In Shadowgate


Skills represent overall character aptitudes that are usually separate from combat, although many also offer some kind of combat benefit. A character’s general alertness or stamina, as well as their skills at lockpicking, crafting, and knowledge of academia, are only a few of the areas that are covered. Those familiar with third or fourth edition DnD will find our system a hybrid of the two, with less overall skills to reduce confusion, but less points awarded also during levelling. Intelligence does not grant bonus points per level, but influences far more skills than any other stat.

All classes have a set of four skills at which they are naturally adept. Characters gain one point for every two levels in a class skill, and one point for every five levels in a non-class skill. These are in addition to the relevant stat modifier of that skill. This base allocation is only a reflection of the base character’s aptitudes, however; beyond this, a character is able to specialize in any field they see fit. Every two levels will confer four free points (six for thief and bard) which can be applied at will to skills that are most desired by the character, up to a maximum of half their overall level.

For example: Keith is a tenth level bard, with 16 (+3 modifier) in charisma, dexterity and intelligence. Just from levelling, he already has five free points in academics, disguise, influence and spellcraft, and an extra 3 bonus points in each due to the related stats. He can also spend up to half his level (5 points) in any of these skills, bringing them up to a maximum of 13 at his current level. Keith has decided he would like to excel at stealth as well, however. He has only two free points from levelling, as stealth is not a class skill, as well as +3 from his dexterity, and he can add up to 5 points further from the ones he is given to spend. So, he can gain a maximum of 10 points in stealth.

This skill represents the education and book-learning of the character. It covers literacy and various general knowledge, history, mathematics, and miscellaneous academia. It does not cover specific knowledge of other skills, only generalities – eg/ specifics of magic would fall under spellcraft, while specifics of mechanics would fall under dungeoneering.

Related stat: intelligence
Current applications: writing, magical item lore (study), forgery
Future applications: topic research

Athletics covers a character’s movement range, both in and out of combat. This may be running, jumping, climbing, tumbling, or their ability to ride a mount.

Related stat: dexterity
Current applications: climbing, riding, scrambling

These six skills cover the various crafting professions, allowing those with sufficient knowledge to create a range of items and equipment, and those with lesser aptitude to repair such items.

Related stat: intelligence
Current applications: repairs, crafting (mundane), alterations (hm only), enchanting

This skill is separate from all other skills. You can use this skill in combination with the Imbue or enchant magical item feats. You need a master crafted item to be able to enchant. It is advised to specialize in on skill as it gets almost impossible to add the highest enchantments if you do not have a max skill. The ability to make a successful enchantment, is directly tied to this skill.

Dungeoneering is the character’s aptitude for dealing with mechanical contraptions and engineering. It ranges from the picking of simple locks, through to recognising, dismantling, or setting dangerous traps.

Related stat: wisdom
Current applications: lock picking, detecting/removing/setting traps

This skill represents a character’s ability to press on through physical strain and hardships.

Related stat: constitution
Current applications: combat & travel stamina

The healing skill covers all areas of knowledge related to the body, ranging through anatomy, alchemy, healing and herbalism. Such knowledge can be used as much to cure the ailing as to afflict them.

Related stat: wisdom
Current applications: healing, brewing

This skill covers a character’s political influence (within reason and roleplay history) and their base ability to influence and persuade others. It does not cover deceptions (see disguise).

Related stat: charisma
Current applications: followers
Future applications: faction system

This skill represents a character’s general alertness and observation skills. It may range from being alert to one’s surrounds, through to sensing the deceptions or motives of another character.

Related stat: wisdom
Current applications: eavesdropping, noticing & avoiding stabs and theft (watch), scrying

Rope use covers one’s knowledge of knots and bindings, both to keep a captive securely restrained, and to escape such bindings effectively.

Related stat: wisdom
Current applications: binding players (bind, gag, blindfold), escaping bindings (struggle)

Spellcraft covers all knowledge of magic, ranging across the arcane, the divine and the psionic. It ranges from basic recognition of magical scripts and effects, through to the execution of complex rituals.

Related stat: intelligence
Current applications: scroll use, magical item attributes (study), spell casting recognition
Future applications: counterspelling

The stealth skill covers a character’s ability to move unnoticed.

Related stat: dexterity
Current applications: hiding & sneaking, stab accuracy

This skill covers all aspects of wilderness survival, ranging from the ability to find sustenance by foraging or hunting, skinning slain creatures for leathers, locating plants and herbs, and tracking targets.

Related stat: wisdom
Current applications: foraging, hunting, skining, tracking

Thievery covers all sleight-of-hand ability, including picking pockets, planting items on a target unnoticed, or concealing items upon one’s own person.

Related stat: dexterity
Current applications: stealing, planting, item concealment