Skills represent your character's natural and developed talents. They are rarely used during Court sessions, but commonly using during Downtime to establish how well your character succeeds at their chosen tasks.

Buying Skills

You have 25 points to spend on skills. These points can be modified up or down by various different Quirks, but you may never have more than 35 points in total.

Skill costs are triangular, as follows:

Rank Cost Explanation Example 1)
1 1 Represents basic aptitude or knowledge of the skill. You know which end of a sword is sharp and when you wave it about you normally don't cut yourself.
2 3 Represents training and increased understanding of the skill. You've fought a duel or in a battle. You're still alive so although you're no expert you can handle yourself.
3 6 Represents deep knowledge of the skill and possible expertise in an area. You've been in a fair few scraps and you have the scars to prove it. You haven't lost any of them recently either.
4 10 Represents broad and deep knowledge as well as extensive training in the skill. You're an excellent swordsman. The best in your regiment and you'll probably have to go looking to find anyone anywhere that's better.
5 15 Represents expertise at very high levels. You are one of the best in the country, if not the world, at this. As it says, there's nobody you fear in a fight. Except for that Pole who specialises in killing one-armed albinos…

Ranks 1 and 2 are not necessarily useless. They can supplement your other skills, and the gap between Rank 1 and Rank 0 is significant. Various actions you do might require certain skills for success, but the addition of relevant skills at Ranks 1 or 2 may seriously increase chance or level of success.

Skill List


This covers your basic going out into the wilderness - anything from tracking, to horse riding, to land-based navigation.

Example Specialisations: Tracking, Hunting, Cartography, Horseriding, Campaigning in [country], Swashbuckling


Covers performance and creative endeavour of all types. It is possible for this to cover certain types of disguises.

Example Specialisations: Writing, Poetry, Painting, Playing Tragic Heroes, Producing Plays, Love Sonnets, Funeral Elegies


This skill shows how successful you are at talking your way into or out of things, seducing people and making a crowd listen to you. This skill also covers disguises of all sorts.

Example Specialisations: Seduction, International Politics, Scandalmongery, Espionage, Law, Rhetoric, Forgery.


Covers your knowledge of, and ability to interpret, religious texts and, more generally, all matters religious. Since most scholarly works are still produced as works of Christian or Jewish philosophy, this is a wider area than it seems. This also applies to the law of the land and represents legal skill.

Example Specialisations: Religion and Magic, Heresies, Anglican theology, Catholic theology, Jewish theology, Exegesis, Conversion Literature, Sermons, Excusing Sins, Theological Argument, Pagan Religions, The Talmud, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Court Procedure, Recusancy Laws


Hitting things with swords, shot or fists.

Example Specialisations: With Pistols, Unarmed, In Duels, On Horseback, At Sea, In Brawls, As Part of a Cavalry Unit, Stage Fencing, Musket Sniping


As well as having a general influence on interpreting codes, historical writings, and generally bluffing your way through foreign linguistic situations, this skill allows you to be fluent in a number of languages of your choice for each rank. Most people in the world of Albion, especially in Europe, use Latin as a lingua franca to communicate easily.

Rank 1: Pick one from Latin, Romance languages, Hebrew, English, Greek.
Rank 2: Pick two from (the above + Germanic Languages, Demonic Tongue, Angelic Tongue, Draconic).
Rank 3: Pick three from (the above + Aramaic, Arabic, Old English).
Rank 4: Pick five from any known language.
Rank 5: You can effectively speak any language you like at all. If you have never heard of a language before, you can nevertheless work it out in VERY short order.

Example Specialisations: New Languages, Dead Languages, Codebreaking, Mystical Languages, Numerology

Note 1: Taking 'Romance languages' mean you are generally fluent in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
Note 2: It is generally assumed that everyone is fluent in their native language (usually English) and either Latin OR Hebrew - please specify which. Note 3: Special rules apply for learning new languages, see below.


Covers your ability to get a ship from Point A to Point B, and to a lesser extent your ability to sink the fleet of Point C and besiege the harbour at Point D along the way.

Example Specialisations: Ship-to-ship Combat, Weathering Storms, Uncharted Oceans, Trade Routes, Avoiding Mutinies, Capturing Prize Ships, Sinking the Spanish


Covers management, administration, and all the boring things that most nobles get their clerks to do for them.

Example Specialisations: Finance, Managing Lands, Running a Group, Administering Spy Network, Military Strategy, Cooking the Books, Herding Cats


Covers Being Stealthy in a physical sense (pretending you aren't there at all, rather than pretending that of course you were invited to the party - the latter goes under Diplomacy).

Example Specialisations: Getting Into Bedrooms, Getting Out Of Bedrooms, Pickpocketing, Housebreaking, Locks, Grand Theft, Petty Theft, Stealing Diamonds, Assassination

Spy Network

You have spies, and know how and where to place and coordinate them. For each successive Rank, pick a Organisation or Foreign Country that you have infiltrated. You will receive basic information from each set of spies each turn for free; if you want your spies to dig deeper, you must spend AP.

Example Specialisations: Extracting Agents, Denying All Responsibility, Picking Trustworthy Agents, Managing Codes, Spying in [Organisation or Place].


Magic is a bit different. For one thing, it isn't ranked - if you want to play a Magician, you may buy one (and only one) School of Magic (list here) for fifteen points. If that seems a bit steep, try investigating the Hedgewitch, Tinkerer and Street Magician quirks - much less scope for development, but cheaper.

Once you have purchased a School of Magic, you usually get some freebie starting spells - check the individual Magical School pages to see what you get. You may also get an extra peek at what will later be available to you - ask the GMs for details.

There are various quirks which can enhance your starting abilities at Magic - see that page for details.

You cannot take Specialisations in Magic the same way you can in other skills - but there is a certain flexibility and choice built into each of the Schools.


You can take a Specialisation for free in any skill which you have at Rank 3 or above. This will alter you effective skill level in any given situation. If your Specialisation is particularly appropriate to the situation, you will get a bonus; particularly inappropriate, and you will receive a penalty. If you are doing something where a specialisation is not strictly applicable, or the factors balance out, then no modifier applies.

Specialisations bonuses and penalties work on a sliding scale depending on how appropriate they are to the situation, as follows:

-2: Specialisation is wildly inappropriate (e.g. Adventuring: Hunting Bears while trying to navigate the Sahara Desert.)
-1: Specialisation is inappropriate (e.g. Diplomacy: Foreign Policy while trying to steer the House to a vote on taxes.)
0: No specialisation or in a situation where it is neither appropriate or inappropriate (e.g. Navigation: Combat in Rough Weather while simply trying to sail from A to B)
+1: Specialisation is generally appropriate (e.g. Fighting: With pistls in a pistol duel.)
+2: Specialisation is particularly appropriate (e.g. Artistry: Playing Tragic Heroes On Stage while trying to wow the crowd with your Hamlet.)

More general specialisations (Diplomacy: Espionage, Fighting: With Firearms, Adventuring: In Europe) are unlikely to ever give a -2 penalty, but are similarly unlikely to ever provide a +2 bonus. The more specific the specialisation (Fighting: Bar Brawls, Navigation: Between Gran Canaria and Cadiz, Doctrine: Rabbinical Stories About Prague), the higher chance of a +2 bonus, but equally the higher chance of a -2 penalty.

Rank 5 with an appropriate specialisation can give you an effective rank of 6 or 7 in certain situations. You cannot actually have a permanent rank of above 5.

Specialisations are optional - those who don't take a Specialisation will always have their Skill act at its normal rating and not receive any bonuses or penalties.

You may never take more than one Specialisation for each skill.

Please note that specialisations which are deemed too general (e.g. Fighting: With Swords) will not be accepted.

Improving Skills

Experience (XP)

You gain one Experience Point (XP) for each week during which you submit a Turnsheet before the Thursday Midnight deadline. Players who fail to meet the deadline will not receive XP for that week.

Players who are unable to attend the session, but who still submit a punctual turnsheet, will receive XP as normal.

Players who join the game late will receive a “backlog” of XP as if they'd been playing from the start, which they may spend at character generation.

Players will not receive extra XP for the equivalent of negative quirks gained during the game. For example, if a Sorcerer botches a ritual and becomes Possessed, he will NOT receive 3 free XP.

Spending XP

Each XP is worth one Character Generation point, and may be spent on improving your Skills, as per the costs in the table above. (Quirks may not be purchased with Character Generation points. If you wish to gain a positive Quirk, then please spend AP on attempting to replicate that Quirk's effects, if relevant.)

Raising your skills costs the difference in XP between the cost of your current skill and the next rank up - so going from Rank 3 to Rank 4 costs 4 points, not 10. (Rank 1 is only 1 Point.)

You must have a justification for your XP spends - if you have spent no AP on actions which are relevant to the Skill you are trying to raise or gain, you will not be able to improve in it.

If someone is teaching you a skill, at least one of you will have to spend AP. The lesser the difference between skill levels, the more AP that will be required, and it is not possible to teach someone up to a skill level equal to your own.

If you have doubts, please consult with GMs before attempting to spend your XP, to make sure that your planned spend is suitable.

XP may be spent at any point during turnsheeting after it's earned; put a note in your Housekeeping/0AP actions for that turn. With good reason, it is possible to spend XP on more than one thing/increasing by more than one level in a single turn.

If you submit your turnsheet on time, you are considered to have got your 1XP straight after court.

Learning Languages

Special rules apply if you want to learn languages or increase your language skill.

  • To raise your Languages skill by one rank, you spend XP as normal,

at the costs detailed above; so 1XP to go from Rank 0 to Rank 1, 2XP to go from Rank 1 to Rank 2, etc.

  • To learn a new language - regardless of your current Rank - spend

2XP. These XP are counted towards the cost of gaining the next skill level in Languages. Learning languages which are esoteric, rare or above your current capacity will require a Very Good IC Excuse (and obtaining this Very Good Excuse may require AP). For example, suddenly expecting to learn Swahili when you are currently Rank 1 and have no tutor will generally be considered to be Taking The Piss. The exception here is that, if you have no ranks in Languages, you need only spend 1XP to gain a new language and the first rank in Languages.

  • As with all XP spends, you will require appropriate IC justification for your language gain. If your character has been spending his downtime in France and you wish to learn Romance Languages, that is appropriate. If your character has been spending his downtime sitting in his study summoning demons, and you wish to learn Romance Languages, that is inappropriate.
1) Based on Fighting
skills.txt · Last modified: 2007/11/27 13:29 by adam