GC Extra - Skill Modes

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Skill modes are brought to us using the guidelines at the Fate SRD Toolkit. The following is optional but can help speed character creation.

Skill modes describe broad areas of competence. After you have considered your character and created aspects, consider what you things your character might be good at and choose three "modes" from the following lists. Prioritize them by choosing one group as "Good", one as "Fair" and one as "Average". Skills at these default levels are considered "Trained". If a skill gets bumped up a step, then it is considered "focused" and getting bumped two steps means the skill is "specialized". Further, we do not use the pyramid rule in constructing the starting skill list.

Here is a list of available Skill Modes.

Droid Battle Engineering
& Science
Politic Sneaking Tracking Jedi Consular† Jedi Knight† Sith Sorcerer† Sith Warrior† Force Adept†
Engineering,
Lore,
Physique,
Rapport,
Droid††
Athletics,
Fight,
Physique,
Pilot,
Provoke,
Shoot
Engineering,
Investigate,
Lore,
Notice,
Pilot,
Resources
Contacts,
Deceive,
Empathy,
Rapport,
Resources,
Will
Athletics,
Burglary,
Contacts,
Deceive,
Notice,
Stealth
Fight,
Investigate,
Notice,
Shoot,
Stealth,
Survival
Mind Trick,
Mysteries,
Telekinesis,
Will,
(Choose one unique Force power from
  • Energy Absorption
  • Healing
  • Post Cognition
  • Telepathy)
Empathy,
Fight,
Investigate,
Mysteries,
Telekinesis
Deceive,
Mysteries,
Will
and two of:
  • Emanate Energy,
  • Mind Trick
  • Mysteries
  • Telekinesis
Energy Absorption,
Fight,
Mysteries,
Pilot,
Telekinesis
Empathy,
Lore,
Mysteries of the Force,
Rapport
Choose two unique force powers from
  • Emanate Energy,
  • Force Illusions,
  • Healing,
  • Mind Attack,
  • Postcognition,
  • Telepathy,
  • Telekinesis (counts as two selections)

† Only one of these five skill modes can be chosen. So when you choose Jedi Consular, Jedi Knight, Sith Sorcerer, Sith Warrior or Force Adept, your other two modes must be chosen from Droid, Battle, Engineering, Politic, Sneaking and Tracking.

†† The Droid aspect can be invoked to ignore the mechanical effect of a single physical consequence for the scene since droids are not affected by pain. The Droid aspect can be compelled any time being a droid could be a disadvantage. (Droids are often discriminated against in the setting.)

A detailed grid is available here.

The Droid mode should only be selected by characters with droids and cyborg high concepts, and characters choosing a Jedi or Sith skill mode should select only one of the four available. Thus you cannot choose both the Jedi Consular skill mode and a Jedi Knight skill mode.

The Force Adept skill mode is available to cover any non-Jedi or non-Sith Force users, such as Witches or Nightsisters of Dathomir.


Rating Skills[edit]

After you have chosen your three skill modes and assigned them to Good, Fair and Average, it's simple to assign the initial values to them. Your top pick, your Good skill mode skills get a Good (+3) rating. Your second pick gets a Fair (+2) rating and your third gets an Average (+1) rating.


What To Do With Duplicates[edit]

If you have a skill that is repeated in one of your lesser mode picks, then increase it by one point and remove it from the lesser skill mode. If the skill shows up in all three modes, then remove it from the Fair and Average selections and increase it by two points in your Good skill mode.

Skills improved by one step are considered "focused" and skills improved two steps are considered "specialized".

Finishing Skills[edit]

You then have 7 points to help customize your list of skills. It costs 1 point to improve a trained skill one step to become "focused". It costs two points to improve a focused skill to "specialized". You can buy a skill not included in your modes by paying 1 point to move it to Average (+1) or 3 points to move it to Fair (+2).

Improving Skills[edit]

When finished your skills might not resemble a pyramid or even comply with column rules for improvements. Using Skill Modes, we don't follow the normal rules for advancement. See Advancement below.


Example[edit]

With Skill Modes, you can quickly and easily build examples of classic hero archetypes commonly found in the setting. The following example builds a Bounty Hunter archetype using these rules.

After some thought the player decides that Battle is the most important mode for his bounty hunter, followed by Tracking so that he can follow his marks wherever they might go. Finally, he wants some ability to navigate low society as well as represent some resources from at least a moderately successful career, so his third mode of choice is Politic.

Good (+3) Skill Mode: Battle

Fair (+2) Skill Mode: Tracking

Average (+1) Skill Mode: Sneaking


The above modes might be organized in three columns with the skills of each mode listed so that we can see what skills are duplicated across the skill modes and therefore might get bumped to focused or specialized.

Battle (Good +3) Tracking (Fair +2) Politic (Average +1)
+5
+4
+3 Athletics, Fight, Physique, Pilot, Provoke, Shoot
+2 Fight, Investigate, Notice, Shoot, Stealth, Survival
+1 Contacts, Deceive, Empathy, Rapport, Resources, Will


Looking at the above table we see that the Fight skill is repeated in Battle and in Tracking. This means Fight gets bumped up one step to become focused, in the highest rated skill mode. Shoot is also duplicated in the same two modes. Since those two skills become focused, our skill modes now look like the following table.

Battle (Good +3) Tracking (Fair +2) Politic (Average +1)
+5
+4 Fight, Shoot
+3 Athletics, Physique, Pilot, Provoke
+2 Investigate, Notice, Stealth, Survival
+1 Contacts, Deceive, Empathy, Rapport, Resources, Will


Next we have 5 points to customize our skill modes a bit. After some thought, the player decides that Shoot should be his bounty hunter's best skill. Since it is already focused (being one step higher than the base value of the skill mode it comes from), it costs 2 points to move it to specialized at Superb (+5) level. He wants the bounty hunter to be an outstanding Pilot as well, so he spends 1 point to move it to Focused. He also wants to be especially good at tracking people down, so he spends 1 point to improve Investigate in his Tracking skill mode to focused. With his final skill point, he improves Resources, present in his Politic skill mode, to focused.

His final skill modes look like the following:

Battle (Good +3) Tracking (Fair +2) Politic (Average +1)
+5 Shoot
+4 Fight, Pilot
+3 Athletics, Physique, Provoke Investigate
+2 Notice, Stealth, Survival Resources
+1 Contacts, Deceive, Empathy, Rapport, Will


Example Skill Mode Choices[edit]

The following are simply ideas on how a character archetype might look. You can always choose the combination of skill modes you feel fits best.


Bounty Hunter: Battle, Tracking, Sneaking

Engineer: Engineering, Tracking, Battle

Imperial Agent: Sneaking, Battle, Politic

Officer: Battle, Politic, Tracking

Politician: Politic, Sneaking, Tracking

Republic Trooper: Battle, Tracking, Sneaking

Scoundrel: Sneaking, Tracking, Politic

Smuggler: Sneaking, Battle, Tracking

Starfighter Ace: Battle, Engineering, Tracking


Droids[edit]

Astromech Droid: Droid, Tracking, Battle

Battle Droid: Battle, Droid, Tracking

Protocol Droid: Politic, Sneaking, Droid


Force Users[edit]

Dathomir Night Sister: Force Adept (Choose Emanate Energy and Telekinesis), Sneaking, Battle

Jedi Knight: Jedi Knight, Battle, Tracking

Jedi Master: Jedi Consular, Politic, Battle

Sith Lord: Sith Warrior, Battle, Sneaking

Sith Master: Sith Sorcerer, Politic, Battle


Advancement[edit]

Over the course of a game, your character can evolve and improve.


Minor Milestones[edit]

A Minor Milestone occurs at the end of a game session. After this point you can one of the following:

  • Swap two skills within a single mode. So you could swap a trained skill with a focused skill, or a focused skill with a specialized skill so long as they belong to the same Skill Mode.
  • Modify an aspect
  • Swap a stunt for a different stunt.


Significant Milestones[edit]

The end of a story marks a Significant Milestone. You can take one of the actions from the Minor Milestones above, and in addition you gain a Point.

You can spend Points to improve skills within a mode, just as you did during character creation. Improve a trained skill to focused for one point, a focused to specialized for two points, or improve a trained skill all the way to specialized for three points.

Note that this means the highest possible skill is a skill from your Good (+3) skill mode, which can reach Superb (+5) when specialized.


Major Milestones[edit]

Every few stories marks the end of a major milestone. You gain the benefits of both Minor and Significant Milestones. In addition, you gain a point of Refresh which you may save. Refresh can be spent to buy stunts, of course.

You also have the opportunity to refocus your character. This means you can swap two of your Skill Modes. The levels of all the skills of both modes then are adjusted appropriately.

Finally, if you have a Force-user skill mode, you can add a Force Skill to your Force mode for one Point, with the exception of Telekinesis. Telekinesis costs two Points (though only Force Adepts might need to purchase this after character creation). This should make sense for your character and the ongoing story, so speak with the GM before doing so.