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.
Purchasing skills for Nephilim is almost exactly like outlined on page 65 of Dresden Files RPG, under Character Creation. Skills and their common trappings start on page 120. Stress Tracks are affected as dictated on page 201 of DFRPG. A quick overview of DFRPG version Skill Pyramid as used in Nephilim FATE:
- Characters have 35 points to play with after picking Incarnations and Aspects.
- Skills cost:
Superb – 5 Points
Great - 4 Points
Good - 3 Points
Fair - 2 Points
Average – 1 points
- All unpurchased skills default to Mediocre (+0).
- All skills at a level must have at least one skill on all levels below that. For example: if a Nephilim has a +5 Superb Skill, a Nephilim must then have, at bare minimum, a +4 Great skill, a +3 Good skill, a +2 Fair skill, and a +1 Average skill.
- The Pyramid does not need precise balancing but it must have supporting skills. A Nephilim can have 1 +5, 2 +4, 3 +3, 4 +2 and 5 +5. It can also have 5 +3, 6 +2 and 8 +1. And any other combination that works out to 35 points and satisfies the condition that the Nephilim has more skills on the lower levels than on the higher. This does lend itself to more average skills and fewer “awesome” skills.
- Throughout a Nephilim’s many Incarnations, it may have a few great and amazing skills but plenty of little day-to-day ones… that may or may not be terribly applicable to the modern day.
For purchasing skills, an example:
During every cycle of Incarnation, when choosing Aspects, write down 3-5 skills. For example, Bob the Djinn was a Roman Soldier during the Waking of the Fool in Judea 30AD. Bon learned how to use Weapons to better kill people, he Intimidiated the poor Jews around him in the Levant, and he spent time being Alert to being jumped by locals who weren’t thrilled with Roman rule. He may have shown off his Might in periods of rage and destruction and punched people with his meaty Djinn fists. It was great being a Legionnaire — if you were a Djinn. Bob’s player considers buying Weapons, Intimidating, Alertness and Might for Bob the Djinn. When he finishes all his Incarnations, he finds he has picked Might and Intimidation several times during his Incarnations. He decides he is going to build a 35 point pyramid with 3 Great (+4) skills, 3 Good (+3) skills, 3 Fair (+2) skills and 8 Average (+1) skills. He assigns Might and Intimidation to two of his 3 Great slots and starts to distribute the rest of his skills.
During the same time period, Elijah the Serpent Moon Nephilim was a Jewish Scholar who worked quietly in Jerusalem until all hell broke loose. He focused mainly on his Sorcery and Wheel of Fortune* Lore and his Jewish Scholarship. He focused his mind and taught himself to be Disciplined in his research and to push out everything else to focus on the path to Agartha, something private Serpents excel at. After the coming of the Fool, he, like many others, put himself forward as a False Prophet of the Fool and picked up a bit of snaky Presence - a skill that serves him well later. After his Incarnations, he finds he uses the same skills over and over so he decides on a less balanced 2 Superb (+5), 2 Great (+4), 2 Good (+3), 3 Fair (+2) and 5 Average (+1) skills. The Lore will go into one of the Superb slots — Elijah has spent many lives studying magic and its ways — and Scholarship into a Great slot. Presence goes into one of the Good slots. He assigns Discipline into a Fair slots.