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Old 08-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Default Allowed Wildcard Skills

This is to my fellow GM's out there, asking what wildcard skills do you allow? My first few games I allowed all the ones listed in the basic set. Several, especially Science! wreaked havoc with the game balance. After that I only allowed wildcard skills such as Electronics Repair!, Drive!, and spells, such as Shape Shift! and Planar Shift, and those worked better. I was wondering what wildcard skills you allow.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

I never allow any, which I suspect is pretty common. They're an unrealistic, highly cinematic option which is inappropriate for a wide range of games.

I've considered them for campaigns based on the Hero pulps (Doc Savage, The Shadow, etc...), and it's damn near impossible to build Batman without them, but generally I prefer regular skills with extreme prejudice.

I do, however always allow Wildcard Imbuement skills, since these seem more appropriate for most powers than buying them separately for each skill.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

I'm currently working on a campaign in which I'm going to allow characters to have no more than two Wildcard skills.
The current (work in progress) list of available skills is:

You are a master of alchemy. This skill replaces Alchemy, Chemistry, Hazardous Materials (Alchemical), Herb Lore, Pharmacy (Herbal), and Mediation. Roll it when creating and inventing alchemical elixirs and other alchemical preparations, identifying substances, and so on. Use it for Connoisseur when dealing with glassware or other laboratory equipment, for alchemical products and for distilled beverages but only to determine technical details of their distillation. This stands in for Expert (Natural Philosophy) but only to answer questions concerning materials or pharmaceutical medicine and Theology (Hellenistic Greek, Christian and Islam) or Philosophy (Dao) for questions concerning the relationship between Alchemy and cosmology. You can replace Esoteric Medicine but only when treating with Herbal Medicine, Purging, and Elixirs. This skill replaces all social skills when dealing with other alchemists.


You have a thorough knowledge of history, literature, art and so on, possibly because you’ve lived through it! This skill replaces any non-creative use of Anthropology, Connoisseur (any art), History, Literature, Philosophy, and Theology – any roll at all that calls for knowledge about society or the arts.

You have studied mystical lore for centuries, until you can recite obscure facts about even the most obscure mysteries in your sleep. You can use this skill for any roll to identify or discover information about supernatural creatures or practices. It can stand in for Biology, Diagnosis, Expert Skill (Psionics), Physics (Paraphysics), Psychology, Thaumatology, Theology, and Veterinary for this purpose; e.g., you can use Lore! as Veterinary to identify a lycanthrope, but not to treat a horse’s cough. It includes all mystical specialties of Hidden Lore. If the GM introduces a completely new threat to the game, you will not know anything about it, but you may use Lore! to make educated guesses about its behavior, physiology, etc., based on what details you can observe. Lore! replaces Occultism and Research for all purposes. You may use it in place of Criminology, Intelligence Analysis, Observation (with a Per-based roll), Psychology, and Tactics when attempting to outwit a supernatural foe, divine its motivation, or predict its actions. Your natural instinct regarding the supernatural allows you to roll against Lore! instead of IQ (if better) when using Empathy to recognize magical beings disguised as humans. It replaces Area Knowledge, Current Affairs, and History for researching local lore. When combing through a site of mystical significance, you may use this skill as Forensics and (Per-based) Search. While Lore! does replace Thaumatology for questions about magic, it does not enable casting in any way. You may also use Lore! in place of Exorcism – at the usual -4 penalty if you lack holy advantages.


You are a master of one specific magical tradition. This skill replaces either Thaumatology or Magical Ritual and all related skills used for practicing magic (Paths, Symbols, Realms and so on). It also replaces Architecture(Sacred), Occultism, Religious Ritual, and Symbol Drawing as appropriate to the tradition. Practitioners can roll against it in place of Theology or Philosophy to answer questions involving mysticism. It replaces Hidden Lore for any mysteries directly related to the tradition’s practice. Additionally it replaces all social skills when interacting with other practitioners of the same tradition.
All techniques that normally default to a skill covered Magician! (such as Path rituals) are known at Skill-0 or the maximum level whichever is less.

You have the hands of a healer. You may use this skill to do anything found in the job description of a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist – including low-tech versions. For modern medical care, it replaces Diagnosis, Esoteric Medicine, Expert Skill (Epidemiology), Hazardous Materials (Biological), First Aid, Hypnotism, Physician, Psychology, and Surgery. Your knowledge about the human body acts as Bioengineering, Biology (Biochemistry), and Physiology – and you even know enough about nonhuman bodies to use Veterinary. When attempting to diagnose, treat, or create any sort of ingestible drug or toxin – prescription or otherwise! – you can use it as Chemistry, Herb Lore, Naturalist, Pharmacy, and Poisons. Remember that you don’t suffer from penalties for low-TL methods – you can apply Medic! to synthesize a cure in a modern lab or to grind one out with a mortar and pestle using raw plants. When you are working with high-tech, this skill replaces Computer Operation (for medical systems) and Electronics Operation (Medical or Scientific), and acts as Forensics for autopsy purposes. You keep up on the latest innovations and knowledge in the field, allowing access to Current Affairs (Science & Technology), Research, and the modest amount of Law (Criminal) that applies to medical cases. Treat this as Administration and Diplomacy when dealing with medical records personnel or similar folks. You can even use Medic! for an Influence roll to request aid from any medical professional!

This replaces all skills of a single style (from Martial Arts or Gun-Fu) including optional skills that GM believes every student should know. If the Martial Artist has Trained by a Master or Weapons Master, this includes the styles cinematic skills. Style! skills are DX based, but allow IQ-, HT-, Per-, and Will-based rolls for skills controlled by those scores. The stylist may roll against the maximum level allowed for any technique his style offers, using his Style! skill as the underlying skill. If the technique has no maximum, use skill+3. Techniques that aren’t part of the style but that default to the style’s core skills default to Style! at the usual penalties. To improve such techniques above default learn a Style! skill that covers them (or learn the Style normally)
Even DX-3 level in a Style! skill grants Style Familiarity with that style. Don’t buy it separately. The stylist may purchase his style’s Style Perks for a point apiece without regard for total points in the style. If a perk requires specialization by skill, the Style! skill is a valid specialty and the perk works with all applicable skills of the style.

You always know what to say and how to say it! You can use this skill to elicit a desired, reasonable reaction from anyone – whether fear, anger, or the willingness to help you out. Specifically, it replaces all Influence skills (p. B359) – Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Intimidation (with a Will-based roll), Savoir-Faire, Sex Appeal (with a HT-based roll), and Streetwise – but also similar skills like Administration, Carousing (with a HT-based roll), Fortune-Telling, and Politics, when used in a social manner. This is not a limited list; if an NPC judge will only respond to Law skill, then Talker! can replace Law . . . to get a good reaction, not to defend yourself in court!
You may use this skill as Interrogation for casual conversations (not torture!) and as Merchant for haggling (but not estimating value). It completely replaces Acting, Leadership, Propaganda, Public Speaking, and Teaching, all of which rely upon communicating particular concepts (whether true or not) to others.

You were part of an elite group of soldiers, and your training is as sharp as ever; essentially, this skill is Soldier, but cranked to 11. This can replace any skill to use or repair military gear appropriate to the setting, as well as any skill to repair (but not use) military weapons. At any time this includes Armory (Melee Weapons and Body Armor), Engineer (Combat), and Animal Handling (for military animals). As the technology of war advances, this includes Armoury (Heavy Weapons, and Small Arms), Electronics Operation and Repair (Comm, EW, and Sensors), Engineer (Combat), Explosives, First Aid, Mechanic (for military vehicles), Parachuting (make a DX-based roll), or Scuba. When in the field, you may use this skill instead of Camouflage or Gesture to stay unobserved; make a DX-based roll for Stealth or a HT-based roll for Hiking or Running. It replaces Forward Observer for calling in support strikes. When on a base, you never get lost and understand how buildings are laid out – treat this as Area Knowledge (but only for questions like, “Where’s the mess hall?”) and Architecture – and you can roll (as Acting) to fit in and convince others that you belong there. You understand military psychology – this skill may stand in for Interrogation, Leadership, Propaganda, or Savoir-Faire (Military), depending on who you’re dealing with. You may roll in place of Intelligence Analysis, Strategy, or Tactics to discover or plan any combat involving multiple fighters on each side. This skill also replaces all social skills when dealing with a member of the military, as a member of the military (whether you are one or are just posing as one), discussing military business.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

I've allowed several from the Basic Set and Supers, but usually those that fit the genre. The ones I've seen used are Pilot! and Fake!
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

Originally Posted by backstabby View Post
This is to my fellow GM's out there, asking what wildcard skills do you allow? My first few games I allowed all the ones listed in the basic set. Several, especially Science! wreaked havoc with the game balance. After that I only allowed wildcard skills such as Electronics Repair!, Drive!, and spells, such as Shape Shift! and Planar Shift, and those worked better. I was wondering what wildcard skills you allow.
In general, I allow all or none. I must note the provisos that I would choose one particular degree of generality for magical ! skills, and that I would decide whether to include skills with fantastic aspects based on the nature of the game world. But if I'm going for cinematic Iallow just about anything to be cinematic.

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

I'm running a campaign right now with a PC who has Hacker! in the sense of the guy who can make anything work. So far hasn't been a problem. Another PC has Science! and I had to nerf him a little because everything is science eventually. I ruled that Science! applied to theory not practice.
So, I just type in words and they show up on the screen?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

I usually allow Guns! and Melee! because imo there isn't a big enough difference to me for melee and with guns it saves time
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Allowed Wildcard Skills

I've used these in one Doom-like game involving a specops team:

Echo! - electronic warefare expert
Bravo! - essentially Gun!
Charlie! - demo/combat engineer expert
(only had three players)

These were used in conjunction with the same template, but the three characters ended up pretty unique and true to their respective niches.
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