We recently started work on Chapter IV: Skills. Here’s the layout we’ve decided to use. It explains what Primary Attribute governs its use, the related Skill Specializations a character may gain with it, a few example Special Uses for the skill and sample Difficulty Ratings.

We’d love to hear any suggestions you may have about the entry layout. Word of warning – the text is from the raw document and hasn’t undergone editing. Let us know what you think!


Primary Attribute: Strength (Ordinary)
Skill Specialization: Climb, Hand-to-Hand, Jump, Lift, Row, Swim
Athletics measures physical prowess. It reflects your ability to vault upward and leap outward, scale up surfaces and ropes, tread and swim water without tiring, propel vessels while rowing, overpower others’ in contests of strength, fight with certain weapons and throw heavy objects long distances using your brawn.

Athletics can be used in a number of ways. Below are a few examples of how you may employ this Skill:

You can clamor up and across surfaces. With a successful Athletics Test, you can climb up to x10 your Strength Bonus (SB) in feet without growing tired. Pushing past this limit may require a Resilience Test, or else you suffer a degree of Fatigue for every 10 feet thereafter. Taking a short rest, using ropes and other climbing gear may allay this limit.

You can leap across long distances. With a successful Athletics Test after running, you can jump horizontally for every 2 points of your Strength Bonus (SB) in yards or vertically for every 3 points of your Agility Bonus (AB) in yards.

Manipulating Heavy Objects
You can use your Athletics to pick up and move heavy objects for a short period of time. With a successful Athletics Test, you can lift and carry an object that weighs no more than x50 your Strength Bonus (SB) in lbs. for a minute. You can also use brawn to shove an object that weighs no more than x100 your Strength Bonus (SB) in lbs. for a minute. Pushing past this limit may require a Resilience Test, or else you suffer a degree of Fatigue every minute thereafter. Help from companions or simple machines may help aid you and extend beyond these limits.

You can push yourself to the upper limits of endurance, excelling in ways others cannot. Having Skill Ranks in Athletics doesn’t necessarily predetermined excellence in all physical abilities. Some may be better at rowing boats, whereas others are better-trained in cliffside abseiling. Similarly, competitive armwrestlers may not be predisposed to being strong swimmers. Those with brawn may be able to lift, haul and participate in great feats of strength, but may make poor climbers. Whenever you first gain Skill Rank: Apprentice in Athletics, select one Skill Specialization. You never suffer the ill-effects of Critical Failures while making Skill Tests in coordination with it. You may gain additional Skill Specialization at your Gamemaster’s discretion.


Automatic Success: Swim in calm water.
Simple (+30%): Row a boat upstream.
Easy (+20%): Roll a barrel full of ale up a hill.
Routine (+10%): Climb over a wrought-iron fence.
Normal (0%): Stay afloat in rough waters.
Challenging (-10%): Fireman’s carry someone out of a burning building.
Hard (-20%): Pull a sled laden with your dying friend through the woods.
Arduous (-30%): Turn over a four-wheeled wagon by yourself.
Automatic Failure: Climb up a completely smooth wall without a rope or climbing tools.