC)
Knowledges (Pick one)
Knowledges represent fields of learning that are not specifically covered by other skills, and specific topic knowledge. Mechanic, Science, Technology, etc
1: Bypass/Repair/Diagnose Simple
2: Create Simple
Linguistics
1: Basic - Greetings, short questions and answers. Heavy accent.
2: Conversational - Still accented but can now hold a conversation and make sense of it.
Lock picking
The ability to open mechanical (not electronic) locks.
1: Open Simple lock in 3 minute
2: Open Simple lock in 1˝ minutes Open Medium Lock in 5 minutes
Mage sight (Rare Skill)
The ability to perceive magical auras and identify them. You may not have Mage Sight higher than your highest magical discipline. You can also learn level 1 of Mage Sight if your sire had a form of magic and Mage sight.
Mage auras manifest as a golden glow around a person, object, or even location.
1: Can see the auras of Mages (gold), and can see if an item is enchanted. You may identify a level 1 item and with 1 month’s study learn its activation phrase.
2: You may identify a level 2 item and with 1 month’s study learn its activation phrase.
Martial arts
1: Hands do stun damage
2: One free dodge per fight
Medicine
1: First Aid - Simple tasks like setting bones so they will heal correctly and easing pain.
2: Stabilization - May extend the period before death by skill level in minutes for one patient. May not leave their side for this time.
Scrounge
The ability to 'find' items. This is usually achieved by begging or knowing a man who knows a man. Having contacts may help in 'find'ing specialist items, or reduce the time taken.
1: 'find' basic - eg Food (Basic, probably junk food), takes 1 hour
2: 'find' common - eg Identity cards (Undoctored and unaltered), takes 1 day
Streetwise
1: Can recognise most local gang colours and will know most overt gang movements from the passed week
2: Can recognise most local gang leaders
Survival
Survive level in weeks in chosen area of expertise. Each area is a separate skill.
Areas include: Jungle, Forest, Arctic, Plains, Desert
Weaponsmithing (Rare Skill)
1: Forge Weapons/Blades, takes 1 week, costs below.
  • Dagger - £25
  • Machete/Short Sword - £50
  • Sword - £200
  • Greatsword - £300
2: Forge Sharp Blade - First blow per day is +1 damage grade, doubles time taken and triples manufacturing cost
2: Forge Hardened Weapon - Ignores first Shatter per day, doubles time taken and quadruples manufacturing cost

Backgrounds

Backgrounds are unusual in that they do not necessarily require experience to raise, but always require some form of role-play and/or downtime activity. See individual backgrounds for descriptions

Contacts
Rated 1+

Several types of contact are possible. The two most common (Equipment and Information) are listed below, although many variations are possible. Industrial contacts, Business Contacts, Political Contacts, and so forth may have their own respective benefits. Note that most contacts possess more than one nature - it is not usually for Criminal Equipment or Business Information contacts to exist for example.

Each contact has a number of services it can provide. Information and Equipment are popular services, but not necessarily provided by every contact. Supernatural contacts are usual in that they usually provide unique services.

Contacts may only be raised through role-play, i.e. actually finding the contacts in question, trading for them, etc. Otherwise no other cost is applied apart from the particular obligations of a given contact.

Each contact increases the total rating, this is because the more people you know the harder it is to find someone useful to you.

Equipment Contacts
Only one contact will supply each person, your contact is the same as whoever taught you the skill. Almost all contacts can arrange for armour to be repaired at the cost of 50 pounds per point.
Information Contacts
These are information sources either within supernatural or mortal society. Each must be named with a brief description of the type of information they can find. Such people may also ask for information in return at various times.
Herd
Rated 1+

This represents the amount of risk free feeding a Vampire has per week. They provide safe feeding far from the eyes of hunters etc. Each point can be used once a week, so 7 points are needed for total safety. It is also necessary to have herd to support your ghouls if you have any. If you are in deep trouble a point of herd can be permanently sacrificed to sustain you for a week.

If you have excess herd beyond the 7 points you can use it to rebuild your blood pool if any Disciplines are used before a game.

Herd is only available through owning territory

Resources
Rated 1+

This is a characters personal finance, trust funds, stocks and shares, whatever. Each level is an income of £500 a month. This can only be gained at start up or by award from referees or rank, and cannot be bought with EPs. Unless the character has resources as an automatic background you must have an amazingly good reason to start with it.

Retainers
Rated 1+

These are loyal mortal and ghoul retainers. They can protect you while you sleep, perform tasks that you set them and manage territory for you.

Retainers cost 1 EP per retainer no matter how many one possesses, but retaining (or in particular ghouling) too many prominent mortals can draw attention to oneself.

A mortal starts with 6 background skills.

A ghoul has 2 start up points to spend like its master and has half the blood and Willpower, rounded down, of its masters Clan. Also begins with 2 secondary skills. A ghoul needs 1 point of blood a week to remain as a ghoul, i.e. a point of herd. This point must be guaranteed, so you have to have herd to have a ghoul.

They can also be trained so as to improve their abilities. £500 buys enough training to earn an EP, spending it comes under the same restrictions as for players.

No retainer may have the skills herd or retainer!

Laboratory (Rare background)
A work area for study and manufacture of magical and alchemical items. Actually creating a Laboratory or improving an existing one will require time, money, and research, at the Ref’s discretion, in addition to ˝ current level in EPs.
1: Allows you to make items and potions. You cannot do so without this Skill and the relevant Discipline.
2: Can make an extra 2,500 worth of potions Items take 1 month less time to a minimum of 1 month
Mainframe (Rare background)
Used with Computer Intrusion/Security, works as Workshop (below) to reduce programming/ hacking time.
Workshop (Rare background if linked skill is rare)
You need a separate rating in workshop for each type of activity i.e. Weapon smithing, Electronics, Armour smithing, Gun smithing, Explosives, etc.
Costs £5,000/lvl cumulative to set up i.e. level 1 = £5,000 level 2 = £10,000 . To go from no Workshop to a level 2 one costs £15,000. To buy a level 5 workshop from scratch would cost £75,000. You still need to find someone to get all the bits. Level 1 to 3 workshop equipment is relatively easy to get above that is harder, and may require an Equipment contact at Ref discretion.
1: Reduces manufacturing time and costs by 10%
2: Reduces manufacturing time and costs by 20%

Before you get too excited about backgrounds after reading them. We do need to point out that any background that you buy you will have to run past the ref team before hand and have a justification for it in your background.