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Skills & Traits

What is a Skill?
Skills are those areas of personal knowledge, training, and expertise that are not particularly dependent on outside or immutable factors. Skills are always based in the Minor Aspect that is central to the Skill. Some Skills may have uses that do not involve the Minor Aspect that they are based in. These may or may not be covered in the Skill's description. If you have a question as to whether a certain Skill can be used with a specific Minor Aspect ask your Dealer. Role-Playing is about thinking creatively and using a Skill outside of it's listed Minor Aspect certainly qualifies.

Why should you purchase Skills instead of Traits? Traits usually confer a specific advantage or benefit, but Skills have several advantages. First, they can increase over time while Traits cannot. Second, they give a distinct advantage every time they are used. While Characters can attempt to use any Skill without having that Skill their chances of success are far lower than if they had the Skill.

If You Have the Skill:
You can re-roll a number of dice equal to the Rank you have in the Skill.
Rolling a 1 counts as 2 Successes instead of just 1 Success.
Rolling all 1's on any Check increases the Skill rolled by 1 Rank, up to the amount of Points in the related Minor Aspect.
If you have the maximum amount of Ranks in a Skill and you roll all 1's the associated Minor Aspect increases by 1 Point!

Choosing Your Starting Skills:
When you create your Character your Dealer will assign you a certain number of Aspect Points. Once you have divided these points among the Major and Minor Aspect you can then use these points again for purchasing Skills and Traits. In order to purchase a particular Skill there are a couple rules to follow:

Rule #1:
You can purchase as many Skills based in a particular Minor Aspect as you spent points in that particular Aspect. You do not have to spend all of these Points; Some can be set aside to purchase Traits.
For Example: You wanted your Character to be quick and agile so you put 5 Points (the maximum) into Dexterity. With these 5 Points you decide to purchase Firearms, Dodge, Throwing Weapons, and Roping. This leaves 1 extra Point that can be used along with other extra Points to purchase Traits.
Rule #2:
Yyou can purchase more than 1 Rank in a Skill. Each additional Rank costs 1 Point, and you can only purchase Ranks up to the amount of Points in the related Minor Aspect minus 1.
For Example: You have 5 Points available for the purchase of Skills related to Dexterity. You want your Character to be a sharpshooter and gunslinger but nothing else.
Rule #3:
You cannot use Points from one Minor Aspect to purchase Skills based in another Minor Aspect, even if that Skill has peripheral uses

Starting, Gaining, and Increasing Skills
Skills chosen during Character Creation always start with a number of Dots in the Skill equal to the Minor Aspect the Skill is based in. For instance if a Character has a Dexterity of 6 Dots and they choose Pistols, a Skill that is based in Dexterity, they would write Pistols on their Character Sheet and mark 6 Dots next to it.

Characters can gain new Skills during play by finding an appropriate instructor (as decided by the Dealer) and spending an appropriate amount of time studying it. These new Skills always start with 1 Dot and are subject to the same rules for Skill Advancement. A good rule of thumb for the time required to gain a new Skill is to take the Character's Minor Aspect and subtract that from 18 then add 1. This is the number of 8-hour days of study it will take to learn the new Skill.

If, during the course of any General or Opposed Roll, a Player rolls all 6's on all Dice (before any re-rolls) they immediately gain a Dot in that Skill. If a Character has a Skill equal to the Major Aspect the Skill is based in rolls 6's on all Dice then their Major Aspect and the corresponding Minor Aspect both increase by 1 Dot. They do not gain a new Dot in that Skill but they can gain a Dot in that Skill on successive rolls. Note that the increase in the Major Aspect also increases the Character's Resilience in that Major Aspect by 1 Dot as well.

Developer Notes: Skill Advancement is one of those concepts that can be easy to abuse if one allows the Players to get away with it. This is one reason why there is a suggested minimum in the Major Aspects. Even if they had a 3 in a Major Aspect and a 1 in a Minor Aspect the odds of getting multiple Skill Advancements are very low (1 in 1296). The system of Skill advancement is in place to simulate the normal progression over time of an individual's skills. If Player-Character Skills are advancing too rapidly it's possible they are making too many Skill Rolls where simple role-playing could be substituted instead.

A Character can make a Roll, General or Opposed, even if they do not have the requisite Skill. They would roll the Major Aspect associated with the Skill and discard all but one die. This means that an Un-Skilled character can only make an 'Easy' target and on an Opposed Roll they can only roll a 6 before any modifiers. Characters cannot gain any Dots in Skills they do not have.

Developer Notes: Normally a Character should not be making non-skilled rolls but they might be forced to by circumstances. In most cases an 'Easy' target shouldn't even need to be rolled unless something that would normally be routine has suddenly become harder due to circumstances. Still they should not gain anything other than a chance of success from their use or they will find a way to abuse it.

Not all Skills apply to all Settings. In some cases Characters may, with Dealer permission, be able to acquire Skills that would not normally be available in that particular Setting. If a Skill is setting-specific it is color-coded for easy identification.

Color Code - Sunset - Titan Sunset - Sunset City - Color Code
Skills by Major and Minor Aspect
Major Aspect: Intellectual
Minor Aspect: Knowledge Skills (A - Z)
Customs and Culture (Chose One): Unlike Local Lore this Skill focuses on knowledge of the customs and culture of a wider group of people. A skilled Character might know where they prefer to live, their specialty foods, religions, clothes, cultural laws, and the like. This Skill also covers knowledge of any codes of conduct, secretive or not, though it does not cover the knowledge of smaller, more specific organizations and their secrets inside of that culture except on the most basic level.
Chose One: Cowboy, Gypsy, Barbarian.

Language (Chose One): The Character knows how to speak, read, and write the chosen language. English is the most common language among the citizens of the civilized nations. Small enclaves in all nations speak German and Esperanto while sign language is of course used by the deaf and by some elite military units. Characters always know the language of the nation or region where they were raised. Additional languages, such as from traveling as a child, need to be purchased separately.
Chose One: English, German, Esperanto, Sign.

The Law (Chose One): The Character knows the laws and statutes of the selected nation or group. They also know precedents and reasons behind the laws as well as who was responsible for the law in question. Importantly, they also know how to use the law in their favor and how to recognize if the law is being manipulated to favor someone else. They also have a general knowledge of important legal figures and who to go to for more information about a specific law.
Chose One: The Republic, Federated States, Harmony, Lode, Barbarian Tribes.

Local Lore (Chose One): The Character has both broad and specific knowledge about geography, leadership, cities, customs, and products of the chosen nation or region. This can be information picked up from local experience, talk in a tavern, or some form of dedicated study.
Chose One: Republic of Sunset, Federated States, Harmony, Lode, Barbarians.

Navigation (Chose One): The Character knows how to navigate between two or more destinations. They can find the fastest route as well as the safest route and any variation in between. This applies to the terrain to be navigated through however, not to the people or other variable obstacles like the weather. They are skilled in using the instruments of their era to perform this task though there might be penalties when using both more and less advanced instruments until they can become familiar with their use.
Chose One: Stellar, Land, Sea, Air.

Profession (Chose One): A Professional, unlike a Tradesman, generally knows a wider variety of skills but with a more limited scope of use. For example a Cowboy might know how to brand and herd cattle or mend fences, and patrol the range, but they wouldn't know how to breed cattle for specific characteristics or build mill lumber and build a fine house. This Skill does not always imply a knowledge of the science or trades behind whatever business their profession is involved in. This Skill is used with a number of Traits to determine things like monthly income.
Chose One: Prospector, Lawyer, Safecracker,

The Sciences: (Chose One): A combination of academic study and practicle experiences gives the Character both broad and specific knowledge of a refined subject area of the sciences. They also have a broad knowledge of the scientific method, how to conduct experiments, and the research skills necessary to continue learning the chosen subject.
Chose One: Metallurgy, Biology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Archeology.

Soldier (Chose One): Characters with this skill know how to perform as an soldier in their chosen branch. They know the rules and regulations that apply to them in their respective unit. They know the chain of command, how to issue and accept orders, as well as very basic strategy and tactics.
Chose One: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Navy, Engineer.

Tradesman (Chose One): Whether they learned from a mentor or a formal educational settings, the Character has learned the ins-and-outs of a trade and how to practice it in a professional manner as well as how to instruct and direct others in it's practice. They also know the basics of the maths and sciences involved in their specific trade although more advanced knowledge would generally require a more specific skill in the Sciences.
Chose One: Chef, Tailor, Carpenter, Machinist, Boat Builder, Gunsmith, Locksmith.
Minor Aspect: Reason Skills (A - Z)
Camouflage: The character knows how to use vegetation, paint, and other materials to blend people and objects into the surroundings. Characters can use this skill to add to their Stealth Skill. It is opposed by the Perception Skill. If used to add to a Character’s Stealth Roll the Dealer would determine the difficulty of camouflaging the subject with a success adding +3 to the Stealth Roll for each Scaling Success.

Counter-Tracking: Characters with this skill can effectively lose unskilled trackers and make a skilled tracker’s job much harder. They typically also know the tools used by the tracker and how to slow them down and make the best use of their time. This is different from hiding from someone who already knows or suspects the general area where someone or something is hidden. For that see 'Camouflage', 'Stealth', and 'Perception'. This skill is opposed by the Tracking Skill.

Disguise: An old man walking the halls late at night can quickly become a young man prowling the streets and looking for love with the right makeup and the right outfit. Knowing how to put together a good disguise takes some reasoning to figure out what a particular person would wear if not why they would wear it. In order to use the disguise effectively see the 'Bluff' Skill.

Doctor: Diagnosing and treating illness, disease, and infection is the doctor's stock in trade. Unlike a surgeon they specialize in determining the source of a patient's problems based on their symptoms and whatever tests they can perform. While they are more than capable when it comes to things like stitching wounds, setting minor broken bones, and the like they are not distinctly qualified to do operations and surgery. If this Skill is being used to recover Resillience the normal difficulty is Average. Lack of instruments, a non-sterile environment, or rushing things can make this more difficult.

Explosives: Skilled in the creation and placement of explosives, the character generally knows how to not blow themselves up. When used for cutting or setting a fuse use Scaling to determine, positive or negative, the number of actions the timing is off by. Just because more modern fuses are more precise doesn't mean you correctly estimated the time either.

Logistics: The old saying goes that an army marches on it's stomach, not on it's feet. Logistics is essential for making sure any large organization receives the supplies, services, and personnel that it needs to accomplish it's goals. Someone skilled in logistics can also use it to determine weaknesses in their own, and others, supply chain and how to take advantage of that. They also know where to go to secure what their organization needs although this does not include any kind of bartering or merchant skills.

Perception: Characters with this skill are especially good at noticing things. It can be used in opposition to the Stealth, Pick Pocket, and other Skills at the Dealer’s discretion. Perception checks have a Scaling penalty for man sized objects past Medium Range. Dealers should use their discretion to adjust this range for the size of the object involved.

Politics (Chose One):: The character knows the in’s and out’s of the political structure of the selected nation. They can use this skill to make contacts inside of the political structure as well as how to effect changes within the political system. This has less to do with the law than with the way the political winds are blowing and manipulating the political forces to accomplish a specific goal.
Chose One: Republic, Federated States, Lode, Harmony, B'arbarian Tribes

Tactics: The Character has in-depth knowledge of tactics for performing various missions. Use of this skill can provide insight into how to perform a specific combat mission and how to approach a certain situation from a military stand point. One possible way to use the Tactics skill is to provide an Initiative Bonus to one side based on how well the two sides do on an opposed Tactics Roll. The leader of each side rolls tactics with the winner adding the difference as a one-time bonus to the Initiative Roll for every person in their group. If using the card-based alternative initiative divide the difference by 6 rounding up and draw that many extra cards.

Tracking: A skilled tracker can follow nearly anything by reading the signs of their passage. This mostly applies to wilderness or other areas where a subject would leave a distinct trail. They also know how to utilize tools such as horses, hounds, and similar to their best effect to both pick up the trail and follow it. The Dealer should assess penalties based on the terrain being tracked through. This skill is countered by the use of the Counter-Tracking Skill.

Safecracking: Cracking a safe isn't as simple as just putting some dynamite under it and lighting the fuse or putting a stethoscope up to the lock and spinning the dial. It requires functional knowledge of the construction and mechanisms of safes and vaults, their weaknesses, and how to best exploit them without damaging their contents. There is a sample of safes and vaults in the equipment section.

Card Games: Most card games are a combination of knowing both how to play the particular game and how to play the other players. Skilled in doing both, the Character also knows how to spot a particularly good player, knows the names and some details of particularly well known players, and - perhaps more importantly - how to spot cheating players.

Surgeon: The character knows the required techniques needed to repair injuries. They also have the flexibility to create alternate solutions to wounds, such as using a different section of artery to repair a wound. Unlike a Doctor they are not well-trained in how to diagnose illness and disease based on the symptoms but rather in how to repair damage to the body and find the source of damage and discern how best to repair it. If, in a dramatic situation, a surgeon is called on to repair major bodily trauma, a good rule of thumb is that the target for a successful Roll be equal to the amount of Resilience that the trauma inflicted. Surgery can be used to recover individual Resilience after a Character goes down. If the Dealer feels it is the appropriate Skill they would set a target with each additional Scaling Success indicating a second Dot of recovered Resilience.

Torture: Characters with this skill know how to extract information from an unwilling subject using a variety of physical and emotional torture methods. They are usually familiar with both mental and physical methods of torture, have some skill in judging what method is most appropriate, and have a good working knowledge of the tools of the trade. As with other Skills the torturer may have a good working knowledge of other experts in their field, important works regarding the subject, and the general history of the art. Torture is generally opposed by Resistance.

Cannons & Mortars: Characters with this skill know how to load, fire, and maintain indirect fire weapons like cannon and mortars. This skill includes a working knowledge of ballistics and how to work out fire angles. This also includes knowledge of the various sorts of weapons out there, how to clean and maintain them, and the various manufacturers and their reputations. If someone were to be fired on by one of these weapons their only choice would be to Dodge.

Interrogation: This Skill is used for gathering information from willing and unwilling people. It is more about confirming the information supplied between various information sources. It relies more on supplied information rather than extracted information though extracted information may be used to help confirm information gathered from an interrogation subject. Most interrogators are well-read on the subject and have a good knowledge of the major minds in the field, important literature, and the policies of whomever is employing their services.

Strategy: Characters with this Skill know how to analyze the long term situation, the long term goals of their own group, and the long term goals of an opposing group. They know the basics and importance of strategic resources, population centers, supply chains, and all of the other important aspects of long term strategy.

Writing: The Character knows how to put together a persuasive and well thought written work. This is different from just being able to write.

Artisan (Writer, Scuptor, Painter, Composer, Musician, Etc): The Character knows how to create works of art in the chosen category. This includes a knowledge of the tools and techniques used, the cultural origins of their chosen art form, and it's traditions and major artists.

Gambling: The Character knows the ins and outs of gambling. They know how to measure the odds, pick up on an opponent's 'tells', and how to spot cheating both by the house and on the part of other players. They are also generally familiar with famous gamblers as well as their methods.

Shipboard Weapons: The character knows how to use the complex targeting systems of Shipboard Weapons to their best effect. When using Shipboard Weapons use the craft's Major Aspect: Intellectual instead of the Character's. This reflects the limit's of the ships computer and targeting systems.

Shipboard Systems: The character knows how to use the Shipboard Systems such as sensors, navigation, and similar to best effect. When using Shipboard Systems use the craft's Major Aspect: Intellectual instead of the Character's. This reflects the limit's of the ship's systems.

Hacking: Most computer systems in Titan Sunset are extremely easy to use especially with the widespread use of personal cybernetics. Hacking is what you use when you want to make the computer do something it either doesn't want to or something it normally wouldn't be able to do.

Jury-Rig: A Character skilled in jury-rigging can improvise repairs to nearly anything as well as make a lot of things do something they were really not meant to do. How long these efforts last is up to the Dealer but a good rule of thumb is that they last one action plus one for each additional scaling success.
Major Aspect: Physical
Minor Aspect: Strength Skills (A - Z)
Swimming: Most people can dog paddle but this Character can swim. They know how to swim in treacherous waters as well as how to swim in their clothes and with some added weight and how to discard that weight.

Climbing: The character can climb various surfaces both free climbing and using ropes or other forms of assistance. They can also assist others in climbing by establishing safe routes and guiding them through a climb.

Breaking: This skill is not about breaking things – it is used for breaking horses and other riding animals. This is a very dangerous activity and the Dealer should assess damage based on failure. Breaking an especially hard animal can be treated as an Encounter.

Riding: Characters with this skill have developed the strength and stamina to control a horse and other riding animals. They can perform tricks of riding and have a rough knowledge of the value of horses and the various breeds. When riding a horse, as with any other method of transport aside from your own feet, most Skill Rolls would be made using the Horse's Major Aspect and the Character's Skill.

Marching: Characters with this skill know how to make long marches carrying heavy gear much easier to handle. They know how to sleep on their feet while seemingly obeying orders.

Athletics: The Character has practiced various athletic tasks such as weight lifting, long jumping, high jumping, and the like.

Wrestling: The Character is skilled in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. They can use various wrestling holds and techniques to disable an opponent.

Brawling: Good old fashioned street-fighting relies less on finesse than it does raw strength and staying power. Most Characters skilled in Brawling acquired their skills on the streets, in back-alley fights, and in tavern brawls. Brawlers are usually reasonably adept at using whatever they can find as an improvised weapon though it will usually only last for a couple blows before shattering or breaking completely. Normal attacks using this Skill have a rank of 'Melee' only, and any improvised weapons have a range of Melee or Short if thrown. Characters can use this Skill to counter other un-armed attacks but cannot use it to counter armed attacks.
Minor Aspect: Dexterity Skills (A - Z)
Pick Pocket: The Character knows how to remove items from another’s person without alerting them to the deed. This skill is opposed by the Perception Skill or a Reason Check.

Stealth: The character knows how to move silently and how to hide in ways that will avoid notice. This skill is opposed by the Perception Skill or a Reason Check.

Longarms: The character knows how to use a rifle. They also know how to clean and maintain a rifle, as well as the quality of various types of rifles. In combat this Skill is opposed by a Dodge Roll or a Dexterity Check.

Pistols: The character knows how to use a pistol. They also know how to clean and maintain a pistol, as well as the quality of various types of pistols. In combat this Skill is opposed by a Dodge Roll or a Dexterity Check.

Throwing: Anyone can throw something, but characters with this skill have practiced. They can throw sticks of dynamite or weapons to another character. In combat this Skill is opposed by a Dodge Roll or a Dexterity Check.

Dodge: Characters with this skill are adept at dodging out of the way of things. This includes attacks with firearms and thrown objects. The character can also use this skill to avoid explosions (see the explosives section for more details).

Cheating: This skill applies to cheating at cards and other games of chance. This often involves slight of hand to check and manipulate pieces or cards in the cheater’s favor.

Lariat: Characters with this skill can use a lariat to ensnare a target opponent. For each additional SN on a successful attack the character ensnares an additional limb past the first.

Mining Tools: Characters with this Skill know how to use mining tools as effective weapons.

Sword: Characters with this Skill know how to use a sword in combat. Swords are quite rare now, even among the Cavalry.

Escape Artist:

Acrobatics & Tumbling: The Characters is trained in classical acrobatics. Tumbling, the parallel bars, the rings, and similar are all familiar to the character as well as using improvised versions of the same.

Sneaking: Sneaking up on someone isn't very easy. It's knowing when to step, when not to step, and when not to be where someone is looking. Sneaking can be used as an Initiative Roll. It is generally countered by Perception.

Slight of Hand: Characters skilled in Slight of Hand can perform simple and complex 'magic' tricks, pick the occasional pocket, and plant small objects on other people or in plain sight through misdirection.

Major Aspect: Emotional
Minor Aspect: Will Skills (A - Z)
Obstinacy: Keeping one's opinion in the face of intense argument or persuasion is pretty normal: This Character is just especially skilled at it. This is an especially useful skill if someone is trying to slowly persuade another Character to their point of view by manipulating the facts, slowly changing details, and similar.

Resistance: It's not how strong the body is but how willing the mind is to watch it break. The Character is trained to resist torture of both physical and mental forms. This Skill can also be used to help resist the effects of things like exposure, long periods without sleep, and taking a very long car ride with their mother-in-law.

Control: Any number of substances have mind-altering effects. Characters with enough control can shrug off their effects... for the most part. This Skill is especially useful when truth serums, hypnosis, and other mind-altering skills or substances are employed in an attempt to extract information from a Character. It is also useful to avoid the physical effects of various substances, such as reducing the effects of drunkenness.
Minor Aspect: Charisma Skills (A - Z)
Bartering: While someone skilled in the art of bartering will generally have a good knowledge of the approximate value of what they are trading their real talent lies in getting the other party to go along with what might be an unfavorable deal. They are often willing to lie, misdirect, flirt, and sometimes even seduce in order to get what they need when they need it. They are also skilled at recognizing what another party might need and be willing to over-trade for by paying attention to their body language, small talk, and similar.

Bluff: Lying and making it a good lie is as much of an art form as painting a picture. While bluffing and bluffing well isn't all about lying it's frequently about lying by omission or embellishing the truth. This Skill can be used to modify Initiative by misleading an individual or group about someone's intentions. Generally, but not always, it requires verbal interaction. Bluff is generally opposed by Perception though occasionally it can be opposed by other Skills such as 'Local Lore' when the character is attempting to mislead someone about their origins.

Comedy: Timing is everything. A good comedian knows how to set up a joke, how to deliver a good punchline, and - importantly - what joke to tell when. They also know how to write new jokes and how to update an old one. They are also skilled in reading the mood of the crowd and tailoring their routine to it. Most comedians will know the great ones, their classic routines, and the various centers of comedy.

Fashion: Knowing how a dress is made isn't as important as knowing who will look good in it. This isn't to say they don't know how to make a dress, but a Character skilled in fashion usually know only the bare minimum involved in the actual manufacture although they might be more familiar with the materials involved - at least in how they can compliment each other. They will also usually know the names of famous designers, design centers, what's in, what's out, and who the biggest trend setters are. They will also know how to dress an individual for the occasion and how to make the most of available clothing.

Diplomacy: Diplomacy is the art of lying for one's country. As such it is often harder than simple negotiation because it involves putting the interests of a much larger group of people, or those of a specific individual in the case of a monarch or tyrant, ahead of one's own. Because of this diplomats are often privy to secrets, other negotiations, and public and private policy about dealings with a foreign power. Part of being a good diplomat is also knowing how to negotiate for what one wants without giving away exactly what one wants and the reasons why one wants. Thus diplomats are often skilled in obfuscating their actual goals behind other stated objectives. As part of their duties diplomats are usually familiar with their opposites in other nations and other important figures who might become involved in negotiations. They also have a working knowledge, though not detailed, of existing treaties and laws that relate to their area of diplomacy.

Gossip: It's only a secret if no one else knows it: Otherwise it's gossip. A skilled gossip knows how to wheedle the latest rumors out of someone, how to gather gossip by inference, and how to spread a little of their own. They are often quite skilled at making up new rumors that have just the right dash of truth to them and at sorting out what might actually be true about a certain rumor based on what 'facts' are being passed around. They can also usually figure out the best source to go to in an area and who to avoid as well as know who to tell what they want to hear and who to tell the 'bald truth' to.

Intimidate: Much of the hard work when intimidating someone is convincing them that you are capable of going through with the threats you are laying out. Whether this is flashing some muscle, flashing some hardware, or just staring them down it all requires some timing and some finesse. A skilled intimidation can make a small gun look huge, and some puny muscles look toned. They know how to stand to use light and shadow to their best effect, and how to 'encourage' someone to act on that little bit of fear without turning it into aggression.

Negotiation: Negotiation, unlike diplomacy, is usually based on self-interest rather than the needs of a larger group. Negotiation is all about what the Character wants and needs, how best they can persuade others to give it to them, and what they might be willing to give up in return. A good negotiator has carefully analyzed their own needs and can enter negotiations without specifically giving away those needs to give the other party an upper hand.

Oratory: Giving a great speech isn't always about the content but about the relationship between the crowd and the speaker. A skilled orator can turn a mediocre speech into a withering diatribe and a fantastic speech into a world-shaking policy event. Many orators study under a noted master in the field and often read the great works of other notables. They usually know other greats in the field, particular speeches of note, and of course the speechwriters behind the curtain.

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