Twilight of the Kai
“Each morning, well before you wish, you will rise and start your day. Your classes will be difficult, each test harder than the last, but those who apply themselves will learn to do things they never thought themselves capable of.
“Those who do not apply themselves will learn as well. Their road to wisdom will just be a little rougher.”
—Kai Lord Silent Owl, Caretaker of the Hall of Novitiates
Though a Kai Lord is well trained in the use of their disciplines and combat abilities, they will often find themselves in situations where the use of Kai-given powers will not avail them. The world outside the doors of the Monastery is a complicated one. Millions of people live out their day to day lives with no special abilities at all.
If a Kai Lord wants to interact with the people and places of Magnamund, they are going to have to learn a few skills. These are talents and knowledge of the mundane world, everything from how to bake bread to how to hide in an alleyway without a God’s help.
- You begin play with 2 skills rated at +1, chosen from the list below.
- At Rank 7 and Rank 9 you gain a new skill. Your Narrator may require you to choose this skill based on something you have done during play or might feasibly receive training in as part of your adventures.
- A skill provides a +1 bonus to all tests made with it – when you pick a new skill, write +1 next to it on your Action Chart.
The following list provides a variety of the most common skills available to a Kai Lord, although any two people with the same skill might apply it in very different ways.
Most skills are based on either COMBAT SKILL or WILLPOWER. There are two exceptions to this: Might and Survival, are based on ENDURANCE. This emphasises the brawn and stamina needed for success in both endeavours.
Acrobatics is the art of graceful and quick movement, a mixture of balance and tumbling where agility is far more important than brawn. Use this skill when you want to walk across a narrow ledge, dodge out of the way of a falling tree or swing across a massive ravine using only a coil of rope and a desperate prayer.
Craftsmen are the makers and shapers of the world. Painters and sculptors use the Crafting skill, as do carpenters and blacksmiths. While most craftsmen are focused on one or two fields of creation, others take a general approach and dabble in several fields. Use this skill when you want to construct something of lasting worth and value.
Confinement comes in many forms, be it a rope trap left by a hunter or the iron bars of a Vassagonian slaver. Though there are many ways out of such predicaments, Escape covers them all. Use this skill when you want to squeeze between the bars of a prison cell, slip your hands out of manacles, or bend chain links just enough to work your way out of them.
Intimidation and diplomacy are just two different forms of the same intention, influencing others to see and act upon your point of view. Use this skill when you want to convince a bandit to leave you alone, bribe a city watchman into looking the other way or talking an ambassador into signing a trade agreement.
Every action leaves behind clues but for most, these signs go unnoticed. An observant mind can discover the truth behind any conundrum just by paying attention and analysing the world around them. Use this skill if you want to determine the details of a crime scene, study someone to determine their personality or motives or know when someone is lying.
The healer’s art can be a complicated one. Bandaging a wound is easy enough but administering herbal remedies for an unknown disease when the only materials at hand are dirty water and a small urban garden is considerably more difficult. Use this skill to tend to a sick patient, set a broken bone, or brew a healing tonic from rare herbs.
Feats of strength and athletic prowess fall into the domain of Might. Though the ability to charge quickly down a hallway and smash in a door with a well-placed kick might not be subtle, it can be useful at times. Use this skill to run, jump, lift heavy weights and swim, especially in adverse conditions.
Knowledge of the supernatural can be a powerful thing, especially when confronted with that world on a daily basis. Use this skill when you need to identify a monster, determine the intention of a strange chant you hear or divine the functions of a magical device you have just discovered.
Special: The Occult skill does not grant you the ability to wield magic or provide you with any usable spells. It is the mundane knowledge behind the arcane gift, the ‘book learning’ of the magical world.
Anyone can look at the world around them. Someone perceptive looks at the world around them and experiences it in much greater detail. Use this skill when you want to listen at a door to hear what might be behind it, check a wooden chest for a concealed trap or analyse a sip of wine to determine if it is poisoned.
Horses and other mounts are a vital part of life in Magnamund. From the swift Faersteeds of Lencia to the draft horse-drawn carriages of Durenese wheat farms, both travellers and traders are dependent upon the ability to ride. Use this skill when you want to make a mount go faster, obey you in a combat situation or perform any kind of complex manoeuvre.
Knowledge is power and few wield it more ably than the sages of Magnamund’s great cities. While you may not hold a sage’s rank, you are just as skilled in one or more topics. Use this skill to remember an important fact, research a topic in a library or write a letter in a practiced, scholarly hand.
While stealth is not the sole province of the thief, most who practice it have only a passing acquaintance with the legal side of life. Those who hide and sneak usually have a reason to be distrusted. Use this skill to cross a wooden floor silently, move unseen through a room or disappear into the shadows.
The art of staying alive in harsh conditions is a talent few people master until life forces them to either excel or expire. Use this skill to track down game and edible plants in a wilderness setting, find suitable shelter where none seems to exist or boil briny seawater to make it safe for drinking.
The Tinkering skill covers mechanical knowledge from the very simple, like pulleys and hinges, to the extremely complex, such as clockwork birds and steam engines. Use this skill to pick a lock on a stolen chest, get a broken clock to run again, or determine the functions of a newly discovered mechanical device.
Professionals and common labourers alike use Vocation skill to ply their trade, accomplish important work, and maintain themselves in a way artists cannot. Carriage drivers, innkeepers and sailors all use Vocation. Use this skill to put in an ‘honest day’s work’, handle important normal tasks and chores, or even earn coin in an emergency.