Special skills a character can learn

Characters in Wasteland possess various skills that allow them to survive in the harsh world. Below is a list of all the skills in Wasteland, the attribute they depend on, and a short description of what they are used for…

Acrobatics (Agi): Acrobatics is used to perform tumbles, flips, and other impressive stunts. It can be used to escape a grab or negate fall damage.
Athletics (Str): Athletics is used while running, jumping, and climbing. Most exploring requires a degree of athleticism.
Barter (Cha): Barter is used to trade with others. Characters with a high barter skill find it easier to acquire the things they need.
Bluff (Cha): Bluff is used to deceive others. When a character lies or feints in combat, he’s using bluff.
Diplomacy (Cha): Diplomacy is used in civil conversations. When negotiating or haggling, diplomacy is used.
Endurance (Tou): Endurance is used to push oneself beyond one’s limits. Surviving for extended periods without food or water or staving off the effects of a disease are acts of endurance.
Insight (Awa): Insight is used to expose lies, read others, and get a feeling about a situation. Insight is a character’s gut feeling.
Intimidate (Cha or Str): Intimidate is used to frighten others or force them to do what you want. Intimidation is common in the wasteland.
Knowledge (IQ): Knowledge skills are used to recall specific information about a certain topic. Knowledge skills are taken individually.

  • Engineering: Vehicles, buildings and complex mechanical devices
  • Geography: Terrain, climate, and dangers
  • History: Past events, famous places or people, old world myths
  • Nature: Plants, animals, and weather
  • Warfare: Tactics, weapons and armor, and military organizations
  • Wasteland: Mutations, hazards, and the apocalypse

Perception (Awa): Perception is used to see and hear everything around oneself. A good perception allows a character to perceive hidden threats and small details.
Repair (IQ): Repair is used to fix items. A character that can repair items is a valuable asset.
Stealth (Agi): Stealth is used to move silently and hide from others. Bandits and thieves make use of stealth to ambush others.
Streetwise (Cha): Streetwise is used to gather rumors, find out the local gossip, and learn who’s important in a given settlement. A character with streetwise finds it easy to navigate new settlements.
Survival (Awa): Survival is used to search for supplies, find edible plants and drinkable water, and identify tracks and signs of living creatures.

A character that is trained in a skill gains a +5 bonus to all skill checks related to that skill. Any skill can be used untrained, although the chance of succeeding is less likely. There are only two exceptions to this rule…

  1. A character cannot make Knowledge checks untrained. They represent familiarity with subjects that a person can only gain through study or life experience.
  2. A character that is not trained in Repair can only make Repair checks to fix Primitive and Simple items. Complex, Advanced, and Highly Advanced items are simply too difficult for a character to repair without proper training.

When a character is made, that character gains training in a handful of skills based on the class they chose. As characters level up, they may take the Skill Training feat in order to gain more trained skills.

Another option open to the DM is experience training. This allows a character to slowly gain training in skills over time through extraordinary actions. Barring any excessive failures, a character can slowly improve his skill set until he is considered trained in it.

  • If a player rolls a natural 20 on any untrained check, all subsequent skill checks of the same type gain a +1 bonus. Each additional natural 20 rolled while making one of these checks increases the bonus by 1, up to a maximum bonus of +5. If a character raises a skill’s bonus to +5, he is then considered trained in it.
  • If a player rolls a natural 1 on an untrained skill check, any bonus granted to him through experience training decreases by 1 (to a minimum of 0). A player who rolls a natural 1 on a skill check he has become fully trained in (i.e. has achieved a +5 bonus with) does not lose anything, he merely fails as we all do occasionally.

Instead of experience training, another fun option is the “He’s on a Roll!” mechanic. Whenever a player rolls a natural 20 on skill check, he gains a +1 bonus to that skill for the remainder of the encounter. Each additional natural 20 rolled while making one of these checks increases this bonus by 1. There are three key differences between “He’s on a Roll!” and experience training…

  1. The bonus has no limit. A character on a roll just gets better and better. As the adrenaline flows his skills just keep getting sharper.
  2. Rolling a natural 1 on any attack roll or skill check resets all “He’s on a Roll!” bonuses to 0. A character on a roll can lose his mojo just as easily as he gained it.
  3. The bonus lasts until the end of the encounter. Unlike experience training, when the character gets a chance to catch his breath, the adrenaline stops and so does the benefit of being on a roll.

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