Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 Complete Rules 
 The Skills System 
 Skills Overview

Skills Overview

Rapid Rules
• Skills are required to perform actions.
• Compatible skills allow for an increase in dice or bonuses when performing actions.
• A maximum of 5 dice from skills can be placed in a die pool for an action.
• When successfully performing feats, encounters, story plots, etc, a player is rewarded with points of Karma.
• New skills are gained by spending acquired Karma.
• Karma may also be spent in a one-time scenario to gain advantage.
“If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge.” ―Twyla Tharp

When more skills are gained that work in conjunction, then all applicable skills can be used for the action. Thus, if two skills can apply in combat, then 2d20 are rolled rather than just one die. The adjustment modifiers apply the same to each separate die roll, comparing each separate total against the enemy AC. This means there can be multiple successes to an attack, as the attacker inflicts damage for all the dice that srtike the opponent. Feat skills will have specific details for what occurs when skill combinations exist.

As skills increase and combine, often more dice are used on an attempted action; this is most evident in combat. However, regardless of applicable skills, there is a maximum of 5 skills that can be applied on any single skill event roll. Some skills may allow bonus dice, and there is also the case of advantage gaining an extra die; therefore, the rule-of-5 applies only to skills, not the number of dice rolled. Additional dice can be gained by crits, magic and other circumstances.

While the statement is skills are required to perform actions, one doesn't need a skill to walk across the room or to hold one’s breath. So there is a bit of a fuzzy line in cases between whether an action is possible or not. To help clear this up, skills will have an unskilled portion in the explanation when one can perform an attempt of the action which the skill addresses. The most commonly considered example is horse riding. By default, it is assumed that someone of the proper build can ride a horse without the mountsmanship skill; however, there are several limitations for the unskilled rider. Conversely, if a listed skill has no explanation for unskilled actions, then one should assume that action cannot be done without the skill. Lock-Picking would be an example.

The high level summary of this skill system from the perspective of game-play is a character wants to acquire skills that can be used together and wants to use as many skills as possible in conjunction towards a single goal. In the chart below are a few examples of how combined skills work more efficiently than a single skill by itself.

Fighting Opening a Lock Forging Armor
Melee Fighting Attack with 1d20 Lock-Picking Attempt to pick lock Armoring Can create bronze and iron armor
 + Fighting Style  Attack with 2d20  + Locksmith  Gain +3 bonus on attempt  + Enhanced Metal  Create steel armor
  + Weapon Forte   Attack with 3d20       + Enchanted Metal   Forge magical armor

Before listing out all the skills in detail, there are a few other items to address.


The Pathway to Advancement

When embarking on the adventures of the story, as results occur based on the relative success, then the GM will award advancement points, called karma. This is similar to what other systems call bonus points, experience points or leveling. Players will receive karma for various reasons. Sometimes it is for crucial skill use or for excellent character choices through role play. Usually it is for succeeding at challenges and completing missions.

The method of award is mostly up to the GM. Some will keep track and award the karma at specific timing of the story. Awarding an amount at the end of the session is another. Perhaps a GM will dole karma out after each challenge scenario. Further, tracking by individual or by a group average is solely a GM choice.

When awarded, the amount will be recorded on a player’s character sheet, as a running total. However, karma tracked by what is available to use, not a total score from all time. The points from karma are used by “purchasing” new skills. Thus, the when spent, the running total is lowered by the cost amount.

Skills are not the only thing to buy with karma. Sub-attribute scores can also be increased with karma. In fact, it may be necessary to do this from time to time to gain the desired skill. Each boost is made one-point at a time and cost 100 points per point of what the new score will become. Thus, moving from a 3 to a 4 costs 400 karma.

While normally used to advance one’s character, there is one other option for karma. It can be used to “buy” a one-time advantage for a specific scenario. When taking an action, but not a reaction, a player may sacrifice (spend) 10 points of unused karma to gain advantage on that action. This can be performed as many times as the player chooses and can afford.

Acquiring Skills

Karma or Training?

When acquiring enough karma points, a player can choose to “purchase” new skills. This is how a character develops and becomes more powerful. Many of these skills wil be the same as what was offered during the Cultural Paideia phase of character creation; however, there will be many new skills as well -- plus, a lot which will complement those initially chosen ones. The cost os listed with the skills, but as a general rule, simple ones are around 100 karma, while rare and powerful skills may be as high as 500. Further, once learning new skills, it should be noted that there may be prerequisites that did not exist during the cultural phase.

To be clear, not every creature gains karma. Certain species, the playable ones, have lifesongs which have a makeup and composition that allows the storage of energies of vigor, psychic and mystical natures. This stored energies within a beings lifesong is what grants the being a skill. As acquired karma is traded for this injected bio-energy, one might think of it similar to the download in the movie The Matrix. However, the transference is not quite so instantaneous. Even the quickest-obtained skills require a long rest before they are able to be used. Some skills, such as difficult axioms, may require several days and even a mentor to coach the recipient.

The gaining of a new skill through karma is different than repetitive practice; instead, there is more of a mystic connection. Fighting skills usually require a few hours of honing through some sort of solo kata. Priests usually have to be on holy ground before obtaining the new powers and incantations from their faith. Dodging, climbing or other skills of Agility being around things similar in nature to absorb the essence of such things into one’s aura. There are suggestions listed for each skill; however, the GM is free to change this up for a different idea. Players may even suggest alternatives. However, a GM should carefully consider alternatives, as some skills have reasonably time-consuming or a more difficult attuning process for game balance.

Those creatures and species who do not gain karma -- how do they learn how to farm, ride mounts or have advanced combat skills? Orcs, for example, do not gain karma. However, the orc chief (or kenard in the Orkane language) usually has better fighting skills. How was he able to obtain them without karma?

Just like here on Earth, the Enchanted Realms still permits the option to learn new skills by trial, error, process and habit. In fact, for some, mostly non-adventuring NPCs, that is how those skills are acquired. Merchants, farmers, blacksmiths may be former adventurers, but many will merely be people with a trade and gained skills over time.

Time can be stored up to be used like karma for a specific skill. The amount of time needed in days is equal the point cost in karma. Thus, a skill like fishing can be gained after 100 days of stringing worms on a line and making the attempts. If one has a mentor or coach, the total time required to gain the skill through practice is half that time. So, the friend of the fisherman can spend 50 days with his buddy out fishing and gain the skill. However, it is important to note that the prerequisites for a skill are still required even when learning it over time.

One further caveat for skills acquired by training: any skill costing 200 karma or more is not automatically learned. After spending that time, a training check is required. This is a Muse check against a Comp. The Comp for the check is calculated as 1 point for every 25 points of karma expense. Thus, a 200-point skill will have a Comp of 8, while a 300-point skill’s Comp will be 12. The check is rolled on a d20, adding on the Muse modifier; no other adjustments factor in. If the adjusted score is equal or greater than the Comp, then the skill is gained from that time investment. However, if the roll is unsuccessful, then all that time will have been tawdry and the skill not gained.