Listed versus Unlisted Skills: A Quick Intro
In this system, a listed skill is defined as: something your character can do which has game rules written around it. As such, the only skills which will be listed on your sheet are those that have some mechanical purpose. This does not mean that the list is exhaustive and fully representative of everything your character is. Your character might have talents and abilities which we haven’t listed. That doesn’t mean they’re worth less: that just means we haven’t applied system crunch to them so it’s up to you to represent them through your role play. If you want to know what qualifies a Listed Skill, then have a look at the ‘Suggesting New Skills’ section below for the criteria we use. It might help you figure out why, for example, you’ve been written as a bit of a card shark, but haven’t got a skill listed for playing a mean hand at poker.
Adding to the importance of knowing your full character and not just the stat and skill list, you’ll note that some skills will only work if you know your character well enough to fabricate stories from their background. See ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ or “I know a man…” as examples.
The Skill List
The Skill List is available as a .pdf here: Aeon_Skills (2)
Suggesting New Skills
Anyone who wants to contribute to the Skill List can do so. The following are guidelines for the sort of thing we’d like you to avoid when proposing new skills. The Ref team have final say on any Skills that do or don’t get accepted but we’ll talk to you about our decision as it’s entirely possible for us to be wrong. Shocking, I know. This may be especially true if you are submitting a Skill whose concept came about as a result of you submitting a character suggestion for an event. You might have a very clear idea about what they can and cannot do and there might not be anything to mechanically reflect that.
- The Game World operates to a different set of rules than the Real World. Yes, in the Real World you might be able to scale up the side of a rough wall and clamber up to a third floor bedroom window which has been left temptingly open, but, alas, we have a duty of care to work to so we’d really rather not have to pick you up off the floor and rearrange the ensuing shoulder/ankle combination. Skills need to operate within sensible and safe boundaries.
- Skills must show and not tell. We seek to avoid any skills which involve a member of the Ref team having to tell other players what they see. For example, “Time Freeze! Jim is now scaling up the side of this wall like a spider monkey. Everyone close your eyes and when you hear Time In! you can see him squeezing through the window at the top”. That would get tedious and would ruin the game atmosphere.
- Further to 2, if you – a player – have to break character to tell another player what you’re doing and impose on their role play, this is also not good. Telling another player, for instance, that they need to look the other way and ignore the fact you’re sticking your hand into their pocket and pulling out a concealed sheath of papers (i.e. “pick pocketing”) would be an immensely unsatisfying role play exchange for both parties. If you want a “skill” in pick pocketing, then give yourself the sort of character who is inclined to do that sort of thing, and set yourself the task of learning petty larceny in the months preceding an event. Events are wonderfully educational like that!
- Skills should avoid negating other skills. We have skills which complement and oppose one-another, but we like to believe this is done in a fair and balanced way. ‘Mother’s Instinct’ and ‘Get Under Skin’ for example are two similar skills with different results. ‘Escape!’ and ‘Knowledge: Knot-work’ oppose, but the former gives a better chance for the trussed-up character to free themselves without rendering the knot-working player’s skill impotent.
- Consider first if your proposed skill relates to learning and whether or not it could be slotted into Academics or Knowledge.
- As with 5, but if it is a practical or creative skill, could it be slotted into Craft or Art?