Knowledge Skills

KNOWLEDGE SKILLS

Knowledge Skills are those which represent accumulated facts and information, which amalgamate into an overall understanding with the subject matter.

  • Mercantilism
  • Academics
  • Survival
  • Streetwise

MERCANTILISM

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.

(Read more about Market Rates)

Rank 2: Haggle

The merchant can fight like a wolverine when there is profit on the line.  When another character attempts to use any Obey on them in a financial matter or a question of monetary profits, the merchant may call Discipline to resist. This may be used once per Scene.

Rank 3: Trade

The merchant may now take the Trade Action, choosing a selection of items they wish to sell during an Action Cycle, depositing those items in the Basilica and then receiving the value of those goods in coin at the beginning of the next Action Cycle. The market is a closed economy, and there is a limited amount of coin available, and so the merchant may not be able to sell everything they wish to. Unsold items will be returned to them at the next Action Cycle.

Rank 4: Acquisition

The merchant knows how and where to find available goods, and quickly. Their Trade Action may now also be used to pay coins at the Basilica in exchange for goods available in the local market. This is done by depositing a list of desired goods along with the proper payment during their Trade Action, and receiving those goods at the beginning of the next Action Cycle. The market is a closed economy, and there is a limited selection of goods available. If requested goods are not available, the unspent part of the payment is returned. 

Rank 5: Patron

The merchant is intimately familiar with the seductive power of money, and knows how to wield it to great effect. As a Task, the merchant may offer up an amount of money of their choice for an action of their choice to be taken. If the price proves sufficiently tempting, NPCs may attempt to do the requested action. If no one is available or interested in the job, the merchant may reclaim the reward. The merchant should deposit the reward at the Basilica along with their instructions.

ACADEMICS

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 using 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.  Studies are often part of the prerequisite to learn Techniques, unique special abilities gained from extensive study.

(Read more about Studies and Techniques)

Rank 1: Literacy

The scholar may read and write.  This offers a host of advantages, including being able to correspond with others using letters and post.  While it does allow the scholar to read the literal text of anything they find, it doesn’t always imply the ability to make use of that information directly.

The scholar may also take physical notes on their ideas and observations, and gains the Research Action.  They may submit a Research Action using their own notes to review and think over what they have learned and ask a single question.  If they took detailed notes that might be relevant to their question, Staff will grant them a clue about how to think about their problem or what to look for next.

Rank 2: Scholarly Acumen

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.  They are able to delve into books and quickly find and make use of relevant information from them.

The scholar may roleplay carefully referencing a Book item that they have with them in order to make use of whatever Study or Technique the book contains as if they knew it themselves.  This includes using the book’s subject matter as a prerequisite to learn something else.

It is possible to use multiple books in this way at once, so long as the requisite referencing is performed.

Rank 3: Author

The scholar has moved beyond superficial understanding and can now permanently commit the books they read to their body of understanding.  By forming a Research Action with a given book, the scholar may spend Experience Points and permanently learn the contained Study or Technique, and no longer needs to reference that book to use their knowledge.

Additionally, once per Event, the scholar may spend a Research Action to author their own book based on their existing knowledge, copying a Study or Technique they know into a blank volume.

Rank 4: Academic Rigor

The scholar’s intensive studies now allow them to understand especially difficult subject matter – Esoteric Studies.

Additionally, whenever the scholar would use a Social Skill to call Obey about a subject that is relevant to a Study that they have access to, they may add Power to the call.

Finally, the scholar is also able to, by drawing from their knowledge of their fields of research, facilitate the implementation of a Technique that exists in records but they do not already know.

Each Technique 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.  At the end of the scene, the scholar may purchase the new Technique for themselves.

Rank 5:  Analysis

The scholar is able to propose a theoretical question and direct their intense scrutiny to try to achieve an answer.  The scholar can draft a question they are interested in the answer to and submit a Research Action alongside any additional materials, such as books.  Staff will consider all available Studies give the best answer available based on those resources.  While this may not always give a direct and total answer, it will at least give hints and vectors towards acquiring information that would be useful in further inquiries.

SURVIVAL

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.

Rank 2: Woodsman

The explorer is comfortable in the wild, and can take care of themselves with ease. Whenever a plot would cause a game-wide penalty based on poor weather, bad housing conditions, or a lack of food, the explorer is unaffected.  

Additionally, they may spot Wilderness Trial Tags and may take companions along with them on those Trials. They can also lead others through the Wilderness if they remain within Speaking Distance. 

Rank 3: Foraging
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.

(Read more about Malefica)
(Read more about Drugs and Poisons)
(Read more about Apothecary)
(Read more about Night Malefic)

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: Bushmaster

The explorer has a harmony with nature and knows each leaf and danger hidden within the forest. The explorer knows how to avoid the many terrible things that lurk in the wilderness, and can guide others with them on the safe paths. While in the Wilderness and not in combat, the explorer and up to 5 companions may use the Ignore sign to travel to their destination. Should any of the travelling group stop moving, they must all drop the Ignore sign.

STREETWISE

Those with the Streetwise skill are adept at traveling the streets unnoticed and knowing who to talk to for information. This skill allows the character to submit a Streetwise Action using the character’s name, or at least their public alias.

The Streetwise action grows more powerful with each new Rank of the Streetwise Skill, learning more and more information about a specific target.  The spy can spend the time between Events looking into the affairs and activities of a specific character.

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 submits their Streetwise 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:  Solicitation 

During Events, the spy may use the Streetwise Action to get in contact with local individuals they believe to be within the city by being aware of their habits, schedules, and frequented locations. This creates an invitation for the targeted character, a voluntary meeting, and will be answered by showing up at the public tavern when and if the character would do so. The spy should proceed directly to the tavern and await the likely meeting.

Rank 2: Surveillance

The Streetwise Action now reveals the story of any Renown (Character Perk) their target has, as well as any specific personality related traits they may have, such as, Bigoted, Entitlement, 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, Minor Enemies, Beholden, Favored or Wards)

The spy can now use the Streetwise Action to arrange a Confrontation Trial in order to find their target, whether they want to be found or not. The circumstances will be appropriate to the target character, who may be with others, engaged in activities, or even in a fortified position. The spy will be given a specific window of time in which to return for the Confrontation, usually around 30 minutes long. The spy must be ready at that time, or the opportunity is forfeit. Only one Confrontation may be prepared at a time. The spy must complete their planned Confrontation before arranging another one, which may fail due to time constraints.

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.

Rank 4: Private Affairs

The spy can dig deep, learning of their target’s Powerful Enemies and dirty secrets (smaller Corpse in the Closet or Ancestral Debt)

The spy has also tapped into the networks of gossips and rumormongers that spread information throughout the area. The spy may see the Rumor list before the Event and substantially change one of them.  Rumors that have been changed cannot be changed again.

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.

The spy may also determine the Favor the Major NPCs hold for other characters when investigating them, or else determine how each of the Major NPCs Favor a particular character when that character is investigated.