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Old 02-18-2018, 11:03 PM   #1
Apollonian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Conspiracy "everyman" skills

I'm putting together a required & recommended skill list for characters in my Cabal game. Based on Kromm's adventure skill list, and on the premise that a Cabal game is going to focus on investigation and cover ups more than action-adventure (at least at low levels), an Initiate (i.e., a “normal person” dragged into the Cabal) is going to need the following skills at 12 or better:
  • Acting or Intimidation, for deception and cowing witnesses.
  • Carousing, Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, or Interrogation; preferably 2 from that list.
  • Holdout and Stealth: Cabalists have to hide, or hide things, quite frequently.
  • Forced Entry and Lockpicking for getting into places you aren’t allowed.
  • Observation, Scrounging, or Search,
  • Disguise, Shadowing,
  • Research, Occultism, and Hidden Lore
  • Savoir-Faire or Streetwise
  • First Aid
  • Guns, if TL allows. It is the easiest weapons skill available. Knife is also recommended. Brawling or another hand-to-hand skill is highly recommended.

Higher level Cabalists are going to need the full action-adventure skill list plus the above conspiratorial skills as a minimum.

My question is, what skill have I missed that are going to come up regularly in a game that focuses on investigating secret magic and covering it up.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:07 AM   #2
Gollum
 
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

Maybe Driving. The default is good enough to go from point A to point B (no roll is required to drive into town) but characters will probably have to do more than that: shadowing another car, getting involved in car chases ...
Edit
Oh, I forgot to tell ... If it is a modern game world,
Computer hacking, of course.
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Last edited by Gollum; 02-19-2018 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

A note on which skills are “everyman” vs which skills just needs somebody in the group to have them. For instance, Lockpicking or Forced Entry will almost certainly be needed by the party, but not necessarily be needed for everybody.

I’d recommend “prediction” skills as well. The best way I can describe it is you use one skill to forge somebody’s signature, but another skill to know whose handwriting to forge – is that Administration? Politics? Professional Skill: police procedure?

Some way of communicating discreetly – Gesture? An exotic language?
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

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Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
A note on which skills are “everyman” vs which skills just needs somebody in the group to have them. For instance, Lockpicking or Forced Entry will almost certainly be needed by the party, but not necessarily be needed for everybody.
I fully do agree. Ditto for Driving and Computer Hacking.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
I fully do agree. Ditto for Driving and Computer Hacking.
Depending on your sources, driving is often treated as an everyman skill in modern media. While it might be possible to have just one specialist do it, that seems unusual for the genre.

Also, if your party doesn't maintain extreme cohesion (which they might, but it's less a given than in some other genres) somebody other than the designated wheelman may find themselves needing Driving. (To, for instance, lose a tail or escape a vehicular assassination attempt.)
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

Here's a couple more suggestions:
  • Computer Operation. Not everybody needs Computer Hacking, that can be a specialist. But everyone pretty much needs to know how to at least use a computer.
  • In addition to Disguise, Mimicry. Mimicry is an often-overlooked, but essential, part of impersonation. Disguise might make you look like someone, but if you don't sound like them, your options are sharply limited.
  • I'd strongly recommend a grappling skill in the combat options - either Wrestling or Judo. If you need to subdue someone, these are your best options. Beating someone unconscious has serious consequences (barring certain cinematic options being turned on), whereas you can much more safely use grappling to pin someone.
  • Intelligence Analysis. This is your basic "find patterns in data" skill. Not everybody needs to have it, perhaps, but anyone who wants to contribute to that scene where the protagonists tack a bunch of photos and notes to the wall and start connecting them with string or lines or what-have-you should have it.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Depending on your sources, driving is often treated as an everyman skill in modern media.
Right. I was speaking for a skill level of 12+ (a professional level).

Now, your other point is a good one: having two or more professional drivers can help escaping pursuers.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Here's a couple more suggestions:
  • In addition to Disguise, Mimicry. Mimicry is an often-overlooked, but essential, part of impersonation. Disguise might make you look like someone, but if you don't sound like them, your options are sharply limited.
I'm pretty sure that this is the provenance of Acting, and Basic Set p. 174 explicitly notes that impersonation is one of the uses for Acting. Mimicry would let you sound like someone, but you'd need Acting to make people think you are the person you're impersonating.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

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Originally Posted by Nemoricus View Post
I'm pretty sure that this is the provenance of Acting, and Basic Set p. 174 explicitly notes that impersonation is one of the uses for Acting. Mimicry would let you sound like someone, but you'd need Acting to make people think you are the person you're impersonating.
It's all three, actually. Disguise lets you look like someone, Mimicry lets you sound like them, and Acting covers behaving like them consistently.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Conspiracy "everyman" skills

I'd also add Climbing as one of the infiltration skill like Lockpicking, and Detect Lies to go with Interrogation and the like: getting bad information isn't helpful.

Current Affairs is appropriate, for general knowledge of what's going on in the world. Using Hidden Lore and Intelligence Analysis to find out who the Conspiracy is manipulating is less useful if you don't know why those people are important.
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