Knowledge Skills are those which represent accumulated facts and information, which amalgamate into an overall understanding with the subject matter.
The Mercantilism Skill represents an understanding of business practices, a head for commerce, and professional acumen that allows financial ventures to thrive. Knowledge of advanced financial tactics such as futures and loans, undercutting, market manipulation, debt leverage, arbitrage and other techniques makes characters with this skill shrewd businessmen.
Rank 1: Appraisal
The merchant has access to the latest knowledge of current prices of various goods. Local market conditions are always in flux, but the merchant always can establish a baseline based on nearby markets.
Rank 2: Haggle
The merchant can fight like a wolverine when there is profit on the line. When another character attempts to use a Social Condition on them in a financial matter or a question of monetary profits, the merchant may call Discipline to resist.
Rank 3: Contracts
The merchant has the legal knowledge and language to write formal contracts. These Contracts are by Imperial Trade Law legally enforceable by the local Master of Coin, and even may bind nobility, who are otherwise above the common law. Contracts must be for lawful actions to be enforced, and must be agreed to by both parties.
Writing the contract requires Literacy but it can be dictated to another if necessary.
Rank 4: Arbitrage
The merchant has the knowledge and connections to arrange shipments to and from nearby markets. After paying a flat fee to arrange the caravan to another market (amount TBD with Travel System), the merchant may immediately sell any goods they have to a traveling merchant. Their partner takes the goods to the outside market, at that market’s rate for the product.
This may also be used to arrange the shipments of whatever goods that market provides by paying market rates in advance (arrival time TBD based on distance).
Especially unsafe road conditions may disable this ability.
(Read more about Travel)
Rank 5: Expertise
The merchant may engage the services of outside experts as needed for any task or challenge they require. By spending silver, the merchant may achieve the help of a character or characters with the Skills they require for one scene. For every silver piece spent, the character may have 1 Experience Point toward Skills. This can mean spending 30 silver for a character with a Rank 5 Skill, or spending 10 silver for five characters with a Rank 1 Skill.
These underlings can be assumed to be nominally loyal and competent about the application of their work, and can take any reasonable instructions about privacy or purpose, though they don’t share the merchant’s true goals, and while they are willing to undergo some reasonable risk, they won’t throw their life away for a paycheck.
This ability is subject to Staff’s logistical ability to field the desired characters.
The merchant may also spend 1 Gold or 20 Silver in bribes and payments to artificially create and use the Commerce Virtue and spend it as they wish.
The Academics skill is not specific knowledge itself, but rather the foundations of knowledge. Characters with high levels of Academics are literate and well-read, familiar with the works of great thinkers, but also have an understanding of how to effectively order and present information to others in a way that makes such knowledge easier to understand. Their own careful analysis of knowledge and information allows them the basic skills necessary to learn more, cross-reference sources, and with access to a library, use secondary sources to gain understanding in all sorts of arenas.
Many abilities related to Academics involve the learning and teaching of specialized bodies of knowledge called Studies. Studies are specific expert knowledge in some field or the turning academic knowledge into to real results in other fields.
(Read more about Studies)
Rank 1: Instruction
The scholar is able to explain their knowledge and information in a way that helps others better understand it. The scholar may perform an at-game Instruction scene, and in so doing, allow another character to learn something that the scholar knows for 1 less Experience Point than normal, which can make some items free of cost.
The scholar can teach anything that is on their character sheet, including Skills, Studies, Maneuvers, Techniques, Rituals or Attributes, but may not teach Character Perks or Flaws.
Teaching scenes must last at least an hour, and in order to be valid, the scene must be rigorous in nature. When teaching something physical, it should be enough to break a sweat. When teaching something mental, it should involve real learning or study with some level of recall, perhaps a test. At this level of Academics, the teacher may teach only one student at a time.
Instruction cannot be stored for someday use – it has to be used for its discount value with Experience Points the same Event it is acquired. A single character may only benefit from one Instruction per Event but the teacher may teach as often as they wish.
Rank 2: Literacy
The scholar may read and write. This grants her access to a host of advantages, including the ability to read and write letters for communication and to author and read books. The scholar may use the Research Downtime Action with a blank Book to store Instruction within its pages, or Research a previously written book to gain the Experience Point discount over the Downtime.
Rank 3: Theory
The scholar is well versed in academic books and understands the basic unifying concepts of academic study and research, allowing them to quickly and easily take in new information. Learning a Basic Study now costs 1 Experience Point, down from 3. This discount is not achievable with temporary Skill increases such as Hope or Devotion.
Rank 4: Applied Research
The scholar’s extensive knowledge of academic principles allows them to research and implement the latest innovations and advancements. The cost of purchasing Advanced Studies is reduced from 5 Experience Points to 3. This discount is not achievable with temporary Skill increases such as Hope or Devotion.
The scholar is also able to, by drawing from their knowledge of projects and their research, facilitate the implementation of an Advanced Study that exists in records but they do not already know.
Each Advanced Study has requirements listed for this project. In order to successfully complete the design, the scholar must bring each of the listed requirements together to help facilitate an implementation plan. The scholar need not provide every part of the requirements themselves, but everyone who is participating in the research must have a committed scene of at least 30 minutes wherein they each contribute their own knowledge. Because these Skills represent knowledge and expertise, they cannot be from artificial gains such as Hope, Devotion, or Magic. At the end of the scene, the scholar (and only the scholar, unless another participant also has this level of Academics) may purchase the new Advanced Study for 3 Experience Points.
Once an Advanced Study is implemented through Academics, it can be taught to others using Instruction without meeting its Research Requirements.
Rank 5: Pedagogue
The scholar is an expert teacher, able to make common sense of even extremely difficult subjects. When performing Instruction, the scholar may teach as many people as they wish so long as they all rigorously participate. With a single protegé, the scholar may reduce their Experience Point costs by 2 instead of 1.
When writing such elaborate instruction into a volume, it requires a Tome instead of a Book to store the information.
The Survival skill is expertise with the wilderness and its environs. Those with this skill can survive on their own in the deep woods and can follow the tracks of animal or human prey.
By default, characters without the Survival Skill may not enter the Wilderness – any area outside of main roads and common areas near buildings such as through deep brush into the woods or on forest trails. Any area that is outside of those bounds is referred to as the Wilderness and many Survival abilities relate to it.
Rank 1: Trailblazing
The explorer may leave the roads and common areas to venture into the woods and may use areas marked as trails. If desired, they can lead others through the Wilderness if they remain within Speaking Distance.
Rank 2: Camping
The explorer may set their Housing location to “Camping” outside the bounds of civilization. They are able to provide enough food from the wild in the form of gathered foods and wild game to keep themselves fed between Events without supplemental food necessary, and are safe and dry enough to be considered to have good quality housing.
Rank 3: Woodsman
In the Wilderness, the explorer is capable of identifying and locating many useful things. Useful or interesting clues and items will be marked by the color bright orange. This will be at times obvious (three deep swipes along the bark of a tree, the claws of some beast), and at times subtle (a faint mist of orange along blades of grass, perhaps a spray of blood). These may be followed to interesting sites, secrets, or dangers. Only characters with this ability may notice or react to items marked with bright orange colors, but they may inform their companions and act accordingly.
Herbs, marked with bright orange tags, may be located and harvested from the Wilderness. Each Herb has 3 traits on it, and can be used by apothecaries to create drugs or poisons.
The explorer also gains the ability to carve and butcher beasts, including malefic creatures. In order to butcher them correctly, the explorer must stand over the beast with a knife, and take at least a minute to try to butcher the creature to attempt to dig out Malefic essences to be used in the creation of Malefica. Using or harvesting organs from Maleficarum is illegal in the Throne, usually also attracting charges of heresy. Nonetheless, these materials can be used by those with the knowledge to make potions or other items that confer some of the traits of the monster they were cut from, and are prized on black markets.
Rank 4: Tracking
The explorer may call Tracking once and clap two times. Everyone who hears the explorer clap must respond by clapping. The explorer may continue to clap every 15 seconds (they do not need to keep saying “Tracking”). In order to continue to track a target, the explorer must go to the spot where they heard the last clap before issuing a new tracking call or clap.
At this level of expertise, the explorer knows enough not to carelessly leave tracks of their own, and are immune to Tracking.
Rank 5: Huntsman
When in the Wilderness, the explorer can use their surroundings to create traps. Using fishing line and mousetraps, the explorer can create as many traps as they wish to so long as they are in the Wilderness.
Each trap’s mousetrap trigger must be marked with bright orange tape and the Strike or <Limb> Strike effects, and may also carry Poison if desired.
Those with the Streetwise skill are adept at traveling the streets unnoticed and knowing who to talk to for information.
Streetwise primarily deals with the Streetwise Downtime action, which grows more powerful with each new Rank of the Streetwise Skill, learning more and more information about a specific target. The spy can spend their Downtime period looking into the affairs and activities of a specific character. In order to be effective, this character must be spending their Downtime period in the same Theater (game area) as the spy. This information is given to the spy after Downtime actions are received but before the next Event.
At each level, the spy also becomes immune to that same information being revealed about themselves when others attempt to track them, though they still expose any additional information that they haven’t learned how to hide.
When the spy uses the Streetwise Downtime action, they may also spread one rumor per Rank of Streetwise. These rumors (and any other rumors and current events) will be read anonymously during Opening Ceremonies of the next Event.
Rank 1: Surveillance
Using the Streetwise Downtime action, the spy may learn the current activities of their target, the specific Downtime Action that that character took, where their Housing is, their Position in the city, and the identities of any Wards or Retainers that they may have.
Additionally, during Events, the spy may also attempt to track down or get in contact with local individuals they believe to be within the city by being aware of their habits, schedules, and frequented locations. Doing so requires the character’s name, or at least their public alias.
Targets who have the Streetwise Skill themselves are more difficult to locate, and the spy must have at least as much Streetwise Skill as they do in order to locate them. Having imperfect information about the subject of your attempt, such as the wrong name, no name, vague details, etc, may increase this difficulty at Staff discretion, possibly making the attempt fail.
When using Streetwise in this manner, you can specify an “invitation” or a “confrontation.” An invitation is voluntary, and will be answered by showing up at the public tavern when and if the character would do so and – for this use, the spy should proceed directly to the tavern and await the likely meeting. For a confrontation, such as finding someone hostile to them, a Trial will be set up and run, with the circumstances appropriate to the target character, who may be with others, engaged in activities, or even in a fortified position.
Rank 2: Profile
In additional to the previous information, the Streetwise Downtime action also reveals the story of any Renown (Character Perk) that follows them, as well as any specific personality related traits they may have, such as, Bigoted, Entitlement, Thrall of the Old Gods, Harsh Temper, Pure of Heart or Honor Code.
Rank 3: Associates
In addition to the above, the spy also learns the details of the target’s Influential enemies, social entanglements (Debts, Connections, Backing) and their associations (Minor Beholden or Allies) as well as the means to contact any of them them by letter.
The spy also gains use of the Espionage action. During an Event, a spy can plan an operation against any Agent of an Organization that is in the city by approaching the Basillica. The spy will be given a specific window of time in which to return for a heist Trial, usually around 30 minutes long. The spy must be ready at that time and complete the mission in the time allotted. The mission goal is usually to receive Intel, but if the Agent is related to Resources, it can instead be a heist to steal valuables.
Intel can be used in the following ways:
It can be used to disable the Agent that was the subject of the Heist for one Chapter by causing chaos in their operation, preventing their normal action.
Intel from a Military Organization can be spent to add 1 Reich Vice to the City.
Intel from a Merchant Organization can be spent to get 20 silver from their competitors.
Intel from a Scholarly Organization can be spent to add Resources to an Organization.
Intel from an Outlaw Organization can be spent to steal 1 point of Influence from them to give to another Outlaw Organization.
Intel can be traded or sold, but must be used by the end of the Event or is no longer valuable. Espionage generates an Outlaw Achievement when used by Outlaw Organizations.
Rank 4: Private Affairs
The spy can dig deep, learning of their target’s Powerful Enemies and dirty secrets (smaller Corpse in the Closet), as well as their powerful associates (Major Beholden or Allies) and the means to contact them by letter.
Rank 5: Damning Secrets
The spy can find the dirty secrets that the target hoped would remain buried forever. They learn any damning facts about their target (greater Corpse in the Closet), and identity and means to reach out to their Enemies with deadliest Intentions.