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I goTz the maD skillZ, Man!

Finally we come to the part on skills. Because the lists for Earth Unmasked! are just much too long, I will merely cover guidelines and point costs.

The formulas for determining the amount of points you have for each skill category:

AAcademic/ScientificMind + (Logic times Complexity Value)
BAthletics & PhysicalMind + (Discipline times Complexity Value)
CSocialMind + (Empathy times Complexity Value)
DOccultism & ReligionsMind + (Insight times Complexity Value)
EArtisticMind + (Passion times Complexity Value)
FTechnologicalMind + (Adaptability times Complexity Value)

For Earth Unmasked!, the CV, or Culture/Setting Complexity Value, is five. This number is merely the Setting Complexity Value, however, and a character's Complexity Value can go up or down as a result of certain positive and negative traits. In addition, all players receive a bonus 75 skill points that can be put towards skills in one category only. These bonus points represent one area of skill development that the character probably focused on during the course of their life/education.

Contests of skill are determined by multiplying the skill ranks by five, and then rolling 1d100, trying to get a number under the percentile chance of success. The average skill level is nine to twelve ranks. Furthermore, all characters, unless otherwise determined by Positive or Negative Traits, have a number of free ranks in the following skills:

Familiarity: Native Culture5
Area Familiarity: Birthplace5
Area Familiarity: Residence5
Native Language10
History, Native Culture5
Mathematics, Basic5
Thrown Weapons5
Unarmed Combat5
Bludgeon Weapons5

All skills available to Cosmic Guardians characters can be found on page 92 of the Earth Unmasked! Manual. If you want a skill that's not on the list, meet with me and we'll discuss it. As an example, when I first played in this system, I added two new skills the day I started playing: Crystal Metaphysics and Tarot Interpretation.

Positive and Negative Traits

These are special character facets that fall outside the rest of the calculated facets of a character. Some of them can affect skills, some of them affect scores of your Aspects or Attributes, and still others are just minor advantages or disadvantages that make your character who they are. However, just as in the case of skills, there are too many available Traits to list here, so I will merely once again provide a reference link: page 46 of the Earth Unmasked! Manual.

However, there are certain skills, listed below, which are not available to the characters of the Cosmic Guardians game:

  • Access to the Akashic Library
  • Citizen of Atlantis
  • Merlin
  • Minion

All save the Merlin trait are negotiable, however. These are merely mechanical restrictions to make things easier for your poor GM at the outset.

Destiny Points and Experience

Experience is actually handled quite differently in Cosmic Synchronicity. Skills can be improved two ways. At the end of every game session, all skills that were used are marked. Then, before the next session the player makes a roll to see if their trait improves. The number you roll must be higher than the current percentile value of your character's skill, minus their total ranks in Adaptability. If you succeed, the character's skill goes up by one rank.

The second method happens outside of play, in between story lines. If you wish to increase a skill via studying or practice, let me know and I will help you determine how many hours it will take to increase the desired skill one rank. If there are enough hours available for the study to take place between plot lines, you will automatically succeed. Keep in mind, however, that if your character plans on eating, sleeping, and holding down a job, they cannot devote 24 hours a day towards learning a skill!

The other form of experience is referred to as Destiny Points. Destiny Points can be used in a number of ways:

  • To increase an Attribute by one rank will cost three Destiny Points. Only one such rank increase per session, please.

  • To learn a new Skill will cost three Destiny Points. Only one new skill per session, and only with GM's permission, please. The character will start with one rank in the new skill.

  • To add a new Background Element, such as a Contact, or a GM hint, will cost three Destiny Points.

  • To add ten Mortality Points to your Character will cost five Destiny Points. Keep in mind you will have to recalculate your character's totals for each extremity and the torso. This can only be done in the time between every other session.

  • Players can also spend one destiny point to either re-roll an Initiative, Healing, or Damage die, or to reduce the percentile value of a Skill or Attribute roll by 20%. Certain Positive Traits can be bought with Destiny Points, and you can also use them to buy off certain Negative Traits, at GM's discretion.

  • Characters are awarded one Destiny Point just for showing up, and one to four additional Destiny Points dependent on exciting or amusing roleplay, plot advancement, or completion of an objective/storyline.

Character Sheets

As you are probably now pretty intimidated by the sheer amount of numbers you will have to deal with, there is a quick and dirty solution for handling this without spending hours calculating and recalculating. On the Cosmic Synchronicity page there are spreadsheets set up for Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel. All you have to do is plug in the Attribute, Aspect, Trait point values, and Skill ranks, and everything else will be calculated for you.

Ask Not What Your GM Can Do For You...

Because I'm a fella that likes to have players that can think for themselves, I've included a special house rule for the Cosmic Guardians players. If a player successfully researches something Out Of Game for the purpose of figuring things out In Game, then their character will make an automatic success roll to discover that piece of knowledge, provided that the character has the appropriate Academics/Sciences skill, or the Research skill. If the piece of knowledge significantly advances the plot, I will award one to two Destiny Points. So it's to your advantage to dig out your old college textbooks, folks!

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Last modified: 2002-Mar-17 18:01:44

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