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Talents, Skills & KnowledgesCollected Abilites: Talents Skills Knowledges for World of Darkness 20 th Anniversary EditionVersion 2.0

Table of ContentsOVERVIEW 3Categorization3Systems3Skill Key5Altered Nomenclature5STANDARD ABILITIES 6Standard Talents6Standard Skills7Standard Knowledges9SPECIALIST ABILITIES 11Specialist Talents11Specialist Skills13Specialist Knowledges17Redactions & Changes20INDEX: GENERAL ABILITIES 21APPENDIX: SUPERNATURAL ABILITIES22Key22Supernatural Talents22Supernatural Skills24Supernatural Knowledges25Redactions and Changes25INDEX: SUPERNATURAL ABILITIES 26CREDITS & CONTACT272 Page

OverviewOverviewAcross the various World of Darkness Game Lines,rules and approaches can vary significantly. Inparticular, the Abilities traits that are supposedlyuniversal across all game lines can vary enormouslyin definition and function. While this is no issue forgames constrained to a particular game line, thiscan create issues for games set in a mixedcosmology – Different lines often define abilities indifferent ways, assign them different categories,and even introduce entirely new ways of handlingSpecialties.In this document, Players and Storytellers will findmy own interpretation and house rulings for theAbilities in White Wolf and Onyx Path’s ClassicWorld of Darkness RPG. These abilities arecondensed fro Demon: The Fallen, Hunter: TheReckoning, Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20thAnniversary Edition, Vampire: The Masquerade20th Anniversary Edition, and Mage: The Ascension20th Anniversary Edition. This document is by nomeans an absolute authority – Notably, Wraith andMummy are not represented in this book, as I havenever used them in my games; Changeling: TheDreaming is also not represented, as the originalChangeling Books are extremely depreciated, and Ihave decided to await CTD20 before integratingthose rules.CategorizationIn order to make this book simpler to use, Abilitiesare categorized according to availability.Specifically, Abilities will be divided into Standard,Specialized, and Unnatural abilities.Standard Abilities represent those abilities that anygiven person could possess –Skills like Drive,Talents such as Empathy and Alertness, orKnowledges such as Academics and Computer.Likewise, Specialized abilities represent abilitiesusually only seen in specialized fields – Your localdrive-thru cashier is not likely to possessDemolitions or Pilot just as a middle-class officedrone is not terribly likely to possess the SubcultureKnowledge. Finally, Unnatural abilities representthose only held by Supernatural Creatures – Talentssuch as the Fera’s Primal-Urge talent, or the Mage’sBiotech skill. Some of these abilities (Particularlythose associated with Mage) may not be exclusiveto these Supernaturals, but are generally associatedalmost exclusively with them.SystemsThe systems associated with Abilities may havechanged many times since the inception of Worldof Darkness, but certain things have remaineduniversal. Most notably, the role and availability ofSpecialties has changed several times through theeditions and lines; see the section below for moreinformation.Dice SystemsWhen a character is called upon to use theirabilities in a field, an ability roll is made. The natureof this roll is set by the storyteller, however allAbility Rolls function as follows:- The Storyteller instructs the player on the rolland difficulty. An Ability Roll always has a DicePool consisting of the relevant Skill relevantAttribute; e.g. spotting danger generally has adice pool of Alertness Perception. Unlike manyother systems, these combinations are fluid – Acharacter may pick a lock with Dexterity Security, but examining said lock may insteadrequire a Perception Security or Intelligence Security roll instead.- The Difficulty of a roll is set by the Storytellerbased on how difficult a particular action is. Thestandard difficulty of a roll is six, however theStoryteller may raise or lower the difficultybased on the difficulty of the action performed –Generally, Difficulties range from 5-7 Inclusive,however may be as low as 2 or as high as 10[V20,249]. For actions that a Storyteller rules gobeyond the Difficulty 9 Thresholds, an optionalThreshold Rule suggests that instead of havingDifficulties of 10, the Storyteller instead requiremultiple successes – i.e. a Difficulty 11 roll wouldin fact be a Difficulty 9 Roll where at least 3successes must be scored to pass.[M20, 387]- Certain factors (Supernatural Abilities,particularly fine tools, adverse conditions, etc.)may modify the difficulty of a roll up or down.- If a character does not have the ability requiredfor a roll, the difficulty is increased by 2. E.g, if a3 Page

Overviewcharacter must dodge a sword blow from afrenzied Brujah (Dexterity Dodge, Difficulty 6),but does not possess the Dodge Talent, theyinstead roll just the attribute with 2 difficulty(Dexterity flat, Difficulty 8)RatingsConventionally, A Character’s Rating in an abilityranges from 0 (Untrained) to 5 (Master). Certainsupernatural influences (Such as the immensepower and knowledge of an Elder Vampire) allowabilities to go beyond the 5-dot Maximum,however as a rule 5 is the absolute maximum.During Character Creation, a character cannotpurchase dots above 3 in any Ability unless they useFreebie Points, limiting the skill of “Level 1”characters. Further, a character cannot obtain aSpecialty in an ability until they have reached 4Dots of proficiency, with the exception of abilitiesthat utilize the Well-Skilled Craftsman rule below.During character creation, a character receives anumber of points to spend in ability categoriesbased on their type (13/9/5 for Supernaturals,11/7/4 for Mundanes), and may purchaseadditional dots for 2 Freebie Points (flat) each.Abilities may also be raised with Experience Pointsat an exponential rate – A new Ability costs 3 flatExperience, and each dot above the first costs (2 xRating) to purchase – i.e. purchasing the 3rd dot inAlertness will cost 2x3 XP – thus, 6xp.Increasing Abilities after Character Creation,however, requires the character to have a justifiedreason – A character cannot simply save up 6xpover a session of reading in the library, then expendit to increase their Brawl talent. As a rule;- Talents are innate abilities, and a character mayjustify an XP Expenditure on a Talent any timethey have used the relevant talent – e.g. acharacter may increase their Brawl after aparticularly big fight, or their Alertness andIntuition after becoming more paranoid in thewake of an ambush.- Skills require training and practice to increase. Acharacter may spend a few weeks working ontheir car, or attend a few workshops to practicetheir Crafts skill, or attend training sessions atthe local firing range to increase their FirearmsSkill. Skills must be justified with proper practiceand training – One afternoon of auto repair isnot going to be enough to show a markedincrease in Crafts.- Knowledges represent knowledge gatheredfrom lengthy study and comprehension of asubject. Increasing knowledge requires acharacter to spend a long period – weeks,months, sometimes even years – tocomprehend and understand a subject. Justreading a book will not increase a character’sScience Knowledge, but completing a degree inPhysics certainly will. Skill RatingsNovice/Dabbler – A hobby, BeginnerPracticed/Student – Entry level jobSkilled/Scholar – You’re a professionalExpert/Professor – Respected teacherMaster – Peerless, the human peakSpecialties & the Well-SkilledCraftsmanThe function of Specialties has changed severaltimes across the World of Darkness versions andgame lines. Below are the Specialty Systems Irecommend, drawn both from the books and houserules I have played under;- A character’s Specialty causes any 10s on arelevant Skill Roll to count as double successes –i.e. on a roll of 10,8,8,3,3,4 for a Difficulty 7 Roll,a character with a relevant Specialty wouldscore 4 Successes, not 2. This rule is commonthroughout the 20th Anniversary Lines releasedthus far[M20 274, V20 96, W20 123]- A character’s Specialty allows a player to haveany 10’s “Explode” – Each 10 rolled allows theplayer to roll another dice and add the result tothe dice pool, ignoring any Botch Results on theextra dice. This version of the rule is lesspowerful than the double-10’s method above,and is common in books that use the Pre-20thAnniversary version of the Revised rules.[DTF 136,HTR 101], however this rule may also result in amore powerful roll, as any additional 10’s rolledmay also explode.4 Page

Overview- A House-Rule that some Storytellers instead useis to simply allow a Specialty to grant one singleautomatic success to the relevant rolls –Effectively allowing a character to get 2 freesuccesses by spending willpower, or to increasethe minimal success from a Dice Pool higherthan the Difficulty Rating.As of Mage: The Ascension 20th AnniversaryEdition, a name and clarification has been givento a specialty rule previously mentioned in oldereditions but limited to the Crafts and Academicsskills, occasionally attached to the Science skill aswell. The Well-Skilled Craftsman rule allows forcharacters to master a range of different skillsthat all fall under one related umbrella; acharacter with sufficiently high Academicsknowledge can apply that knowledge to multiplefields of understanding.Mechanically, the Well-Skilled Craftsman rulerequires a player to denote a specialty in themarked skills as soon as they obtain them. Insteadof offering the normal Specialty bonuses, thespecialty simply denotes the field ofunderstanding the character is focused upon –Craft[Automotive], Academics[German History],etc. Once the character achieves 4 dots in theWell-Skilled Craftsman ability, however, they maybegin to purchase additional specialties – and, byextension, additional fields of proficiency – for4xp. For example, a character with 4 dots in Craftwith an [Automotive] Specialty may purchase[Electronics] for only 4xp, leveraging on their priorunderstanding. Of course, the character must stillbe able to justify this increase. Abilities thatutilize the Well-Skilled Craftsman Skill will have a[W] marker in their title.Skill KeyCertain skills have special rules attached, and willbe marked as such. Below is the key for thesemarkers, and the associated rulings.[W] – Well-Skilled Craftsman, this ability uses theWSC Rule introduced in Mage: The Ascension 20thAnniversary Edition and detailed above.[G] – This ability denotes a Skill Group, rather thanan individual skill. This ability may be taken multipletimes representing different skill groupings. Takefor example the City Secrets skill – The characterdoes not actually take City Secrets on their sheet;rather they take a separate skill for any given city(Seattle Secrets, Perth Secrets, London Secrets). Inthe case of Grouped Skills that also use the WellSkilled Craftsman rule, this may show knowledgesthat branch out. For example, Seattle Secrets wouldthen have the WSC Specialties of Vampires,Werewolves, Changelings, etc.[C] – This ability is a “Core” ability. In our games, weutilize a character sheet that has empty lines whereAbilities are added as relevant to the character – Ifa player never intends to take, say, Martial Arts as askill, they don’t need to use up space on thecharacter sheet with the redundant trait. CoreAbilities, however, are abilities that arefundamental or ubiquitous to the World ofDarkness setting or the Storyteller System, andthus should be on the character sheet even if acharacter does not possess them – for example,Alertness, Intuition, Occult, etc.[P] – This denotes a skill that has a prerequisite. Forexample, the Mage Skill Hypertech cannot behigher than the character’s Technology skill.[X] – This denotes a skill that behaves differently forcertain supernatural creatures. Notably, Esotericasimply represents hokey new-age beliefs for most,but for a Mage it may be an integral part of theirMagical Paradigm. Similarly, while Carousing is acharacter’s ability to have a good time and drink,for a Vampire it is instead the ability to feign eatingand drinking.[V] – This denotes a skill that has conflicting rules indifferent versions, whether this be by Edition orGame Line.[H] – This denotes a skill with heavy HouserulingAltered NomenclatureIn order to reduce confusion and conflicts,certain Abilities with similar names and abilitieswith different names across versions arerenamed. These Abilities will have a note at theend of their description explaining the change,as well as why.5 Page

Standard AbilitiesStandard AbilitiesThe following abilities are “Standard”, and can beconsidered to be possessed by most Humans. Onan average street, selecting individuals at random,most will have at least one of these abilities. Assuch, most of the following should be present on acharacter sheet even if a character does notpossess the ability in question.Standard TalentsAlertness [C]This represents how alert a character is, and howquickly they notice things that go on around themeven when not actively looking for them. Alertnessrepresents the attention a character pays to theirsurroundings, and is generally paired withPerception for detecting physical stimuli (SmellingGas in that old house, or spotting that Zombiereaching for the Lighter )Skill Ratings You’re alert to odd sights and sounds You overhear lots of gossip at parties You keep a sharp eye out around you You’re almost paranoid You spot the wolf before it spots you.surroundings – The ability to hear floorboards creakor smell a smoking gun – Arcane Awareness insteadrepresents the inspiration, hunches or suddendread associated with the instinctive recognition ofthe wrong. This insight is purely subconscious –Awareness won’t let you smell a Vampire, but it willlet you know that guy in the cloak with the bigcollar just isn’t right.Skill RatingsSometimes, you feel like somethingisn’t quite right. Sometimes you get strange vibes fro