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Athletics: the lost skill


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#1 Niqvah

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:54 AM

I was perusing the stats of an NPC from Damned Cities who joined our retinue after the events in that book, and noticed he has the skill Athletics, at +10 no less. I was momentarily perplexed, given I had never heard of it, before checking the Skills sections in Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch and finding it doesn't exist.

I would suppose it a misprint of Acrobatics, except that it is governed by Strength rather than Agility.

Am I being obtuse? Does this skill exist in one of the supplements? Or is it peculiar to this one particular NPC?

If so, I stand by my decision to draft him! It's not every potential acolyte who can make up their own unique skill, and then get it at +10. (Even if it is ultimately useless since it has no in-game effect...)



#2 Gregorius21778

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:04 AM

Hi there,

the skill does not exist. it is just another misprint. The whole RT/DH series is rather losy in this regard.



#3 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:51 AM

However, Athletics Mastery as a skill does exist in Ascension.

But Master Skills do not get a +10 or +20 level (though all subskills of a master skill are considered to be +20).

Overall, though, Athletics wouldnt be too hard to incorporate for the character, he just receives +10 for actions that are athletics (flips, rolls, lifts, dives and so forth) or treat it as Acrobatics.



#4 Gregorius21778

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 02:02 AM

Yep, but since Damned Cities is not part of Ascension, it is simply another misprint.



#5 Niqvah

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 02:16 AM

Yes, I came across Athletics Mastery in Ascension, but quickly ruled it out for reasons already covered. I was wondering what Athletics would actually encompass. As you've said there, it could govern skills such as dives and lifts (though many other such actions would more sensibly be covered by Acrobatics), though it's hard to imagine what advantage that would confer over a character without it.

I think ultimately it is indeed clearly a misprint. Then again, there are a lot of NPCs throughout the published adventures, and if you want to really shine, maybe making up Skills is the way forward. Sooner or later, you're going to get pulled up on it ("You mention on your CV that you are adept at 'Athletics'; what exactly does that mean?" "Err..."), but at least it gets you noticed.



#6 SomVone

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:20 AM

 Test Athletics instead of Toughness to resist becoming tired from prolonged physical activity maybe?



#7 Friend of the Dork

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:19 PM

Hmm I noticed the skill but I didn't remember it does not exist in game. I thought Athletics was to represent running distance, long/high jumping (as opposed to acrobatics), and maybe similar things like climb, swim etc. (but those skills actually exists).

 

Kinda off-topic, but I wouldn't mind shaving off some skills and combining some for eventual new editions of DH, there are too many skills that are never used or that overlaps. Forbidden Lore: Cults and Forbidden Lore: Heresy for example. Or Forbidden Lore: Warp and Forbidden Lore: Daemonology.

Yes you can justify some differences on a academic level, but for gaming purposes there should be no need for this.



#8 Niqvah

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:16 PM

SomVone said:

Test Athletics instead of Toughness to resist becoming tired from prolonged physical activity maybe?

That is a solid sort of premise, but then it doesn't make much sense on an Arbite. Strength is expensive for them, and Toughness is cheapest. I wonder what the reasoning behind it was in the first place?

And Friend of the Dork, I agree there are certain Skills whose overlap is nonsensical, but not Forbidden Lores Warp and Daemonology. Warp covers your non-psyker-based phenomena in that arena (to my mind), knowing about the sort of esoteric strangeness involved with the workings of the warp, including travel and the way people psychically affect it and so on. Daemonology covers Liber Chaotica-type things and the nitty-gritty of telling your Pink Horrors from your Daemonettes (oh, I see. That one has an exposed breast. When you put it like that, it's so simple. Ow, corruption).

I would suggest Scholastic Lores Legend and Archaic are more ripe for merging, if just because I see where Legend is coming from, but it never comes up. And if it does, your GM is likely to allow an Archaic roll (maybe at -10 if it's quite Legend-based, but what is?) or it may even be covered by Heresy.



#9 Friend of the Dork

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:51 PM

Niqvah said:

SomVone said:

Test Athletics instead of Toughness to resist becoming tired from prolonged physical activity maybe?

 

That is a solid sort of premise, but then it doesn't make much sense on an Arbite. Strength is expensive for them, and Toughness is cheapest. I wonder what the reasoning behind it was in the first place?

And Friend of the Dork, I agree there are certain Skills whose overlap is nonsensical, but not Forbidden Lores Warp and Daemonology. Warp covers your non-psyker-based phenomena in that arena (to my mind), knowing about the sort of esoteric strangeness involved with the workings of the warp, including travel and the way people psychically affect it and so on. Daemonology covers Liber Chaotica-type things and the nitty-gritty of telling your Pink Horrors from your Daemonettes (oh, I see. That one has an exposed breast. When you put it like that, it's so simple. Ow, corruption).

I would suggest Scholastic Lores Legend and Archaic are more ripe for merging, if just because I see where Legend is coming from, but it never comes up. And if it does, your GM is likely to allow an Archaic roll (maybe at -10 if it's quite Legend-based, but what is?) or it may even be covered by Heresy.

Well I remember part 2 of PtU requiring a Forbidden Lore: Warp to identify Warp creatures, and Daemons are definitively Warp Creatures. Also, while Psykers easily get or start with FL: Warp I don't think they have FL: Daemonology, at least the Psyker in our group (and thus no one else) has it.

What do you mean by non-psyker based phenomena? I didn't think there was any difference between the walls bleeding because a psyker triggered it or because the warp is particularily thin at the location.

Personally I think Sch. Lore Legend vs Archaic is a bit easier - Legends are fairly known: Drusus, Sanguinus, The Emperor, legendary whitch hunters and artifacts, rogue traders etc.

Archaic seems close to Forbidden Lore: History. This is about life before the imperium, about the ancient cultures of calixis before the angevin crusade, dark age of technology, the early empire, or in short, history. Since it is sch. lore instead of FL I take it the really proscribed info is not part of it and some may be fabrications altogether.



#10 Niqvah

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:10 AM

Perhaps this leads us to conclude that all the Lores are, in fact, necessary? Maybe the Lores that are useful and relevant depend on your gaming group and playing style. They are naturally open to interpretation by individual GMs.

In my group, my psyker uses Forbidden Lore Warp checks for things like warp travel and general warp leakage into the materium and related happenings. Forbidden Lore Psykers is specifically to identify other psykers and divine their particular abilities, likely level and so forth. Forbidden Lore Daemonology is something I only picked up recently (after reading a Liber Chaotica) and enables me to make rolls on daemon-based knowledge, such as their likely strengths and how they could potentially be combatted.

I chose Archaic over Legend as the latter has never arisen in our games (we're running the book adventures). I can see how other GMs could distinguish between the two, though, based on what you've said.



#11 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:11 AM

Forget streamlining skills, lets reduce talents.

Perhaps remove the distinction between the lores, such as common lores, scholastic lores or forbidden lores.



#12 Niqvah

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 05:50 AM

Peacekeeper_b said:

Perhaps remove the distinction between the lores, such as common lores, scholastic lores or forbidden lores.

The division between Common and Scholastic Lores certainly seems academic, but I would say Forbidden Lores must be distinguished because they reveal mind-breaking mysteries of the universe that bring corruption and insanity.



#13 Friend of the Dork

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:36 PM

Niqvah said:

Peacekeeper_b said:

Perhaps remove the distinction between the lores, such as common lores, scholastic lores or forbidden lores.

 

The division between Common and Scholastic Lores certainly seems academic, but I would say Forbidden Lores must be distinguished because they reveal mind-breaking mysteries of the universe that bring corruption and insanity.

I agree.

 

As for all being necessary, no, not at all. In fact it shows that most are redundant or too specific. I would like one single skill about the supernatural, the warp, the daemonic etc. Modifiers could be applied in case of extremely rare or forbidden knowledge, while easy questions about the warp (for example that spacecraft use it for travel) would be get a high bonus. 

Several other skills could also be combined into one.



#14 Niqvah

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:39 PM

I see where you're coming from, but I still don't think you could lump Warp and Daemonology (for example) together.

Say you're a Void Born, living on ships your whole life. You know a thing or two about the warp, how it works and how it can affect people. This doesn't qualify you to start creating wards against daemons (which can be done with Daemonology Lore at +10).

Similarly, you may be an Ordo Malleus Adept who is learned in matters of daemonic lore, but has never travelled offworld. You've read your Liber Chaotica and several heretical accounts of summoning rituals and the like. You could set down wards to prevent daemonic incursion, but if called upon to gauge how long a journey through the warp might take, or the effects a prolonged journey might have on crewmen, you wouldn't have a clue.

Hopefully that makes sense. I think it could similarly be applied to Psykers. Being able to judge the power level and disciplines possessed by a witch does not automatically qualify you to gauge the potential corrupting/daemonic effects a mysterious, interdimensional portal may threaten.

I'm not saying there isn't overlap, or that a character wouldn't have several of these lores. What I would say, though, is that a character may lack certain key knowledge that would be covered by an all-encompassing Lore incorporating Warp, Psykers and Daemonology whilst still qualifying for other parts of it.



#15 Friend of the Dork

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:24 PM

Niqvah said:

I see where you're coming from, but I still don't think you could lump Warp and Daemonology (for example) together.

Say you're a Void Born, living on ships your whole life. You know a thing or two about the warp, how it works and how it can affect people. This doesn't qualify you to start creating wards against daemons (which can be done with Daemonology Lore at +10).

Similarly, you may be an Ordo Malleus Adept who is learned in matters of daemonic lore, but has never travelled offworld. You've read your Liber Chaotica and several heretical accounts of summoning rituals and the like. You could set down wards to prevent daemonic incursion, but if called upon to gauge how long a journey through the warp might take, or the effects a prolonged journey might have on crewmen, you wouldn't have a clue.

Hopefully that makes sense. I think it could similarly be applied to Psykers. Being able to judge the power level and disciplines possessed by a witch does not automatically qualify you to gauge the potential corrupting/daemonic effects a mysterious, interdimensional portal may threaten.

I'm not saying there isn't overlap, or that a character wouldn't have several of these lores. What I would say, though, is that a character may lack certain key knowledge that would be covered by an all-encompassing Lore incorporating Warp, Psykers and Daemonology whilst still qualifying for other parts of it.

 

Void Born don't start with Forbidden Lore: Warp. Even spending their wholes lives doesen't mean they actually KNOW much of the Warp. They do treat Navigation: Stellar as a basic skill though.

Forbidden lore is so for a reason, it is maddening, corrupting and lets man know what he should not. How long it may take to travel through it is not one of those.

Now summoning Daemons will require forbidden knowledge for sure - the more specific the better but it is clear Daemons comes from the Warp. Knowing as much as you can about it will help (but even so you need knowledge of specific rituals to actually summon anything).

Forbidden Lore: Psykers could still be part of a single skill I think, even though it's not always clear what this skill entails. Maybe it's the specifics on how Psykers are chosen and become sanctioned, maybe it's about the different power levels, maybe it's the fact that psykers are an evolution of mankind. Still it is so narrow a subject that it can easily be combined with a skill that has knowledge of the common denominator here: The Warp.

And yes, the character may indeed lack knowledge of these specifics. That is why there is a test. Say you have 35 int (pretty smart) and Forbidden Lore: Warp. You ask the GM if you know the basic theory behind a Gellar Field, it might be a Routine (+20) test. However, knowing that a mad psyker is infected by Psychneuein after studying him might be a hard (-20) Forbidden Lore: Warp test.

It all boils down to how much details and specialization you want in the game, I prefer simpler but each to his own. Just remember that having a skill only allows you to test it, not know everything about it.



#16 ZillaPrime

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:46 PM

To get the thread back on topic, what I did in Damned Cities for NPCs who had the "Athletics" skill is I simply assumed they had Climb and Swim trained at the listed level.  Note that both are Strength-based skills...

I have no issues with the Lore skills as currently presented.



#17 Niqvah

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:18 PM

ZillaPrime said:

To get the thread back on topic, what I did in Damned Cities for NPCs who had the "Athletics" skill is I simply assumed they had Climb and Swim trained at the listed level.  Note that both are Strength-based skills...

I have no issues with the Lore skills as currently presented.

That sounds very sensible. I didn't realise other NPCs had it as well. I wonder where they were going with that...



#18 Bearcat89

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:13 PM

Actually, the Athletics skill is mentioned in the DH Core Rulebook…Daemonettes have it as a skill

I started hunting down the Athletics skill when I was generating a Xenos race using the procedure in the GM's Screen booklet and it assigned the Athletics skill to my new species.  Never did find it until…the Athletics skill was included in Black Crusade…

ATHLETICS (STRENGTH)

Athletics is the ability to run long distances, climb sheer surfaces ,and swim strongly without tiring or faltering. It encompasses all manner of strength and brawn based tasks that a character may undertake; a skilled athlete can run for miles, heft mighty loads, or cross fast-flowing rivers with relative ease. Athletics also allows a character to push themselves to greater levels of endurance and shrug off the effects of fatigue when running, swimming, or climbing.

The GM may call on players to use the Athletics Skill when:
• They must swim across a body of water or try to stay afloat.
• They wish to push themselves beyond their limits and keep going even when exhausted.
• They want to climb a cliff or cross extremely rough ground.

A character’s background may dispose him more towards certain types of athletics. Not all skilled climbers make excellent swimmers, though both may have similar upper body strength. A GM can keep this in mind when determining the difficulty of a Test. For example, a character from a desert world or a Heretek with extensive augmentic parts could be required to make more difficult Athletics Tests to swim across a river than a character who grew up on an aquatic hive world.

EXAMPLE MODIFIERS

+30 - Climbing a ladder in a hurry or swimming in perfectly calm water.
+20 - Climbing across a gantry or swimming with some method of staying afloat.
+10 - Climbing the outside of a hive or swimming with specialized gear (i.e. flippers).
+0 - Climbing a rough rock wall with protruding stones, or swimming across a deep lake.
–10 - Climbing a brick wall or swimming a slow river.
–20 - Climbing a ferrocrete wall without climbing aids or swimming against a current.
–30 - Climbing up a slick plasteel bulkhead or swimming in a storm.

Skill Use: Full Action unless otherwise noted.



#19 Bearcat89

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:17 PM

Oh, I missed this little blurb from the next page…

 

SPECIAL USES FOR ATHLETICS

The following are special uses for the Athletics Skill.

ENDURANCE

Trained athletes are extremely fit and can push themselves far beyond the ability of normal people.  As a Free Action, a character with the Athletics Skill may make an Athletics Skill Test at –10 whenever they suffer a level of Fatigue as a result of running, swimming, or climbing to ignore its effects.  The character may continue to take tests and ignore Fatigue gained in this way indefinitely; however as soon as he fails a test he must rest for at least 4 hours and cannot use his Athletics Skill again during that time.

HEFT

Athletes are also known for their strength and can lift great weights for short periods of time.  As a Free Action, a character may make an Athletics Skill Test to increase their carrying capability for a single Encounter.  For every Degree of Success the character achieves, his Strength is increased by 10 for the purposes of how much weight they can carry, lift, or drag to a maximum of modified Strength of 100.  Hefting may only be attempted once, and if the character fails the test he may not try again until the next Encounter.



#20 Cymbel

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:30 PM

Yeah, that sounds about right, combining several skills that see minimal trained use into one better skill. Of course, in BC, raising skills costs more, so I suppose it balances out.

 






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