Secondary Skills in Emprise!™

As a follow-up to my previous post on character skills, here is the current list of secondary skills in Emprise!™

  • Alchemy
  • Ambush
  • Animal Training and Handling
  • Armor Making
  • Artist
  • Blacksmithing
  • Bullying
  • Business
  • Construction
  • Detection
  • Forgery
  • Generalship
  • Healing
  • Horsemanship
  • Jeweler
  • Judgement
  • Knowledge (specific area)
  • Seamanship
  • Suborning
  • Swindling
  • Thespianism
  • Woodcraft

Some of these (woodcraft, forgery, etc.) come from or are similar to character class abilities, but most of them are not. Some might not even be something that most characters would want to spend x.p. on. The list is by no means finalized, but it will give you some idea of where I’m heading with the system. Basically, characters spend x.p. to gain a skill level in a particular skill (or a speciality within the skill, such as the music speciality within the artist skill). It is possible to gain more than one skill level, making it easier to do really impressive things with that skill, or do everyday things that much better.

I think this will turn out better than the non-weapon proficiency system in the Dungeoneers and Wilderness Survival Guides, for the reason that those two books just gave characters slots for proficiencies as they rose in level, automatically. So players (at least in my experience) were left to keep filling up the slots with proficiencies just for the sake of doing so, leading to characters walking around like Christmas trees decked out with all sorts of non-sensical non-weapon proficiencies, just because they had to fill the slots. In the Emprise™ system, taking secondary skills is not only a conscious decision, but one that drains x.p., so it’s a real choice.

Bear in mind that the skill system isn’t exclusive; that is, it is not the case that unless you have taken the seamanship (swimming) skill, you can’t swim. (Well, that might apply to something like alchemy, but that’s a special case, and common sense must prevail.) But characters that have invested in an actual skill level in something are recognized to be better at that thing, and so could swim longer, or faster, or deeper, than someone who had not taken the skill level.

And as a bonus, it forms the basis of the NPC hireling system. Win-win!

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

2 thoughts on “Secondary Skills in Emprise!™

  1. Where Locution, or Legerdemain 😉

    Nice list and nice writeup looking forward to the full write up.

    Feel free to borrow anything from my Majestic Wilderlands Abilities list.

  2. Locution, I think, would fall under thespianism.

    Legerdemain? Well, the mountebank class has something called prestidigitation, which I think might be close…

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