Table of Contents

Skills List

Skill Category
Academics Knowledge
Alertness Perception
Art Craft/Knowledge
Athletics Physical
Burglary Subterfuge
Contacting Social
Deceit Social
Drive Mundane
Empathy Social/Perception
Endurance Physical
Engineering Craft
Fists Combat
Gambling Mundane
Guns Combat
Intimidation Social
Investigation Perception
Leadership Social
Might Physical
Mysteries Knowledge
Pilot Mundane
Rapport Social
Resolve Social
Resources Mundane
Science Knowledge
Sleight of Hand Subterfuge
Stealth Subterfuge
Survival Mundane
Weapons Combat

This chapter is focused on getting an idea of what each skill does and why someone might want a particular one for a character. This means that the information offered here is player-focused; it offers a “I have this, what can I do with this” perspective.
Skills can be enhanced by the addition of stunts; stunts are covered in their own chapter (page XX). There are also additional concerns for the GM involving adjudication of the use of these skills; that’s covered in the chapter on “Running the Game” (page XX).
Here, each skill has a description of what it does, and a write-up of how it is most commonly used.
Each skill also has a number of trappings, which are the rules for how to use the skill in certain specific circumstances. Whenever you encounter a trapping, you’ll see the eye glyph ◉ next to it. We’ve given these circumstances names in order to make them easier to reference. In some ways, trappings are like stunts which anyone with the skill can perform. The specific rules governing setting difficulties for these various trappings of a skill are not covered here. You’ll find those guidelines in the Running the Game chapter (starting on page XX, but we’ll cross-reference it for you on a per-skill basis). Here, we’re simply focusing on giving you an idea of what the trappings are.

Assessment and Declaration

Skills can sometimes be combined (see page XX). It’s also possible to use one skill to set up a situation that another skill can take advantage of, via maneuvers and temporary aspects (see page XX). Finally, skills can sometimes be used in partnership with one another, via assessments and declarations.
Sometimes skills will be used in careful assessment well in advance of taking action – maybe as part of putting together a plan, or simply observing the target long enough to learn something that would be a critical advantage. This approach is most often used with skills that have an element of perception – including Investigation, Empathy, and even Burglary. Here, the skill is not used to place a temporary aspect so much as discover an existing one. The character making the assessment still can tag this aspect for free, but is still subject to the usual limitations of a free tag – they must do so immediately after revealing it. This usually means that the free tag must be taken within the same scene as the assessment or, if the assessment takes longer than a scene to perform, in the scene which immediately follows. This provides a reward to balance out the time the player might otherwise spend talking through a more cautious plan.
All assessment efforts require the use of a significant chunk of time, usually indicated in the skill write-up. This can allow skills that usually can’t come to bear in more time pressure environments (like a fight) to come to bear thanks to the time invested in advance.
Perception skills only allow the discovery of what already exists. By contrast, knowledge skills will often allow declaration – in other words, using a knowledge skill successfully can allow a player to introduce entirely new facts into play, and then use those facts to his advantage. The new facts take the form of a temporary aspect. The GM is encouraged to use creativity as her primary guideline, when judging the use of knowledge skills. Creative and entertaining facts will be more likely to result in a successful use of a knowledge skill, and thus give rise to a temporary aspect, than boring facts will. For example, an anthropologist with a solid Academics skill might use the declaration ability to state new truths about a tribe the characters have just encountered – and if successful, suddenly the scene or the tribe has an aspect on it in keeping with the fact the player just invented. As with maneuvering and assessment, the first tagging of this aspect is free.
Unlike assessment, declaration doesn’t take any actual in-game time at all – just the knowledge skill to make use of it.
Example for Declaration
A player, whose character is an expert in architecture, attempts declaration: "Many houses of this type have historically had secret doors in the bedrooms to escape police pursuit" The GM allows it, the player succeeds at the roll and 'creates' a secret door that the GM didn't plan. The player and the GM discuss where it ought to lead, etc. PC: "There might be a secret door somewhere near this wall… <thump thump> ah, here it is! Now, to find out how to open it…"
Any aspects brought into play by these methods do not have to go away after they’re used, if the GM wishes them to persist (or if circumstances merely make it reasonable that they hang around). Any subsequent uses of such aspects, however, will cost (or grant!) a fate point, as usual. This does mean that occasionally maneuvers and assessments and declarations will backfire, leading to a compel. Since aspects are involved, such things are easily double-edged!
Finally, when dealing with a target that has multiple aspects on it due to assessment and/or declaration, it is not possible to use multiple “free” tags at the same time. On a given roll, only one “free” tag may be used. Fate points may be spent to tag the other aspects that have been assessed or declared on the same roll, and later rolls may use other free tags.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Academics is a knowledge skill. It measures the character’s “book learning”. Any knowledge that would not explicitly fall under Science, Mysteries, or Art falls under this skill (though some overlap may exist among all of those). Characters with high Academics include scholars of antiquity, professors and know-it-alls.
The main use of Academics is to answer a question. Questions covered by Academics include those of history, literature, sociology or any of the “soft” sciences – in short, most information that is neither art nor science.
The player can ask the GM “What do I know about this subject?” or “What does this mean?” Often, there will be no need to roll, especially if the subject is within the character’s specialty (see Scholar, page XX) but if the GM feels the information is something that should be hard to attain (such as a clue) then she may call for a roll against a difficulty she sets. If the character succeeds, he receives the information. If he fails, he does not, but he may still attempt to research the topic (see below) – or, perhaps more entertainingly, may stumble onto a false lead that gets him deeper into trouble.

◉ Research [Academics]

Researching a topic is frequently a time-consuming and arduous task, and exactly the sort of thing worth skimming over with a few quick dice rolls. It is treated as an extension of what knowledge the character has – he can answer some questions off the top of his head, and other questions because he knows what book to find the answer in.
As such, research is something that can happen when a character fails an Academics check. Provided the researcher is willing to spend time researching (and that the answer can be found) the only question is how long it will take and how good a library they have access to (more on libraries in a bit).
One important note: because the GM is not always obligated to reveal the difficulty of a given roll, players may not know how much they failed it by, which means they don’t know how long they’ll need to research. Usually they’ll just research until they find the answer, but sometimes, when time is tight, they may be limited to less time. GMs are encouraged to read “Setting Difficulties” (page XX) before making any decision about how to deal with a failed roll.
Academic research requires a library. The quality of the library determines the hardest possible question that can be answered within it (so a question of Good difficulty requires a Good library or better). If a character is attempting to answer a question in a library that’s not equipped to answer it, the GM is encouraged to be up-front about its shortcomings.
Most schools and private individuals have Mediocre, Average, or Fair libraries. Small colleges often have Good libraries while larger institutions may have Great ones. Superb and better libraries are few and far between. Many Libraries also have a specialty or two where they are considered one step higher – for example, Georgetown’s library specializes in law, so it has a Great Library, which is treated as Superb for questions of law. Characters may own libraries of their own; see the Resources skill (page XX) for more.

◉ Exposition and Knowledge Dumping [Academics]

Sometimes the GM just needs to give the group a lot of information, and the character with a high knowledge skill tends to be the conduit of that. When the GM needs to drop a lot of information on the group, she may ask the character with the most knowledge if she can use them as a mouthpiece. Assuming the player agrees, the GM can share all appropriate background, and is encouraged to give the player a fate point for having his character temporarily commandeered by the GM.

◉ Declaring Minor Details [Academics]

The character may use his knowledge to declare facts, filling in minor details which the GM has not mentioned. These facts must be within the field of Academics, and the GM has the right to veto them. However, if the GM is all right with it, she may let the player make a declaration and roll Academics against a difficulty she sets. If successful, the fact is true, and if not, the character is mistaken. Like most Academics rolls, the GM may or may not wish to share the difficulty, so the character may not know if he succeeded.
This is a straight up declaration action, as described earlier (see page XX). If the academic or another character takes action based on the declared fact, that person can tag the aspect that has been introduced. If the academic is wrong, there is no penalty, but there may be complications – at her option, the GM could place a temporary “mistaken” aspect on the academic, compelling it to represent the fall-out (and netting the mistaken academic a fate point!). If the academic was right, the aspect is placed, and is taggable as described earlier – first one being free.
For GM advice on setting difficulties for declarations, see page XX.

◉ Languages [Academics]

Languages are part of a good classical education. A character may speak a number of additional languages based on his Academics score. Each step of Academics above Mediocre gives the character knowledge of one additional language (so one at Average, two at Fair, and so on). The player does not need to choose the languages when the character is created; instead, he may simply choose languages in the course of play, as is convenient.

◉ The Truth [Academics]

Under normal circumstances, the character may know the answer or not, but will not get a wrong answer. A wrong answer should only be a result of one of two things. First, it may be the result of the compelling of an aspect – the player may be offered a fate point for his character to go haring off on a tangent or to reach the wrong conclusion. Alternately, it may be as a result of an active deception, such as someone planting bad information.
To plant bad information, a character must decide what question (in general) they’re providing false information about. The character must have access to the target’s library (see Research, page XX) and make an Academics roll modified by Deceit (see “Combining Skills”, page XX) in addition to whatever rolls he may need to get in and out of the place where the information is stored.
The result of that roll is the difficulty to spot the false information. When someone tries to discover information that is affected by this deception, he must make an Academics roll as usual. If that roll less than the difficulty set by the deception, then the false information is discovered one step earlier than the real information might be. If the failure is significant (missing the mark by three or more), then the true information may simply be unavailable. If the researcher meets or exceeds the roll for the deception, he finds the false information and recognizes it for what it is.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Alertness is a measure of the character’s regular, passive level of awareness. Specifically, it is the perception skill to notice things the character is not looking for. In an exchange where characters are surprised (and as such, are prevented from choosing which skill to roll), Alertness is the skill which is rolled. In conflicts of an active, physical nature, Alertness determines initiative. Characters with high Alertness include bodyguards, outdoorsmen and criminals of a sneaky variety.
Players will rarely ask to roll Alertness – if they are actively looking for something, Investigation is usually more appropriate. Alertness is more appropriate for things that players and characters do not expect or are not looking for, such as whether they notice a surprise, or if they happen to spot a hidden clue. In short, it is reactive perception. As such, it’s a skill that, more often, the GM calls for people to roll.

◉ Avoiding Surprise [Alertness]

Whenever ambushed (see Stealth, page XX), a character may make one final Alertness check against the Stealth of his attacker, in order to see if he is surprised. If he fails this check, his defense skill is considered to be Mediocre for the first exchange.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Art measures the character’s overall artistic ability, covering the gamut of endeavors, from painting to dance to music. This includes knowledge, composition, and performance. Characters with high Art include artists (obviously), aristocrats, and those of the avant garde.
Art is usually either used as a knowledge skill, for knowledge about art, artists, and what it takes to make art, or as a crafting skill, to create a work of art, or as a social skill to entertain.

◉ Art as Knowledge [Art]

As a knowledge skill, Art is basically identical to Academics, though the fields it applies to are more limited and more focused – a few shifts of success on an Art roll may “pay out” more information than if someone applied Academics to the same art-related problem.

◉ Art as Craft [Art]

As a crafting skill, Art is fairly straightforward – characters can make art of virtually any type of a quality equal to their skill. Without stunts, none of them will be masterpieces, but any art that’s Mediocre or better can be displayed without any real embarrassment.
Sometimes, however, creations must be improvised, and that can be a little more fast and furious. This usually takes a few minutes, and the character can make a roll to create their piece. Generally speaking, for the duration of the scene where it is displayed, the quality of the piece is equal to their roll, with it degrading one step in each subsequent scene.

◉ Art as Communication [Art]

While Academics covers the technical building blocks of communication, language, grammar and the like, Art covers the expression of ideas, and as such, covers most means of broad communication, like writing. These are not “pure” art forms, however, and a character’s other skills play a role in their application, so a character’s writing is usually modified by their Academics. There are exceptions, such as dry, academic documents (which use pure Academics) and poetry (which uses just Art).
Public speaking is a similar creature, but it is more beholden to the charisma and presence of the speaker – in those cases, Art modifies whatever skill (Rapport, Intimidate, Leadership or Deceit) the character is using, as long as there is a creative aspect to the communication.

◉ Art as Performance [Art]

Art can also be used to shape the mood of a group. Whenever a group is exposed to an artist’s work, such as at a performance or a show, the scene may gain an aspect appropriate to the performance. Normally, this aspect only remains on the scene for the duration of the performance, but some stunts allow this to extend into subsequent scenes.
In effect, this is a declaration on the part of the artist, but limited to declaring mood and emotional impact, rather than anything specific. In general, art inspires passion in a broad sense; for example, in may make someone feel hopeful, but not determine what he’ll feel hopeful about. When making a standard performance, any temporary aspects that result – either by treating the performance as a maneuver, or as an attack yielding consequences – must also be broad and nonspecific. “Hopeful” is good; “Hopeful That Doktor Herborn Will Be Defeated” is not. There is an exception; a performance that very clearly has a target, such as a satire, may plant fairly specific opinions of a target, with the difficulty based on the status of the target.

◉ Forgery [Art]

Imitation has a long-standing place in the art world, and thus Art is quite good at making fakes, be they “lost” symphonies or falsified documents. When a character uses Art to make a forgery, the difficulty depends on the complexity of the thing being duplicated. Having an original on hand can help reduce the difficulty. Deceit should also be used to complement the effort.
For more on how forgery difficulties are set, see page XX.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This measures the character’s general physical capability, excepting raw power, which is a function of Might. Athletics covers running, jumping, climbing, and other broadly physical activities you might find in a track and field event. Characters with high Athletics include athletes, soldiers and outdoorsmen.
Athletics is often the “when in doubt” physical skill, and it can get a lot of use. There’s sometimes confusion as to when to use Athletics and when to use Might. As a rule of thumb, Athletics is used to move yourself, Might is used to move other things and people. When an action calls for both, they may modify one another. If there is no clear indication which should be primary, default to Athletics as primary and Might as secondary.

◉ Jumping [Athletics]

This is not the Olympics – jumping is something one does to get over obstacles or across bottomless chasms, and in those situations the GM will set a fixed difficulty to be met or exceeded. Generally, that difficulty is going to be the bare minimum to clear the distance, so beating that by a few shifts is often a good idea. Outside of that, jumping is often just considered an extension of normal movement. For GM advice on setting difficulties and designing jumping challenges, see page XX.

◉ Sprinting [Athletics]

A character may use their Athletics to move faster by taking a sprint action. Normally, characters may only move one zone on their turn by turning over one of their shifts as a supplemental action. Characters who spend their entire action moving are sprinting; rolling Athletics against a target difficulty of Mediocre, they may cross a number of zones and borders equal to or less than the total shifts of effect. In the absence of borders, characters can always move a minimum of one zone. See page XX for additional details.

◉ Climbing [Athletics]

Athletics is the skill for climbing. The GM will set a difficulty for how hard it is to climb a given obstacle. At the GM’s option, shifts may be used to speed the process if the character succeeds. For GM advice on setting difficulties and designing climbing challenges, see page XX.

◉ Dodging [Athletics]

Athletics can be used as a defensive skill to respond to attacks in physical combat, and works very well in conjunction with taking a full defense action (yielding a +2 to the roll; see page XX). The one important thing to note is that taking a defense action means that you can’t use Athletics for other things, like sprinting.

◉ Falling [Athletics]

When characters fall, they bypass the physical stress track entirely, and hop right to a consequence, with the severity of the consequence being determined by length of the fall. Characters who fall can roll Athletics to try to limit the severity of the result. For guidelines on the severity of falls, please see the chapter on Running the Game, page XX.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
The ability to overcome security systems, from alarms to locks, falls under the auspices of this skill. This also includes knowledge of those systems and the ability to assess them. Characters with a high Burglary include burglars, private eyes and even some cops.

◉ Casing [Burglary]

Burglary can also be used as a very specialized perception skill, specifically to assess the weaknesses and strengths of a potential target. Here, the character is trying to determine the existence of inobvious or hidden aspects, using assessment (see page XX). This usage of Burglary can be blurred together with something like declaration, if the player comes up with an entertaining new aspect to place on the target of his future burglaring. Thus, either the GM can indicate that some flaw exists and has been discovered, or the player can make a declaration about a flaw in the security that he intends to defeat.
Regardless of the method, the character then makes a roll against a difficulty determined by the GM, and if he succeeds, that fact is true, and may grant a +2 bonus to a roll where that information is useful. When a player is making declarations, casing follows the same guidelines as the minor details trapping for Academics (page XX), but is limited to security facts (including potential escape routes). As in either case this reveals an aspect waiting to be tagged, the first +2 is free, and subsequent uses on other rolls cost a fate point, as always.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Contacting is the ability to find things out from people. A character may know a guy, who knows a guy, or maybe he just knows the right questions to ask. Whatever his methods, he know hows to find things out by asking around. Characters with high Contacting include reporters, private eyes and spies.
A character with a high Contacting skill knows a wide variety of people and has at least a mild amount of connection with virtually any organization. There are Contacting stunts which give a character deep ties to a specific field like crime or business, and those allow a deeper level of contact within that field.
Contacting does not work in a vacuum. The character needs to be able to get out and talk to people for it to be useful, and when that isn’t possible, neither is Contacting. Contacting is also limited by familiarity – a character finding himself in an entirely unfamiliar environment may encounter difficulties increased by as much as +4. Thankfully, Contacting also covers the skill for building new social networks, so if a character stays in an area for any amount of time, he can diminish the difficulty by one per week spent.

◉ Gather Information [Contacting]

As with the research trapping from Academics (page XX), gathering information begins with a question, except the character goes out and talks to people, trying to find the answer to a question like, “Who’s trying to kill me?” The player describes where his character is going to talk to folks (usually “the street”), the GM sets the difficulty, and the player rolls at normal, at which point the GM passes on whatever the player has discovered. If the Skills roll fails, then the research time investment table may be applied; instead of needing a library, the character needs people to talk to. These people must have the right level of access to answer the question; this corresponds to the “quality” of a library. If the character is being “shut out” for one reason or another, no amount of dogged persistence through time investment is going to help. When that happens, it usually means there’s another problem the player needs to solve first.
One important warning about authenticity – being the most informed guy and knowing all the latest gossip isn’t necessarily the same thing. Contacting finds out what people know, and people always have their own biases. Information is only as good as the sources it comes from. Contacting rarely tests the veracity of the information provided – save by the discovery, through several sources, that contradictory answers are coming from different sources. If a character wants to determine the truthfulness of the information he’s finding, that’s a more in-depth conversation, and may involve Empathy, Rapport, Deceit, and more.

◉ Getting the Tip Off [Contacting]

Contacting also keeps the character apprised of the general state of things, and acts as a sort of social Alertness, keeping the character abreast of things that might be coming his way. It’s far from foolproof, and like Alertness, the GM is usually the one to call for a roll – a player can’t go out looking for a tip off (though he can tell the GM he’s going out talking to his contacts just to check on what’s up, which is a good hint that he’d like a tip off ).

◉ Rumors [Contacting]

Contacting is also useful for planting rumors, not just for ferreting them out. The player simply tells the GM what rumor he wants to plant, and the GM may assign bonuses and penalties based on how preposterous or reasonable the rumor is. The GM then uses the final roll to determine what the result of the rumor is.
It’s worth noting: the character’s roll is also the target for someone else’s Contacting roll to find out who’s been spreading rumors, so be careful!


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Deceit is the ability to lie, simple as that. Be it through word or deed, it’s the ability to convey falsehoods convincingly. Characters with high Deceit include grifters, spies, and politicians.
For simple deceptions, a contest between Deceit and an appropriate skill (usually Empathy, Alertness or Investigation) is all that is necessary, but for deeper deceptions, like convincing someone of a lie or selling someone the Brooklyn Bridge, a social conflict is appropriate, complete with Deceit attacks and social stress being dealt. Sometimes, Deceit is the undercurrent rather than the forefront of an action, and as such, the skill may be used secondarily to modify, restrict, or complement another skill’s use.

◉ Disguise [Deceit]

Deceit does cover disguises, using the disguised character’s Deceit skill against any attempts to penetrate the disguise. Such disguises are dependent upon what props are available, and won’t hold up to intense scrutiny (specifically, an Investigation roll) without the use of stunts, but they’re fine for casual inspection (Alertness rolls).

◉ False Face Forward [Deceit]

A character with Deceit may opt to use Deceit instead of Rapport to defend against another character using Empathy to get a read on him. This roll is modified by Rapport.
If the character loses his defense roll, then the Empathy reader may proceed as usual – in attempting to hide himself, the character has blundered and revealed a truth. If the character wins the roll, however, he may provide a false aspect to the reader, sending her off with an utterly fabricated notion of him.
When a character tries to take advantage of an aspect that they falsely think is there, it can end up being a waste of a fate point or worse! (See Guessing Aspects, page XX)

◉ Cat and Mouse [Deceit]

Deceit can be used for more than just dodging attention; it can be used to riposte a social query with a web of deception. When another character initiates a social contest, including an Empathy read, the character turns the tables, using his Deceit as an offensive skill, and representing any Skills particularly convincing lies as consequences. This is a dangerous game though, as the deceiver is opting not to put his false face forward, and if his opponent succeeds, he’ll hit upon the truth. However, if the deceiver outclasses his opponent significantly, this can be a powerful technique.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Drive is the ability to operate a motorcar, one of the greatest inventions of recent memory. Mister Ford has put these all over the roads of America, and the first folks truly comfortable behind the wheel are emerging. Why, the most daring speed-demons among them can make the most of its 20 horsepower, nearing speeds of 45 miles per hour! Characters with high Drive include chauffeurs, racers and getaway drivers.
Drive is pretty easy to use. Trying to do something in a car? Roll Drive, simple as that. If a character trying to do something fancy, like drive and shoot at the same time, Drive will restrict the skill being used (not modify, as a high Drive skill won’t make someone a better shot).

◉ Chases [Drive]

Cars inevitably lead to chases, one of the major trappings of this skill. In a chase, a character’s Drive skill is used to close the distance between him and the car he’s chasing (or increase the distance if he’s the one being chased!). It’s also used to bring quick resolution to the issues brought up by terrain and other obstacles. For an extensive treatment of car chase rules, see the GM section on page XX.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This is the ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling. This can be handy if a character is trying to spot a liar or wants to tell someone what that person wants to hear. Empathy is usable as a defense against Deceit, and is the basis for initiative in a social conflict. Characters with a high Empathy include gamblers, reporters and socialites.

◉ Reading People [Empathy]

Empathy can be used to figure out what makes another character tick.
Given at least a half hour of intense, personal interaction, a character may make an Empathy roll against the target’s Rapport roll (see page XX for more on Empathy vs. Rapport when reading people). This is an assessment action (see page XX). If he gains one or more shifts on the roll, he discovers one of the target’s aspects which he is not already aware of. It may not reveal the aspect in precise detail, but it should paint a good general picture ; for instance, it might not give the name of the character’s brother, but it will reveal that there is someone with that relationship. This process may be repeated, taking longer each time and ultimately can reveal a number of aspects equal to the character’s Empathy skill’s value (minimum one) – so, a Fair skill (value 2) would allow two aspects revealed through at least two different rolls.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Endurance is the ability to keep performing physical activity despite fatigue or injury. It’s a measure of the body’s resistance to shock and effort. In addition to fatigue, Endurance measures how well a character shrugs off poisons and disease (for a treatment of poisons, see page XX). Characters with a high Endurance include explorers, athletes, and sailors.
Endurance is a passive skill. Players will very rarely need to ask to roll Endurance; instead, the GM will call for rolls when appropriate.
Endurance can particularly come into play in long-term actions, as a secondary, restricting skill, where the character’s ability to keep performing at peak is limited by how able he is to overcome fatigue and pain; this is why top athletes have their Endurance skill on par with (or better than!) their Athletics skill. Someone without a solid Endurance skill may be a good sprinter, but will find themselves winded and falling behind in a marathon.
Endurance also determines a character’s Health capacity (the length of a character’s Health stress track), since Health stress represents physical wounds and fatigue.
By default, players have 5 boxes for their Health stress track. Better-than- Mediocre Endurance increases the number of boxes as shown here.

Endurance Health
Average - Fair +1
Good - Great +2
Superb - Fantastic +3


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX; Gadgets and Gizmos, page XX)
Engineering is the understanding of how machinery works, both for purposes of building it and taking it apart. While it is complimented by an understanding of Science, Engineering can just as easily be the result of getting one’s hands dirty and having a natural feel for how things work. Characters with a high Engineering include inventors, mechanics, and frequently, drivers and pilots.

◉ Building Stuff [Engineering]

An engineer with time and tools can build a variety of items. For details on how to go about that, check out the Gadgets and Gizmos chapter (see page XX).

◉ Fixing Stuff [Engineering]

Engineering can be used to repair devices, given the right tools and enough time. Details on difficulties are in the GM’s guidelines (see page XX).

◉ Breaking Stuff [Engineering]

Engineering is also the skill for unmaking things. Given time and tools, an engineer can topple virtually any building or structure. In those circumstances, Engineering works like a very peculiar combat skill, possibly resulting in maneuvers or weirdly indirect attacks (like setting up a bridge to collapse when someone walks across it).


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This is the ability to hold one’s own in a fistfight, with no weapons available but one’s two mitts and a load of attitude! With specialized training, this may include the practice of more disciplined fisticuffs, such as the martial arts of the Orient. As a combat skill, Fists allows characters to defend themselves as well as attack. Fists fighters are also well-versed in a variety of fighting styles from all over the world, and may use this skill as a limited sort of knowledge skill covering those areas. Characters with high Fists include sailors, thugs, and martial artists.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Some games are pure luck, but a good gambler doesn’t play those. Gambling is the knowledge of how to gamble and moreover, how to win when gambling. It also includes knowledge of secondary things like bookmaking. Characters with a high Gambling include gamblers and dapper secret agents.

◉ Playing the Game [Gambling]

A gambler can usually find a game when he’s short on cash – or just in the mood for sport. Finding a game, or obtaining an invitation to one, requires a Contacting roll (complemented by Gambling), with a difficulty equal to the quality of the game (page XX). Characters with the Big Man stunt (see page XX) can automatically find a game with a quality up to their Gambling skill, but such a game is automatically high stakes (see below).
The quality of the game determines the base value of its pot, unless the gambler declares he’s looking for a high stakes game, in which case the pot is two steps higher. However, a high stakes game also includes the potential for complications, like sore losers, or strange table stakes. Once at the table, the gambler’s Gambling skill roll will determine if he wins or loses, and if the pot is bigger than his Resources, that might be a problem. The particulars of running a Gambling focused scene are covered in the GM’s section, page XX.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Sometimes characters just need to shoot things. Thankfully, there’s a skill for that. With a gun, characters can shoot up to two zones away – three if it’s a rifle (borders may or may not count, depending on their nature). Unfortunately, without a gun in hand, or at least close at hand, the skill isn’t much use.
Guns can also be used to cover non-gun weapons that shoot at a distance, such as bows and strange electrical spears that shoot lightning, though usually with a small penalty. If, at the time the player takes the skill, he decides the character is focused on using a method of shooting other than a gun, he may rename this skill to something more appropriate (e .g ., Bows) and instead face the familiarity penalty when using actual guns. Under such an Skills option, most Guns stunts are still available (though Two Bow Joe might be a little tricky).
The Guns skill does not allow characters to defend themselves as well as attack; it trades the a defense component for ability to act over greater range. A character who’s both a good shot and good at getting out of the way will also want to invest in either Athletics or Fists (or both!).
Guns users are also well-versed in a variety of small arms, large arms, and ammunitions, and may use this skill as a limited sort of knowledge skill covering those areas.
Characters with high Guns include soldiers, assassins, and hunters. If someone is devoted to using Guns as a strong component of their fighting style, it can safely be assumed that they possess at least one or two guns, regardless of Resources rating (though whether or not they will be allowed to such things wherever they go is another matter entirely). This is, of course, subject to the rigors of character concept and GM approval.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
There are more graceful social skills for convincing people to do what a character wants, but those skills tend not to have the pure efficiency of communicating that failing to comply may well result in some manner of harm. Nothing personal.
Using Intimidation is a blatant social attack, which someone can defend against with their Resolve. This is the skill for interrogation (as opposed to interviewing) as well as scaring the bejeezus out of someone. Even without a basis for fear, Intimidation can occasionally be used as provocation, to produce a strong “burst” of negative emotional response (such as provoking someone into a fight, or at least to anger). Regardless, it’s never pretty.
Characters with high Intimidation include mob enforcers, bouncers and “bad” cops.

◉ Threat of Violence [Intimidation]

If there is a reason for the target to believe that the intimidating character is capable of harming the target when they can’t do anything about it, such as if the target is unarmed and the intimidator is wielding a weapon, it is worth a +1 bonus, +2 if the target is completely helpless. Conversely, if the target is the armed one, his defense roll is likely at +1, and can be at +2 or more if the target is very secure in their position (such as being behind something solid, or having lots of backup). If these circumstances suddenly change, it’s certainly call for another Intimidation roll!
The lesson here is simple: Intimidation works best from a position of power. Achieve that position first, then apply the skill.

◉ Brush Off [Intimidation]

If things get to the point of a face off, there are a lot of other actions an opponent can do other than stand there and be intimidated, such as disengage or pull out a weapon. However, one of the real strengths of Intimidation is at the first flash of contact, when people instinctively get out of the way of someone intimidating. Intimidation can establish a powerful, menacing first impression. If the character is actively doing something intimidating, he may roll a quick contest of Intimidation against the opponent’s Resolve. If successful, the target is taken aback for a moment, generally long enough to brush past them, though usually with plenty of time to call for help if appropriate. This cannot be done in a fight, or against any target who is already ready for a fight, but in those “first contact” situations, Intimidation is gold for control.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Investigation is the ability to look for things and, hopefully, find them. This is the skill used when the character is actively looking for something, such as searching a crime scene or trying to spot a hidden enemy. Characters
Investigation is the skill most commonly called for when the character wants to look for something like clues. It is also useful for eavesdropping or any other activity where someone is trying to observe something over a period of time. When looking for deep patterns and hidden flaws, Investigation may be used as an assessment action (see above, page XX).
This makes Investigation the flipside of Alertness; it is mindful, deliberate perception, in contrast to Alertness’s passive mode of operation. This also means that an equivalent Investigation effort is nearly always going to yield better, more in-depth, information than an Alertness effort would; the downside is that Investigation is far more time consuming.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Leadership is a multi-faceted skill. A good leader knows how to direct and inspire people, but he also understands how to run an organization. As such, the Leadership skill covers acts of both types. Characters with a high Leadership include military officers, politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers.

◉ Administration [Leadership]

Any organization which the character is in charge of uses his Leadership as its default value for any question of how organized it is. This establishes the difficulty for things like bribery or theft, and also gives a general sense of how quickly and efficiently the organization acts.

◉ Bureaucracy [Leadership]

A good leader has knowledge of organizations and the rules that govern them, including knowledge of laws, bribery and other means of dealing with red tape; this is why Leadership is a key skill for lawyers. Leadership serves as an all-purpose knowledge skill for knowing how to act in a given organization, including important things like how much to bribe.

◉ Command [Leadership]

Leadership can be used to direct troops, workers or any other group activity. Any time the character is in a position to give orders to a group of minions, he may apply his Leadership as a modifying secondary skill on the minions’ skill roll. In a conflict, offering this assistance takes the character’s action, but can affect the minions attached to him. While attached minions cannot normally act, when they are being directed by the character with leadership, they act as if they were not attached.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This is a measure of pure physical power, be it raw strength or simply the knowledge of how to use the strength one has. For lifting, moving and breaking things, Might is the skill of choice. Might may be used indirectly as well, to modify, complement, or limit some skill uses. Characters with a high Might include strongmen, laborers, and lords of the jungle.

◉ Fighting People [Might]

In combat, Might can be used to help with particular applications of Fists and Weapons – if force is a very significant element at play, Might will modify the primary skill. Furthermore, someone successfully engaging an opponent in a one-on-one exchange can potentially switch from Fists to Might, if executing a hold or other wrestling move where it’s less about hitting someone as it is about overwhelming them with physical force. Such a switch would result from a maneuver of some sort.

◉ Breaking Things [Might]

Might is the skill of choice for applying brute force to break things in halves or smaller pieces, and includes breaking boards, knocking down doors and the like. Using Might, items can be damaged over time or broken with a single dramatic blow. (For guidelines on breaking things, see page XX .)

◉ Lifting Things [Might]

Might also controls how much the character can lift or move. The weight of the thing being moved sets the difficulty for the roll. (For a discussion of weight and the lifting of heavy things, see page XX .)


([[[fate-v3:mysteries-stunts || Stunts]]]; Adjudication, page XX)
There is more to the world than science has explained yet. Ethereal photography, mesmerism and other mentalist tricks, rituals of lost pre–Roman empires, secrets of the distant East – all these and more are known to a master of Mysteries. Characters with high Mysteries include mystics, explorers, and adventurous archaeologists.
The actual use of Mysteries is fairly flexible – in appropriate situations it can serve as a knowledge skill like Academics, a perception skill like Alertness, or even something else entirely.

◉ Sixth Sense [Mysteries]

The GM may occasionally call upon a character to roll Mysteries in the same way she might ask for Alertness rolls. As the name implies, this will tend to be for things that are strange and mysterious, so predicting when it’s applicable can be hard to do. Occasionally, it may allow the player an assessment action to discover hidden aspects of a locale that are shrouded in mystic and arcane ways.

◉ Mesmerism [Mysteries]

Mysteries can be used for hypnosis. This is more of a parlor trick than anything else, useful on the weak minded when you’ve got lots of time to put on a show.
Technically speaking, Mysteries is a basis for a mental conflict, but practically speaking, both parties need to be willing participants, so it’s not really a conflict at all. People are hypnotized because they want to be, and they suffer no lasting consequences. There are no post–hypnotic suggestions or other mind control tricks (though certain mesmerism–focused Mysteries stunts break this rule).
Despite those limitations, mesmerism does have some practical uses. First, it can be useful to recover lost memories. A mesmerist can put another character in a trance and give them a chance to try to remember a scene more precisely.
Additionally, a Mesmerist can put a willing subject into a calming trance to help them ignore external distractions. This can be very useful in leading a panicked arachnophobe though a room full of spiders or the like.

◉ Arcane Lore [Mysteries]

Mysteries can be used in the same way Academics can, for research of exceptionally esoteric topics. You can even use Academics to compliment your Mysteries roll when seeking out fragments of the hidden world. The main limitation is that libraries necessary for this sort of research are few and far between, though characters may have an Arcane Library of their own if they have sufficient Resources (see page XX).

◉ Fortune–Telling [Mysteries]

Casting tarot, throwing chicken bones or reading horoscopes – a character can use Mysteries to try to make guesses about the future. The knowledge gleaned is never terribly specific, but it allows the player to determine if a course of action is auspicious. The character should summarize the fortune as best they can, ideally to something that could go on a fortune cookie. The fortune may be general (“The cock will crow when the thunder strikes”) or about a specific target (“You will meet a tall, dark stranger”) but that’s the limit on the specificity. The GM can guide a player through building a proper fortune, using her guidelines (page XX).
Fortune–telling is a form of declaration. The character may, once per session, make a prediction, and make a roll against a difficulty set by the GM. If the roll is successful, it’s a true fortune, and there is now an aspect that represents it. If the target of the fortune was a person, they receive the temporary aspect for the duration of the adventure. If it was a general prediction, it is considered to be a scene aspect on every scene for the duration of the adventure.

◉ Artificing [Mysteries]

Mysteries can be used to create artifacts and talismans in much the same way that Technology can. This requires an Arcane Workshop of appropriate level, but otherwise follows most of the same guidelines as Technology (see page XX).


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Perhaps even more exciting than the automobile is the airplane. The Great War brought numerous advances in aviation into the world, and the pilot is still a dashing, heroic figure. With the end of the war, the commercial and practical applications of aviation are beginning to be explored.
Characters with a high Pilot are usually professional pilots, though it is sometimes the domain of the idle rich. In play, the trappings of Drive can easily apply to Pilot as well.
Pilots with a low Resources skill probably don’t own their own aircraft, but it is entirely likely that they can charter one.
Alternately, certain stunts may lead to the possession of an aircraft, regardless of Resources.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
The flipside of Intimidation, this is the ability to talk with people in a friendly fashion and make a good impression, and perhaps convince them to see one’s side of things. Any time a character wants to communicate without an implicit threat, this is the skill to use, which makes it appropriate for interviewing. Characters with high Rapport include grifters, reporters, and good cops.

◉ First Impressions [Rapport]

The first time a character meets someone, the GM may call for a quick Rapport roll to determine the impression the character makes. For more guidelines governing first impressions, see page XX.

◉ Closing Down [Rapport]

Rapport controls the face the character shows to the world, and that includes what they choose not to show. As such, when a character tries to use Empathy to get a read on a character, it is opposed by Rapport. If the character wishes to simply reveal nothing, they may use Rapport and take the equivalent of a defensive action, gaining a +2 on their roll.
This is over and above the “default” of a Rapport defense because it is openly obvious: the character is wiping all emotions off of his face. It also requires that the character be consciously aware that someone’s trying to get a read off of him. If the character is trying not to look like he’s actively warding off the read, or isn’t really aware he’s being read, then he isn’t taking a full defensive action, and does not get the +2.

◉ Opening Up [Rapport]

Characters skilled in Rapport are able to control which side of their personality is shown to others, seeming to open up while actually guarding their deepest secrets. Since true things are still revealed about the character, this is not an inherently deceptive action. When a character opens up, he defends against an Empathy read with Rapport, as usual. If his opponent succeeds and generates at least one shift, he finds something out, as usual. If not, he still discovers an aspect – but it’s one of the defending character’s choice.
This can effectively be used to stonewall someone without the obvious poker face of Closing Down. On top of it all, the character opening up can always choose to reveal something that the other character already knows about.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Resolve is a measure of a character’s self-mastery, as expressed through things like courage and willpower. It’s an indicator of coolness under fire and also represents the drive not to quit. It plays a key part in efforts to resist torture or the strange mental powers of psychic villainy.
Resolve is almost always rolled in response to something, rather than on its own. Its primary role is as defense against most kinds of social manipulation or distraction. Resolve also shines in situations which have spun very much out of control. Characters with a high Resolve have a distinct advantage in continuing to keep their head about them and respond calmly. Similarly, when all seems lost, a character with a strong Resolve is often capable of soldiering on. Resolve is the mental or social parallel to physical Endurance.
Resolve also determines a character’s Composure capacity (the length of the Composure stress track), indicating the character’s resilience in the face of mental, emotional, and social stress. By default, players have a Composure capacity of 5, but they may increase that capacity based upon their Resolve. Better than Mediocre Resolve adds more boxes to the stress track as shown here.

Resolve Composure
Average - Fair +1
Good - Great +2
Superb - Fantastic +3


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Usually Resources is simply a measure of available wealth, but the specific form this takes, from a secret family silver mine to a well invested portfolio, can vary from character to character (and may be indicated and enhanced by their aspects). Usually this skill passively informs the GM what the character’s available resources are, but Resources may still be rolled for large expenditures, like purchases and bribes. Some large-scale conflicts may be about trying to out-spend the other guy; here, Resources can act as an attack or defense skill.
Note: characters who have access to a fairly sized organization's resources can act as if they have Resources at Fair and, with the backing of the organization, can potentially make bigger purchases. These expenditures are tracked by the organization, and as such, if subterfuge is important, personal resources are a wiser choice.
Characters with high Resources include robber barons, aristocrats and successful criminals.

◉ Spending Money [Resources]

The cost of items is measured on the adjective ladder (for an examination of the costs of things, please see page XX). Characters can buy reasonable quantities of anything of a value less than their Resources without worrying about it. For items greater than or equal to their Resources, they need to roll against the cost of the thing. If successful, the character can afford the item; if not, they can’t. Characters can only make one Resources roll per scene.
Characters are generally assumed to have all the tools they would normally need to do their job, whether that job is fixing engines or shooting people. Still, sometimes a situation will arise where something needs to be bought. When that happens, the price is measured in terms of how much Resources it requires.

◉ Lifestyle [Resources]

Characters are assumed to live in accordance to their means, which may mean that rich characters may not even need to go shopping. Generally speaking, if something costs two steps less than the character’s Resources skill, he probably has one already, assuming it’s something that would make sense for him to have previously obtained.

◉ Workspaces [Resources]

Part of the passive measure of Resources is the tools and spaces the character has access to. Workspaces are environments where a character can perform a certain type of work, and owning and maintaining a world-class lab or library requires a certain amount of resources.
Characters may use their Resources to set up the tools they need for their job. A character’s home may have, for free, a single Library, Lab, Workshop, Arcane Library or Arcane workshop of a quality equal to their (Resources-2). As described in Academics, above, the quality of a workplace determines the highest possible difficulty of a “question” or project that can be pursued there.
For the various types of skills which need workspaces, the breakdown is as shown in the following table. See the respective skills for more details.

Skill Work Workplace
Academics Academic Research Library
Science Lab Work Lab
Engineering Gadgeteering Workshop
Mysteries Arcane Research Arcane Library
Mysteries Artificing Arcane Workshop

If the character wishes to have a specialized workspace, such as a workshop that can only work on guns, they may have it at a quality equal to their (Resources-1) instead. Higher quality workspaces may be constructed, but will require a Resources roll with a difficulty equal to the quality +2 (or only +1 in the case of a specialized space), and will not be made immediately available at the time of purchase (though additional shifts may be spent to reduce time, as usual).


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
Not just science, but “Science!” Science holds the promise of revealing all the world’s secrets to mankind. This skill represents a broad knowledge of scientific method, and includes the field of medicine. Characters with a high Science include scientists and physicians, but any gentleman of quality has at least some familiarity with the sciences.

◉ Lab Work [Science]

Science can be used to answer all manner of questions, provided there’s time and equipment to look into them. A scientist looking to solve a problem should figure out what question he’s trying to answer, like “What killed this man?” or “What is this object composed of ?”. The GM will call for a roll to see if the character can answer the question. This will require a lab of some sort, and it’s possible that some questions can’t be answered without the right equipment. In the end, this functions the same as Academics performing research in a library (see page XX).

◉ Medical Attention [Science]

Pulp scientists are broadly versed, and this includes a basic understanding of medicine. A character can use the Science skill for first aid and more advanced medicine. See page XX for a discussion of the difficulties in using Science for medical purposes.

◉ Science! [Science]

More importantly, Science here means pulp science. Do mathematical equations Is there a cure for lycantrophy and vampirism? Of course there is, and Dr. Thanatos has a glowing syringe to prove it in his bag! Is phlogiston, the subatomic particle of fire, a valid theory? My friend, not only is it valid, but I’d like to show you my phlotomic bomb!
In practice, this simply means nearly anything can be explained with “Science!” It may not necessarily make sense to anyone other than the person doing the explaining, but it at least sounds authoritative, and sometimes it’s even right. When confronted with a challenge, the character can apply a scientific explanation, and roll against a difficulty set by the GM. This is a declaration action. If a character acts in accordance with the resulting scientific advice, and he succeeds on the roll, he gains a +2 bonus or a reroll on the action, by tagging the aspect he’s introduced. The science of this declaration doesn’t really need to be accurate to the real world – it just needs to sounds scientific, and can even just be regular advice using long scientific words. Since the bonus comes from tagging an aspect, the first one’s free, and subsequent uses will cost a fate point.

Sleight of Hand

(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
The hand can certainly be quicker than the eye. This skill covers fine, dexterous activities like stage magic, pickpocketing, and replacing an idol with a bag of sand without tripping a trap. While Athletics is appropriate for gross physical activities, most things requiring manual speed and precision falls under this skill (that said, if you’re picking a lock, use Burglary). Characters with a high Sleight of Hand include stage magicians, pickpockets, and jugglers.

◉ Pickpocket [Sleight of Hand]

Picking a pocket is a quick contest between Sleight of Hand and the target’s Alertness (which may be complemented by the target’s own Sleight of Hand). Due to the difficulty of this sort of work, the target usually receives a +2 bonus, as if he were performing a full defense against the action. If the target is distracted by something else, he loses the +2 bonus. If anyone else is in a position to observe the attempt, they also may make Alertness rolls to spot the attempt (though they don’t gain the +2).

◉ Art of Distraction [Sleight of Hand]

Characters may use Sleight of Hand to try to hide things in plain sight, and may use Sleight of Hand to oppose any perception check for something that they could try to hide, misplace, or distract attention from. When a character uses this skill to hide something, his skill roll indicates the difficulty of any Investigation rolls to find it.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This is the ability to remain unseen and unheard. Directly opposed by Alertness or Investigation, this ability covers everything from skulking in the shadows to hiding under the bed. Characters with a high Stealth include burglars, assassins, and sneaky children.

◉ Hiding [Stealth]

When a character is hiding, he’s remaining perfectly still and (hopefully) out of sight. Lighting, obstacles and other environmental factors can affect the player’s roll, and the result of his Stealth roll is the basis for any contest with a searcher’s Alertness or Investigation.

◉ Skulking [Stealth]

Skulking is the art of moving while trying to remain unnoticed. It uses many of the same rules as Hiding, but is somewhat more difficult for obvious reasons.

◉ Ambush [Stealth]

While we can be sure that heroes would never strike an opponent from ambush, they may end up on the receiving end of such nefarious actions! When a strike is made from ambush, the target gets one last Alertness check to see if he notices something at the last moment. On a success, the target(s) can defend normally. If that Alertness roll fails, the attack is made with the target’s first defense roll at Mediocre.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This is the skill of outdoorsmen. It covers hunting, trapping, tracking, building fires, and lots of other wilderness skills that a civilized man has no use for. Characters with a high Survival include explorers, hunters, scouts, and lords of the jungle.

◉ Animal Handling [Survival]

Survival also covers the breadth of interaction with animals, from training them to communicating with them, albeit in a limited fashion. This includes handling beasts of burden and carriage animals, as well as common pets. Survival serves as a stand-in for all social skills when dealing with animals. Not to say animals are great conversationalists, but when one is trying to soothe or stare down an animal, Survival is the skill to roll.

◉ Riding [Survival]

The horse is not yet absent from the landscape, and other exotic beasts occasionally need riding across deserts and through time-forgotten jungles. The Survival skill may be used for riding animals, and should operate much as Drive does when it comes to chases.
Survival also covers the basics of riding. Characters looking to be accomplished horsemen should consider the Equestrian stunt from Athletics (page XX), but for getting by and not falling off a horse, Survival does the job.
Whether the character personally commands a mount may be subject to character concept or judicious application of the Resources skill. Truly exceptional mounts are the domain of stunts.

◉ Camouflage [Survival]

Survival can be used to construct blinds and other ways to help remain hidden outdoors. On a Mediocre roll, a character can build a blind or otherwise create a place to hide, which lets Survival modify Stealth rolls. Such a construction takes a few hours to build, and will last a day, plus one extra day per shift.

◉ Scavenging [Survival]

If characters need to scrounge up something from the wilderness – sticks, bones, sharp rocks, vines that can serve as rope and so on – they can roll Survival to find these things.


(Stunts, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
This is the skill for fighting with weapons, from swords to knives to axes to clubs to whips. The exact weapon is more of a choice of style than anything else, as this covers everything from fencing in European salons to sailors using knives and batons on the docks.
The Weapons skill also covers the ability to throw small handheld weapons up to one zone away, or to use weapons (like a whip) with unusually long reach to attack adjacent zones, so a character would use this skill to be a good knife fighter and knife thrower. This gives Weapons-focused characters a small leg up on folks who fight with their Fists, with the downside that a Weapons user needs to have a weapon in hand in order to make much use of the skill.
As a combat skill, Weapons inherently carries the ability to defend oneself in a fight and as such, may be rolled for defense. Weapons users are also well-versed in a variety of fighting styles and weapons, and may use this skill as a limited sort of knowledge skill covering those areas.
Characters with high Weapons include sailors, fencers, and some kinds of athletes and circus performers.
If someone is devoted to using Weapons as a strong component of their fighting style, it can safely be assumed that they possess the sufficient weaponry in order to make use of the skill, regardless of Resources rating. This is, of course, subject to the rigors of character concept and GM approval.

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