Skills and Attributes


Agility is your hero’s nimbleness, quickness and dexterity.
Smarts is a measure of how well your character knows his world and culture, how well he thinks on his feet, and mental agility.
Spirit reflects inner wisdom and willpower. Spirit is very important as it helps your character recover from Shaken.
Strength is raw physical power and general fitness. Strength is also used to generate your warrior’s damage in hand-to-hand combat.
Vigour represents endurance, resistance to disease, poisons, or toxins, and how much pain and physical damage a hero can shake off.

Derived Statistics

Charisma is a measure of your character’s appearance, manner, and general likeability. It’s 0 unless you have Hindrances or Edges that modify it, and the value is added to Persuasion and Streetwise rolls.
Pace is how face your character moves in a standard combat round.
Parry is equal to 2 plus half your Fighting die type (that’s 2 without the Fighting skill), plus any bonuses (or penalties) from weapons and armour. It is the target number to be hit in melee combat.
Toughness is your hero’s damage threshold. Anything over it causes Shaken or Wounds. It is equal to 2 plus half your character’s Vigour die type.


Skills are very broad for ease of play, but sometimes it’s appropriate to emphasize when a character is out of his element. In these cases, a penalty of -2 applies to all a hero’s rolls with that skill in that element for a few days or hours of intensive use. An example could include a character who always uses pistols and revolvers wielding a machine gun, or a fighter pilot operating a huge cruise liner with the Piloting skill.

Boating (Agility)
Characters with this skill can handle most any boats or ships. This also covers the knowledge of common tasks associated with it (e.g. tying knots, rigging etc).

Climbing (Strength)
No roll is needed to ascend ladders or trees with lots of limbs unless the GM feels it’s appropriate. In more stressful situations, the player makes a Climbing roll and ascends a number of inches equal to half his Strength die type (+ 2" on a Raise). Modifiers include climbing equipment (+ 2), scarce handholds (-2) or slippery surfaces (-2).

Driving (Agility)
As with boating, but applying to common ground vehicles.

Fighting (Agility)
Fighting covers all hand-to-hand attacks, whether with fists, swords, axes, or martial arts. The TN to hit an opponent is his Parry.

Gambling (Smarts)
Useful from saloons to army barracks, this skill simulates about half an hour of gambling without having to roll for every hand of cards or throw of the dice. Each participant agrees on the stakes (such as 1 Platinum) and makes a Gambling roll. The lowest total pays the highest the difference in rolls, the next lowest the second highest and so on. A roll of 6 versus 3 pays three times the stakes. A player may cheat and add a bonus (+1 or +2) to his roll, but if the skill die is ever a 1, he is caught.

Healing (Smarts)
Healing is the art of stopping Wound, treating injuries and caring for a Wounded person over time. See the Game Rules section for more info.

Intimidation (Spirit)
The art of frightening an opponent with sheer force of will, veiled or overt threats, or just really big guns. It is a Test of Wills against an opponent’s Spirit.

Investigation (Smarts)
A character skilled in the use of investigation can make good use of libraries, Cortex terminals, newspapers, morgues, or other written sources of information. To get info from people, use the Streetwise skill.

Knowledge (Smarts)
This is a catch-all skill that must have a focus of some sort, such as Knowledge (Cortex) or Knowledge (Browncoats). The player can choose a focus and the skill may be taken multiple times with different focus areas. Focuses may include: Battle, Electronics, Cortex, Alliance, Browncoats, Earth-that-Was, Computers, Languages, Medicine, Bombardier, Biology, Chemistry and so on.
Characters don’t need a skill for common knowledge but rather make a Smarts roll assuming it makes sense that a character would know about a topic.

Lockpicking (Agility)
The ability to bypass mechanical and electronic locks. It is also used to disarm catches on traps and triggers, unless another skill would be more appropriate. Using this skill without tools is at -2.

Notice (Smarts)
A hero’s general alertness and ability to search for items or clues. It covers hearing rolls, detecting ambushes, spotting hidden weapons and even scrutinizing other characters to see if they are lying, frightened etc.

Persuasion (Spirit)
The ability to convince others to do what you want them to. NPCs start at one of five basic levels: Hostile, Uncooperative, Neutral, Friendly, and Helpful. A successful roll improves the attitude one step, or two with a Raise, while Failure may decrease it. Extras won’t improve their stance by more than two steps in an encounter. Persuasion is modified by Charisma.

Piloting (Agility)
The ability to fly planes and starships; see Driving and Boating.

Psychic (Spirit)
This skill requires the Arcane Background (Psychic) Edge. It enables the use of psychic powers, such as mind reading and confusing opponents, but not telekinesis or staples of other science fiction. Taking this with the Arcane Background Edge automatically grants two abilities.

Repair (Smarts)
The ability to fix gadgets, technology, vehicles and machines. A lack of basic tools applies a -2 penalty.

Riding (Agility)
The ability to ride and control common beasts. Note that the lowest of the Fighting and Riding skills are used when fighting from horseback.

Shooting (Agility)
Shooting covers attempts to hit a target with a bow, pistol, or rocket launcher. The TN is 4, although modifiers such as range and cover apply a penalty to the roll.

Stealth (Agility)
The ability to hide and move silently, as well as palm objects and pick pockets. Modifiers such as crawling (+ 2), running (-2), darkness (+ 2) and medium cover (+2) apply. A successful roll covers a distance of five times Pace (unless within 6" of an opponent) and are only opposed by Notice rolls if a guard is ‘active’.

Streetwise (Smarts)
Streetwise characters can gather information fro the street, from bars and clubs or other contacts through bribes, threats or carousing. It is modified by Charisma.

Survival (Smarts)
Survival allows a character to find food, water and shelter in hostile environments for one person or five on a Raise.

Swimming (Agility)
Swimming determines if a character floats or drowns in water. Pace is half the Swimming die type in inches per turn. Characters can hold their breath for 2 plus half their Vigour die type (half if they were unprepared).

Taunt (Smarts)
Another Test of Wills attack, derived through ridicule, cruel jokes, or one-upmanship. It is a test against Smarts.

Throwing (Agility)
This governs thrown weapons from hand grenades to knives and axes. The RoF is one per hand, so a character could throw one item per arm (at a -2 penalty to each, see Combat rules).

Tracking (Smarts)
Tracking allows a character to follow the tracks of one or more individuals, with modifiers such as mud (+ 2), recent snow (+ 4), raining (-2), more than 5 individuals (+ 2), poor lighting (-2) and target attempted to hide tracks (-2).

Skills and Attributes

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