Create Your Hero: Skills and specialties

  1. First level mojo
  2. Create Your Hero
  3. A few good numbers


The basic fantasy archetypes can be modified and enhanced through specialties. A specialty can turn a thief into an assassin, or a sorceror into a wu jen. Look in Arcane Lore for a list of pre-created specialties.

At first level, the character has one specialty.

Some specialties have requirements: the character must have a minimum ability score, or must follow a specific moral code, or must not follow a specific moral code. Some specialties also have prerequisites: earlier specialties that must be taken first.

Fields and skills

When a player wants their character to perform a dangerous or difficult task, they’ll roll against one of their character’s abilities or reactions. To help them succeed, characters can learn skills. When a character is skilled at a task, their player gains a bonus on any rolls to perform that task.

Each skill must be part of a field of knowledge. Fields are major areas, such as War Craft, Language Science, or Gambling Art. The character gains the field’s bonus when using any skill within that field. For example, a character with Gambling Art at +3 might have the skills Carousing and Poker. Whenever the player makes a roll where Carousing or Poker skills are applicable, they get a bonus of 3 on that roll.

In a way, having Gambling Art +3 is like being a 3rd level gambler.

Characters who have high mental abilities begin the game with a number of fields equal to intelligence as a major contributor and wisdom and charisma as minor contributors. The fields are at +1 and have one skill within them.

If the character has low mental abilities, a negative total can be ignored unless the character is old enough to have extra skills. Older characters will need to first overcome this negative number before gaining extra skills.

The Arcane Lore Lorebook contains a detailed list of fields, and skills within those fields, which you can choose from or roll randomly from, but you can also come up with your own fields and skills, subject to the approval of the Adventure Guide.

Native Culture

Your character automatically has the field Native Culture at +2, with the skills Native Language and one Etiquette from local subcultures. For example, a nobleman might choose Court Etiquette; a farmer Backwoods Etiquette, or a thief Underworld Etiquette.

You may move your character’s Native Language skill into the Languages field if you have it. Your Native Culture field bonus remains +2.

The Fighting Art

Warriors begin the game with Fighting Art at +1. Monks, prophets, sorcerors, and thieves begin the game with Fighting Art at +0.

Non-warrior archetypes are limited in the weapon skills they may choose. Thieves may choose any simple or basic weapon as a skill; and the others any simple weapon.

Simple weapons are small hand-held weapons such as the dagger, knife, or sling. Basic weapons are weapons such as spears, short swords, crossbows, and martial arts. Exactly what constitutes a basic weapon or a simple weapon will depend on the game world, but suggestions are given on the weapons table.

Prophets may have other restrictions according to their religion or sect.

When in combat, your character will get their Fighting Art field bonus as long as they are using a weapon they’re skilled with. If they are using a weapon they’re not skilled with, and if it’s a weapon they can never learn they’ll have an additional penalty of two to attack.

Players may not use mojo to increase their character’s Fighting Art field bonus. Their bonus goes up as their character increases in level.

The weapon fluency skill is only available to warriors, and all warriors have it. Weapon fluency allows warriors to learn any weapon skill, and to use their full Fighting Art bonus with weapons they aren’t skilled in, at a penalty of two to attack.

The skill basic weapons is only available to thieves (who automatically have it) and those with the appropriate specialty. This skill allows thieves to learn basic weapon skills—more weapons than prophets, sorcerors, and monks, but fewer than warriors.

  1. First level mojo
  2. Create Your Hero
  3. A few good numbers