Each skill is part of a ''tree''. This is comprised of the Category and Attribute the skill falls under, as well as the skill itself. When a skill is referred to as getting a full five dice in its tree, that means that if all three aspects of its tree are specialized, it recieves the normal dice. Trees are written as [Color/Attribute/Skill]. If it has fewer dice, these dice are subtracted from the basic roll, and if it cannot be used untrained it must be specialized in (specifically at the skill level) to be useful.
Skills can be advanced through play, and though only one specialization in each may be bought at creation, a double specialization may be taken in certain skills. Typically this represents a static bonus to all rolls for the skill, but there are times when the double specialization does something different (for instance, for Weight Lifting it reduces the Stamina Loss for using the skill by one).
Red category skills are the basis for ''physical actions''. They can all be used untrained, though training and physical conditioning helps.
Agility is a measurement of a character's ability to think and act in a way that they have grace in their movements. It roughly measures hand-eye coordination as well as somatics and a presence of sufficient muscle to do what has to be done.
Close Combat is used to fight with hand to hand weapons (and thrown weapons) or with unarmed martial arts. It can be used untrained, and uses the full value of dice (up to 5 with full specialization [Red/Agility/Close Combat]). Usage of Close Combat is detailed more in the Combat section. Double specialization in Close Combat gives a +3 bonus to all appropriate rolls.
Ranged Combat is used to fight with almost anything that you pull a trigger or push a button on. It covers all ranged weapons from small to large, so long as they're not computer aimed (in which case the computer on the weapon determines the dice rolled). It can be used untrained with a 1 die penalty (which is undone by Ranged Combat skill), and rolls up to 5 dice with full specialization [Red/Agility/Ranged Combat]. A double specialization in Ranged Combat gives a +3 bonus. For full rules on Ranged Combat, consult the Combat section.
Evasion is used for evading blows and bullets in combat. It is the combined technique of evading slow moving attacks like punches, thrown weapons, and some weapons, and erratic movement that minimizes target area against ranged weapons. Evasion determines a passive Evasion Rating, though it can be used actively to try to get more of a benefit. Evasion can be used untrained, and uses full dice (up to 5 with full specialization [Red/Agility/Close Combat]). Using Evasion is touched on in the Combat section, and double specialization in it gives a +3 bonus to all Evasion rolls and a one point bonus to Evasion Rating. Actively using Evasion costs 1 Stamina Point regardless of success.
Athletics covers a variety of things related to speed and stealth. When in doubt, if you have to make it there before someone else and you're on foot, you're gonna use Athletics as a roll. Similarly, Athletics is used against an opponent's Spotting for remaining unseen, as covered in the Stealth section. Athletics is capable of being used untrained, and uses full dice (up to 5 with full specialization Red/Agility/Athletics). Double specialization earns a +3 bonus to Athletics rolls.
Bulk is a measurement of physical size and toughness. While large people can lack a Bulk specialization, small people can also be sturdy enough to count as being specialized in it. Bulk measures muscle mass and toughness.
Endurance is rolled for resisting stamina loss. Normally, using psychic actions and using certain skills drops a character's stamina. It can be used untrained, but progresses normally like most skills. It gets the full 5 dice when its tree is filled, and double specialization adds a +3 to the roll result.
Almost every time stamina would be lost, Endurance is rolled against a target of 8. A success will resist the first point of stamina loss. Every additional four points will reduce another point of stamina loss. Stamina loss can be completely resisted with Endurance. There is no stamina penalty for failing an Endurance roll, and it is rolled automatically when stamina would be lost.
Weight Lifting refers more to any act of brute strength than just lifting or carrying stuff. Door jammed? Weight Lifting. Car stuck? Weight Lifting. It can be used unskiled, or trained to a full 5 dice. Weight Lifting is the only non-psychic skill to have Stamina loss on success (two points for success, four points for failure). Double specialization reduces the Stamina loss by one point.
Resistance is used when a character comes into contact with something nasty- the likes of fire, disease, poison, excess sun exposure, dehydration, or starvation. It doesn't resist damage from attacks (like a knife to the back or a shot in the chest) or stupidity (if someone were to fail a jump and plummet 80 feet), but it helps with stuff like a room full of poison gas or being lost in the wilderness without food or water. It can be used untrained, and has a full 5 die tree with double specialization adding three to the result of all rolls.
The base roll to resist damage is 12, and every additional 6 points resists another point of damage. There is no stamina penalty for failure, and Resistance is rolled passively (no action need be taken) when in a hostile environment.
Skills from the Blue category are the measurement of how quickly a person thinks in “rational” methods, i.e. figuring out a situation or doing complex mathematics.
Awareness is the measurement of a character's ability to understand their surroundings. Awareness is the characteristic used for searching and perceiving one's environment.
Spotting is the act of looking for a specific someone or something, such as ''Mei's glasses'' or ''anyone with a gun''. It can be used untrained with no penalty and follows normal advancement to have five dice with a full [Blue/Awareness/Spotting] tree.
The target number used with Spotting is up to the GM's discretion, though there's some guidelines in the Stealth and Search sections.
Investigation is the skill used to find clues in an environment. It may not be used untrained (if the individual knows what they're looking for, Spotting may be used to try to find an item), due to the fact that it refers more to gathering evidence and clues than just stating the obvious. This would refer more to Sherlock Holmes style ''This is dirt only found in the south side of town'' rather than ''This is Emily's bracelet!'', spotting specific items is considered a Spotting check, and both would be used when investigating an area. Investigation also covers trailing a target stealthily.
The target number for Investigation to find something of interest in an area is based on two factors- the size of the event, and the time since the event has elapsed. Investigation does not receive basic dice.
More detail on Investigation is found in the Search section.
Sniping is used to take down an opponent from a distance by using cover wisely, and is used with any shot from outside 200 meters (this is a general rule, and can vary based on conditions) taken after a period of aiming and adjustments. It's also used to find cover that is sturdy and cocealing. Used unskilled, it can only be used to shoot, but with skill can be used to evade enemy Sniping and Spotting attempts. Sniping works specially, and has a subsection in the Combat section, and its evasive properties are discussed in the Stealth section.
In this day and age, disguises can make an infiltrator look, sound, and even smell like another person. In some cases, they can even use sneaky methods to pass DNA tests and retinal scans. One of the surest bets is to be able to recognize friends. While this skill can be used untrained, it will take a week of reasonable proximity (co-workers, for instance) to note someone's body language, and it is unlikely to succeed. With a single specialization it takes three days to note a person's body language, and gains additional dice. Double specialization lowers this time to a day. Injuries and impairments may shift body language. Days to note body language must be consecutive.
Kinesics (Recognition) has a -3 penalty to the end result of any rolls, and cannot be used except when looking at a subject the user is familiar with. A successful roll is necessary to mark a subject, with a difficulty equal to 9 minus the number of waking hours spent observing the subject (on average). As such, this skill is extremely difficult to use untrained, but not terribly difficult to use with sufficient training. A roll with no penalty must be made against 8 to recognize someone once they are known, and can be made every couple minutes.
Cleverness doesn't refer to the knowledge of one's surroundings, but rather to the ability of an individual to plan and visualize scenarios. Cleverness is used in things like mathematics and planning, and where conceptualization and diagnosis is key.
Fabrication is the skill used to repair and build gear and vehicles. While most modern goods are mass-manufactured by highly specialized robots, there's no denying that even simple kludged together tools can work wonders. Similarly, even though fabrication doesn't necessarily mean you make something look pretty, it means you can keep it running.
Fabrication is used to patch stuff up or make something work again. It can be used to make new things, but only simple things (though with proper tools it can make more advanced items). For instance, it'd be pretty hard to assemble the equivalent of a high-end sniper rifle from pipes and random junk, but a good scavenger could make a makeshift “pistol” out of it.
Fabrication is used to create an item that costs less than 60 CCredits, or repair an item that is broken whose repairs would cost less than 60 CCredits. A double specialization brings this to 120. Fabrication takes a whole day of work, and the end result can be pretty ugly (it can't be resold). Access to junk is necessary (you can't make something in a prison cell, unless someone left a trash heap in there). Tools can double the allowed value for repairs or item creation, but it'll still be ugly and makeshift. Any item acquired through fabrication may be used for (merely being in the posession of a character doesn't count against this) five scenes, then it is removed. Fabricated items function like lifestyle items from the Downtime section. Characters can only create five items through Fabrication at any time (though they may trash one for another). Fabrication does not require rolls except for use during Events or Scenes.
Science is used when talking about what can and can't be done with certain things. It's used to examine and use high-tech devices. Science cannot be used untrained, and advances to three dice at maximum (one for each specialization in the tree. Double specialization confers a +2 bonus to Science rolls. More information on Science can be found in the Downtime section.
Medicine is used to help treat injuries. It can be used untrained with a one die penalty, and progresses to a full five-dice maximum should its tree be completed. A double specialization in medicine grants a +3 bonus to all rolls. Medicine's use is covered in the Recovery and Downtime sections.
Electronic Systems is used when hacking into secure computer systems and when dealing with operating advanced computers with simple shells. It cannot be used untrained, and progresses to a three-die maximum with a full tree. Using Electronic Systems is covered in the Hacking Section.
The Green Category falls more into ''social interactions'', and skills and attributes within it are focused on conversing with others and figuring out what and how they think.
Understanding is the portion of the Green category that is used to figure out others. It involves looking for tells and observing patterns to try to influence others or at least predict their next action.
Body language can say almost everything about a person's mental state and views of others. Reading them requires skill, but can be greatly rewarding in social situations. It can be used untrained without a penalty to base dice, and uses five dice with full tree specialization, and gains a +3 bonus for double specialization. Kinesics (Reading) is touched on more thoroughly in the Social section.
Confidence Arts involves, simply, lying to someone. In more detail, it involves getting to know a ''mark'' and figuring out how to bluff them and lie to them, typically for the user's benefit. It can be used with social engineering and is often used in conjunction with Persuasion. Confidence arts can be used unskilled and uses five dice with a full tree specialization. It gains a +3 bonus with double specialization. The usage of Confidence Arts is covered more fully in the Social and Downtime sections.
Interrogation is quite simply figuring out what others know that you want to know. It can be used unskilled, and has a normal five-die progression tree. It gains a +3 bonus with double specialization. Interrogation is covered more fully in the Social section.
Sympathy is the art of getting others to feel for you. It involves the conscious or subconscious creation of a persona and the usage of actions and words to convince others, make arguments without violence, and smooth out sticky situations.
Performance is used for a number of purposes. It can be to entertain, make money, spread views, or as a diversion. It can be used untrained, and its tree follows the normal five-die progression. A +3 bonus is conferred with double specialization. Performance is touched on more in Downtime and Social sections.
Negotiation is used when getting a better deal. It can be used untrained, and follows the normal five-die progression method for its tree, with a +3 bonus for double specialization. Negotiation is covered in the Currency section.
Persuasion is the art of making others agree with you, and can be used untrained. Persuasion follows normal five-die progression and has a +3 bonus for double specialization. Persuasion is detailed in more depth in the Social section.
Skills from the Silver color category attributes differ from those in other categories because they all require “training”, and typically are not rolled independently. Choosing a Silver attribute specialization allows a character to choose a “ghost skill”, which does not count towards their health, and must be purchased as a full skill under that attribute specialization in order to further specialize in that attribute's skills during play (more skills may be bought during creation without purchasing the ghost skill).
Psychic skills are unique in that they are blocked off by the use of another attribute category. The usage of Hyperhumanity implants will disable psi abilities, until the implants are disabled (not removed) for a full eight hours, at which point they are regained until a Hyperhumanity implant is used again. Anyone can gain Psychic skills, and by extension psi abilities, if they have taken the Psychic attribute specialization. Use of psi abilities causes stamina loss.
Exokinesis allows the storage of one roll for one Red color category skill. Double specialization allows another roll to be stored for the same skill or another skill within the Red category. Usage of Exokinesis causes a loss of one point of stamina (for each roll) that cannot be resisted with Endurance.
Exopathy allows the storage of one roll for one Green color category skill. Double specialization allows another roll to be stored for the same skill or another skill within the Green category. Usage of Exopathy causes a loss of one point of stamina (for each roll) that cannot be resisted with Endurance.
Exoconscious allows the storage of one roll for one Blue color category skill. Double specialization allows another roll to be stored for the same skill or another skill within the Blue category. Usage of Exokinesis causes a loss of one point of stamina (for each roll) that cannot be resisted with Endurance.
Hyperhuman implants usually alter the body's state so that the user winds up without any psi abilities. Hyperhuman Compatibility allows characters to use both psychic abilities and hyperhuman implants. One specialization enables use of Hyperhuman implants that only require one specialization, and a double specialization will enable use of all hyperhuman implants with psychic abilities.
Hyperhumanity skills reflect conditioning to an individual's body. Anyone can gain new Hyperhumanity skills as normal skills, so long as they have gained the Hyperhumanity attribute specialization. Both attribute and skill specializations reflects a gradual physiological shift brought on by Hyperhumanity therapy, which is a one-time process. This shift allows the usage of Hyperhuman implants. Double specialization in Hyperhumanity skills allows the use of a second Hyperhuman implant from each category, or higher tier implants. Some implants require a certain amount of specialization, but do not consume the points to be used. These are referred to as “passive” implants. Even more rarely, some implants require multiple specializations.
Neural Implants reflect implants that have a heavy effect on the body's neural structure. A lack of this skill will result in a implant causing insanity in its user, causing them to be effectively incapacitated unless the implant is shut off, disabled, or removed. Double specialization enables higher-grade implants.
Structural Implents reflect implants that have a heavy effect on the body's physical structure. A lack of skill required for these implants results in ''The Twitch'', which causes augmentees to suffer from incapacitating quivering and shaking. Double specialization allows more traumatic upgrades.
Nano Implants reflect implants with decentralized components. Insufficient skill for handling these implants leads to potentially lethal immune rejection that requires hospitalization as the subject's body attempts to destroy the nanites. Double specialization allows the body to tolerate a higher concentration of nanites.
Active Implants require a neural input and output system to allow their handling. Unlike other implants, active implants installed in an individual without the appropriate adaptations have no ill effects, but fail to operate entirely. Double specialization improves the input and output system further to allow more active implants, or more complex implants.