Appendix A. Areas of Expertise

The following table is provided for reference. It lists various Areas of Expertise, and the skill they would fall under, as well as special notes when appropriate. It is especially useful during character creation, when the player wants his character to be proficient in Pick-Pocketing, for example, and needs to know if that falls under Streetwise or Sleight-of-Hand.

As noted in the main text, this list in not all-inclusive. A specific campaign might add skills that aren't listed here, such as starship operations. Likewise, some skills listed here, like Musket, might not exist in other campaigns.

Because of the importance given to combat in some campaign settings, AoEs for the fighting skill are listed separately.

A.2 Non-Fighting Areas of Expertise

Axe Throwing:
(Aim) Sometimes it's much more convenient to hit a guy with an axe if you don't to walk across the room to do it.
Care/Animal Type:
(Animal handling)
Cheating/Game Type:
(Carousing) Requires expertise in Gambling (game type)
(Dodge) The skill of getting out of the way. Useful to make one's self a more difficult target for ranged weapons. Also useful jumping out of the way of a fast moving carriage.
Fast Draw
Fast Talk:
(Diplomacy) The ability to lie, and/or the ability to convince others to act the way you want them to
Gambling/Game Type
Knife Throwing:
(Aim) The trick to throwing a knife is throwing it in such a way that the pointy end sticks in the bad guy.
Land navigation:
(Survival) The ability to use a map to determine current location. It also includes using the sun, stars, and other natural indicator to determine direction.
(Diplomacy) The art of inspiring a group of individuals to work together towards a common goal.
Log rolling:
Musical Instrument:
(Entertain) There is no area of expertise called "Musical instrument", rather each instrument is its own AoE. Possession of expertise in an instrument gives a character the ability to play that instrument at this Entertain skill level. If a character does not possess expertise in an instrument, he simply does not know how to play it; he does not get to roll at Entertain -3!
(Aim) A musket is the "rifle" of the black powder era, though the barrel is not rifled.
(Aim) Because no one is a better shot with a pistol than with a long arm, the pistol expertise requires expertise with muskets.
Reflexive Action
(the default). (Balance
Riding/Animal Type:
(Animal handling)
Rock Throwing:
(Aim) Throwing a rock, grenade, ball, or other simple item is merely a simplified form of more specialized thrown weapons (knife, axe, spear, boomerang, etc). As such, a character may use any such skill to throw a simple object without need of further expertise.
(Diplomacy) Good manners in high society.
Snap shot:
(Aim) This is the ability to rapidly fire a weapon without taking the time to aim.
Specific Sports:
(Athletics) Note that throwing is covered under the Aiming skill.
(Diplomacy) Good manners on the mean streets. Includes proficiency in street lingo.
Tightrope Walking:
Training/Animal Type:
(Animal handling)
First Aid
Diagnose Illness
Treat Illness
Resist Illness:
(Health) Not a skill as much as a characteristic.
Resist Poisons:
(Health) Not a skill as much as a characteristic.
(Health) Not a skill as much as a characteristic.
(Knowledge) Knowledge of the various nations and their governments, etc.
(Knowledge) Knowledge of historical events.
Not a skill in itself, but rather a group of skills. Each language is its own skill, and within each language AoEs include speaking, understanding, and reading. A character receives a +6 bonus on any roll involving his native language, so a native speaker's "4" is equivalent to a non-native speaker's "10".
Appraising/good type
Night Vision:
(Observation) A specialized form of Sight. As such characters must have an AoE in Sight before they can acquire this AoE.
Sailing Gunnery
Card Tricks:
(Sleight-of-hand) the ability to manipulate cards with trick shuffles and deals. Note that this skill is actually not needed for most card tricks. A successful Card Tricks roll, though, will give you a +3 to any attempt to cheat at a card game. When using the skill for this purpose, observers may also counter this using their Gambling skill.
(Sleight-of-hand) the skill of taking a small object in hand without being noticed.
Parlor Tricks:
(Sleight-of-hand) A useful skill when something you really need is located in someone else's pocket. It is countered by the observer's Streetwise skill.
(Sneaking) The ability to stash your own body in a location that can not be observed by another.
(Sneaking) The art of following someone without being noticed. This is not tracking, because you need to see the person. The target is allowed a roll on the best of his observation, streetwise, or shadowing skill to notice you, but suffers a -3 penalty unless he was specifically looking to see if he was being followed. Note that rolling under the difficulty level results in the target being lost.
(Sneaking) The ability to move silently.
(Survival) A successful camouflage roll can be used to give a +3 bonus when attempting to hide.
Fire starting:
(Survival) Used to start a fire without tools.
(Survival) Used to gather nuts, berries, roots, and grubs to feed a person.
Locate water:
(Survival) Used to find clean, safe, drinking water. It can also be used to determine if a body of water is safe for drinking. Difficulty level is determined by the terrain.
(Survival) The ability to find or make shelter, be it erecting a tent, building a lean-to, or finding a cave. Note that building anything more elaborate than a lean-to requires the carpentry skill.
(Survival) Used to find, follow, and identify tracks found in the wild.
(Unlawful Entry)
(Unlawful Entry
Will Power

A.2 Fighting Areas of Expertise

All of the AoEs listed here fall under the fighting skill. Not listed is the various forms of basic fighting technique. Pretty much each weapon is its own technique, but (as mentioned in the Combat chapter) remember that sword is different technique from sword and shield, and that sword and dagger would be yet a third.

Coordinated Attacks
This is training in a fighting style that allows two or more combatants to fight together more effectively. If two characters (or more) are fighting together against a common foe (or a common group of foes) and they choose to coordinate their attacks, then each one who scores greater than the highest opponent's fighting role will score a hit.
Fast Draw
Multi-Opponent Fighting
Normally characters suffer a -3 penalty when fighting more than one opponent. Characters with this AoE do not suffer that penalty.
Off-Hand Fighting
Unarmed combat

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