This chapter goes over Skills, how they are used and how they affect game play.
There are thirty-five Discipline Skills in WCRPG; five for each Discipline. All characters will have levels (points) in all of these Discipline Skills, even if that level is zero. The sum of the scores of all Discipline Skills and their specializations determines the total "score" of that Discipline, which in turn determines a DC modifier to all Discipline Skills under that Discipline. There are also eighteen Attribute Skills; three for each Attribute. Attribute Skills function exactly like Discipline Skills and for purposes of discussion throughout this rulebook, both Attribute Skills and Discipline Skills will be referred to simply as Skills except where it is absolutely necessary to distinguish between them.
When a character needs to use one of their Skills to get past an obstacle and when there are significant consequences in the event of failure, a Skill Check is required. To perform a Skill Check, a player simply rolls d% and compares the result to the score of the character's Skill plus the modifier from its controlling characteristic (one-tenth the total number of points in the characteristic, rounded down); the sum of the Skill score plus the Discipline/Attribute modifier is the DC for the task. The term "Skill Check" also covers situations wherein the character may be able to apply a Skill specialization to the situation. If a specialization applies, its score is added to the final DC; specializations therefore make it far more likely a character will succeed at specific tasks. A character may only apply one specialization to a Skill Check regardless of how many specializations may apply to the situation and it is the GM that selects what specialization is to be used. Occasionally, a player will need to make a die roll against a set of rolls made by the GM. These opposed rolls are used in those cases where they are appropriate to the situation (such as when a target’s Dodge roll is rolled in response to a character’s Brawling roll in a melee). In these cases, the lower throw wins; these are still considered Skill Checks, even though the Check is not against the normal DC for that Skill.
When a character succeeds at a Skill Check, they may gain experience in the Skill utilized; if the result is at least twenty points less than the DC, not only does the character succeed in the task at hand but they also gain one point in that Skill. Remember, no Skill can ever have a score greater than 25 and no specialization may ever have a score greater than 50.
Characters can also fail Skill Checks by rolling a result that’s greater than the indicated DC. How the GM handles failure is entirely up to them but should be appropriate to the situation. The character may or may not be allowed to try again after failing a Skill Check; they should be allowed to try again unless their time is restrained or it’s obvious that trying again is impossible. Failing a task wherein the character won’t get a second chance may derail an adventure in a hurry, so those situations should be few and far between.
Situations may arise during the course of an adventure wherein the GM does not want the characters to succeed at a certain task (usually for plot reasons). In those situations, the GM has to decide if the task at hand is totally impossible or just nearly so. If the task is utterly impossible, the GM should not have the players roll the Skill Check against it; they may simply act as though the task was attempted and failed. This will, of course, make it obvious to the players that they cannot succeed at the task, which may annoy them. Totally impossible situations should not have penalties for failure. If the task is just nearly impossible, there’s still an off-chance the characters will succeed; players should be allowed to roll the Check but the DC should be sure to apply a stronger than normal unfavorable circumstances modifier (discussed below) to it
A GM can add penalties or bonuses to the DC of a Skill Check if they feel that circumstances are either significantly in the character’s favor or vice versa (a circumstantial modifier). In these situations, if the GM is having problems deciding how much to raise or lower the DC, they can just use ±10 as a rule of thumb. Since the players know the DC normally required for success, however, they should be notified when the GM elects to use a modifier. At their own discretion, a GM may also add a permanent modifier to all Skill Check DCs; this may be a good idea if they note that their players are constantly failing Checks. In this case, it's generally recommended that a modifier of no greater than +20 be used. Hardcore GMs may, of course, choose to subtract an amount from the DC of all Checks in order to make the game more difficult.
In situations wherein a player is confident of success in a situation, they have the option to either take fifty or take zero. Taking fifty is simply a declaration that they player will take the average result of a die roll (a roll result of fifty) without actually rolling. Taking zero, on the other hand, is a declaration that indicates that their character will perform the task until they get it exactly right. Taking zero takes twenty times the normal amount of time required but guarantees success. If a short amount of time is available for the character to complete a task, they may only take fifty.
The rest of this Chapter is devoted to a discussion of the individual Skills. Each Skill is listed by its controlling Discipline/Attribute. Each entry will contain a basic overview of the Skill, notes about its intended usage, a list of bonuses a character may receive for having a particularly high score in it, possible and recommended specializations and any other special notes.