Skills In Numenera

"So, what is it that you do? What are you actually trained in, here?"</i>

Explanation of Skills

In many games, skills are individually statted, and have to be meticulously tracked to personalize a character. In Numenera, the opposit is true. Skills are a bit of spice that can be used to adjust the difficulty of a task. They are purposefully generic, and can be applied across a wide spectrum of concepts.

Skills all have four levels to them:

  • Untrained: This is the default for any skill. It means it's not on your sheet. Any task you attempt that you don't own a skill in is treated as 'Untrained'. Attempting to use an untrained skill can result in an increase in difficulty of 1 to 2 steps.
  • Knowledgeable: If a skill appears on your sheet, this is likely its value. Knowledgeable means there is no penalty to attempting to use the skill. You hav a general working knowledge of how it works.
  • Trained: A skill you are Trained in reduces the difficulty of its use by one step. This represents hours of study, training, or research on the skill in question. You're almost an expert at it.
  • Specialized: You're practically a leading expert in the field. You get a -2 step reduction in difficulty to any roll using that skill.

Flavors of Skills

No, they don't come in Rocky Road, sadly. However, there are a few different ways that skills can be expressed on a character sheet. Generally, they break down as follows:

  • Specific Skills related to abilities (moves, esoteries, or tricks) the character has to improve their ability to use them. Example: Brock the Glaive is Trained in the fighting move "Feint" and Specialized in the fighting move "Arc Spray". These can be chosen during character creation or when spending XP on new skills.
  • Specified 'Generic' skills encompassing other actions or knowledges the player character might be familiar with. Examples would be Running, Astronomy, Sneaking, Metalworking, etc. These can be chosen during character creation or when spending XP on new skills.
  • Generalized skill 'Assets' gained as the result of a Focus, Descriptor, Type, or Ability. Example: Reduce all skill rolls involving deceiving the clergy by one step. These cannot be purchased.

Examples of Potential Skills

Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of the second type of skill listed above. You are welcome to request your own concepts for skills outside of this list.

Astronomy Balancing Biology Botany Carrying Climbing
Deceiving Escaping Geography Geology Healing History
Identifying Initiative Intimidation Jumping Leather-working Lock-picking
Metalworking Numenera Perception Persuasion Philosophy Pickpocketing
Repairing Riding Smashing Sneaking Swimming Woodworking
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