What Stunts Do
Stunts exist to provide guaranteed situational benefits, or special abilities or minor powers, under particular circumstances.
A stunt may grant a character the ability to use a skill under unusual circumstances, such as using it in a broader array of situations, substituting it for another skill, or using it in a complementary fashion to another skill. A stunt might allow a character to gain an effect roughly equal to two shifts, when used in a specific way, or otherwise grant other small effects. Put more simply, stunts allow the usual rules about skills to be broken – or at least bent.
Some stunts may have prerequisites (other stunts or even aspects). Particularly potent stunts may also require the use of a fate point in order to activate. In general, a character should not take a stunt tied to a skill he does not have at least at Average.
What follows is not a comprehensive list of stunts. GMs (and players under GM supervision) are encouraged to create their own to fit their game. The important thing to keep in mind is that entry level stunts – without prerequisites – are the baseline; if the effect of the stunt is really unusual or particularly potent, it may be somewhere down the line of a chain of stunts.
The stunts in this chapter are presented skill by skill, and under each skill they are further divided into thematic groups. Each group usually has one or more “entry level” stunts – ones that don’t have prerequisites – and several which require one or more of those entry level stunts to be taken first.
When building a character quickly, take a look at these groups – you may find it easiest to simply take all the stunts within a group, as they are all thematically similar, and can quickly establish what your character’s niche is. As mentioned in Character Creation, characters start with five stunts. As you’ll see later in the Tips and Tricks chapter, characters may be able to gain additional stunts as the game progresses.
In order to help separate the stunts from the skill and category headings, you’ll see a star symbol ✪ next to each stunt listed.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Linguist [Academics]
Normally, someone may only speak a number of additional languages equivalent to the value of his Academics skill. With this stunt, your character may speak five additional languages.
✪ Gift of Tongues [Academics]
There is no “mainstream” earthly language you cannot read or speak – no need to pick your languages. In addition, you may use your usual language “slots” to read and speak languages you have no business having learned, such as languages from lost fantastic cultures (Atlantis, Erehwon, Lemuria), of extraterrestrial or extradimensional origin, etc.
Your slots remain increased by the Linguist stunt, so someone with Average Academics and these two stunts can speak every normal language on the planet, plus six (1+5) very unusual ones. The Linguist stunt may be taken multiple times in order to increase this number.
✪ Walking Library [Academics]
The character’s prodigious reading has paid off in spades, and he is able to recall minute details from even the most obscure literary works. The character is always considered to have a library on hand of a quality equal to his Academics skill, enabling him to answer questions with a base difficulty less than or equal to his Academics skill, using nothing other than his brain and some time for contemplation. Additionally, any research performed by this character in a real library automatically takes one unit less time (see “Taking Your Time” on page XX), and any libraries with a quality less than his Academics skill do not limit the difficulty of the question asked, as they normally would.
✪ Photographic Memory [Academics]
Requires Walking Library.
If you’ve read it, you remember it. If the answer lies in something you’ve read before (this must be reasonable), then any research effort takes an additional two units less time – stacked on top of the benefit of Walking Library, this means that a half hour’s worth of research in books you’ve already encountered can be resolved in a matter of seconds, and a day’s worth covered in a mere hour. See the time table on page XX for more.
✪ Studied Recall [Academics]
Requires Photographic Memory.
Your photographic memory extends outside of books. Once per scene, you may spend a fate point and roll Academics against a difficulty of Mediocre. Each shift you generate may be used to specify a target that you wish to memorize as you might a book – returning later, in your mind, to assess new details (using an appropriate perception skill, usually Investigation).
This ability differs from Investigation’s Eye for Detail stunt in that Eye for Detail covers the entire location, after the fact, whereas Studied Recall requires you to specify which individual pieces of a location you are studying, while you are still in that location.
✪ Scholar [Academics]
Your character is a respected authority in a specific academic field. Possibilities include history, English, archeology, mathematics and so on. In the elite circles of that particular field, you are recognized for your expertise. Even if your skill level is low, it merely means you are towards the bottom of that particular group of the elite.
When you make an Academics roll pertaining to your general area of expertise, you automatically receive a +1 bonus. Beyond this, you should pick a specific specialization within that area (like ancient Sumerian history, or cryptography). When an Academics roll involves that specialization, you gain an additional +1 bonus (for a total +2 to the value of the research effort).
Any research efforts involving the specialization take one unit less time; this may be combined with Walking Library, in the Memory group of stunts, for lightning-fast research. When taking part in an academic conference or otherwise interacting with others in the field, you may use Academics to complement your social skills (Rapport, Empathy, Deceit, etc). Your skill is considered elevated by these bonuses, so someone with Good Academics, acting in his area of specialization, would complement skills as if his Academics were Superb (Good+2).
This stunt may be taken more than once, each time for an additional field. The bonuses may not overlap, however.
✪ Dizzying Intellect [Academics]
Your area of knowledge is so advanced, there’s usually no one around who can tell if you’re making things up. Whenever your area of expertise (as defined when you took the Scholar stunt) comes to bear, and you would use Academics to modify Deceit, you may use your Academics skill instead of Deceit, gaining its full value rather than a simple +1. If you’ve taken Scholar multiple times, this stunt applies to all covered areas.
✪ It’s Academic [Academics]
Your specialized knowledge gives you flashes of insight into all manner of things.
Once per session, you can use this ability when you are about to perform an action which your academic field touches upon. The connection can be tenuous, provided you can explain to the GM how it might apply.
Make a declaration attempt as described under “Declaring Minor Details” (see page XX). If you get at least one shift, you successfully declare one aspect; for every two shifts you gain beyond the first, you may declare one additional aspect about the subject in question (so two aspects total at 3 shifts, three aspects total at 5 shifts, etc). If you opt to declare only one aspect in total, you may instead convert these additional shifts into non-aspect facts.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ On Top Of It [Alertness]
You may spend a fate point to go first in an exchange, regardless of your initiative. If multiple people with this stunt exercise this ability, they go in turn of their normal initiative, before those who don’t have the stunt get a chance to act. If the exchange has already started, and you have not yet acted, you may instead spend a fate point to act next, out of the usual turn order.
This may only be done between character’s actions, and cannot be done as an interruption of any kind (so if you spend the fate point to do this while someone else is acting, you must wait until they’re done). Your character must not have acted yet in the exchange in order to use the ability in this way. If your character’s turn has passed, and you elected to hold your action, then there’s no need to activate this stunt; use the held action rules normally (page XX).
✪ Ready for Anything [Alertness]
Requires I’m On Top Of It.
The character’s senses are so keyed into minute changes that he is able to respond more quickly to new details. The character’s Alertness skill is considered to be one higher for purposes of determining initiative (allowing someone with Superb Alertness to have Fantastic initiative). This stunt breaks ties whenever facing opponents with the same initiative. This stunt may be taken multiple times, each time increasing the character’s initiative one step.
✪ Cut Off [Alertness]
Requires On Top Of It.
The character’s always watching for his opponents to try to get something past him, and can cut that option off, even when he fails in his primary effort against them. Whenever your character attacks an opponent (or performing an attack-like maneuver), then no matter how well the opponent rolls on his defense, the opponent does not generate spin, and thus can’t provide a +1 in his side’s favor (see page XX).
✪ Run Interference [Alertness]
Requires Ready for Anything.
Normally, a character who has held his action cannot interrupt another’s action at all; he must allow the action to finish before acting. If your character has this stunt, you may bend that rule.
Whenever you choose to hold your action, you may spend a fate point before someone acts to have that person truthfully declare what he is about to do. You may then use your held action to block (see page XX) the action your target has declared, using whatever skill is appropriate to create the block. If you are not opting to block the effort, you may not use your held action before your target, and your target may proceed. If you commit to performing a block action regardless of what your target declares, before he declares it, you do not need to spend the fate point. Be clear about this when you make your demand!
Regardless, if you do act and your most recent target then changes his mind based on that block, he must do so as a supplemental action (page XX), putting him at a -1. If he continues his declared course of action despite what you did, he must overcome the block.
✪ Danger Sense [Alertness]
The character maintains a quick and easy awareness of ambushes and other nasty surprises – perhaps preternaturally, perhaps simply due to finely tuned mundane senses. Whenever ambushed (see page XX), the character is able to take a full defensive action, gaining a +2 on his defense roll, regardless of whether or not he’s surprised (if he is surprised, dropping his base defense to Mediocre, this stunt takes his base defense up to Fair).
✪ Saw It Coming [Alertness]
Requires Danger Sense.
The character is never surprised; he may always take a full defensive action when ambushed, and his base defense is never reduced to Mediocre by surprise.
✪ Constant Vigilance [Alertness]
Requires Saw It Coming.
Not only is the character never surprised, he is never forced onto a defensive footing by an ambush. The ambush rules simply do not apply to him; in the first exchange, where others may normally only defend (if that), he may act freely, in normal initiative order.
✪ Take It All In [Alertness]
Requires two other Alertness stunts.
The character has tuned his Alertness to the point where, if he takes a normal Investigation length of time to open his senses to a location, he can gather an Investigation level of detail about it, without really going through the motions of a methodical search. When acting in this fashion, he may use Alertness instead of Investigation (which, really, is nearly all of the cases where he might use Investigation).
The trick with the results, here, is that they may come to the character with a different set of details than a methodical approach would yield. Conclusions may precede supporting details; the GM might choose to describe the middle part of a piece of information before the beginning or the end. Such are the hazards of Alertness.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ The Artist’s Eye [Art]
The artist is always examining the world for the creative hand at work. Even in endeavors which have nothing to do with art, he can recognize the elements of personality – the “signature”, if you will – of those at work.
While this does not reveal identity, it does allow the artist to determine common traits, themes, and behaviors with ease. Whenever making a determination as to the source of something (its “author”, after a fashion), characters with this stunt may use their Art instead of the usual skill that would be rolled. If the character has encountered several products of the same person, he may see past those things to the person – thus confirming a common source.
Furthermore, the character’s keen eye enables him to connect the metaphor of the artist – his work – with the artist himself. When encountering a work of art in any form, the character may roll Art to gain insight into the artist behind the work, as if he were using the Empathy skill on the actual artist (resisted by the usual skills). This stunt may only be used once per piece of art.
Taken as a whole, this stunt allows the artist to make assessment efforts against his target in absentia.
✪ Virtuoso [Art]
The character is a master of some specific form of art – painting, composition, singing, conducting or playing music, or the like. The character is a virtuoso in his field and recognized worldwide for his skill. Even if his actual skill level is not high, he is still on the list of the finest artists in the world, just not necessarily at the top of it. The character receives a +1 knowledge bonus when performing his art form. He may also pick a specialty (such a specific instrument or a specific school of painting) for which he receives a +1 specialty bonus. When applicable, the virtuoso may produce works of art one time increment faster than would normally take.
✪ Moving Performance [Art]
Whenever the artist uses his art to place an aspect on the scene, the aspect remains in place in any subsequent scenes involving the audience, up to a day from the end of the performance. At its best, this can essentially move such an aspect from a scene to the story itself, persisting across many scenes and many office members.
✪ Razor Tongue [Art]
The artist has a way with words, and knows how to craft the most exquisite insults. Whenever making a social roll that uses such words, he may automatically complement the effort with his Art skill – this is particularly potent when complementing Intimidation to get a rise out of someone, and in such a case, grants an additional +1 regardless of the level of skill.
✪ Poison Words [Art]
Requires Razor Tongue.
The artist’s skill at satire is so profound as to take the whole audience with him. The artist may choose a target normally, and that target need not be in the audience (though it should be one familiar to the audience). Normally, aspects resulting from a performance may not be specific; with this stunt, however, the player may specify the target in any aspect he puts on the scene. Thus, while an artist might normally be able to add the “Hate” aspect to a scene, but one with this stunt may make it “Hate Lord Octavian”.
✪ Stage Presence [Art]
The artist’s works cannot be ignored. The character halves any additional difficulty bonuses due to distractions (rounded down); see page XX for details.
✪ All the World’s a Stage [Art]
Requires one other Art stunt.
Normally, acting is somewhat obvious for what it is, meant for a stage and not elsewhere, but with this stunt, the character’s talent is natural and unquestionable, and he may easily, convincingly adopt a persona off-stage. At that point, normally it would stop being a performance and be more about trying to fool someone – crossing over to Deceit. With this stunt, however, whenever asked to make a Deceit roll to convince a target he is someone he isn’t, the artist may choose to roll Art instead.
✪ Commissions [Art]
Your works and performances are heavily sought out, and there are those who will pay handsomely for it. Once per session, you may use your Art skill instead of Resources, representing a successful past commission.
✪ Do You Know Who I Am? [Art]
Your widespread name and your art are interlinked as one. When identifying yourself in order to get your way in a social or other applicable situation, you may complement Rapport, Intimidation, Deceit and Contacting rolls with your Art skill.
✪ Weight of Reputation [Art]
Requires Do You Know Who I Am?
Your reputation as an artist is so well known that it occasionally covers up for your social shortcomings.
For a fate point, you may use your Art skill instead of Rapport, Intimidation, Contacting, or Deceit, provided those you are dealing with are aware of your reputation (a second fate point will nearly always assure that they are).
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Contortionist [Athletics]
You can fit into and through spaces and shapes that no normal human readily can. Normally, contorting tasks are impossible to attempt, or at best default to a (non-existent) Contortion skill rated at Mediocre. With this stunt, you can use your full Athletics score instead, and have rationale to attempt feats of contortion that are simply unavailable to others.
✪ Acrobat [Athletics]
You are able to perform any number of impressive acrobatic feats. Difficulties assigned for complex maneuvers while acting (e .g walking on a tightrope, doing brain surgery while hanging from a trapeze) are reduced by two. Falling rolls gain a +2 bonus. When used acrobatically, your Athletics skill can never be used to restrict another skill, only complement it.
✪ Safe Fall [Athletics]
The character can skip effortlessly down sheer surfaces without harm, allowing him to safely fall great distances. When the character falls, but is near a solid surface, such as the wall of a shaft, or has sufficient other things like ropes to offset his fall, all falls are treated as two categories shorter (and may be reduced another step with Athletics as normal).
✪ Slippery [Athletics]
Requires at least one other Athletics stunt.
You gain a +2 to all attempts to defend against knockback or push attacks, as well as any attempts to escape from bonds.
✪ Marathon Training [Athletics]
You know how to conserve your energy when undergoing lengthy athletic activity (long-distance running, multi-day climbs, etc). You may use Athletics instead of Endurance under such circumstances, and in most other cases may complement any Endurance rolls with your Athletics.
✪ Fast as a Leopard [Athletics]
Requires Marathon Training.
You are incredibly fast on your feet. Whenever taking a sprint (but not move) action using Athletics, the value of that action is improved by two. Alternately, you may set aside this bonus in order to be considered on an “even footing” in a race with a mounted beast or a car (in 1920, cars aren’t that fast).
✪ Faster than a Leopard [Athletics]
Requires Fast as a Leopard.
You are simply, astonishingly fast. Whenever you roll to sprint, it’s at +4; you can reduce this to +2 and be considered on an even footing with a horse or a car. Furthermore, you face no penalties for moving one zone as a supplemental action.
✪ Human Spider [Athletics]
The character can climb surfaces he oughtn’t be able to. He receives a +2 bonus on any climb, and by spending a fate point, he may eliminate the effects of all difficulty modifiers resulting from the environment or the characteristics of the thing he’s climbing (so he can climb a slick, mostly flat surface in a rainstorm at much less difficulty).
✪ Mighty Leap [Athletics]
The character’s leaping ability borders on the superhuman. The character may reduce any height related borders (see page XX) by up to three.
✪ Equestrian [Athletics]
The character can use Athletics instead of Survival for all maneuvers when riding horses or other riding animals.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Criminal Mind [Burglary]
You have an acute understanding of what it takes to burglarize a place, and can investigate such crimes from the perspective of the criminal instead of the cop. You may use your Burglary skill instead of Investigation when investigating a theft or other act (such as arson) committed by someone using the Burglary skill. If the crime closely matches one the character has himself committed before, he gets a +1 bonus for familiarity right off the bat (it’s the GM’s job to factor this in).
✪ Tripwire Sensibilities [Burglary]
You’ve run into enough traps that you’ve developed an instinct for avoiding them. You may roll Burglary instead of Alertness or Investigation in order to uncover or otherwise avoid stumbling onto a trap. When your GM calls for an Alertness roll, be sure to make her aware that you have this stunt – it may change the skill to roll.
✪ Trespass Tempo [Burglary]
Requires Tripwire Sensibilities.
Whenever you’re running a burglarizing operation, you operate on very precise internal clock. You are always aware of exactly how much time has passed, and further, may use Burglary instead of Alertness as your initiative skill while everything is going to plan.
✪ Hatpin Maestro [Burglary]
The character’s skill with improvisation when bypassing a lock or similar contrivance is improved, so long as he has something that could pass as a tool, such as a hatpin. Characters with this stunt never suffer an increased difficulty for lacking proper tools on a Burglary roll, and when given proper tools, can defeat locks at one time increment faster than usual.
✪ Mental Blueprint [Burglary]
You’re highly skilled at visualizing the whole of a target based on just a part of it. When casing a location, you receive a +2 bonus on your roll.
✪ The Big Heist [Burglary]
Requires Mental Blueprint and at least one other Burglary stunt. When the character is casing a location (see “Casing”, page XX), he normally reveals or declares only one aspect about the location, in advance. With this stunt, however, if the character gains spin on his roll, he may reveal or declare one or more additional aspects (one additional aspect at 3 shifts, two at 5 shifts, or three at 7 or more shifts).
Further, regardless of spin, if the player is using the declare method with this stunt, he may save off from making his declarations until he’s already in the middle of making the heist – in essence, retroactively introducing elements he’d “already planned for”. Only one such retroactive declaration may be made per scene, but in the truly big heists, the job rarely lasts only one scene.
Alternately, the character may trade in one of his “retroactive” aspect picks in order to declare up to three non-aspect-based lesser details about the scene. This may be done in addition to making an aspect pick for the scene.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Contact [Contacting]
At the time your character takes this stunt, you must define a specific contact, with a name, a brief sentence about the contact’s personality, and her relationship to your character. This contact is a companion as described on page XX, willing and capable to accompany you on your adventures, with three advances for you to spend as you wish. For maximum effect, you may wish to allocate one of your aspects to this contact as well. This stunt may be taken multiple times, defining a different contact each time.
✪ Close Contacts [Contacting]
Requires at least one Contact.
When you select this stunt, you may spread three additional advances out amongst your existing contacts, creating unusually talented companions. You may take this stunt multiple times, but can’t ever apply more than six additional advances (for a total of nine) to any one contact.
✪ Network of Contacts [Contacting]
Requires at least one other Contacting stunt.
The character can choose from a large number of companions available to him when he needs them. With this stunt, when the character begins an adventure, his companion doesn’t need to be defined. Instead, at the point where he decides he needs the companion, he may reveal her, giving her a name and a few brief cues to the GM to base a personality on.
This companion starts out at Average quality and may have up to two advances.
If the character takes this stunt more than once, he has two additional advances which he may use to reveal an additional companion, or combine together to create a more capable companion on the fly.
Only one “reveal” of this kind may be done per scene. Once revealed, the companion will be involved and reasonably available at least until the end of the adventure.
If, instead, you choose to have the companion available to you for only one scene before the companion is called away to other things, you may build the companion with three advances instead of two. Once the scene ends, the companion is removed from the adventure, one way or another.
✪ I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy [Contacting]
Sometimes it’s not who you know, but who the people you know, know. Many of your contacts are, themselves, very well connected. The breadth of your contacts make all Contacting rolls take one unit less of time, and you gain a +2 on any “second roll” efforts made to corroborate information you’ve gotten from another of your contacts. Consequently, this bonus is useful on a follow-up, but not on the initial roll.
✪ Insider [Contacting]
The character is able to navigate bureaucracies easily, not because he understands them, but because he knows people embedded in the bureaucracy who can provide shortcuts. Normally, a character must roll Leadership in order to deal with any sort of bureaucratic entanglement (see page XX). With this stunt, the character may roll Contacting instead.
✪ Walk the Walk [Contacting]
The character’s travels have taken him to every corner of the globe. His familiarity with the streets and peoples of the world allow him to function easily, at home and abroad. The character never suffers any additional difficulty from unfamiliar circumstances when Contacting.
✪ Big Man [Contacting]
When selecting this stunt, the player picks a specific field (Criminal, Business, Politics, Espionage and Occult are the most common); this stunt is often written with that field incorporated, e.g., Big Man in Politics. The character is not merely well connected in that community, he is actually a person of great importance within that area; for maximum benefit, this should be paired with an aspect that indicates similar things.
In addition to the narrative benefits of such a position, the character may use his Contacting skill in lieu of the Resources skill for anything which might fall under the auspices of members in that field. This stunt may be taken multiple times, each time for a different field.
✪ Talk the Talk [Contacting]
Requires Big Man.
Whenever dealing with members of your chosen field, you put out all the right signals, say all the right things. In such circumstances, you may roll your Rapport at +2, or, alternatively, use your Contacting instead of Rapport, in order to get a favorable reaction.
✪ Big Name [Contacting]
Requires Big Man.
You’re so well known that an awareness of your name has crossed over into other areas as well. The first time you deal with someone who’s heard of you (spending a fate point can assure that they have), and you’re using your name, you get a +2 bonus to a Rapport or Intimidation roll.
✪ Big Reputation [Contacting]
Requires Big Name.
Your reputation has reached great proportions, and people are willing to believe all sorts of things about you.
For a fate point, you may use your Contacting skill instead of Rapport, Intimidation, Deceit, Leadership, or Resolve, provided those you are dealing with are aware of your reputation (a second fate point will nearly always assure that they do).
This stunt combines with the bonus from Big Name, getting the character a +2 to Contacting when using it instead of Rapport or Intimidation.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Con Man [Deceit]
You are a bona fide confidence man, and that lets you get a read on people, easy.
You may use your Deceit instead of Empathy to get a “read” on someone (see page XX), but the type of aspects that may be revealed are limited only to things like character weaknesses, never strengths or other advantages (unless you win the contest or are otherwise in control of which aspect is revealed).
Some aspects will completely miss you; a Good Hearted Person might just fly right over your head.
✪ The Fix Is In [Deceit]
Requires Con Man.
The character is adept at cheating, so much so that he may use his Deceit skill instead of Gambling whenever he chooses.
When he does so, he is cheating, which means if he fails, he’s caught, and the game’s loss is treated as if it were a high stakes game, even if it wasn’t.
✪ Sucker [Deceit]
Requires Con Man.
You’ve got this guy completely suckered – or at least, if he’s on to you, he’s rich enough that he doesn’t care. Design a companion (page XX) with two advances. In addition, he is automatically Fair quality, and Skilled with Resources. He tends to buy things for you, along with whatever else it is he does.
The downside is that he’s a sucker – you hooked him in, but he is a Poor difficulty target for anyone else looking to sucker him too (although if you when that happens).
Heck, you may even have some fondness for the guy – you certainly won’t leave him hanging out to dry, and that’s not just because he pays for everything – but, still, the relationship’s not entirely honest.
✪ Big Sucker [Deceit]
You hit it big – this guy’s loaded. Your companion’s Resources skill is considered to be two steps higher than his quality; if you’ve advanced him to a maximum quality of Great, this means he’s running around with Fantastic Resources. You may also spend one additional advance on him. He’s not just about the money, you know.
✪ Clever Disguise [Deceit]
Normally, a character cannot create a disguise that will stand up to intense scrutiny (see page XX). With this stunt, he may defend against intense scrutiny (anything short of physically trying to remove the disguise) with his full Deceit skill. Furthermore, he may assemble disguises of this quality in a matter of minutes, provided he has a well-equipped disguise kit on hand.
✪ Mimicry [Deceit]
Requires Clever Disguise.
Deceit can be used to convince people you are someone you aren’t – but usually only in a general sense. You can seem to be a cop, an author, et cetera, but you can’t seem to be a specific person without a lot of work (and an elevated difficulty). With this stunt, you can easily imitate the mannerisms and voice of anyone you’ve had a chance to study – removing another potential cause to have a disguise examined, or perhaps convincing someone who can’t see you that you’re someone else even though you’re undisguised.
Studying someone usually requires only an investment of time, and not a roll of the dice – at least half an hour of constant exposure. This timeframe can be reduced, but will require an Empathy, Investigation, or Deceit roll against a target of Mediocre, increased by one for each step faster on the time chart (page XX).
✪ Master of Disguise [Deceit]
Requires Clever Disguise and Mimicry.
The character can convincingly pass himself off as nearly anyone with a little time and preparation. To use this ability, the player pays a fate point and temporarily stops playing. His character is presumed to have donned a disguise and gone “off camera”. At any subsequent point during play the player may choose any nameless, filler character (a villain’s minion, a bellboy in the hotel, the cop who just pulled you over) in a scene and reveal that that character is actually the PC in disguise!
The character may remain in this state for as long as the player chooses, but if anyone is tipped off that he might be nearby, an investigator may spend a fate point and roll Investigate against the disguised character’s Deceit. If the investigator wins, his player (which may be the GM) gets to decide which filler character is actually the disguised PC (“Wait a minute – you’re the Emerald Emancipator!”).
✪ Infiltrator [Deceit]
Requires Master of Disguise.
While the character is disguised (see Master of Disguise) he may make a single Investigation roll against at target of Mediocre. Each shift gained can be used to do one of two things: gain a useful (but general) piece of information about the area or group being infiltrated, or leave a clue, hint or message for the rest of the player characters without revealing himself.
✪ Disguise of the Mind [Deceit]
Requires Master of Disguise and a Deceit skill of Great or better.
You inhabit your disguises so completely that you can actually fully inhabit another persona and unlock hidden skills and knowledge you don’t normally possess. While in a disguise, you may roll your Deceit minus two (so Fair if Great, or Good if Superb) instead of any other skill the disguised persona might reasonably possess. If you are outright imitating someone specific, sometimes this might give you a higher effective skill than they actually have – which is fine. You’re not a mind-reader, you’re simply so good at pretending that you can actually, temporarily unlock a skill that you believe your persona could have.
Any time you use this stunt, you must pay a fate point; if you do not wish to pay a fate point, you may instead roll your Resolve against a difficulty equal to the “false” skill. If you miss that target, you become lost in the persona for a time, and may be subject to one no-fate-point compel before you break out of it. The aspect compelled might not even be one of your own – it may be one possessed by the persona you’re mimicking!
✪ The Honest Lie [Deceit]
The best lies are the ones that contain a healthy dose of truth. Whenever the character incorporates a hefty portion of the truth into a lie, he gains a +2 bonus. The truth must be relevant, not unimportant, and significant, not trivial – it must be on par with (or bigger than) the lie, or at least in the ballpark.
✪ Takes One to Know One [Deceit]
As an accomplished liar, you’re especially able to figure out when someone else is lying as well. You may use your Deceit skill instead of your Empathy skill when trying to figure out if someone is lying. This is not the same thing as getting “a read” on someone, as with the Con Man stunt, above; instead, it’s a quick check: Is this guy lying? Is it a big lie or a small one? Is he mixing in the truth or is it all fabrication?
✪ Clever Facade [Deceit]
Requires either The Honest Lie or Takes One to Know One.
Whenever the character is the target of an Empathy “read”, and decides to put a false face forward (see page XX), and wins the contest, he not only provides a false aspect to the reader, he also gets a read on the reader himself (revealing an aspect). The reader has fallen for your clever little trap!
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Custom Ride [Drive]
You’ve been gripped by the American fascination with the automobile early on, and have one car in particular that you take special care of. When driving that car, you receive a +1 bonus (it’s assumed to have the craftsmanship improvement – see page XX).
Additionally, you’ve added (or had added) a little something extra to the car, and you may, once per session, spend a fate point and declare that the car has some extra device (such as an oil slick, speed boost or the like) – for guidelines, see the Universal Gadget stunt (page XX). You can’t go too crazy with the improvements on this on-the-fly gadgetry – many forms of miniaturization and futurization, and several kinds of alternate usage and additional capability, are disallowed at this level of the stunt. To drive a truly unusual car, you must also take Prototype (below).
✪ Prototype Car [Drive]
Requires Custom Ride.
You have a one-of-a-kind vehicle. For starters, your once-a-session gadget, as described above, can have any kind of improvement – the restrictions described in Custom Ride do not apply.
Secondly, your vehicle has three additional built-in improvements you may select. These improvements must be defined in advance of a session (only at the beginning or end), but you needn’t pick all of them at the time you take this stunt. Once they’re picked, they’re set, until an engineer can get a chance to work at changing them.
Your vehicle is instantly recognizable as something unusual, unless you spend one of your improvements on making sure that it looks just like any other vehicle of its base type. Regardless, once people learn of its nature, there’s almost certain to be attempts to steal it or otherwise learn its secrets. You’d be well advised to take an aspect tied to your vehicle, so you can get fate points when this happens!
✪ Car Mechanic [Drive]
Requires at least two other Drive stunts. Your character may not understand the broader aspects of engineering devices and such, but when it comes to cars, he knows them inside and out. Whenever working on a car, you may use your Drive skill instead of Engineering. Due to common principles, you may also use your Drive skill to work on other vehicles, at a -1.
✪ Defensive Driving [Drive]
You’re good at keeping your car in one piece. Whenever attempting a driving maneuver in a chase (see page XX), you may treat the difficulty as if it were one lower. The difficulty of the maneuver itself is not affected, however, for any cars that might be chasing you.
✪ One Hand on the Wheel [Drive]
Driving while doing some other action normally results in a -1 penalty. With this stunt, you don’t suffer that penalty, regardless of whether you are rolling Drive (driving is your primary action, and the supplemental action is something minor), or rolling some other skill (you’re taking some other primary action, but keeping the vehicle on the road isn’t all that challenging, allowing driving to be the supplemental action). Furthermore, if Drive would be a secondary skill that restricts or modifies a primary skill, but your Drive skill is lower than the primary skill you’re using, your Drive skill has no negative effect.
✪ Turn on a Dime [Drive]
Requires Defensive Driving.
Somehow, no matter how crazy you drive, you always seem to pull it off. You’re always able to make very tight turns and drive through very narrow spaces without suffering any sort of increased difficulty due to environment, unless it is in fact physically impossible for your vehicle to fit. In many ways this functions like the Defensive Driving stunt, but instead of lowering many difficulties by one, it potentially lowers these specific difficulties quite significantly.
✪ Unsafe at Any Speed [Drive]
Requires at least one other Drive stunt.
The character is the bane of curbside markets and rickety struts holding up awnings. The value of any damage this character does to the environment (but not characters or their vehicles) when driving a vehicle is doubled. Any time an object is taken out by the damage, the result should be spectacular – an explosion or collapse. This is not guaranteed to always fall in the character’s favor (though it often can, and should)!
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Ebb and Flow [Empathy]
The character is so aware of the social currents in a situation that he is able to see something of what’s coming before it arrives. At the beginning of any social exchange, before proceeding with the usual initiative order, the character may spend a fate point and attempt a quick read – looking for surface moods and other social cues – on any one target of his choosing, as a free action. He may then act normally on his turn as usual.
✪ Preemptive Grace [Empathy]
Requires Ebb and Flow.
You are so tuned into social situations that you may act quickly and decisively to shape the situation to your liking. Empathy is used to determine initiative in a social conflict, the same way Alertness is used in a physical one. With this stunt, your Empathy is considered two higher for the purposes of initiative. If you’re tied for initiative with someone who does not have this stunt, this stunt breaks ties.
✪ Track the Soul [Empathy]
Your understanding of people you’ve met is sufficiently strong that it gives you an easy sense of how to find them. In any situation where you’re tracking down or otherwise trying to find someone you’ve met before, you may roll Empathy instead of Investigation.
✪ The Skeptic’s Ear [Empathy]
Requires at least one other Empathy stunt.
The world is full of lies and liars, and your character is always on the lookout for them. The character always knows when someone is using the Deceit skill on him, and may take full defensive actions (getting a +2) with his Empathy if appropriate.
Normally, the use of deception is not so easy to spot in advance, and thus justifying full defensive actions is difficult. Successfully determining that something is trying to deceive you is not the same as revealing the truth, however, no matter how well you do.
✪ Cold Read [Empathy]
Normally, to use empathy to get a read on someone it requires at least a few minutes of conversation, if not more (see page XX). Characters with this stunt may do so after much less time – two or three steps faster on the time table (see page XX).
✪ Heart’s Secret [Empathy]
You have an instinct for going right to the heart of a person and finding out what matters most to them. Whenever you make a successful Empathy read on someone (see page XX), the GM must select from the aspects that are of the utmost importance to the character, unless you explicitly instruct her otherwise. Normally, the GM has a freer rein in her selection.
While this still can’t get you to trip over anything that’s truly still a secret to you (this isn’t an instant mystery solving stunt!), it should at least put you as close to the core truth about a character.
✪ Hit Them Where It Hurts [Empathy]
Your skill at reading people makes you adept at provoking a strong emotional response if you’re trying to get them angry, depressed, or something similar. Normally, the Intimidation skill would be used for such efforts; however, if you’ve succeeded at any Empathy roll against the target previously, you may use Empathy to wage such psychological warfare instead. In the hands of a character with high Empathy, this is especially lethal when combined with a successful read on someone that reveals an aspect.
✪ A Peek Inside [Empathy]
Requires at least two other Empathy stunts.
Once you get an insight into someone, you may try to look much deeper than one normally can. Trying to learn something specific and concrete about another person can be a lot like trying to catch a specific raindrop – you can be sure you got wet, but figuring out if you actually got the one you were going after is another matter. In the best case scenario, you’ve revealed one of the target’s aspects.
With this stunt, however, you achieve such a strong understanding of your subject that you can start to make some fairly accurate guesses about his behavior.
After you have successfully gotten a “read” as described in the Empathy write-up (page XX), you may immediately ask the GM a hypothetical question about the target’s motives, which the GM must be able to answer with yes, no, or maybe, to the best of her ability. The question must speak to the kind of person the target is, not things they’ve done, though it may ask if they are capable of doing such things. If the GM answers with a maybe, you may ask a second question to get clarification. This second question may seek details, rather than another one-word answer.
✪ Uncanny Hunch [Empathy]
See Investigation, page XX.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Last Leg [Endurance]
The character may spend fate points to keep standing. Any time the character would be taken out by (or otherwise suffer a consequence from) a physical hit he may spend a fate point to remain standing or otherwise defer a consequence or concession for one more exchange, or until he’s hit again, whatever comes first. Once the extra time he’s bought is up, all effects he has deferred come to bear at once. He may keep spending fate points in this fashion until he runs out, each time the time limit expires.
This means that with a whole handful of fate points he might go on for three exchanges with no consequences or collapse impeding him, and then suddenly keel over, revealing Multiple Bruises and a Broken Rib and a few surplus consequences – which would suggest an immediate taken out result to be determined by his attacker, even if that attacker has been defeated in the intervening time!
✪ Feel the Burn [Endurance]
The character can push through incredible pain in order to reach his goal. The character can take one extra moderate, physical consequence (see page XX) before moving on to a severe physical consequence, allowing him to take a total of four consequences in a physical conflict.
✪ Face the Pain [Endurance]
Requires Feel the Burn.
The character is able to lessen the effects of physical injury thanks to his incredible stamina. Once per scene, he character may spend a fate point, and remove move any single check mark from the injury track.
✪ Tireless [Endurance]
Normally, someone who has not gotten a regular night’s sleep takes a consequence indicating his lack of rest, which cannot be removed save with the requisite amount of sleep. Not so for the character with this stunt.
Whenever this character would need to sleep, he may roll Endurance (see below for the difficulties) and spend shifts to reduce the amount of time he needs for a regular night’s rest. Each shift spent reduces the time increment (to get a full night’s rest) by one. One shift gets from 6-8 hours down to 3-4; two gets it down to an hour; three gets it to half an hour; four gets it to a few minutes.
The character may continue sleeping past that point, but if awoken suddenly, he does not face any issues due to insufficient sleep – he is refreshed and alert. Normally the difficulty for the Endurance roll is simply Mediocre, but if the character chooses to skip a night of sleep, the difficulty of the roll is increased by one step each night. Once he fails the roll, he must get a full, normal (6-8 hours) night of sleep to “reset” the clock; if he succeeds on subsequent nights, and chooses to sleep, he can still sleep for the truncated amount of time.
✪ Bounce Back [Endurance]
The character heals faster than the norm, which has the effect of reducing the severity of consequences resulting from physical injury. On some characters this means no matter how bad of a beating they seem to have taken, they shrug it off. When considering the amount of time it takes to recover from a consequence of a particular severity, reduce the timeframe by two steps on the time chart (page XX). This means that mild physical consequences will be removed between scenes even if there’s no “break” between them, moderate consequences will take about an hour of rest instead of six, and severe consequences may be reduced from months to weeks, weeks to days, or days to the length of an afternoon!
✪ Death Defiance [Endurance]
If the character is ever taken out away from the view of other characters and death appears imminent, certain, or absolute, (such as from dropping off a cliff, apparently failing to escape from an exploding building and so on) then coincidence will conspire to keep the character alive. This stunt does not protect the character from dying “on camera”.
The player then spends half of his remaining fate points, rounded up (he must have at least one to do this), and may watch play and think of a good explanation for how he survived.
Once he has a story, he may re-enter play in any subsequent scene in as dramatic a fashion as he sees fit, with all of his physical stress cleared and a single consequence to reflect the dangers survived.
✪ Developed Immunities [Endurance]
Requires at least one other Endurance stunt.
Whether through natural aptitude or careful exposure and development, the character is quite simply immune to most common poisons, and terribly resistant to uncommon ones.
He may resist any uncommon poison he has not previously encountered at a +2 to his Endurance roll. If he has previously encountered the poison, even in trace amounts, this bonus increases to a +6.
✪ One Hit to the Body [Endurance]
When the character takes a hit which would roll up, he may instead choose to fill in any number of lower wound boxes that total the value of the hit. Thus, if the character took a 4 point hit, but the 4th box was already filled, he could either roll up to the 5th box, or he could check off the 1st and 3rd box.
✪ Thick Skinned [Endurance]
Requires One Hit To The Body.
This character just doesn’t feel pain and can take more punishment than a lesser man. A character with this stunt gets one additional stress box beyond those normally granted by his Endurance score – meaning a character with Superb Endurance can have a top physical stress capacity of nine.
✪ Man of Iron [Endurance]
Requires Thick Skinned.
The character’s physical injuries roll down rather than up. Whenever the character takes a hit which would fill a box that has already been checked off, they check off the next lower box that has not been checked off. If no lower boxes are available, hits roll up as normal. Very simply, this means that the character doesn’t start picking up consequences unless someone hits him for more than his capacity (difficult at best!) or all of his boxes are filled up.
✪ Now You’ve Made Me Mad [Endurance]
Requires two other Endurance stunts.
Once per scene, the character may turn a wound he has taken into pure motivation. After the character takes physical stress, spend a fate point and the character gets to add the value of the wound (the original value, not the box it was recorded in, if it rolled to a different box) to an action in the next exchange taken against the person who inflicted the stress.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Personal Gadget [Engineering]
You have a personal gadget based on an existing (or potentially existing) piece of technology, with three improvements. You must define at least the basic nature of the gadget, and one or two of the improvements, at the time you take this stunt. You may take this stunt several times, either for several personal gadgets, or to provide additional improvements to the same gadget. See page XX for detailed gadget design rules.
✪ Universal Gadget [Engineering]
A universal gadget is, essentially, a personal gadget that you may design on the fly, in the middle of a situation, as if your character happened to have “just the thing” in his satchel at the precise moment when it was needed. This gadget follows the same design rules as a personal gadget (above), but is only allowed two improvements, not three. Once defined, the gadget is locked in for the remainder of the session. As with personal gadgets, see page XX for detailed gadget design rules.
The trade-off is that you can define the gadget on the fly and in the moment, as something your character already happened to have on hand (or just whipped up in a matter of seconds). As with personal gadget, you may take this stunt multiple times.
✪ Demolitions [Engineering]
The character is an expert with explosives. Any time he can take the time to properly set up charges, the resulting explosion’s force rating is increased by three, by placing the bombs at the exact weak points of the targeted structure.
This benefit does not apply without preparation, a target structure, and a chance to study the target. Thus, it doesn’t apply in situations such as setting charges hastily or lobbing explosive devices at zombies.
✪ Architect of Death [Engineering]
Requires one other Engineering stunt.
You have an innate knack for crafting weaponry. Whenever dealing with an Engineering roll involving a weapon – repairing, designing, upgrading, etcetera – your difficulties are reduced by one, and additionally, the time to get the work done is reduced by one step on the time table (see page XX).
✪ Grease Monkey [Engineering]
Requires one other Engineering stunt.
If it has an engine and wings, propellers, or wheels, you “get” it, intuitively and completely. Whenever dealing with a Engineering roll involving a vehicle – repairing, designing, upgrading, etcetera – your difficulties are reduced by one, and additionally, the time to get the work done is reduced by one step on the time table (see page XX).
✪ Mister Fix-It [Engineering]
The character’s talented at getting things repaired under time-critical circumstances. The time it takes to get something fixed by the character is reduced by two steps. If the situation is already operating on the fastest possible amount of time the difficulty of the repair effort is reduced by one. These bonuses stack with Grease Monkey (above)!
✪ Thump of Restoration [Engineering]
Requires Mister Fix-It.
Sometimes a bunch of repairs can get short-handed with a good swift thump. A character must spend a fate point to activate this ability, and roll Engineering. He then hits a device or other contraption that isn’t working, and it starts working immediately, regardless of the difficulty rating to repair it under time pressure. It will continue work for a number of exchanges equal to the shifts gained on the Engineering roll (vs. a target of Mediocre). Once the time is up, the device stops working again, and any efforts to repair it are at a one step higher difficulty (since, after all, you hit the thing). If the character wishes to thump again, he may do so for another fate point, but the difficulty for the Engineering roll increases by one on each subsequent attempt.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Brawler [Fists]
You’re at home in any big old burly brawl, with multiple opponents and ideally some beer in you.
Whenever you are personally outnumbered in a fight (i.e., when someone gets to attack you at a bonus due to a numerical advantage) your defense rolls with Fists are at +1. When fighting two or more minions, you deal one additional stress on a successful hit.
✪ Dirty Fighter [Fists]
Your character has a talent for fighting dirty and is experienced in pulling all manner of tricks in order to get the upper hand on his opponents. By exploiting an opponent’s weakness, you are able to strike deep and true. Any time you tag an opponent’s aspect in a fight, you get an additional +1 on the roll.
✪ Crippling Blow [Fists]
Requires Dirty Fighter.
When you injure an opponent with your Fists, you may spend a fate point to force the target to take a consequence rather than check off a box. This can only be done once per opponent in a given fight scene. The target may choose not to take the consequence if he is willing to concede.
✪ Signature Strike [Fists]
Requires Crippling Blow (above) or Fist of Death (below).
Your character has a specific attack which he has honed to devastating perfection. It may be a formalized punch with an appropriately dramatic name (Thousand Whirlwinds Strike As One!) or may be as informal as complete mastery of the kick in the crotch.
Once per fight scene, the character may use this strike. To do so, the player must clearly describe whatever posturing or preamble the strike requires, declare he’s using the strike, and roll the dice.
If the strike successfully damages the opponent (inflicts stress or a consequence by itself), it imposes a consequence in addition to treating the attack normally (such as checking off a box due to stress inflicted). This means that if the the stress would normally produce a consequence, the victim will end up taking two consequences.
✪ Mix it Up [Fists]
Overwhelming odds are your bread and butter. You are used to dodging and twisting, keeping multiple opponents in each other’s way. You actually get better the more people pile onto you. You may save up your spin whenever you gain it on a defense, and apply it to your next attack, no matter how many other actions happen in between. Multiple successful, spin-generating defenses may allow you to save up multiple points of spin, for a single large bonus on your next attack.
✪ Army of One [Fists]
Requires Mix it Up.
You are a one-man army; the odds don’t matter to you. Whenever you are attacked, opponents simply do not get a bonus to their attacks due to an advantage of numbers.
✪ Whatever’s on Hand [Fists]
The character is skilled in the use of improvised weapons, and may use Fists instead of the Weapons skill when using an improvised weapon. Improvised weapons tend to break, and thus don’t usually last for more than one exchange, so players are encouraged to choose weapons which smash dramatically.
✪ Fists of Fury [Fists]
Swinging wildly and with force, the character strikes at an opponent over and over again, wearing down his defense with each blow. Against such an onslaught, there is simply no good defense. Opponents who attempt to use an all-out defense against your Fists attacks do not get a +2 bonus.
✪ Martial Arts [Fists]
Your training in the martial practices of the Far East have honed your abilities with your Fists into a finely disciplined form that is part combat skill, part art form. This gives you an acute insight into the means and methods of barehanded warfare.
You may use your Fists skill to study an opponent by engaging him and testing his defenses with your own martial techniques. You must do this as a full action during an exchange. Your target must defend against this action, which is essentially a maneuver, with his Fists skill.
If you succeed, you have gained insight to your target’s fighting techniques, and may place an aspect on the target, as with a successful maneuver. Whenever you tag this aspect, you gain an additional +1 to your roll, for a total of +3 instead of the normal tagging bonus of +2.
✪ Brickbreaker [Fists]
Requires Martial Arts.
You are able to focus the force of your blows into a concentrated, small area that is devastating to solid materials. Any stress you deal to a non-character target with Fists is doubled, once per exchange.
✪ Demoralizing Stance [Fists]
Requires Martial Arts.
As a trained fighter, you are able to adopt a stance that makes it unequivocally clear how capable you are of handing someone his ass. Whenever displaying your fighting stance or techniques, you may roll Fists instead of Intimidation.
✪ Flying Kick [Fists]
Requires Martial Arts.
You are able to leap through the air, leading with a powerful kick that can lay an unsuspecting opponent out. You may move one zone and launch a Fists attack without taking a penalty for moving, or you may move two zones and make an attack at -1. All other actions, including those with Fists, that are not a Fists attack described as a flying kick, require a roll at -1 if you move a single zone on your action, as normal.
✪ Flow like Water [Fists]
Requires Martial Arts.
Whenever you mount a full defense, you gain an additional +1 to your Fists rolls, for a potent total defense bonus of +3.
✪ Bend like the Reed [Fists]
Requires Flow Like Water.
You have a flexible martial arts style that allows you to turn an opponent’s force against himself. Whenever you gain spin on a defense, you may immediately take a free action against the attacker to make a throw maneuver (see page XX).
✪ Lethal Weapon [Fists]
Requires Martial Arts.
Your martial skill is dedicated to dishing out punishment, and your hands are practically illegal in most civilized countries. Any time your opponent opts to take a mild or moderate consequence from a blow you have dealt, you may spend a fate point to increase the severity of that consequence by one step, increasing mild to moderate and moderate to severe. The opponent may then reconsider whether to take the consequence, or instead offer a concession. You may not do this to an opponent who is already taking a severe consequence.
✪ Fist of Death [Fists]
Requires Lethal Weapon.
By concentrating your force into a powerful blow, you may devastate even the most potent of opponents. Once per opponent per fight, you may spend a fate point after landing a successful blow to fill your opponent’s highest unchecked stress box, regardless of how much stress you would normally inflict.
✪ Signature Strike [Fists]
As with the stunt of the same name, above (page XX).
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Gambling Man [Gambling]
Requires one or more compellable aspects related to gambling.
As a gambling man, the character is rarely able to turn down a bet or an opportunity to take a risk. Compels involving your gambling aspects automatically start out at a point of escalation – you must either spend two fate points to avoid them, or gain two fate points if you accept them, right at the outset.
✪ Double or Nothing [Gambling]
Requires Gambling Man.
When it comes to head to head conflict, the character’s skill at gambling and taking risks is paramount.
Once per scene, after the gambler has lost a Gambling roll, he has the option to declare “Double or Nothing!” This is a call for both sides to reroll (and as such doesn’t involve fate points). If the gambler wins the next roll, the initial exchange is treated as a scratch (no loss to any participants), but if he loses (by whatever amount) he takes a hit equal to double the value of the initial loss. Regardless, such a move often elevates the stakes of a game. This can turn a regular stakes game into a high stakes one, and a high stakes game into a matter of life and death.
✪ The Devil’s Own Luck [Gambling]
Requires Gambling Man and at least one other Gambling stunt. On games of pure chance, like roulette, where a character could not normally roll a skill to affect the outcome, the character may use his Gambling skill at its full value (otherwise he’d be rolling Mediocre or worse instead).
✪ Know When to Fold ’Em [Gambling]
Whenever gambling with NPCs, the player may ask that the GM roll the NPC’s Gambling in advance. Whenever the GM does this, the roll is automatically considered to be secret – she doesn’t have to show it to anyone.
The twist is that the GM must indicate to the player whether the NPC’s roll is above or below the player’s character’s Gambling skill – just not by how much. Given this knowledge, the player may then choose whether his character participates, or excuses himself, from the Gambling contest. If the player’s character does participate, the GM reveals the value of the roll, and may still spend fate points on behalf of her NPC as usual once the contest starts in earnest.
✪ Never Bluff a Bluffer [Gambling]
The character’s experience with Gambling gives him an occasional insight into other parts of life. Whenever dealing with a bluff of some kind, he may use Gambling instead of Deceit (to run a bluff ) or instead of Empathy (to see through one). The player should remind the GM that he has this stunt whenever he’s the target of something that might be a bluff, so that the GM knows to call for the correct skill to be rolled.
✪ Winnings [Gambling]
The character wins more than he loses, and is often flush with cash. Once per session, he may use Gambling instead of Resources to represent these winnings, so long as he hasn’t recently experienced a loss. The player must provide a quick one-sentence explanation of what the resource is and how he won it, when using this stunt.
✪ Players’ Club [Gambling]
Requires at least one other Gambling stunt.
You’ve played in so many games, and in so many places, that it’s rare that you can’t find someone who knows you. You may use your Gambling skill instead of Contacting whenever making a Contacting roll – though doing so invariably colors the results with the nature of Gambling.
✪ Gambling Buddy [Gambling]
Requires Players’ Club.
Once per session, you may introduce a companion character into a scene, on the fly, as suits the convenience of the moment. This companion character has the Skilled (Gambling) advance for free, and two other advances which you may define at the moment of the reveal, or after the fact as you travel around with your buddy.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Long Shot [Guns]
For whatever reason, you’re always able to take shots at a greater distance than you should be. You can use pistols up to three zones away (instead of two); furthermore, rifles and other such weaponry reach an additional zone (or two, if the GM feels generous).
✪ Shot on the Run [Guns]
The character is light on his feet with a gun in his hand, able to keep the gunplay going while evading attempts to harm him.
This character may use Guns as a defense skill against physical attacks; normally, Guns cannot be used defensively.
✪ Stay on Target [Guns]
Taking slow and careful aim can be done as a maneuver, placing an aspect on your target (such as “In My Sights”).
Whenever performing an aiming maneuver against a target, you may roll your Guns at +1 to place the aspect, +2 if you’ve brought along a targeting scope or similar aiming device (in addition to whatever bonuses the scope itself provides).
✪ Trick Shot [Guns]
Your character gains +2 on the roll for any Guns action that involves shooting an inanimate object. While this cannot be used to actually attack another character, it can be very useful for indirect effects, like shooting down a chandelier.
✪ Fast Reload [Guns]
Normally, reloading your guns is considered a part of the normal ebb and flow of combat and doesn’t become an issue until something happens to make it relevant. A lack of ammunition can show up one of two ways. First, “out of ammunition” can often show up as a minor consequence for someone with a gun. With this stunt, the character may spend a fate point in order to remove this consequence immediately, at the end of any exchange.
The character is still considered to have taken a minor consequence for purposes of determining whether his next consequence is moderate – the minor consequence simply won’t be there.
Second, “out of ammunition” can show up as a temporary aspect resulting from a maneuver (to try to get someone to use up his shots). Whenever this character is the target of such a maneuver, he may defend at +2.
✪ One Shot Left [Guns]
That last bullet has a kind of magic to it. A character with this stunt may declare that he is on his last shot, and may make any single Guns attack at +3. This is the character’s last shot – its use means that there’s no more ammo, no holdout guns or the like. The only way the character is going to be able to use his Guns skill in the scene is if he takes an action acquiring a new weapon or ammunition, which may not always be possible. Even the Fast Reload stunt cannot be used to remedy this situation; you really are out of ammunition.
✪ Rain of Lead [Guns]
Your character is skilled at laying down a scathing hail of suppressive fire. When using Guns to perform a block (see page XX), the character can ignore up to two points of penalties imposed by the GM due to the complexity of the block.
✪ Quick Draw [Guns]
This allows a character to bring his gun or guns to his hand so fast it’s as if by magic. The character takes no penalty for drawing a gun as a supplemental action; if someone is actively blocking such an action (see page XX), you may treat that block as if it had a value two steps lower.
✪ Lightning Hands [Guns]
Requires Quick Draw.
The character and his gun are as one; the thought to take aim and fire is the same as the action. With this stunt, the character may use his Guns skill to determine initiative, instead of Alertness.
✪ Snap Shot [Guns]
Requires Lightning Hands.
Once per exchange, between or before other characters’ actions, the character may spend a fate point to preempt the usual turn order and act next.
The action taken must involve a roll with his Guns skill – usually an attack. This may be done in addition to the character’s normal action, but each time it’s done in the same scene, the fate point cost increases by one.
✪ Gun-Crazy [Guns]
The character’s so thoroughly into the modern phenomenon of gunsmithing that he’s developed a focused talent for working on the things.
Whenever working with guns specifically, this character may use Guns instead of Engineering.
✪ Custom Firearm [Guns]
You have one special gun that you hold above all others. This is a gadget, which automatically has the craftsmanship improvement (see page XX), as well as two other improvements which you may change between sessions. In addition, the gun is so well-made that it never needs repairs of great length if it’s damaged; reduce the time it takes you to repair it by four steps.
✪ Two Gun Joe [Guns]
Normally, shooting with two guns just looks cool without providing a bonus. With this stunt, a character firing two weapons has a decisive advantage.
Any time this character uses two guns and hits a target for at least one stress, the stress of the hit is increased by one (meaning, essentially, that he never hits a target for less than two stress, when he hits).
Furthermore, any defense against maneuvers to deprive the character of either of his guns is improved by one. The two belong together, after all, in the hands of a Two Gun Joe.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Infuriate [Intimidation]
Intimidation gives you a real talent for scaring people, but sometimes fear isn’t an option. That doesn’t mean you can’t still get up someone’s nose, so long as you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of the control that fear gets you.
Whenever deliberately trying to get someone angry with you, you receive a +2 bonus. If this results in an attack or other action against you by your target, you may use Intimidation to complement the skill you use on the first exchange, no matter the circumstance – after all, you made it happen, so you were ready for it.
✪ Subtle Menace [Intimidation]
The character exudes menace far in excess of his capability to act. Even bound and behind prison bars, the character is so ripe with the promise of the awful things he could do that he’s still scary. This character may use Intimidation no matter what the power imbalance in the situation is, and reduces his target’s bonuses for acting from a superior position by 2 (to a minimum of +0).
✪ The Serpent’s Tongue [Intimidation]
Requires Subtle Menace.
It’s hard not to talk to this character. Not because he’s approachable, but because it seems like such a bad idea not to. Fear makes people uncomfortable, and they occasionally let things slip they would not otherwise.
The upshot is that the character may use Intimidation in lieu of Empathy or Rapport when trying to get information out of someone in a “softer” fashion. If successfully used in this way, the target is definitely rattled – so it certainly doesn’t leave the target in the same pleasant state he might be left by one of those other skills. If used to get a “read” on a character, the aspects revealed are limited only to those which might be expressed in the language of fear.
✪ Unapproachable [Intimidation]
It’s difficult to try to manipulate someone when you’re constantly reminded of how scary they are. A character with this stunt may use his Intimidation in lieu of their Resolve to defend against Rapport, Deceit, and Empathy.
✪ Scary [Intimidation]
<quote> This character is just someone you don’t want to cross, and that’s clear even to other intimidating folks. Normally, Intimidation attempts are resisted by Resolve; with this stunt, the character can use his Intimidation skill to resist Intimidation attempts.
✪ Aura of Menace [Intimidation]
Characters with an Aura of Menace are the terror of all those who oppose them. Others are often powerless to describe what exactly it is about the character that is unsettling, but regardless, it has the effect of rooting them to the spot and believing the threats the guy makes.
Once per scene per target, the character may spend a fate point to intimidate a target as a free action, no matter what the circumstances, immediately (if between actions), or immediately after the current action underway.
This free action takes place in addition to any other action the character might take during the exchange.
✪ Aura of Fear [Intimidation]
Requires Aura of Menace.
The character’s intimidating appearance and attitude is potent, making him able to intimidate entire crowds. As a full action, and only once per scene, the character may spend a fate point and make an intimidation attempt against all opponents in the scene. The effort is made at a -2 to the roll, but the character only rolls once, essentially setting the defensive difficulty that everyone must beat. If the effort at least beats the quality level of the minions present in the scene, at least half their number are automatically affected by the Intimidation effort regardless of their roll. This effect on minions may be canceled if they have a leader with Leadership present, who may take a second defensive action on their behalf, using that skill.
✪ The Promise of Pain [Intimidation]
The character makes a promise (really, a threat) to a target, and makes an attack using Intimidation. If he scores a successful hit of one or better on the target’s mental stress track, he may spend a fate point to immediately force a psychological consequence instead. The consequence must represent an appropriate response (such as folding up in fear, or a broken spirit) to the threat.
✪ Steely Gaze [Intimidation]
Your character’s unflinching gaze can lock an opponent in place. When a character with this stunt looks an opponent in the eyes and makes an Intimidation check, it locks the two of them into a contest that will last until either something interrupts it or one of them flinches. Both characters are locked in a contest of wills, and can only take Intimidation actions against each other until one or the other either takes a consequence, concedes, or is interrupted (by, say, a gunshot). Any defense rolls either makes against an interrupting action while this is in effect is at -2.
✪ Fearsome Gaze [Intimidation]
Requires Steely Gaze.
Your character’s gaze is so terrifying that those faced with it can end up paralyzed with fear. This stunt is used in the same fashion as Steely Gaze, but if the opponent loses to the point of taking a consequence, he takes two consequences, one right after the other, immediately. Even if this means he’s taken out, the target retains the option to concede after recording the consequence, thus keeping his right to define the nature of his defeat (subject to the gazer’s approval).
✪ Master of Fear [Intimidation]
Requires Fearsome Gaze and Aura of Fear.
Your character is a master of the terrifying, and can have an entire room cowering within moments. When this character uses the Aura of Fear stunt, he does not take the -2 penalty.
Furthermore, minions (see page XX) whose quality level is beat by the roll fail entirely and may not even roll to defend unless their leader discards his next action for the exchange to roll Leadership to defend them. Without a capable leader, these minions simply flee, faint, or otherwise take an immediate consequence, to the last man.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Scene of the Crime [Investigation]
The character has a strong visual memory, and whenever he revisits a place where he has used Investigation before, he may make an immediate use of Investigation in a matter of seconds in order to determine what changed since he was last there, as if it were an unusually detailed Alertness check.
✪ Eye for Detail [Investigation]
Requires Scene of the Crime.
Your character’s visual memory is so strong that with a little concentration, he can revisit any place he’s been to in his memory in exacting detail.
Sometimes, he can even pick up on details that he hadn’t consciously realized before.
To use this ability, the character spends a fate point, and may make a single perception based roll (usually Investigation, but not necessarily limited to that) to find things out as if he were still in the location, no matter how long ago he left the scene.
✪ Uncanny Hunch [Investigation]
Requires at least one other Investigation stunt and one other Empathy stunt.
Sometimes your guesses play out to great advantage. Once per scene, you may make a guess about what the “deal” is with a particular character, object, location, or situation.
Do not speak this guess aloud; write it down on a piece of paper and give it to the GM. The GM must accept it as a valid hunch that would be something of a revelation if true (i.e., no “I’m convinced that moon orbits the Earth!” – that’s too obvious). If, at some later point, your hunch proves to be correct, you may use your Investigation or Empathy skill instead of any other skill, where that target is concerned, for one exchange. (A savvy GM will occasionally alter her characters’ motives to match your hunches; if she does, that’s absolutely perfect!)
✪ Lip Reading [Investigation]
The character may use Investigation to eavesdrop on conversations he can only see. If the GM would normally allow someone to attempt to read lips, the difficulty is reduced by two; otherwise, you may simply roll Investigation when others may not.
✪ Focused Senses [Investigation]
The character is skilled at concentrating on one of his senses to the exclusion of all others. The sense must be specified at the time this stunt is taken. With a few moments of concentration, the character may enter a focused state. So long as he remains in that state, for as long as the character uses nothing but Investigation, all Investigation actions the character takes that use the specified sense gain a +2 bonus. While in this state, if the character needs to make a non-Investigation roll, that roll is at -2 due to this intense focus.
This stunt may be taken multiple times, each time for a single sense. If the character has specified multiple senses, his focus may cover all of them at once.
✪ Impossible Detail [Investigation]
Requires Focused Senses.
When paying attention, the character’s senses operate at a profound level of focus, allowing him to pick up on details that, very simply, no one else easily or even possibly could.
With this stunt, the character faces no increased difficulties due to a physical detail being too small or subtle. As an example, this can reduce the difficulty to detect the presence of nearly any poison to Mediocre (as, honestly, subtlety is all it has to conceal itself ).
The use of this stunt may color what details a GM chooses to reveal to a character as well, on a successful Investigation roll. Make sure to let the GM know you have this stunt whenever rolling Investigation.
As this involves a use of Investigation, it must still be a deliberate exploration, rather than a casual use better suited to Alertness.
✪ Quick Eye [Investigation]
The character is able to investigate a location much more quickly than others, while still being very thorough.
All Investigation efforts the character makes happen one to two time increments (page XX) faster than usual, allowing him to make one or two additional rolls in the same amount of time, or simply conclude his investigation faster than he would otherwise.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Personal Conspiracy [Leadership]
Taking this stunt is an explicit indication that you are a member of some manner of global conspiracy; it’s probably worth making sure you have an aspect indicating as much. This stunt functions identically to the Network of Contacts stunt for Contacting (see page XX), but in a fashion that is both more and less powerful than that stunt.
Whenever you call upon a functionary or thrall of your conspiracy, creating a companion on the fly, the companion is created with only one advance. If, instead, you’re looking to call upon one of the movers and shakers in the conspiracy – not a peer, per se, but at least someone who’s significantly more capable than a functionary – you may create the companion with one additional advance, instead. This companion receives the Independent advance for free.
Doing so, however, means that your conspiracy now has one or two needs you must fulfill – you immediately gain a temporary aspect related to these needs, determined by the GM, and may not refuse compels of this temporary aspect whenever it comes up. Occasionally this temporary aspect may instead reflect a hidden agenda on the part of your momentary companion, rather than an explicit “need”.
✪ Lieutenant [Leadership]
You must take this stunt two or three times.
You have a single, exceptional companion, well equipped to handle leadership duties in your stead. He is Fair quality, and has the Independent and Skilled (Leadership) advances for free (see page XX).
This stunt must be taken multiple times, either two or three, in order to build an exceptionally capable companion. Taken twice, this stunt lets you define 4 advances beyond the two free base advances. Taken three times, the stunt allows you to define 2 additional advances and, in addition, promote your lieutenant to Good quality. If you’ve already promoted your lieutenant to Good quality, you may take a different advance.
✪ Minions [Leadership]
You have minions – lots of them. As a default, in a scene, you may have the bare minimum of minions easily on hand – two or three of Average quality (page XX).
You may make three upgrades to improve your minions, spent at the point you bring them into the scene. Each upgrade either by adds three more to their number, or boosts the quality of three of them by one step (no minion can be more than Good quality).
This stunt may be taken multiple times to increase the starting number of minions (taking it twice means you start out with five or six of Average quality) and the number of upgrades (taking it twice also means you have six upgrades). You must spend all of your upgrades at the start of the scene when you bring in your minions, but you needn’t bring them all in right away. <Example>
✪ Reinforcements [Leadership]
During a fight, you may spend a fate point to call in reinforcements. The reinforcements show up at the beginning of the next exchange. You may replace up to half your lost minions by doing so.
✪ Legal Eagle [Leadership]
You are very-well acquainted with the law in any place you’ve spent a significant amount of time, and are skilled at exploiting loopholes in it. You gain a +2 whenever using Leadership to deal with the law under such circumstances. Further, you are able to get legal paperwork processed one time increment (page XX) faster than normal.
✪ World Court [Leadership]
Requires Legal Eagle.
Your exposure to international law is so extensive that you’re at ease in any situation involving legal wrangling, wherever you are. You never suffer any increased difficulty from a lack of familiarity with the laws of your locale; your experience is so broad that you’ve either know it already, or can make highly educated guesses about how it functions.
✪ Funding [Leadership]
You head an organization that is profitable and generates some of its own cash. Your organization may draw on an effective Resources skill equal to your Leadership minus two, regardless of whether or not you’re present. When you personally make use of these resources it may take some time to filter through the power structure to reach you; the GM may increase the time it takes to acquire something by one step.
✪ Instant Functionary [Leadership]
You’re skilled at seeing the shape of an organization from the underside, and in organizations of sufficient size, you can easily convince anyone that you’re just another cog in the machine. This allows you to substitute your Leadership skill for Deceit whenever pretending to fill the role of a minor functionary of a target organization.
✪ Center of the Web [Leadership]
Whether or not you lead it, you are like the spider at the center of a web regarding any organization of which you are a part. Information about the organization flows your way naturally, taking one time increment less to reach your attentive ears than it would normally, and so long as you are able to make any sort of contact with the outside world, you are quickly able to find out information about your organization’s dealings. Your Leadership shifts may be spent to improve the speed of information by up to two additional steps with GM’s approval.
✪ Ubiquity [Leadership]
Requires Center of the Web.
First, this stunt steps up the intensity of your Center of the Web stunt – information flows your way a total of two time increments faster. Second, this stunt removes the restriction “so long as you are able to make any sort of contact with the outside world .” Your ties into the organization are so thoroughly widespread that the outside world makes every reasonable effort to stay in contact with you. For a fate point, your organization can even make some fairly unreasonable efforts to stay in contact.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Herculean Strength [Might]
The character is incredibly strong, capable of lifting great weights. All weight-based difficulties that don’t involve combat are reduced by two steps. See page XX for more on weights.
✪ Piledriver [Might]
Requires Herculean Strength.
The character is capable of landing powerful blows with hammer-like force. At their best, these blows can rip apart steel cages and knock down walls. A character with Piledriver adds four to his attacks with Might against inanimate targets.
✪ Unbound [Might]
If you are physically restrained in some fashion – be it by chains or a mob of people – you receive a +2 bonus to your Might in your efforts to break out of those bonds.
Combined with Piledriver (above), the character simply cannot be held in place by most mundane methods.
✪ Unstoppable [Might]
Requires Herculean Strength and at least one other Might stunt.
Once in motion, this character is very difficult to stop due to his sheer muscular force.
The character may use Might rather than Athletics for move actions; this includes sprinting (see page XX). Furthermore, all blocks to his movement, including borders which can be “smashed” through, are considered to be two lower.
✪ Wrestler [Might]
Requires one other Might Stunt.
The character is a trained wrestler. The character may use their Might skill instead of Fists.
✪ Body Toss [Might]
You know how to apply your strength in a fight to take people off their feet. Whenever making a throw or a push maneuver (page XX), you may consider the target to weigh one weight factor (page XX) less than usual.
✪ Hammerlock [Might]
Whenever you perform an action block (see page XX) by personally grabbing hold of someone, you do so at +1. Any time that person tries to break through the block and fails, you may inflict a single point of stress.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Artificer [Mysteries]
The character is capable of using Mysteries to improve artifacts (mystic gadgets, essentially) in the same fashion that Technology does, albeit on radically different principles (see Gadgets and Gizmos, page XX). “Devices” worked on in this fashion will be clearly arcane in appearance and will work on principles that may make no sense to logical men. You may include some advances that are not available to “normal” Technology.
This sort of work requires an arcane workshop in the same way that engineering requires a regular workshop (page XX).
✪ Alchemist [Mysteries]
As an alchemist, your character is able to create potions, unguents, transmogrification salves, impossible chemicals. While a part of Mysteries, alchemy also embraces some of the principles of Science, and thus allows Mysteries to substitute for Science in the realms of chemistry and some elements of physics. Alchemy also allows for the creation of new artifacts in the form of potions, which can create effects that allow the alchemist to make “attacks” through them using her Mysteries skill, usually over an extended timeframe. Finally, the Alchemist stunt allows the creation of processes that transform substances from one to the other (such as lead into gold); when relevant, this means the alchemist can spend a fate point to use her Mysteries skill in place of Resources, provided she can find a buyer for her transformed goods.
✪ Personal Artifact [Mysteries]
An artifact is a magical item or device that does… something. As far as game rules go, it is identical in function to a gadget (see the stunt by that name under Technology, page XX), though you may have some broader leeway to describe what it can do, given that it’s based on magic instead of technology. Certain unusual upgrades may be incorporated into the design as well.
This stunt may be taken multiple times, but multiple Artifacts may not be combined the way Personal Gadgets can be (as described in the stunts on page XX).
✪ Rare Artifact [Mysteries]
You may introduce an artifact that you design on-the-fly, in a fashion similar to the Universal Gadget stunt (see page XX).
Because this is an artifact, however, a few differences exist. The artifact gets three improvements, same as a Personal Artifact, instead of only two improvements, the way a Universal Gadget does. Furthermore, this stunt may be taken multiple times and, unlike a Personal Artifact, may combine those improvements into a single, more potent artifact.
There is, however, a downside…
All Rare Artifacts inevitably have origins shrouded in darkness and mystery. In order to introduce such an artifact into play, the character must take on a temporary aspect which vaguely, colorfully references the secret (and unknown) past of the artifact. The GM may then incorporate its dark past into the storyline, hitting the character with compels as appropriate.
If the player’s uninterested in having his impromptu artifact misbehaving on occasion, he may spend a fate point to avoid the temporary aspect’s placement. And that might just be a good idea. .. Beware the sinister secrets of the arcane!
✪ Mesmerist [Mysteries]
The character is adept at using his Mysteries skill as described under Mesmerism (page XX). When helping another character to remember things with hypnosis, the other character’s skills are not limited in any way, and in fact may be complemented by the hypnotist’s Mysteries skill.
Further, rolls with a willing target – even if that target is not actively participating – are always at +2, as if the target was actively participating (see page XX). Finally, the time it takes to put someone into a trance is reduced by one step, if applicable.
✪ Hypnotic Speech [Mysteries]
When interacting with others socially, you are able to weave the patterns and methods of mesmerism into your words, potentially putting someone you’re talking to into a partial trance – even without them realizing.
Provided you have had several minutes of calm conversation with another character as a preamble, you may start using your Mysteries skill instead of Socialize or Deceit. You may not make such a substitution if the conversation becomes strongly charged with emotion or if other distractions surface to break the air of calm. This stunt works even when dealing with an unwilling subject (in part because it simply allows you to substitute Mysteries for the perfectly normal functions of Socialize and Deceit).
✪ Mind’s Shadow [Mysteries]
Whenever you have someone in a full trance, you may plant false memories, or remove existing memories. The partial trance resulting from the Hypnotic Speech stunt does not count – this must be a full trance, which is usually only possible with a willing target. Unwilling trances resulting from the Enthrall stunt do, however, count.
To use this ability, for each memory to be planted or removed, roll your Mysteries skill. The result indicates the difficulty for someone to recognize the memories as missing or false, as well as the difficulty – for the subject or another mesmerist – to penetrate the shadow you have lain over their mind.
✪ Enthrall [Mysteries]
Requires Mind’s Shadow and Hypnotic Speech.
You are able to place even unwilling subjects into a hypnotic trance by using Mysteries as an out-and-out attack.
This works best with a restrained subject, but so long as a target can hear the sound of your voice, you have a chance to begin your workings upon him. Targets who are not restrained or forced to be a captive audience defend with their Resolve at +2, though a full defense action does not help them further.
You may approach this mental assault in one of two ways – either as a maneuver, placing a temporary aspect that will only last the scene, or as an attack that inflicts composure stress.
Maneuvers will be short-lived, but may be easier and more useful for immediate effects. If you’re looking to lay on something more profound, you must attack for stress instead.
If you inflict enough stress to indicate a consequence, concession, or taken out result, the results must “play along” with the goals of your hypnotic attack. Such results still can’t force a character to do something completely contrary to his nature, but there should still be a lot of latitude in terms of what sorts of compulsions you can place in the mind of your victim.
It’s easy to use this stunt improperly… and if you do, people are in the right to label you as a villain.
✪ Fortuneteller [Mysteries]
The character is unusually adept at predicting the shape of future events. With this stunt, he may make two predictions per session, instead of the usual one.
✪ Herbal Remedies [Mysteries]
You have specialized in non-traditional medicine to such an extent that it is many ways superior to modern medicine – even if most might scoff or not understand.
In the wilderness, you can find medical supplies easily, and may roll Mysteries instead of Survival to find such things; further, you may roll Mysteries instead of Science in order to perform first aid or proper medical care (see page XX). Using this stunt, you face no penalties for using unorthodox “tools”.
✪ Palm Reader [Mysteries]
Using palm reading or other techniques of personal examination (such as phrenology and aura consultation), you may make a single Mysteries roll as if you were using Intuition. This usually only takes a few minutes, so if you can get someone to be willing to be read, it can sometimes yield information faster than a standard Intuition read would.
At the player’s option, this may be combined with a second Mysteries roll to make a fortune-telling prediction, either before or after the palm-reading roll, so long as the player’s not past his per-session limit. Such predictions must focus on the character being read.
✪ Secrets of the Arcane [Mysteries]
The character is respected authority in a specific occult field. Possibilities include ancient mythology, psychic phenomena, cryptozoology, and so on. In the elite circles of that particular field, the character is recognized for his expertise. Even if his skill level is low, it merely means he is towards the bottom of that particular group of the elite.
This stunt is, essentially, the Mysteries parallel of the Scholar stunt, under Academics (see page XX). When the character makes a Mysteries roll pertaining to his general area of expertise, he automatically receives a +1 knowledge bonus. Beyond this, the character should pick a specific area of specialization within that area (like extraterrestrial demonology, or xenomorphic symbology – the more syllables the better). When a Mysteries roll involves that specialization, he gains an additional +1 bonus (for a total +2 to the value of the research effort). Any research efforts involving the specialization take one unit less time.
✪ Psychic [Mysteries]
You are open to the strange and paranormal – though sometimes that means letting in the Unpleasant Things from the Darkness and other such nuisances.
Normally, a character may be called upon by the GM to roll Mysteries as a kind of paranormal Alertness skill, to pick up on the surface strangeness in a place. With this stunt, you may deliberately use your Mysteries skill to gain some mystic or terrible insight into the occult “climate” of an area, as if it were Investigation – using a similar time-frame and gaining a similar level of (paranormal) detail.
This also means that you may use Mysteries instead of Alertness when surprised, if the origin of the surprise is in some way supernatural, and can even use Mysteries as your initiative skill when locked in a conflict with otherworldly forces.
Used with this stunt, Mysteries can give you access to information that would normally be impossible to get – though the GM is under no obligation to give you that information in any clear fashion. Muddled riddles and vague intimations are the mode of the day.
There is an additional catch: Using this ability may open you up to an unpleasant psychic attack by the presence or residue of Unnatural Creatures that have touched the area … but at least you’ve learned something.
✪ Spirit Companion [Mysteries]
You have a companion with three advances (as described on page XX). This companion is vulnerable to the flux of the spiritual aether, however, and must be summoned into your presence – either pay a fate point to get his immediate manifestation or take roughly a minute to roll Mysteries against a target equal to the companion’s quality as a more gentle summoning.
This companion can never act in physical conflict, but may be visible to others; this may limit what skills he can use with the Skilled advance. He automatically gains the Independent advance as well. The companion will need to take Skilled (Stealth) if he wishes to be undetectable on occasion; otherwise, visible or not, his presence in a location is an immediate call for people to roll Mysteries to notice something amiss.
If you take this stunt a second time (the maximum) you may provide another three advances to your companion. If you have not yet increased the companion’s quality to at least Fair, you must spend one of your advances to do so.
✪ Voices from Beyond [Mysteries]
Given time to prepare and perform the ritual, the character may perform a real, functioning séance to try to call out to spirits dead or never living. A Mysteries roll must be made against a difficulty set by the GM, in order to cause a particular spirit to manifest.
Summoned spirits are not under any sort of compulsion to be cooperative, and may have their own agendas, but once summoned, they may speak through the character with others in attendance. At the GM’s option, especially if the summoner gains spin on her Mysteries roll, the spirit may even manifest visibly.
Should the spirit be malicious in any fashion, or wish to escape the summons, the character may use Mysteries or Resolve as his skill of choice when struggling with the spirit.
✪ Words on the Wind [Mysteries]
There are patterns to things that are not always obvious, even to the wise.
This character looks in the right places, and hears the right things. Once per session, when he is not otherwise occupied, he may request an omen from the GM, and roll Mysteries against a target of Mediocre. The GM will use the results to guide her decision about how obscure the information gained is. It may be as arcane as a snippet of a riddle, or as mundane as news that a strange shipment is coming into the docks at midnight.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Barnstormer [Pilot]
This pilot can squeeze his plane through places where it has no business fitting. Normally, a pilot can spend a fate point for a coincidence or declaration to assure that the plane has enough clearance space to fly through. Characters with this stunt never need to spend a fate point: if it could fit, it can. What’s more, if your character does spend a fate point, he can fit the plane in places it absolutely should not be able to. This stunt is also useful for landing planes in improbably tight quarters.
✪ Flawless Navigation [Pilot]
The skies are an open map in the character’s mind. Unless bizarre circumstances are afoot, he can never get lost in flight. If something strange is happening – such as when flying through the Bermuda Triangle – the difficulties to his Pilot rolls are never reduced by more than 2.
✪ Fly by Night [Pilot]
Whether in dead of night or during a storm, your character’s piloting skills remain true. The character never faces increased difficulties due to environmental factors (darkness, weather) when flying. This does not protect his plane from taking damage from the environment – but his skill remains unreduced.
✪ Flying Ace [Pilot]
The character is a skilled combat pilot, and may use his Pilot skill to attack in a dogfight, assuming the plane is suitably armed. Normally, a pilot uses Pilot on his defense actions, and must use Guns in order to attack (similar to someone on foot using Athletics for defense and Guns for offense).
✪ Death From Above [Pilot]
Requires Flying Ace.
The character’s combat flight experience makes him a deadly force when he gets the upper hand. While in flight, if he is able to make an attack on another flying target from an elevated position, he does two additional points of stress on a successful hit.
This stunt can’t be used two exchanges in a row; whenever making such an attack, the acrobatics take him out of his position of advantage.
✪ Walk Away From It [Pilot]
Requires at least two other Pilot stunts.
The character has a great instinct for crash-landing planes, and is able to walk away from even the most catastrophic-seeming landings. While the character is piloting a plane into its crash landing, he and his passengers get the benefits of the Death Defiance stunt (see page XX), and are all considered “out of sight” when the plane crashes.
✪ Personal Aircraft [Pilot]
You have a personal aircraft that you own or have the exclusive right to fly. In all respects, this stunt functions like the Custom Ride stunt (page XX). Please refer to that stunt for details.
✪ Prototype Aircraft [Pilot]
Requires Personal Aircraft.
Identical to the Prototype Car stunt (on page XX), but for your plane.
✪ Plane Mechanic [Pilot]
Requires at least two other Pilot stunts.
Your character may not understand the broader aspects of engineering devices and such, but when it comes to planes, he knows them inside and out. Whenever working on a plane, you may use your Pilot skill instead of Engineering. Due to some shared principles, you may work on other vehicles at a -1.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Best Foot Forward [Rapport]
You’re adept at making first impressions – sometimes you might not improve the preconceived attitude someone holds towards you, but you can at least assure you don’t get off on the wrong foot when you meet for the first time.
Whenever rolling to make a first impression with an NPC, no matter how severe the failure, you cannot cause them to have a lower or more negative opinion of you than they already had, unless you’re making an active effort in that direction.
In rules terms, this means that if your target ever gains spin on an impression “defense” (see page XX), it does not cause his attitude to degrade by one step.
✪ Five Minute Friends [Rapport]
For a fate point, you can make a steadfast friend in a place you’ve never been, given a chance for five minutes of conversation. This stunt makes nearly impossible opportunities to make friends merely improbable, improbable opportunities probable, and probable opportunities outright certain.
✪ International [Rapport]
The character’s mastery of etiquette leaves him comfortable, and even glib, in any situation. The character never suffers any penalties or increased difficulty from unfamiliarity with his setting, making it easy to maneuver through local customs he hasn’t encountered before, and to cover up any gaffes with a laugh and a sparkle in his eye.
✪ Ladies’ Man/Popular Gal [Rapport]
You’re adept at catching the eye of the opposite sex, and keeping it once you’ve got it. Any seduction attempts you make with Rapport receive a +2 technique bonus provided the target is someone who could be receptive to it (this is not always a simple case of gender and preference).
✪ Blather [Rapport]
It’s not that you’re a good liar – possibly far from it. It’s more that you have a skill at talking so fast, and not letting the other guy get a word in edgewise, that he doesn’t ever get the chance to figure out if you’re lying or not.
With this stunt, so long as you can keep talking, you can cover up increasingly ludicrous lies. Start your fast-talk conversation with your target as a contest between your Rapport and their Resolve or Rapport. If you win, the conversation continues, and you repeat the roll on the next exchange. If you fail, no matter how poorly, you can spend a fate point to continue the conversation as if you had won.
So long as you can keep talking uninterrupted and continue to spend fate points to defer any failures, your endless blathering will prevent your target from realizing quite what you’re doing. For the duration of the conversation, the difficulty of any perception (usually Alertness) checks by the target are based off your base Rapport skill, or your last successful roll, whichever value is higher.
The target of this effort is by no means helpless – if they are attacked or otherwise disturbed they may respond normally, and they will respond to obvious stimuli (friends being attacked in their line of sight, fire alarms going off and such). However, the target is definitely distracted. When using this ability on multiple opponents at once, they each get to defend, and you take a -1 penalty for each opponent past the first.
Of course, once you stop talking, it may be time for a quick exit.
✪ Heart on My Sleeve [Rapport]
You’re a regular stand up guy with no secrets, at least so far as anyone can tell. But even so, you’re in control of which part of your best face you’re putting forward.
Whenever using the Opening Up tactic (see page XX) to “defend” against an Empathy read, you gain a +1 on your Rapport roll. If you gain spin on your defense, you may substitute one alternate true, non-trivial fact about yourself instead of revealing an aspect.
The reader must still get an insight into you if you’re providing a fact; it’s just not necessarily one that has the weight of an aspect.
✪ The Right Questions [Rapport]
Smaller parts of a larger truth can contain a blueprint of the whole – and as a skilled conversationalist, you are adept at pulling the larger truth out of a single individual. Provided the person you’re talking to is at least neutral towards you, you may use your Rapport skill instead of Contacting for any effort to gather information (see page XX). The results are limited and colored by the knowledge available to your chat partner, but it’s always possible he doesn’t know that he knows certain things, and as such, your acquaintance effectively acts as a small “cluster” of contacts.
✪ Smooth Over [Rapport]
You’re adept at stepping into a bad situation and dialing it down to something more reasonable. So long as you are not the direct reason someone is upset, your attempts to calm them down using your Rapport receive a +2 bonus.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Smooth Recovery [Resolve]
While most characters with Resolve can keep things together under stress, for your character it is second nature, allowing him to regain his footing in the face of even the direst of outcomes outside of physical conflict. This stunt allows the character to take one additional moderate, social or mental consequence than normal, allowing him to take up to four total consequences of that variety.
✪ Cool Customer [Resolve]
Requires Smooth Recovery.
The character is so at ease in times of social stress that nothing seems to dent his calm regard of the situation. The character may take a full action once per exchange to roll his Resolve against a target of Mediocre.
If successful, he may remove a checkmark in his first mental stress box (at the one-point stress position). If he desires, after a successful roll, he may instead spend a fate point and remove any single composure stress track box of a value equal to or less than the shifts he gained on his roll.
✪ Aplomb [Resolve]
Requires Smooth Recovery.
When possible, the character’s composure stress track rolls down instead of up. Whenever the character’s composure stress would roll up to the next empty box, it instead rolls down to the first empty box of a lesser value. If there are no available boxes of a lesser value, the stress rolls up normally.
✪ Unflappable [Resolve]
Requires Smooth Recovery.
The character is simply not prone to fear. While Intimidation efforts against him might provoke other emotions, they can rarely scare him; he gains a +2 to his Resolve when defending against a purely fear-based Intimidation action.
✪ Right Place, Right Time [Resolve]
The character seems to always be in a safe spot, without moving in any obvious way. When engaged in physical combat, characters with this stunt may use Resolve as their combat skill when defending, and may also use it to move or take cover (so long as they merely saunter; no sprints allowed).
To the outside world, it appears that the character is simply staying put and unfazed as gunfire and other attacks miss him by scant inches, or is picking up his undisturbed martini as the werewolf rushes past. Circumstance conspires to leave the character undisturbed so long as his defense is not beaten.
✪ Inner Strength [Resolve]
Whenever someone is trying to get inside your head – be it through psychic means (as with some mesmerism stunts), or through extensive torture – you receive a +2 to your Resolve defense even without resorting to a full defense action. If you do go for a full defense, you may, but it only nets you a +3 in total.
✪ Iron Determination [Resolve]
It is apparent to all around you exactly how far you are willing to go in order to get what you want. You may, when you bluntly speak your true intentions in a social interaction, trigger the effects of this stunt, immediately gaining a +1 bonus which applies to all subsequent Intimidation or Resolve rolls, as well as any social defense, in that scene. However, if you do this, you may no longer use Rapport with the same audience, as you have peeled away the façade of civility.
✪ Still Standing [Resolve]
Requires Inner Strength.
This character simply does not know when to quit. The character may take one additional moderate consequence of any type. This allows the character to take a total of four consequences in any conflict and, if combined with Feel the Burn (page XX), can allow the character to take up to five in a physical conflict. Similarly, it may be combined with Smooth Recovery (page XX) to take up to five consequences in a social or mental conflict.
✪ Driven [Resolve]
Requires Still Standing.
The character draws inspiration from his setbacks, no matter what the circumstances. A character with this stunt is always considered to have an “inspiration” rationale to spend fate points to invoke any of the consequences he has taken for rerolls and bonuses; no other justification is necessary.
✪ Unyielding [Resolve]
The character’s force of will is enough to keep him going in the direst of circumstances. Any time the character takes health stress (any one hit), he may spend a fate point to instead take two 1-point hits of composure stress (subject to roll-up).
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Grease the Wheels [Resources]
Money talks, especially in the halls of bureaucratic power. Whenever the character is in a situation where bribes will be accepted, he may use his Resources skill whenever he would otherwise use Leadership instead.
✪ Money Talks [Resources]
Rather than go looking for something, one can always just offer a reward. The character may spread some money around and use Resources in lieu of Contacting to attempt to find somebody or something. He doesn’t literally need to offer a reward, but it is necessary that he make an obvious display of wealth in some venue or another, preferably waving crisp money in the face of people in the know (or people who know people in the know). The downside of this approach is that it tends to be highly public, at least within some circles, and anyone interested will know what the character is looking for.
✪ Home Away From Home [Resources]
Normally, a character may have a single Library, Lab, Workshop, Arcane Library, or Arcane Workshop of a quality equal to his Resources-2 (see page 109). With this stunt, he has a second such property in a different location; he may specify the location during play (at which point it becomes locked in), or in advance.
✪ Headquarters [Resources]
One of your character’s properties – one location that functions as a Library, Lab, Workshop, Arcane Library, or Arcane Workshop (see page XX) — qualifies as a full-blown private headquarters, such as a mansion or a secret cave. The quality of this facility is automatically increased by two (such that it is equal to your Resources skill or Resources+1 in the case of a specialized function).
In addition, the headquarters may include one of the following extra elements:
- Expert Staff
- Your headquarters has a small staff of competent individuals: two with Average skill at something (choose the skill when defining the staff member), and a head or lauded functionary with a peak skill of Fair. These are, within the bounds of your headquarters, companions whom you may call on to assist you. They are bound to the location, and can’t ever leave it without losing their companion qualities (they effectively drop to Mediocre outside of their home environs). With another stunt, you may convert one of these staff members into a Trusted Employee (see page XX).
- Secondary Facility
- Your base facility normally serves one primary function – Library, Lab, Workshop, Arcane Library, or Arcane Workshop. This extra allows you to define a second function that operates at a quality level equal to your Resources minus 3.
- Extensive Security
- Security measures make your headquarters difficult to compromise. All difficulties for bypassing your headquarters’ security are increased by one.
- Utmost Secrecy
- The location of your headquarters is tantamount to a state secret. Few know of it, and even those located nearby may be unaware. The difficulty of any Investigation or Contacting roll to find the location of your lair is equal to your Resources.
- Communications Center
- Your headquarters is the nerve center of a number of vital channels of communication. Any communications routed to, from, or through your base take one time increment less to get to where they’re going, due to the efficiencies offered.
✪ Lair [Resources]
The character’s headquarters has three elements (rather than one).
✪ Stately Pleasure Dome [Resources]
The character’s lair is very much a wonder of the world. Not only does it have all of the possible elements listed above, but one of them may be traded out for something unique and distinctive, such as:
- A world class lab (adding another 2 to the quality of one of the facilities and speeding the rate of research by one increment).
- An exotic location (just outside Atlantis, on the moon, etc .), including a means of dedicated transport for reaching it.
- A larger and highly competent staff (the facility head is of Good quality, and there are two Fair and three Average staff members).
It’s even possible that this distinctive element is something weird, like having your headquarters be mobile (movement is slow; the rate of movement will never compete with a full-on vehicle or plane, and finding places to park is an absolute pain).
✪ Trusted Employee [Resources]
Requires a Headquarters with the Expert Staff element.
Choose one member of your staff – usually the person who qualifies as head of the facility. This person may now accompany you as a full-on companion (see page XX), including retaining her companion status outside your headquarters. She automatically has the quality level indicated by your headquarters stunts, and the Independent advance; you may choose three other advances for her as well (including increasing her quality to Good, if you haven’t done so through the other stunts).
✪ Best That Money Can Buy [Resources]
You have a discerning taste and a natural instinct for spending your money to get exactly the best and nothing less. You are at +1 to your Resources whenever making a purchase of something that would be considered “the best .” While this may seem like a discount, it’s not, really, since seeking out the best may mandate a price mark several steps above the baseline; still, this stunt helps to soften the blow.
✪ Long Term Investment [Resources]
You’ve had your money for a while now, and you’ve had a chance to make several strategic investments which you can cash in on when pressed for money. Once per session, you may sell one of these investments to get a +2 to any one Resources roll, as if you had spent a fate point to invoke an aspect.
✪ Money Is No Object [Resources]
Requires two other Resources stunts.
Once per session, when called on to roll Resources, you may spend a fate point and simply act as if you had rolled ++++ on the dice. You may do this after the fact on a roll, and further may combine this with the effect from Long Term Investment to easily achieve a result of your Resources +6 (and, if it’s the Best That Money Can Buy, +7) – usually good enough to purchase almost anything.
If you use this stunt, your Resources skill will then operate at -2 for the rest of the session; you’ve simply tapped into everything at your disposal to make the purchase.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Forensic Medicine [Science]
Your skill with Science gives you a distinct insight into certain kinds of investigations. When appropriate, you may use your Science skill instead of Investigation, particularly when the subject involves medical evidence. If the GM believes that you would normally roll Science for such an effort (such as performing an autopsy) then the difficulty of the investigation drops by two steps (but never below Mediocre).
✪ Doctor [Science]
The character has a singular ability to help the wounded recover from their ills. Whenever rolling Science to provide first aid or proper medical attention (see page XX), the roll is made at +2. A character with this stunt may choose to have a medical degree, or at least certification to act as a paramedic, nurse, or other medical professional.
✪ Medic [Science]
The character is talented at delivering medical care in the field. Normally, someone providing first aid can remove a checkmark for every two shifts gained on the roll (see page XX). With this stunt, every shift past the first one improves the level of stress that may be removed (so three shifts will remove a checkmark up to the three-stress mark, rather than the two-stress mark). If the character rolls well enough to remove a stress mark that is higher than the subject’s physical stress capacity (e.g., 6 or more shifts for a character who has Mediocre Endurance), he may even remove a minor, physical consequence.
✪ Surgeon [Science]
You’re not only a doctor, you’re at the forefront of medical Science in action. Your character is a respected authority in a specific field of surgical or therapeutic medicine; define it at the time you take this stunt. Possibilities include heart or brain surgery, transplant operations, disease pathologies, and so on; your character has the opportunity to break new ground ahead of the actual technological curve.
In the elite circles of the chosen field, the character is recognized for his expertise. Even if his skill level is low, it merely means he is towards the bottom of that particular elite group.
When the character makes a Science roll to perform surgery or other intensive medical work, he acts at +1. In addition, when the roll involves his specific area of specialization, he gets an additional +1 and may remove the difficulty increase of any one factor affecting the operation (such as poor facilities, or a lack of a particular supply, etc).
This stunt combines with the Doctor stunt for a large bonus – which is only right, because practicing medicine is particularly hard, and patients are not as understanding – or replaceable – as bunsen burners and test tubes. Those who use Science to heal the human body are facing higher difficulties than they might in other fields and, in game terms, they can use all the extra shifts on those rolls that they can get.
Thus, surgeons start with the +2 bonus from Doctor, and add at least one, for a total of +3. And better yet, they operate with a +4 in their area of utmost expertise.
✪ Scientific Genius [Science]
Your character is a respected authority in a specific scientific field. Possibilities include physics, chemistry, biology, and so on. In the elite circles of that particular field, the character is recognized for his expertise. Even if his skill level is low, it merely means he is towards the bottom of his particular group of the elite.
Whenever the character makes a Science roll pertaining to his area of expertise, he automatically receives a +1 knowledge bonus. In addition, the character should pick a specific area of specialization (like gravity, electricity or reptiles). When a science roll involves that specialization, his knowledge bonus increases to +2, and any research efforts involving the specialty are resolved at one time increment faster.
✪ Theory in Practice [Science]
Requires Scientific Genius.
Your character can start babbling about some theoretical scientific principle that has bearing on the situation at hand (the player must play this out). Even if it’s a crackpot theory, Science is a kind of new religion for this guy, and his committed belief in his theory can translate into real effect.
Instead of using Science to make a declaration, the character may, for a fate point, and only once per scene, use his Science skill to substitute for nearly any other skill, subject to the GM’s approval. If the roll generates no shifts, the scientist takes a minor consequence (such as “Crestfallen” or “Crackpot”) to reflect the weight of his failure for the rest of the scene. Otherwise, great! It works!
✪ Scientific Invention [Science]
Requires Scientific Genius.
You are able to create new devices and upgrade existing technology as per the gadgets rules (see page XX), using Science instead of Engineering. You don’t, however, have any skill at creating or repairing completely “normal” technology – stuff that wouldn’t involve the gadget rules at all to work on.
✪ Weird Science [Science]
Requires Scientific Invention.
You may create and upgrade gadgets to use any improvements that are marked as requiring Weird Science. This lets you design and create items that have capabilities that exist in the late 20th century, among other things (see page XX).
Furthermore, you may collaborate with another character skilled in Engineering to enable that character to create and change items based on Weird Science; if you do so, your Science skill restricts that character’s Engineering.
Working with an engineer, a scientist with this stunt enables his engineer partner to include Weird Science improvements for a single improvement allocation on one of his personal or universal gadgets.
✪ Mad Science [Science]
Requires Weird Science.
You are able to create devices that even a 21st century person would deem impossible, unlikely, or simply too advanced for mankind’s present capabilities. Unconventional construction methods, cars that run on brainpower, and other bizarre effects are all possible.
Your Mad Science must have a theme (such as Doktor Herborn's "metabolic chemistry"), which you must define when you take this stunt. Any Mad Science improvements you incorporate into devices must fit this theme (but with a little creativity, most concepts can fit a sufficiently flexible theme).
As with the Weird Science stunt (above), a mad scientist may collaborate with an engineer in order to help that engineer build mad sciences into his gadgets for only a single improvement allocation.
Sadly, for most engineers (but perhaps happily for the rest of us!), mad scientists often don’t play well with others, so finding someone with this stunt who is willing to collaborate is a great undertaking all by itself (and may even be a good seed for an adventure – GMs, take note).
Sleight of Hand
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Bump and Grab [Sleight of Hand]
Your character is exceptionally skilled at taking advantage of distractions in order to make a quick grab. You may spend a fate point to make a simple Sleight of Hand attempt to do something – pick a pocket, palm an object – as a free action.
✪ Cool Hand [Sleight of Hand]
A steady hand can be critical when things get hairy. This character’s hands never shake and never waver.
Your character may ignore any difficulty increases from the environment when performing any fine manual work (even if that fine manual work doesn’t involve the Sleight of Hand skill, such as Burglary for lock picking, or Science for surgical work).
Further, his steadiness minimizes other distractions and cuts down on mistakes. Once per scene he may eliminate one single non-environmental penalty that affects his Sleight of Hand.
✪ Sucker Punch [Sleight of Hand]
If you are initiating an attack with someone who is not expecting it, you may use your Sleight of Hand skill instead of your Fists skill on the first exchange, provided you can directly interact with your target and narrate a reasonable distraction as your prelude.
✪ Juggler [Sleight of Hand]
You have a great talent for juggling; this includes the ability to throw around and catch seemingly dangerous objects (knives, torches) without any fear of harm to yourself.
If called on to make a skill roll for juggling, you gain a +2 on your roll. You may set this +2 bonus aside and instead use your Sleight of Hand skill instead of Art to make a performance that dazzles your audience.
This ability does not include the ability to catch weapons are thrown at you with the intent of harm – if you want that ability as well, you’ll have to look to the Catch stunt under Weapons (see page XX).
You may, however, use your Sleight of Hand skill to complement your Weapons skill whenever making a thrown weapon attack.
✪ Legerdemain [Sleight of Hand]
You have a knack for pulling off magic tricks and can draw the eye effortlessly. When performing a magic trick, you may use Sleight of Hand instead of Art to perform and entertain, getting a +1 bonus to your roll.
If you are covering up some other sort of activity at the same time, your effort to conceal receives a +1 as well.
✪ Stage Magic [Sleight of Hand]
You can perform misdirection on a large scale, under appropriately controlled circumstances. Provided you are acting within an arena you control (such as a stage, or an area you have had adequate time to prepare), there are simply no size limitations (within reason) for your Sleight of Hand targets.
✪ Master of Illusion [Sleight of Hand]
Requires Stage Magic.
You can prepare for a large illusion in a very short period of time, using improvised props and rigging. This lets you bring the effects of Stage Magic into play very quickly; the time it takes to prepare is reduced by three steps, allowing the character to put together something in about a minute that would normally take half an hour of preparation.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ In Plain Sight [Stealth]
Your character suffers no environment-based difficulty increases when using Stealth. This means that even when he’s out in the open and wouldn’t normally be able to justify using Stealth, he may. This also means that, once hidden, even people actively searching for him (page XX) do not get a +2 to their Alertness or Investigation rolls.
This ability only functions so long as your character does not move, and does not do anything other than hide. The moment he does something else, he breaks cover and is immediately visible.
✪ Master of Shadows [Stealth]
Requires In Plain Sight.
Your character is one with the shadows, and lives in every darkened corner, unheard and unseen. You gain the full benefit of In Plain Sight, but may also move one zone per exchange without automatically breaking stealth, allowing you to remain hidden while moving, even when you shouldn’t be able to hide in the first place.
If your character is in an environment that could give a bonus to stealth (like one with a Dark or Smokey aspect) or even one that would normally justify the use of Stealth to hide, you may pay a fate point to make a full sprint action without automatically breaking stealth.
The upshot of this stunt is as follows: Whenever the character moves while hidden, discovery penalties (see page XX) may still apply, but are cut in half. Outside of conflict, this leaves observers at +1 for a cautious creep, +2 for walking pace, +3 for a jog (short sprint) and +4 for an out-andout run (long sprint); inside conflict, observers only get a +1 to detect the character for every zone moved in an exchange. If used in combination with Like the Wind (see page XX), these discovery bonuses are eliminated entirely.
✪ Shadowed Strike [Stealth]
Requires Master of Shadows (above) and Vanish (below).
The character strikes from out of the darkness, leaving his foes bewildered and in pain. When hidden, the character can launch an attack while remaining hidden, using his Stealth for any defense rolls for the duration of that exchange.
✪ Deadly Shadows [Stealth]
Requires Shadowed Strike.
When using the Shadowed Strike method the character may use his Stealth to make attacks as well, rather than using his Weapons skill or the like.
✪ Quick Exit [Stealth]
A momentary distraction is all you need to vanish from the scene. Provided you are not in the midst of a conflict, you may roll a quick contest between your Stealth and the highest Alertness in the room. If you succeed, the next time someone turns to look at or talk to you, you’re not there.
✪ Vanish [Stealth]
Requires Quick Exit.
This stunt functions the same as Quick Exit (above), but the character may vanish even if he is in a conflict, as a full action. This requires some dramatic flourish (smoke bombs or bright flashes are classics) or the invocation of an appropriate environmental aspect (like The Darkness of the New Moon).
✪ Hush [Stealth]
Your talent with stealth may be extended to others who are with you close by, provided that you travel as a group. As long as the whole group stays with you and follows your hushed orders, you may make a single Stealth roll for the whole group, using your skill alone. If someone breaks from the group, they immediately lose this benefit, and may risk revealing the rest of you if they don’t manage to pull off a little Stealth of their own.
You cannot apply the benefits of other stunts (besides Hush) to this roll, though you may bring in your own aspects (and possibly tag the aspects of those you are concealing) in order to improve the result.
The maximum number of additional people in the group is equal to the numeric value of the character’s Stealth score (so someone with Fair Stealth and this stunt would be able to use his skill for himself and two others).
✪ Lightfoot [Stealth]
It’s difficult to track you when you take care to walk lightly. Traps and such that depend on pressure or some other weight-based trigger are two steps easier for you to circumvent, and any attempts (such as with Investigation or Survival) to trace the physical evidence of your steps face a difficulty two higher than you rolled.
✪ Like the Wind [Stealth]
Whenever your character moves under cover of Stealth – the skulking trapping for the skill (see page XX) – the bonus to discovery efforts is cut in half. This means that out of conflict, observers are only at +1 for a slow creep, +2 for walking pace, +3 for jogging, and +4 for a full-out run; in a conflict, observers are only at +1 per zone moved. If you combine this stunt with the Master of Shadows stunt (see page XX), then your movement, however swift, never offers a bonus to discovery efforts, ever.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Animal Companion [Survival]
Your character has cultivated a close companion from the animal kingdom. This companion is designed using the companion rules (see page XX), with a few changes and limitations.
Animal companions are designed using four advances. This companion operates only with a “physical” scope, and must spend at least two of its advances on “Skilled” or “Quality”. Any “Skilled” advances must be taken from a short list: Athletics, Fists, Might, Stealth, and Survival. You may take only one skill outside of that list, within reason, as based on the animal type. A raccoon might have Sleight of Hand, representing its ability to perform fine manipulation; a lion might have Intimidation (this is unsubtle, and not considered a violation of the physical scope). If the animal is of an appropriate size, this creature may be ridden as a mount, at +1 to Survival.
If the companion is a mount, such as a horse, or a more exotic beast that has been persuaded to allow you to ride it, you may use that mount’s Athletics skill instead of Survival in order to ride it. Athletics would also be used to pour on the speed when the rider is too busy to “steer” the animal himself.
✪ Animal Friend [Survival]
Pick a particular type of animal (cats, rodents, horses or the like). Your character is capable of communicating with animals of that type, and moreover, they are likely to be favorably inclined towards him, granting a +2 when interacting with the specified animal type.
This doesn’t connote a special level of intelligence on the part of the animal, so the communication may be relatively simple. When relevant, the character uses Animal Handling in lieu of any social skill when dealing with these animals.
✪ Call of the Wild [Survival]
Requires Animal Friend.
Calling out in a “native” voice, your character is able to summon nearby friendly creatures. A number of creatures up to the amount of shifts generated by Survival roll (against Mediocre) will heed the call (x10 if the creatures are small, like rats or cats, x100 for vermin like roaches). Only creatures affected by the Animal Friend (or King of the Beasts) stunt may respond.
✪ King of the Beasts [Survival]
Requires Animal Friend.
This stunt functions as Animal Friend does, but the character may speak to an entire broad category of animals, rather than just one type.
For purposes of this ability there are three main categories – creatures from or from near the sea (fish, whales, seabirds), creatures from the land (dogs, primates, cats, birds) and vermin (bugs, rats and other small scuttling things).
There is loose overlap between these categories – pigeons are in all three – and the GM is encouraged to be generous in her interpretation.
✪ Due North [Survival]
Your character’s natural talent for navigation is such that he rarely gets lost. He always knows which direction north is, flawlessly, even underground, without a compass or stars to guide him. He gets a +2 knowledge bonus whenever trying to find his way out of a place (using Survival), and faces no familiarity penalties to his efforts to navigate.
✪ Tracker [Survival]
Your character is skilled at tracking, and can infer a great deal of information from a trail. When studying tracks, the character may roll Survival.
Each shift from this roll spent thereafter gives the character one piece of information about the person or creature being tracked (such as weight, how they were moving, and so on). Normally, Survival can’t be used to track something, leaving such attempts at a Mediocre default.
✪ Hands Free [Survival]
You can do all sorts of things from the back of your horse (or other mount). Riding your animal never causes a supplemental action penalty when you’re doing something else from the saddle, whether you’re rolling Survival as the primary skill or another.
✪ Hell Bent for Leather [Survival]
You know how to get the best speed out of your mount. Any sprint action you take using Survival while mounted is done at +2.
If you’re using your mount’s Athletics skill instead (as with an Animal Companion mount, above), the +2 is applied to the mount’s Athletics roll.
You must be an active participant in driving your mount forward in order to receive this bonus, in such a case. The benefit doesn’t apply if you’re, say, in the saddle, but unconscious.
✪ Ride Anything [Survival]
If it can be ridden like a riding beast, you can ride it. You suffer no penalties or increased difficulty for a lack of familiarity, no matter how strange the mount, be it dinosaur, mechanical spider-robot, or Martian bird of prey.
✪ Breaking it In [Survival]
You’re skilled at breaking in new mounts. Normally, breaking in a mount is a conflict between rider and steed. The rider is making social attacks (using Survival vs. Resolve) on the animal while the animal is making Athletics or Might vs. Survival physical attacks on the rider. When one party is finally taken out, takes a consequence, or concedes, either the animal is broken or the rider is thrown. Whatever the net result, the animal’s composure track clears immediately.
Your character receives a +2 on all efforts to break in a new mount. If successful, he gets a +1 to all Survival rolls on a creature he has broken for the duration of that session.
(Skill, page XX; Adjudication, page XX)
✪ Flawless Parry [Weapons]
When the character takes a full defense action using Weapons, he gains a +3 bonus rather than the usual +2.
✪ Riposte [Weapons]
Requires Flawless Parry.
Whenever you are physically attacked by an opponent at melee distance (the same zone as you), and you successfully defend yourself (using Weapons) well enough to gain spin, you may use that spin to inflict a single point of physical stress on your attacker, immediately, as a free action.
✪ Turnabout [Weapons]
You have a singular ability to turn an opponent’s action into an advantage for yourself.
Under the same conditions as Riposte, you may use your spin and spend a fate point to treat your defense roll as a free-action attack, dealing physical stress equal to the shifts you got on your defense roll (since you got spin, you’ll be inflicting at least three stress). You may only do this once per opponent in a scene.
✪ Catch [Weapons]
When defending against a thrown object, if you are successful enough to generate spin on your defense, you may declare that you are catching the item that was thrown at you, provided you have a free hand and it’s something you could, practically speaking, catch (so no catching, say, refrigerators, unless you have something truly crazy going on in the Might department).
✪ Ricochet [Weapons]
You can throw a weapon such that it bounces off one or more surfaces, allowing it to come at an opponent from an unexpected direction. By bouncing your weapon off a surface before hitting, you make the shot more difficult, but also more likely to hit from an unexpected angle. Describe the shot and take a -1 penalty to the attack; if is the attack is successful, the stress of the hit is increased by 2.
In addition, you may use this stunt to get a thrown weapon to hit a target that is around a corner, provided you can work out some way to see him (such as with a mirror).
✪ Good Arm [Weapons]
The character has an amazing throwing arm, and can throw weapons with great force, allowing them still to be effective at a much longer range than usual. The character may make an attack using a thrown weapon up to two zones away instead of the usual one; if he does so, the attack is made at a -1.
✪ Anything Goes [Weapons]
Your character suffers no complications for an awkward or improvised weapon – virtually anything can be a lethal weapon in his hands, as long as he can comfortably and casually lift it.
The key here is that the weapon must be improvised – a chair, a priceless urn, a beer bottle. There’s also a catch: most improvised weaponry doesn’t often survive more than a few uses.
However, your character should never need to spend a fate point in order to declare that an improvised weapon is close at hand, unless his surroundings have been deliberately prepared against this (such as a prison cell). When using the Weapons skill to throw objects at a target, this stunt means he often has an easy supply of ammunition at hand.
✪ Close at Hand [Weapons]
Close at Hand allows your character to bring his weapon to hand faster than the eye can track. He never takes a supplemental action penalty when drawing his weapon if he has it nearby or on his person. If someone is actively blocking such an action (see page XX), you may treat that block as if it had a value two steps lower.
Combined with Anything Goes (above), this character is effectively always effortlessly armed if he’s in an even moderately cluttered environment.
✪ Weapon of Destiny [Weapons]
You may only take this stunt if you have an aspect that refers to the weapon by name.
You have a signature weapon, which has a name that is well-known among certain circles, and a long and storied history surrounding its past owners. The weapon has a tendency to be always near at hand, even when circumstances have conspired against it. If you’d normally have to spend a fate point to have this weapon nearby, you can have it nearby without having to spend a fate point. If you wouldn’t normally be able to get it near to you for a fate point, then this stunt lets you spend a fate point even in the face of that impossibility. Once the fate point is spent, the GM is not required to furnish your weapon immediately, but must work to bend circumstances to make it available in reasonably short order. Thus, you cannot be deprived of the weapon for long unless you voluntarily give it up or pass it on to another.
Beyond the above capabilities, this weapon is an artifact (see page XX) that includes the craftsmanship improvement, giving you a +1 whenever you are using it. In addition, you may select one other improvement, including those only available to artifacts, such as Blessed, Arcane, Conscious, and others.
✪ Weapons of the World [Weapons]
Every kind of proper (not improvised) hand-held melee weapon in the world has been in your hands at one point or another. Your experience is extensive and profound; you never face a familiarity penalty regardless of how strange the weapon you’re using is. Further, if you tell a quick (two or three sentence) story about how you came to use such a weapon in times past, you may get a +1 bonus for a scene, once per “new” weapon, per session, at no cost. This story may either be out loud or as an internal monologue shared with the other players at the table.