The following rules are an expanded, edited and modified subset of rules created and copyrighted by Sean Patrick Fannon.  Modifications by Dustin Evermore for integration into a Birthright campaign.  Not for publication in any medium, except for personal use.


Resolving skill use is straightforward . When you use a Skill, simply add your rating in that Skill to the Characteristic and add that to 3d6. The difficulty chart is below - note that the normal default result you are looking for is always 14, while the usual difficult result (the kind only experts should be able to do regularly) is 22. Here's the formula:


The difficulty value, in this system, is the opposing CHAR + SKILL + 10 or the chart below can be used:
Competently Superheroic
NOTE - See Champions: New Millenium for an expanded chart.

Next to each Skill is a Characteristic listed in []; this is the most common Characteristic that will be used with that Skill (although the GM is welcome to require a different one be used under certain circumstances).

Skills that are in BOLD are considered "Everyman" skills. Each character is assumed to have a score of 2 in this skill to begin with. After buying all skill levels, the player should add +2 to the Everyman skills (this addition is free and does not come out of any provided point totals).

ACROBATICS [DEX]: This skill combines gymnastic prowess with tumbling skills and overall graceful balance. A GM may permit an Acrobatics roll (with an appropriate Difficulty) to cover difficult terrain or run through obstacles at normal movement. Acrobatics might also be used to gain advantages in combat (the GM is encouraged to require the players to be very descriptive to get such bonuses). In addition, GMs might allow an Acrobatics roll to get up (from a fall or a Throw, for example) without spending an Action (Target Number 14).

ACTING [PRE]: This is the skill of the performer, used to assume a role and maintain the illusion of said role. It can also be useful when a character is attempting to "pretend" something is true when it is not (in other words, it can be used to lie effectively). Typically, a GM may allow a Player to add their PRE and Acting scores in an opposed roll versus any "targets'" PRE scores (and the GM may also allow the "target" to add their Intuition scores).

ADMINISTRATION [INT]:  A character skilled in administration usderstands the workings of the apparatus of government and the governmental heirarchy.  Versed in the responsibilities of various arms and offices of his land, the character knows which officials can get things done.  A regent character can, on a successful skill check, reduce his maintnance costs by 25% (rounded down) every domain turn.  With a successful check, he can also use this skill to reduce the base Gold Bar cost of any domain action by 1.

ALCHEMY [INT]: A study and understanding of formulas, mixtures, and other processes that result in various reactions. A trained alchemist may be able to take odd agents and combine them in ways that will create any number of effects. Alchemy uses the mana that is within all things, and is a skill that may be used by non-magicians.

ANIMAL HANDLER [PRE]: Skill in handling and understanding animals. Characters use this skill in training, grooming, caring for, and predicting the actions of animals. This skill can be useful for calming an angered predator or frightened mount, as well as in hunting or trapping game.

ARCHERY [REF]: Skill in using Bows (not Crossbows). This is added to REF for an AV to hit a target. It can also be used in a Skill Roll contest with other characters in any Archery Contest.

ARTISAN SKILLS [TECH]: This "skill group" represents a character's ability in designing and building things (mostly with wood), as well as an overall facility with tools. Realistically, this could be broken down into areas such as Carpentry, Woodworking, and Architecture, but for the purposes of this game, they are conveniently grouped together. As a general rule, INT is used for designing, while TECH is logically used in actually constructing something.

ARTIST [TECH]: The character with this skill is gifted and/or experienced in some artistic endeavor. Which Characteristic is best used depends on the craft - drawing or playing a flute would depend on TECH, playing drums might rely on REF, while singing would certainly benefit from a high PRE.

ATHLETICS [DEX]: This Everyman skill group represents the overall athletic inclinations (or lack thereof) of any character. Having a good score in this represents that the character has some natural gift or general experience with physical pursuits. These include (but are by no means restricted to) - Climbing, Throwing (non-combat), Running, Swimming, Jumping, Low-Crawling, Endurance, and even some basic Gymnastics (nothing that would replace Acrobatics). In any instance where a character is attempting something physical and the GM feels a skill roll is needed, add this to whatever Characteristic makes the most sense. In addition, in any instance where the GM feels that a character has potentially overextended themselves (hard marches, extended runs, going without sleep, fighting literal hordes of monsters, etc), they can ask for an Athletics check (using CON as the related Stat). Typical penalties for failing such a check range from penalties to all related actions (usually -1 to -3) all the way to simply passing out from exhaustion. The GM is encouraged to only use this when Drama is best served.

AXES [REF]: The skill used to wield the hand axe, wood axe, Dwarven Axe, and Battle Axe in combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

BIND WOUNDS [TECH]: This is the basic skill of preventing a character from bleeding to death or otherwise suffering further from wounds. A roll of 2x the number of hit points a character has taken below zero will stop all bleeding and generally stabilize a character. A roll of 22 will actually add 1d6 Hits back to a character (although this should take time, effort, and some resources, such as herbs and poultices).

CLUBS [REF]: Unlike most weapon groups, this one has no "non-proficiency" penalties; everyone is considered to have at least a 0 in this skill. It is used to wield the sap, mug, chair leg, club, war club, and any other "weapon of opportunity" that can be loosely translated to this group. It is added to REF for an AV.

CONCEALMENT [INT]: The skill used in hiding things from sight or in searching for things that have been Concealed by others.

CONCENTRATION [WILL]: This Everyman skill represents someone's ability to focus and exert mental control. By doing nothing else, a character might receive bonuses based on a successful Concentration roll towards some feat of mental or physical exertion. The GM is encouraged to allow for creative uses of this skill. This skill is also used in defending against Mental Powers.

CONTORTIONIST [DEX]: This skill refers to a character's training in "hyper-limberness," allowing them to fit in otherwise impossible spaces, bend in ways that aren't normal, and do other feats of body twisting and squeezing. A successful Contortionist roll may allow the escaping of such bonds as ropes or manacles, and the GM is encourage to permit a Contortionist (plus DEX) roll instead of STR to escape Grabs.

COURTIER [PRE]: This skill group refers to an overall facility with all things "courtly." A character trained in this area is skilled in maneuvering through high society, has intimate knowledge of etiquette, and is quite familiar with the intrigues and political machinations that go on in whatever "court" they have experience with.

CROSSBOWS [REF]: Skill in using Crossbows (not Bows). This is added to REF for an AV to hit a target. It can also be used in a Skill Roll contest with other characters in any Crossbow Contest.

CRYPTOGRAPHY [INT]: Any character skilled in this area can encrypt and decrypt coded messages with some time, effort, and a successful roll. Furthermore, they can be quite useful in gleaning at least some meaning from ancient runes, hieroglyphics, and the like.

DANCE [DEX]: This is the specific skill in moving one's body rhythmically and with style and grace. A character may actually only know one style or form, but they can quickly pick up other styles and, more importantly, they can look really good dancing.

DEMONOLOGY [INT]: This is the study of all things demonic and and their names.  This is an ancient and difficult skill, but can be quite useful.  Though demonlology is not inherently evil, the practice of summoning demons can be extremely dangerous.  A demonolater (one who summons demons) should be an expert demonologist.  This is the skill that is used, in part, to help summon demons.

DIPLOMACY [WILL]:  Talented diplomats are vital to the success of any domain.  A character skilled in diplomacy understands the protocol, subtleties, and conventions of diplomatic meetings and is good at getting what he wants while meeting a minimum of demands.  With a successful skill check, a character may add a +4 bonus to the success chance of a diplomacy action.  The outcome of the scharacter's resolution of the Diplomatic Matter random event is automatically increased by one level (e.g., a fair result becomes a good result).

DISGUISE [TECH]: This skill allows a character to alter their appearance in various ways so as to look like someone else. To merely change one's appearance is little more than a Simple to maybe Standard task, while looking like a specific person may be Advanced, Complicated, or even Hard (or beyond), depending on the race and Characteristics of the intended target. Typical "contests" will involve a Perception (or, perhaps, Intuition) check vs the Disguise skill (plus TECH).

EXPERT [INT] : This could be pretty much anything not listed that the character is knowledgeable of and/or good at. This includes hobbies (like stone collecting), advanced education (like Elvish Politics), performance crafts (like Juggling) or simple life experiences (like Farming).

FLAILS [REF]: The skill used to wield the flail or in combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

FLETCHING [TECH]: A useful skill for any archer (or someone who likes to make money from them). Fletching allows a character to make new arrows, given the appropriate time and resources. In an environment conducive to the work, a character can make a number of arrows equal to their roll -10 per hour (minimum 1). Thus, someone who rolled their Fletching at 20 could make 10 arrows in an hour.

FORGERY [TECH]: This is the skill of creating faked documents that will serve in the place of real ones; it also allows someone some added skill in spotting other forgeries. Typically, Forgery + TECH is rolled against someone's Perception + INT (although a skilled forger could add their Forgery skill to their INT instead, if they wished).

GAMBLING [INT]: Skill at playing games of chance. Which Characteristic applies depends entirely upon the game; INT is often best in games such as Blackjack or Chess (yes, Chess can easily be a gambling game), PRE is useful in any game of Poker, and DEX is highly effective when one wants to toss the Bones. Gambling can also be used to cheat or to spot cheaters - appropriate Skill vs Skill rolls will apply.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE [INT]: This Everyman skill group is an indication of a character's overall education, knowledge, and experience. It is a "catch-all" that anyone can roll to see if they know something about something. In most cases, especially where a more specific skill is better used, the General Knowledge skill should be required at a much higher Difficulty. It is, however, a great way for GMs to get out information that needs to be known.

GREAT AXES [REF]: The skill used to wield the Dwarven Axe, battle axe and great axe in combat. It is added to REF for AV.

GREAT CLUBS [REF]: The skill used to wield the war club, Ogre Club, and Giant Club in combat. It is added to REF for AV.

GREAT HAMMERS/MACES [REF]: The skill used to wield the war hammer and maul in combat. It is added to REF for AV.

GREAT SWORDS [REF]: The skill used to wield the bastard sword and great sword in combat. It is added to REF for AV.

HAMMERS/MACES [REF]: The skill used to wield the hammer, sledgehammer, and war hammer in combat. It is added to REF for AV.

HAND TO HAND [REF]: The skill used to fight open (bare) handed in combat. This can be anything from a formal martial art to dirty street brawling. Unlike most combat skills, there are no lack of proficiency penalties. It is added to REF for an AV.

HISTORY [INT]: This skill represents a character's knowledge and understanding of history. It has some overlap with Legends Lore, but there are some important differences. Someone with a knowledge of Legends might know a tale that speaks of caves full of treasure deep within Castle Mourne, but someone with History may be able to tell you what the last battle that was fought there was about and how it affected the balance of power in the region.

HORSEMANSHIP [REF]: This Everyman skill represents a basic skill in riding and handling a horse. Someone with any skill here is at ease in the saddle for at least normal travelling, and a high skill has a good chance of being able to outride pursuers, leap chasms, and perform other stunts.

INTERACTION [PRE]: This Everyman skill group deals with a character's interpersonal abilities. This includes (but is not restricted to) basic conversation, seduction, oratory, and persuasion. Accomplished actors, skilled con artists, and successful merchants have good scores in this area.

INTERROGATION [PRE]: This Presence skill involves gaining information (or, perhaps, some other form of compliance) from a hostile and unwilling source. The Interrogator (with a successful skill roll) can judge how to not leave marks, where someone's breaking point is, when they are close to death, etc..

INTRIGUE [INT]:  Some people have a talent for under-handed dealings.  A character with the intrigue proficiency understands how such games are played.  He notices when intrigue is afoot in his surroundings and can initiate his own schemes.  An intrigue requires three to six weeks of preparation (determined by the GM after the player has developed a plan).  After that time, if the character succeeds a skill check, the scheme unfolds as planned.  An intrigue may target a specific individual; a target who is a regent suffers an Intrigue random event.  If a regent with this proficiency defends against an Intrigue random event, his response is automatically one level better.  In addition, the character can use this skill to identify the players in an intrigue from partial evidence or informaion by making a check with a -2 to -6 penalty, depending on the quality of information.

INTUITION [PRE]: Another Presence-based skill group, this refers to a character's attunement and instincts in regards to other people. Someone with a high Intuition knows how to watch, listen, and predict the actions of others. They are also very good at determining how someone is feeling.

INVENTOR [INT]: A highly complimentary skill for both Artisan and Alchemy, this represents a character's natural talents as well as their experience in creating new things from existing elements and ideas. The Inventor skill could also be used by Mages (or even other spellcasters, as the GM permits) to create new spells or rituals.

INVESTIGATION [INT]: This skill group represents a character's ability to search for clues, ask the right questions, and otherwise go through the process of solving a mystery or crime. It can often be complimented by Perception, Interaction, Intuition, and even tracking (Ranger Skills).

LANCES [REF]: This unusual weapons skill is used for attacking a target with a lance from horseback (an attack almost always performed as a Full Move Maneuver). It is added to REF for an AV.

LANGUAGE: Unlike most skills, there is no roll associate with Languages. A character may have a language at the following levels (for the indicated points), and the GM is expected to interpret how much they can glean from a conversation based on their knowledge. Conversely, the Player is expected to role-play according to their ability with a given language.   Languages available to characters are Human:  Andu (old Anuirean), Anuirean, Low (modern) Brecht, Hight (ancient) Brecht, Basarji (Khinasi), Rjuven (Rjurik), Vos.  Demihuman:  Sighelien (elvish), Karamhul (dwarvish).  Nonhuman:  Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Orog, Ogrish, Troll.

Language Levels

  1. Basic
  2. Coversational
  3. Fluent
  4. Expert
  5. Master (Only those with Linguistically Gifted may have this level, even for a native tongue)

LAW [INT]:  A firm grasp of a government's legal system and the criminal code can be very useful to a ruler.  When a character with this proficiency rolls on Table 16 for event reolution for the Matter of Justice random event, he automatically increases his result by one level (i.e., a fair result becomes a good result).  Furthermore, on a successful check, he adds a +1 bonus to his success chance in a Create Holding, Decree, Rule, or Espionage action.  One roll must be made for each action attempted, but the character may attempt as many actions per round as the rules allow.

LEADERSHIP [PRE]: This represents a character's ability to influence people, especially in a stressful situation or where management is needed over persuasion. It is really only useful in situations where NPCs are involved (as using it "against" PCs would be counterproductive to role-playing).   Regents can, on a successful check, improve the loyalty rating in one province per domain turn by one level.  This is the result of a personal appeal to the principal agitators that wins them over to his side.

LIP READING [INT]: A very specialized and useful talent that allows a character to "see" what people are saying even when they cannot be heard. The level of success on a roll should determine how much information is gleaned in any situation.

LOCAL EXPERT [INT]: This skill represents a character's knowledge about an area, focusing on geography, climate, and the location of settlements and other notable landmarks. It also encompasses knowledge of the society, politics, belief systems, and general demeanor of the people of an area. All characters have at least a score of 2 for where they come from (an Everyman skill), but they must buy this skill separately for each area they want to have some expertise in.

LOCKPICKING [TECH]: The classic ability to open that which someone wanted you to leave closed. The GM is encouraged to use both time and difficulty ratings to challenge any would-be thief or intruder.

LORE [INT]: This is a familiarity and knowledge of age-old tales and traditions involving supernatural, mythical, and magical stories. 

MEDITATION [WILL]: Learning the proper techniques will allow characters to gain near to full rest with little time lost (anywhere from half the time needed to sleep to a mere 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the success of the roll). With a high enough roll (GM's discretion), the character may be treated as being in "Light Sleeper" mode, as per the Talent.

MELEE EVADE [DEX]: This skill represents someone's overall training and experience in avoiding blows from melee weapons (either through parrying, ducking, or just side-stepping out of the way). Everyone is considered to have at least a 0 in this skill (no non-proficiency penalties). This skill is added to DEX to gain a DV.

MERCHANT SKILLS [PRE]: This skill group refers to the general talents and knowledge involved in being a successful businessman. This includes trading; bargaining; appraisal of goods, metals, and gems; basic economics; and a slew of other skills. Where the story is better served by "getting on with it," some simple rolls against this skill will determine the finding and acquisition of goods at a good (or poor) price.

MIMICRY [INT]: The specific talent of being able to imitate other voices. Skill in this area will greatly enhance a good Disguise, especially if used in conjunction with Acting.

NOBLE LORE (HERALDRY) [INT]: Any bard or seneschal worth the title will have this skill, giving extensive knowledge of nobles, noble families, heraldic symbols, and other related information. It is particularly useful when complimented by Courtier Skills.

PERCEPTION [INT]: Another Everyman skill group, this represents a character's overall awareness, deductive skills, and memory. A GM may ask for a Perception check whenever a character might see, hear, sense, deduce, or remember something.

POLE ARMS [REF]: The skill used to wield the halberd, pike, military fork, and pole arm (and, by default, can be used with the scythe and pitch fork) in melee combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

POLITICS [INT]: The study of politics and political structure in the land. This skill can be useful for predicting the responses of various nations, city-states, and other political bodies to any event or major decision. To a degree, it can also be used to predict the responses of a political figure, such as a king, duke, or minister.

PROFESSION [TECH]: There are any number of professions that a Player could name for their character, either as a past or present occupation. The Player and the GM are encouraged to develop the specifics of how a Profession skill might work (and other Characteristics besides TECH may very well apply).

RANGED EVADE [DEX]: This skill represents someone's overall training and experience in avoiding missiles shot or hurled at them. Everyone is considered to have at least a 0 in this skill (no non-proficiency penalties). This skill is added to DEX to gain a DV (vs Ranged attacks only).

RANGER [TECH]: This skill set refers to a character's knowledge and expertise in surviving and thriving in outdoor environments, as well as their skills in dealing with both the natural elements and all that Nature contains. Such skills as tracking, survival, hunting, fishing, camouflage, land navigation, and scouting can be dealt with by this skill group.

RELICOLOGY [INT]:  This is the knowledge of magical relics.  This skill is used to help identify magical items.  At level 2 your knowledge is based mainly on folklore and wives-tales, giving no true knowledge.  At level 4 you have begun to learn of relics that really can truly work and prove useful.  At level 6 and above, you know some truly powerful relics.

RESEARCH [INT]: A vital skill for most spellcasters (especially Mages), this entails the knowledge and experience necessary to navigate through libraries, search through stacks of books, and find the desired information.

SAILING [TECH]: The wide world of the sea calls many, and this skill set represents everything they might learn as a sailor. This includes rope use, sail trimming, navigation, steering, etc..

SEIGE WEAPONS [TECH]: In Birthright, it never hurts to know how to knock a castle wall over or fire a really huge crossbow (ballista). This is the skill, using TECH instead of REF to generate an AV.

SEIGECRAFT [INT]:  The character is an expert in the construction of military machines and methods of defeating forifications.  Normally, castles are invludnerable to direct attack during the domain turn unless a company of artillerists is detailed to lead the attack. A character with the seigecraft skill counts as a unit of artillerists when he accompanies an army.  On a successful skill checks, he can lead them in an assault against a castle; the castle's rating has a negative modifier to the total. The character may attempt one check per War Move (week) reducing the penalty by one for each new check--thus, a character who besieges a castle (5) neutralizes the -5 modifier to his check after five weeks of siege.  A character who is involved in the planning and supervision of a new fortification to increase its level, the character may attempt a skill check to increase the structure an additional point (say from a castle 5 to a castle 6).  (This also requires a Character Action.)  If the character also has the Engineering skill, he gains a +1 bonus to the Siegecraft roll.

SLEIGHT OF HAND [REF]: This skill represents a character's overall hand-eye coordination, allowing them to palm object, pick pockets, and do "magic tricks." Typical skill contests might pit Sleight of Hand + REF against Perception + INT.

SLINGS [REF]: Skill in using Slings. This is added to REF for an AV to hit a target. It can also be used in a Skill Roll contest with other characters in any Sling Contest.

SMALL BLADES [REF]: The skill used to wield the knife, dagger, dirk, rapier, saber, and short sword in melee combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

SMITHING [TECH]: This "skill group" represents a character's ability in designing and building things (mostly with metal), as well as an overall facility with metalworking tools. Realistically, this could be broken down into areas such as weaponsmithing, armorer, and blacksmithing, but for the purposes of this game, they are conveniently grouped together. As a general rule, INT is used for designing, while TECH is logically used in actually constructing something.

SPEARS [REF]: The skill used to wield the long spear, spear, and javelin in melee combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

STAVES [REF]: The skill used to wield the quarterstaff and Ironwood Staff in melee combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

STEALTH [DEX]: This Everyman skill entails a character's ability to move quietly and unseen. Typically, it is a contest against another character's Perception + INT to be successful (Note, this campaign combines Shadowing with Stealth as one skill).

STRATEGY [INT]:  A warrior with a gift for strategy understands how to most effectively use his armies to defeat his enemy.  When a strategist leads a domain's war effort and is empowered to issue orders, he may gain a strategic advantage by succeeding a skill check vs. the opponents skill or INT check.  A strategic advantage allows a character to ignore the rules that determine which side moves armies first.  Instead, he can choose whether to move his armies first or second.  All other rules for movement apply.

STREETWISE [PRE]: Use of this skill aids a character in navigating the "seedier side" of life, which includes dealing with the "black market," getting information, and finding places to hide from the authorities.

STRENGTH FEATS [STR]: Some characters are particular skilled and well-trained to apply their natural strength to bracing, lifting, and carrying. A Player may add any points they have in Strength Feats to their natural STR in almost any Strength-related task (which would include any arm-wrestling contests but not Grabs or other combat situations).

SWORDS [REF]: The skill used to wield the saber, short sword, broadsword, longsword, bastard sword, Elvish Longsword, Rrka (Brinchie Sword), and Lo-sska (Brinchie Dagger) in melee combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

TACTICS [INT]: This skill relates a character's knowledge of warfare and combat in terms of units and how they move, as well as what people are likely to do in conflict situations. In any situation where a character can plan before a given conflict, the GM may allow them to roll against a Difficulty rating (typically vs 18, although terrain and conditions should modify this). Every point of success over the target number should be treated as an Initiative bonus for all friendly forces the Tactician can influence for the first round of combat only. Alternately, if both sides have a character actively using Tactics, this should be done as a skill vs skill contest, with the winner gaining the Initiative bonus. On any round where the character does nothing but evaluate an existing battle, he may make a Tactics roll for the above-named bonus for the next round. Only he and everyone he can directly influence (through shouted commands or Telepathy, for example) may gain the Initiative bonus on the next round.

Note: For added realism, and to better represent the ability, the GM is encouraged to require that anyone wanting the INIT bonus must let the Tactician actually move their character (if miniatures are being used), though they would still determine all other actions.

TEACHING [PRE]: This Everyman skill reflects a character's ability to teach what they know to others, a necessary skill in a society where "word of mouth" is how most anything is learned. A character can teach almost anything they are skilled in; the nature of the skill and the student's capacity to learn it will figure into the GM's decision as to how hard it is to teach and how long it will take.

THAUMATURGY [INT]:  This is the knowledge of how magic works and how to control it.  This skill is used to cast spells straight from books, or create new spells.  Most good mages have this skill, as most enjoy making spells more than they do learning them.

THROWING [REF]: Like Clubs, this skill has no non-proficiency penalties - anyone can pick something up and toss it. Although not completely realistic, this skill includes pretty much anything for throwing purposes (such as knives, daggers, spears, hand axes, and even mugs and rocks). This is added to REF for an AV to hit a target. It can also be used in a Skill Roll contest with other characters in any Throwing Contest.

VENTRILOQUIST [TECH]: Using whichever Characteristic (INT or TECH) is higher, a character can develop the ability to "throw their voice." This can be used to no end of mischief, and is typically used against someone's Perception + INT.

WAGON DRIVING [REF]: Harder than it looks, there is a whole set of skills involved in driving a wagon effectively. Someone without the skill will be hard pressed to get from Point A to Point B, and a high skill rating is imperative when being chased by mounted warriors.

WHIPS [REF]: The skill used to wield the whip and slaver's whip in melee combat. It is added to REF for an AV.

WILDERNESS LORE [INT]: Though complimentary to both Ranger Skills and Druidic Lore, this skill reflects a character's scholarly knowledge of the Great Outdoors. This includes knowing what kinds of food and plants to expect in a region, what animals there are, when their mating season will start, whether or not a tree looks sick, etc...

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