Thursday, August 6, 2009

Background Skills for Athanor, take 2 (or is it 3 or 4 by now?)

On reflection and thought, these rules are a bit more heavily influenced by EPT than EGG.

I have tried to fit the skill lists and notes to my vision of Athanor, but with some work I think it could be adapted elsewhere.


Background skills represent the training a character received before beginning his or her life as an adventurer, and tends to include rather mundane activities associated with non-adventuring activities. These skills may have some impact in game, but largely serve to build up your character's background, distinguish him or her as a character, and provide a springboard for role-playing. Consider these a way to help define who your character was and is, rather than a limit on what he or she can do in the game.

TABLE: STARTING BACKGROUND SKILLS

d20 ROLL RESULT
-------- ------------------------------------------------------
01 - 06 Choose 1 Common
07 - 12 Choose 1 Common and 1 Skilled
13 - 16 Choose 1 from each category
17 - 18 Choose 2 from Common, and 1 each from Skilled and Elite
19 Choose 3 from Common, 2 from Skilled, and 1 Elite.
20 Choose 3 from Common, and 2 each from Skilled and Elite

TABLE: BACKGROUND SKILLS

COMMON SKILLED ELITE
---------------------- ---------------------- ----------------------
Baker Accountant Alchemist
Beggar Animal Handler/Trainer Artist
Bricklayer Armorer Assassin
Butcher Bowyer/fletcher Astronomer
Carpenter Captain, Airship Courtier/Courtesan
Cobbler Healer Dancer
Cook Jeweler/lapidary Engineer/Architect
Dyer/Fuller Locksmith Horticulturalist
Farmer/Gardener Navigator Hunter
Gambler Sail-Maker Mathematician
Glass-blower Scribe Musician
Leather worker/tanner Shipwright, Airship Natural Philosopher
Limner/painter Smith Naturalist
Mason Teacher/Professor Orator
Miner Tracker/Guide Poet
Potter Trader/Merchant Priest
Tailor/seamstress Weaponer Scholar
Tanner Spy
Thief
Weaver
All skills should be considered as having three elements: the ability to appraise goods, services, or phenomena involving the skill area; the ability to perform tasks in the skill area; and the possession of social connections based on the skill area.

Most of the Common skills are fairly self-explantory. Some of the elite skills are scholastic skills similar to modern scholarly areas (Alchemist = Chemistry, Natural Philospher: Physics and Geology; Naturalist: Biology; Scholar: History, Literature and Philosophy). Other professions give some general background in related skills (Assassins might understand poisons and disguise; Courtiers understand how to seduce, flatter and act in polite society; Priests do the same in the Church, etc.)

LEARNING ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND SKILLS
Characters gain additional background skills every 2 levels you advance as noted in the table below:

TABLE: AUTOMATIC BACKGROUND SKILLS BY LEVEL

SKILL TYPE LEVEL
---------- -----
Common 3
SKILLED 5
ELITE 7
ANY 9

Character may also spend money and time learning new background skills. This will require down time from adventuring and finding a teacher in addition to monetary costs, as noted in the table below.

TABLE: ACQUIRING ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND SKILLS

SKILL TYPE G.P.COST TIME
---------- -------- --------
Common 500 2 months
SKILLED 2000 4 months
ELITE 10000 6 months