Monday, January 20, 2014

Wasteland Skills

Blood & Bone is name I'm giving to Dark Sun like campaign I'll be running using old school rules. Equipment breakage and the environment (as challenge/enemy) are key elements of B&B. Many old school games use ability checks or saving throws rather than having skills. But I wanted something a little more defined without being rule monstrosity.  Lamentations of the Flame Princess has simple, old school feel (d6 based) skill system. Which I've purloined and added to a bit. Although the rogue is still the "specialist" skill master. I've given all classes 1 skill per even level (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.).


All characters have a base 1 in 6 chance to perform any skill. These chances may be increased by a character's race, background, class, and other means.

A character with a 6 in 6 chance (the maximum) means a skill check only fails if a roll of 6 is followed by a roll of 4-6.


Athletics covers climbing, balancing, jumping and the like.

Failure when climbing means that the character falls from a random point in the climb.
Characters with two free hands can climb ropes and ladders with no die roll needed.

Find Traps

A successful use of Find Traps skill will let the character know that something is there and how it is triggered but not what its function is. The search takes one minute per 10’ square searched.

Trap detection may not be allowed if the trap is purely magical in nature.


Characters are fully fluent in their racial tongue and enough trade to get along. When a character comes into contact with another language, their chances of knowing that language is determined by Languages skill.A character gets one attempt to know any particular language. If that one attempt fails, the character does not know the language. Magical languages cannot be known using this method.

There is a -1 penalty if the language is not local to the culture, -2 if the language is considered exotic, and -3 if it is an ancient, dead language.

Literacy is a crime in all the City-States, only Templars are able to read and write the languages that they know.


Medicine skill allows healing disease, treating poisoning and curing other maladies. It is literally a life-saver when used to stop character from bleeding out. Successful long term care reduces time required for wounds to heal.


Many items and features of interest are hidden from open view. To find these things, characters must search for them. Under normal conditions, searching takes one minute per 10’ of area searched.

Note that finding a secret door does not grant understanding of how it works. The Referee may require additional rolls or other actions to be taken before the door can be opened.

Sleight of Hand

Picking the pockets of an unaware person, hiding a small object from a search, readying a weapon without any observers noticing, swapping out an object on a weight-sensitive plate with a similarly-weighted bag of sand, these are examples of Sleight of Hand.


Stealth allows a character to sneak around or hide. In order to use the Stealth ability, those that the character wishes to hide from or sneak past must not already be aware of the character's presence, and there must be somewhere to hide.

Stealth checks are not opposed. It either works or it doesn't.


You know your way around the urban jungle. Navigation, knowledge of black markets, who not to cross, how to find someone or something.


You know your way around the out of doors. Possessing survival skills such as navigation, water location, foraging, hunting, tracking, and the ability to craft primative weapons. Knowledge of flora and fauna.

Successful use of survival will produce materials needed for Armor and Weapon smithing.


Tinkering is the art of manipulating small mechanical objects. Often used to open locks or disable small mechanical traps. Other uses of Tinkering (setting traps, for example, or jury-rigging impromptu devices) will be adjudicated by the Referee on a case-by-case basis.

A character gets one attempt to use Tinkering on any particular object. 

Only mechanical locks where the character has access to the keyhole (or other opening mechanism) are able to be manipulated in this manner. Only traps which have been found, and which have a mechanism accessible to the character, may be disarmed. For example, a tripwire is a trap which a character may attempt to disarm, as is a lock with a poison needle. A pressure plate which, when pressed, collapses the ceiling, would be an example of a trap the character could not disarm, because the mechanism itself is behind the walls/floor/ceiling.


Trade is common name for several sub-skills each of which is learned separately:

 - Armorsmith: All types of **non-metal**, non-wood armor, helms, shields. 

 - Farming: Weather, planting, harvesting. 
 - Husbandry: Encompasses herding, training and "wrangling" domesticated creatures. 
 - Merchant: Haggling, trade goods, trade routes, who makes what and where. 
 - Stonemason: Buildings and structures. **Not** stone weapons. 
 - Weaponsmith: All types of **non-metal**, non-wood weapons. 
 - Woodwork: Buildings, structures, wood weapons, armors, helms, and shields. 

Ability in a trade skill covers performing the actual activity as well as "lore" such as identification and appraisal. Armorsmith, weaponsmith, and woodwork are how one repairs damaged gear.

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