Nephilim Character Creation — Skills

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

The BRP version of Nephilim has lots of skills.  Lots and lots and lots of skills.  Some of the skills have sub-skills.  Some of those skills have sub-skills pertinent to only certain time periods.  Most of the character sheet comprises of lines of skills with numbers by them to define if they are nephilim skills or simulacrum skills and much hand-waving between using one or the other.

DFRPG has a concise list of skills with trappings.  Trappings are instances where the skill is used.  Skills are augmented with Stunts.  The skills are simple things like Guns or Intimidation.  Nice and clean.

For Nephilim, we make a few changes:

* Magic skills (sorcery, summoning, alchemy) are part of Lore.  They are highly augmented by Stunts.

* Arcanum lore is also under Lore.  If one has joined the Arcanum (an Aspect) and has a Lore skill, one can roll their Lore skill to get information in that Aspect.

* Languages (Spoken) are free for living in that time period.  It’s sort of silly to believe if you lived in Ancient Greece and your Simulacrum lived for 100 years you somehow don’t know how to speak Ancient Greek.  Although you’ll have a heck of a time ordering a gyro in modern Athens…

* Languages (Written) require a Scholarship roll and having lived in that time period. If you were in Judea in 30AD during the Fool in an Incarnation that could read and write, a Scholarship roll covers your ability to read and write Latin.  Although Medieval Latin will look strange to your eyes.

* General knowledge for living in a time period you lived in is free.  Specific knowledge of that time period also comes under Scholarship.   

* You can Drive a car and Drive a Chariot and a high speed chase is a high speed chase.

* Working with boats also comes under Drive.  It is a bit of a conceptual stretch — while fly planes and pilot boats and drive cars all should come under one skill, it is ultimately “Drive Craft.”

* Some skills cannot be bought during an Incarnation if the physical invention did not exist.  For example, no one can buy Guns before Guns exist.

* While an Intimidation skill is timeless, some skills don’t apply so well to the modern day if they were learned in the past.  If a Nephilim tries to, say, make a Craftsmanship roll on a skill he picked up in the 1700s to fix a modern clock radio, the GM is free to lift the target for the roll appropriately.

* If a Nephilim truly has a Farming Incarnation, he can put farming under Craftsmanship.

* The GM can place appropriately high target numbers on a Nephilim trying to use the skills bought in their current incarnation — their Simulacrum skills.  As a rule of thumb, all target numbers for skills on the Simulacrum are one level higher than they would be normally as the Nephilim must go through their Simulacrum to puzzle out how this new gee-gaw or gadget works.  This includes driving cars, using computers, or any other trappings of modernity.

Next up, buying skills through incarnations to build a skill pyramid…

  • Drive a car! Drive a chariot! Drive an awesome papyrus boat!

    • Driving means you can drive anything! Wooooo driving!