The Infernal Crescent City
- Finesse – Finesse represents fine motor skills involving the hands, fingers, and toes. While Athletics covers running, jumping and climbing, Finesse controls more precise, smaller movements such as lifting a delicate sheet of paper, peeling apart two stuck pages without tearing them or grabbing a spoon with your toes. Likewise, where Stealth might apply to hiding your entire body or moving silently, Finesse could apply to lifting an item gingerly from its container or stepping lightly upon a fragile surface. That is to say, while other abilities might apply finesse in their usage (Crafts (Needlepoint), Larceny (Sleight of Hand), Performance (Piano), etc.), Finesse covers those instances of purely untaught, natural applications of precision touch. Finesse is often paired with Dexterity for the actual action involved, but it can be combined with Wits or Intelligence in determining how much and what sort of effort should be applied to a situation where Finesse is involved such as picking locks or performing surgery.
O Novice: You’re no clutz.
OO Practiced: You’ve got what they call, “nimble fingers.”
OOO Competent: Your digits move with professional grace.
OOOO Expert: The finest textures and most delicate surfaces are your playthings.
OOOOO Master: The deftness at which you apply your digits boggles the mind.
Possessed by: Jugglers, Burglars, Safecrackers, Athletes, Archaeologists, Researchers
Specialties: Soft step, Light fingers, Gentle grip, Sensitive touch, Prehensile feet
- Ride – While automobiles are swiftly conquering the road, the ability to ride a horse or steer a wagon still remains a necessity for many folk too poor or stubborn to take the wheel. As such, the Ride skill represents their ability to command horses, mules and donkeys as a mode of transportation, be it from the perch of a wagon, bareback or riding a saddle. It also covers the handling of the equipment involved (saddles, harnesses, etc.), the maintenance of steeds (brushing, feeding and cleaning hooves) and even breaking and training a new horse.
Should a rider find themselves in combat while mounted, their Firearm or Melee scores cannot exceed their Ride score.
O Novice: You can take her slow and feed a horse from out of your hand.
OO Practiced: You’re a proficient rider who can steer a wagon down open streets.
OOO Competent: You’re used to traveling by horse and can give chase if needed. You can train your horse to count and jump fences.
OOOO Expert: You’re a professional rider, be it with a Wild West show or at the derby.
OOOOO Master: You and your horse are a complete unit. You can anticipate each others’ moves.
Possessed by: Farmers, Cowboys, Police, Jockeys, Hunters, Aristocrats, Rodeo riders, Show jumpers, Buggy drivers
Specialties: Show jumping, Racing, Rodeo, Trick riding, Wagon teams
- Enigmas – Enigmas represents the ability to solve puzzles be they conceptual, logical, numerical or jigsaw. It is the means to observe and find patterns where others might find disjointed nonsense. While fun if not useful to most anyone in this modern age, this particular knowledge comes in quite handy to those who delve into the maddening world of the occult where nothing is as it seems.
O Player: You can finish a jigsaw puzzle without looking at the picture on the box.
OO Code Cracker: You love a good riddle. Crossword puzzles are a cinch. You can figure out a cat’s needs.
OOO Sleuth: You can break a simple cipher or deduce a motive from less than obvious clues.
OOOO Theseus: Complex conundrums no longer baffle you. In fact, you can create them. You can connect distant and disjointed events.
OOOOO Gestalt: You can see the forest for the trees at a glance.
Possessed by: Scientists, Engineers, Investigators, Cryptographers, Analysts, Spiritualists, Philosophers
Specialties: Riddles, Ancient languages, Cryptograms, Dreams, Prophecies, Clues
- Pseudoscience – What does not pass muster under scientific scrutiny and is dismissed by the established academia, even after a period of widespread belief, earns the derogatory categorization of Pseudoscience. Alchemy, numerology and astrology are just a few of the once-touted understandings of the universe that have been cast aside by the learned in favor of repeatable and visible results. They don’t know what they’re missing. Pseudoscientists enjoy a world of wonder; where spirituality and cosmology merge in boiling beakers under the stroboscopic glow of a Jacob’s Ladder. Parapsychology moves the mind while phrenology puts psychoanalysis at your fingertips. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work! After all, in a world where the supernatural lurks just out of sight, anything is possible. In many ways, this knowledge crosses paths with the occult and religion but it remains its own creature as it attempts to rationalize what the occult and the religious readily accept without evidence.
A Specialty should be applied to this Knowledge when it is first chosen.
O Neophyte: You’ve poured over a few books and your interest is piqued.
OO Awakened: You’ve taken a stab at it at enjoyed minor success.
OOO Practitioner: Your understanding has turned a corner. You can reliably use your knowledge to advise others or proceed with the experiment.
OOOO Pioneer: Your studies have taken you into new realms of knowledge. Others come to you for learning. Now they’re reading your books.
OOOOO Master: The ways of the universe have opened up to you. You’re nearly there.
Possessed by: Alchemists, Astrologists, Numerologists, Parapsychologists, Phrenologists, Spiritualists, Cultists, Conspiracy Theorists, Metaphysicists
Specialties: Alchemy, Hollow Earth, Parapsychology, Channeling, Numerology, Psychometry, Metaphysics
- Religion – Religion covers the belief systems of cultures or peoples. East to West, from Christianity to West African Vodun and the Haitian Voodoo in between, this knowledge can include as broad a scope as monotheism, to a region such as the Far East, to Catholicism specifically, down to a church on the outskirts of a small town. It all relies on how invested or interested the individual is in the subject. Some have sought out their own understanding of God while others have clung to the religion of their parents and never strayed from its dogmas. Some have lived in places where religions collide and cannot help but be educated by them, while still others in isolated communities know nothing but what one book has told them. Then there are those who have walked away from it all but still recall the teachings, including the failings and hypocrisies that drove them away.
When choosing this Knowledge at any level, a Specialty should be applied. The range of that Specialty can be as wide or narrow as you choose to make it fit your character’s background and understanding. So someone with 4 dots in Monotheism understands a great deal about many religions believing a singular deity and is likely a scholar. Someone with 4 dots in the Ebenezer Baptist Baptist Church on Farmdale Road is likely the preacher or an octogenarian who’s in everyone’s business. Alas, the dots applied not only represent how much you know about your religion but how well you participate in any rites or ceremonies performed. Should the need arise, this Knowledge may be purchased multiple times to represent specific Knowledge about disparate religions.
O Initiate: You attend your place of worship regularly or have started reading religious text.
OO Acolyte: You have participated in religious events and helped out at your place of worship.
OOO Learned: You can argue for or against the faith and back up your claims with religious quotes.
OOOO Teacher: You can take a position of authority within a religious group or university and teach religion.
OOOOO Sage: Your knowledge and understanding has a profound effect on others.
Possessed by: Priests, Nuns, Shamans, Witch Doctors, Pastors, Chaplains, Wiccans, Atheists, Imams, Muslims, Yogis, Lamas, Monks, Zealots, Street Preachers
Specialties: Monotheism, Ancient, Cults, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Jerusalem, the Ebenezer Baptist Baptist Church on Farmdale Road