Professional skills represent hard-won knowledge, specialised training and building favourable social networks. Few of them are useful in the heat of combat - they are more suited to engaging with plot, investigating things and performing time-consuming activities.
There are three main categories of Professional Skills:
|First Aid||1+||First Aiders can stop someone from dying. Further ranks reduce time required.|
|Physician||2+||Physicians can restore hits and perform surgery. Further ranks reduce the time and risks of surgery.|
|Engineer||2+||Engineers maintain, modify and repair tech.|
|Extra Mods||1*a||Grants knowledge of an additional two Mods. Requires Engineer.|
|Scientist||2||Scientists can make use of special equipment to investigate phenomena, and perform Research.|
|Etheric Science||1*+||Specialism in exotic particles and strange energies. Requires Scientist.|
|Corporeal Science||1*+||Specialism in exotic substances. Requires Scientist.|
|Life Science||1*+||Specialism in strange creatures and plants. Requires Scientist.|
|Aptitude||-||Basic ability with a broad range of professions. Children 7-11 only.|
|Helm Console||1+||Operate Helm Console on Spacer starships. 2 Ranks available.|
|Weapons Console||1+||Operate Weapons Console on Spacer starships. 2 Ranks available.|
|Relay Console||1+||Operate Relay Console on Spacer starships. 2 Ranks available.|
|Engineering Console||1+||Operate Engineering Console on Spacer starships. 2 Ranks available.|
|Science Console||1+||Operate Science Console on Spacer starships. 2 Ranks available.|
|Advanced Console Skills||2*||Special abilities that can be used once per mission. Requires Rank 2 in the relevant Console.|
|Advanced Captain Skills||2*||Special abilities that can be used once per mission by a ship's Captain. Each skill requires a Console skill at Rank 2.|
|Armaments Reputation||2a||Advanced Armaments charges you less for weapon purchases.|
|Spacer Reputation||2a||Spacer Collective charges you less for ship hire and forfeiture.|
|Pylon Membership||2a||Galactic Energy Supplies grants you favourable rates on the use of their research facilities.|
|Clearance Certified||2a||Clearance Organisation takes less of a cut from missions that you sign up for|
|Ascendancy Status||2ab||Improved reputation with the Ascendancy.|
|Commonality Status||2ab||Improved reputation with the Commonality.|
|Dominion Status||2ab||Improved reputation with the Dominion.|
|Free Union Status||2ab||Improved reputation with the Free Union.|
a - Can be bought multiple times. Cost does not increase each time.
b - Costs 1 additional point per rank if you are not the Dominant Species for this Faction.
+ - Can be bought multiple times. Cost increases by 1 point each time.
* - Prerequisite skill required.
First Aid allows a character to perform roleplayed first aid to reset and pause a character's Death Count. First Aid can be bought up to 4 times, and the cost increases by 1 each rank. With one rank in First Aid, you can reset a dying characters Death Count with 30 seconds of roleplayed action - bandaging, tying a tourniquet, etc. Remember that you must obtain a player's consent to physically touch them - otherwise you must do your roleplaying at a few inches distance. While you are performing this initial treatment, you cannot perform any other actions, including walking or other movement. Every additional rank of this skill decreases the time needed to reset someone's Death Count by 10 seconds, to a minimum of 5 seconds. So with 1 rank, it takes 30 seconds, with 2 ranks 20 seconds, 3 ranks 10 seconds, and with 4 ranks only 5 seconds.
When you have reached the time required, you may tell the character that you are treating to reset their count to zero - they are still dying, but their count does not increase. After a period of treatment, you may pause their Count at 0 seconds as long as you keep treating them - you must remain close to the character you are treating and check on them every half-minute or so, or else they will resume dying. You should inform the dying character that you are pausing their count while you are administering to them. You may, however, perform other short actions while keeping their count paused (such as moving the body, for instance).
The physician skill can be used in one of three ways - stopping a Death Count, restoring hits or performing surgery. Physician can be bought multiple times, and the cost increases by 1 with each rank. Physicians can perform emergency medicine to stop a dying character's Death Count. This takes 2 minutes (120 seconds) of roleplayed surgical action, and requires appropriate (and relatively safe physreps - no real knives, needles or similar) surgical tools or devices. You may use this ability on a character whose Death Count you have paused, and it remains paused while you treat them. Once you have done the required amount of roleplayed action, then the dying character is no longer dying and can stop counting their Death Count. Each additional rank of the physician skill you possess reduces the time required by 20 seconds (to a minimum of 20 seconds). So a character with 3 Ranks of Physician can stop a Death Count in 80 seconds, and one with 4 Ranks of Physician can stop a Death Count in 60 seconds, etc.
Physicians can promote healing so that characters regain lost hits. A physician can supervise up to 5 characters who are resting and recuperating, occasionally performing roleplayed medical activities, and those characters will regain 1 hit to a single Location, or one Global Body Hit every 10 minutes. Recuperating characters cannot fight or perform any strenuous activity or move faster than a slow walk within each 10 minute period. Each additional rank of this skill increases the number of hits that the supervised characters recover after each 10 minute period by one.
Physicians can perform Surgery to treat some Conditions - broken bones, some infections, infestation by horrible alien parasites, etc. Surgery can be risky, and may fail or even have negative consequences for the patient. Performing surgery requires a Referee and at least 6 minutes of roleplayed surgery, using appropriate tools. See the Surgery page for more details.
Engineers can fix broken items and damaged armour. A character with 1 rank in the Engineer skill can spend 2 minutes roleplaying to repair an item that has been broken with the SUNDER call or to restore 1 lost Armour Hit to a single location. Each additional rank of the Engineer skill you possess reduces the time required by 20 seconds (to a minimum of 20 seconds). So with Engineer 2, you can perform a repair in 100 seconds, with rank 3 it will take 80 seconds, and so on. After rank 6 (20 seconds), you cannot get any faster at repairing things without using some kind of special artefact, tech device or similar. You might also find broken or damaged tech at events, which you may be able to use your Engineer skill to repair - these will either say so on an accompanying lammie, or have a Ref nearby that you can ask.
Engineers can also do work between events to improve their equipment, as long as they can afford it. Each rank of the Engineer skill allows you to work on 1 lammied item in between events - either maintaining it to extend its life, or applying a Mod to it to make it better. Items that require maintenance, and can be modified are referred to as Devices, and should have a Mod and Maintenance cost indicated on their laminated card (lammie). You can either apply a Mod that you know to the item, or extend its lifetime for 4 more events - both of these uses will cost a certain amount of Credits to buy materials and extra services to get the job done. Items that you wish to work on (and the credits to pay for them) must be handed in with your pack at the end of the event. The more Mods that an item has, the more expensive it is to Mod it further and maintain it - see the Devices page for more details.
Each rank of the Engineer skill also grants the knowledge of 2 Mods, which can be used in between events to improve your equipment. Mods represent improvements to equipment like weapons and armour, or wholesale alterations to things like Tech Devices that radically alter their function. Some Mods may require other prerequisites to learn. You can choose to swap out one of your known Mods with another by contacting the Game Team between events, but the swap will not take place until the next event - this represents changing your career focus onto a different suite of technology.
You can dedicate character points to learning new Mods. You may buy this skill multiple times, at 1 character point for 2 additional Mods each time.
Scientist is the primary skill you use to investigate your environment and unlock the secrets of strange, alien substances and artefacts. Groups that embark on missions without some properly-equipped scientists may run into trouble if they encounter something out of the ordinary. This skill can only be purchased once.
Scientist is the first skill that all scientists must acquire, and it is needed before a character can start buying any more specialised Science skills. The Scientist Skill grants the ability to use the 3 basic Science Devices; Analysers, which can tell you basic information about an object or phenomenon; Extractors, which can take samples for further research or use; Sensors, which locate hidden or obscure phenomena.
The Scientist skill also provides 1 Generic Research Point, which can be used between events to research things and learn more about them, or teach other characters what you have already learned. Most Research Points that a character can acquire are specialised, and can only be used to research things relevant to that specialisation, but all Scientists have 1 Research Point that they can use to research anything at all.
There are 3 science specialisation skills which grant greater mastery in the fields of Etheric, Corporeal or Life Sciences. Each specialisation can be purchased multiple times, but the cost increases by 1 point with each rank. Each rank of a specialisation grants you 1 Research Point for that specialisation - you can only use these points to research phenomena or artefacts with that specialisation.
A specialisation also allows you to use Specialised Tech Devices in that field. Specialised Tech Devices are made by Engineers applying Mods to Generic Tech Devices to improve them. Specialised Tech Devices are able to do more in their chosen area - gather more information, produce effects and all kinds of other powers.
Taking a Speciality allows you to use your Research Points in that field to synthesise rare substances that you can use to boost or alter other game items. Each speciality has its own category of rare substances to synthesise, which only work on a specific type of game item (or characters). These substances can only be applied by someone with the relevant speciality. When you use Research Points to synthesise substances, you will get a random selection of the relevant substances - using Research Points in this way represents taking the time to seek out relevant phenomena in the galaxy in the time between events and extracting useful substances from them, which is a hit-and-miss process.
Etheric Science deals with energetic phenomena - bizarre spatial phenomena, strange energy fields, novel particles and the like. Etheric Tech Devices might be able to recharge depleted Artefacts, detect disturbances in magnetic fields or shield against radiation. Etheric Scientists can spend their spare Research Points to synthesise Exotic Particles and apply them to tech to give it a short-lived bonus in power or effectiveness.
Corporeal Science deals with physical inorganic materials - rare minerals, unknown alloys and strange chemicals. Corporeal Tech Devices might be able to extract samples from deep within the ground, denature toxic chemicals or harmonically shatter a door. Corporeal Scientists can spend their spare Research Points to synthesise Exotic Reagents and add them to injectable pharmaceuticals to alter them - increasing or decreasing their potency or duration.
Life Science deals with organic material - exotic fungi, rare plant extracts, potent venoms and biochemical toxins. Life Tech Devices might be able to detect nearby life signs, diagnose rare infections or interfere with biological processes. Life Scientists can spend their spare Research Points to synthesise Exotic Biotics and infuse them into other characters to grant unusual effects and conditions.
Aptitude represents a certain natural grace and ability in a broad range of fields, expressed by the brightest of young minds. Children who travel with starship crews often pick up the basics of a wide variety of disciplines, from watching engineers and physicians at work, to playing around with devices and other technology. Once they get a bit older and commit to specialised training, then these broad abilities are usually forgotten.
A character with Aptitude has basic abilities similar to that of an Engineer, Scientist, First Aider and Physician. These abilities are designed to give young players a flavour of different parts of the game, and allow families to roleplay as a group and have everyone be useful and valued.
Spaceflight skills represent extra training and familiarity with operating the various stations on board starships. Although anyone can operate starship stations, characters with these skills will be able to get more out of their ship than untrained personnel. Additional crew with these skills can also assist via their own stations and smaller tasks to boost all of the operations on board starships - a ship with an elite crew of broadly-skilled voidfarers will have a huge advantage over a crew of planet-bound rookies.
Having a Spaceflight Skill necessitates getting a Spacer Collective symbol either on an ID card, or (as is more often the case) tattooed onto your hand, wrist, face or other patch of skin that you can easily show to the Spacer Collective Representative. These take a specific shape and identify the character as having been certified in the advanced use of that station. They cannot be falsified – please do not give yourself a mark resembling a Spacer Collective tattoo unless you have bought the skill. Spacer Collective Markers are best simulated by drawing the symbol on with eyeliner pens or even biro (or printed out on a laminated ID badge). See this page for reference images of the two main types of markers.
Each basic Spaceflight skill is linked to one of the 5 Consoles on a Spacer Collective ship, and gives a special bonus to your ship when using that Console. In addition, the basic knowledge of a ship's systems can also grant a small bonus even when you are operating a different Console. Each Spaceflight skill has 2 Ranks available - the first Rank in each Spaceflight skill costs 1 character point, and gives both a Primary Bonus (which applies when you are operating the relevant Console) as well as a Secondary Bonus (which applies when you are operating a different Console). Rank 2 has only a Primary Bonus, and is intended for characters who wish to specialise in one of the main ship roles.
When you log in to your Console at the start of a mission you will be given the opportunity to enter your skills, which will then grant the relevant bonuses to your ship. The Secondary Bonuses of every character logged into a Console will be applied to the entire ship, so specialised crew groups can gain large cumulative benefits if they have a broad range of space skills.
Once you have obtained Rank 2 in a Console Skill, you can then purchase Advanced Console Skills for that Console, as well as an Advanced Captain Skill.
The Helm console controls the movement, speed and direction of a starship. On Spacer Collective Jump Ships, they also operate the Jump Drive.
The Weapons console locks on to targets, loads torpedo tubes and fires beam weapons. A good Weapons officer works with the Helm, Engineer and Science Officer to maximise their ship's firepower and avoid being destroyed themselves.
The Engineering console allows for ordered distribution of the ship’s reactor power and coolant reserves to where they are needed. With a skilled engineer at this station, a starship can function far beyond its normal parameters.
The Science console operates the ship’s sensor arrays, allowing objects and planets to be scanned for more detailed information. A skilled Science Officer at this station can gather useful information about enemy weaknesses.
The Relay console allows the ship to communicate with nearby ships & stations, launch probes, and hack into enemy ships to disable their systems. A skilled Relay Officer acts as a link between the rest of the crew and can sometimes get a starship out of a battle before it even starts.
Advanced Console Skills are special tricks that push a ship's systems to the absolute limits, which can only be learned by masters of a specific set of the ship's systems. Each Console has 2 Advanced Console Skills, one for use while flying the ship in Space, and one which call upon the ship's advanced technology while on a Ground Mission. Advanced Ground Skills cannot be used when in the main event location - you must be on a Mission from a Spacer Collective ship to make use of them.
To purchase an Advanced Console Skill, you must already have the relevant Console Skill at Rank 2. All Advanced Console skills cost 2 character points to purchase. You can purchase both Advanced Console Skills for each console, but each is bought separately.
A skilled ship's Captain must walk the knife edge between victory and disaster, and make crucial decisions in moments of extreme danger. Captains with intimate knowledge of their ship's capabilities can push past safety limits and risk themselves and their crew to ensure their success, whatever the consequences. Advanced Captain Skills grant the power to make these truly risky choices. When these abilities are invoked, sparks burst from overloaded systems, radiation shielding flickers and the hum of the engines rises to an agonising scream, and the ship can perform feats that would otherwise be impossible.
Advanced Captain Skills can only be used by a ship's Captain, and only once per mission. When they are used, they will grant one or more members of the crew Conditions - radiation exposure, burns, decompression and various other ailments. For each Advanced Captain Skill you purchase, you must have one Basic Console Skill at Rank 2 - so in order to have 2 Captain skills you must have 2 different Console Skills at Rank 2, etc. All Advanced Captain Skills cost 2 character points.
With this directive, success of the mission and the survival of the ship are placed above all other concerns. The ship's structural integrity systems are kept powered at all costs, compromising the bridge compartment's life support and safety systems. For 5 minutes (300 seconds), the ship becomes Invulnerable to all damage. At the end of the mission, an extra 3 Conditions are randomly assigned to the crew.
When time is too short, and distance too far, the Captain can issue this directive to overcharge the ship's drives to breaking point, pushing against the very laws of physics to reach their destination in the nick of time. The acceleration becomes more than the ship's dampening systems can resist, causing bones to snap and veins to burst. The warp bubble around the ship thickens inwards, distorting space and time within the bridge compartment, and the ship almost vibrates itself apart under tidal forces. When this ability is used, all maneuvering systems are fully repaired, and the ship's Warp speed, Impulse speed and Turn Rate are massively increased beyond all reasonable limits. At the end of the mission, an extra 3 Conditions are randomly assigned to the crew.
All Captains know that the ultimate responsibility for their ship lies with them alone, and some brave souls are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep their crew alive. When the ship's hull has failed and its structure is coming apart, a Captain can issue this directive to save their crew first, and ensure that they hold it all together until everyone has reached the escape pods. When a ship is destroyed, a Captain with this skill can invoke it to draw the negative consequences onto themselves and up to 2 other crew members. Rather than each member of the crew being offered a card draw for a Condition, the Captain and their nominated crew members share out the card draws for the rest of the entire crew. So for a crew of six, if the Captain nominated 2 other crew members, they would each get 2 draws.
Energy is a ship's lifeblood, and the Reactor is its beating heart. Without energy, a ship lies dormant and weak until its batteries are restored - but sometimes that weakness is not an option. In times of great danger, when power is desperately needed but in short supply, the heart must be squeezed for every last drop. With this directive, the Captain unlocks the safety protocols in the ship's reactor, and ignites a barely-contained inferno of power. Containment systems fail and hard radiation leaks out into the crew compartments, while power floods into the batteries and capacitors, burning out conduits and capacitors. Once per mission, when this ability is invoked, the ship's energy is increased to 2000, which lasts for 10 minutes - after this time, the maximum energy the ship can hold will be reduced to 750, as crucial systems have been burnt out. At the end of the mission, an extra 2 Conditions are randomly assigned to the crew.
Reputation skills can be affected by your IC behaviour and actions at events. Your interactions with the various NPC groups, doing missions or reputation with your faction may cause you to gain or lose reputation with them. No amount of Faction Status with the Ascendancy will help you if you try and attack the the head of a Ruling House.
If is possible to gain status with a Faction that is not your own. However, you are considered to start with a Reputation of -3 with all other Factions, and must increase your Status with them by several ranks before you begin to gain the benefits of Status with those other Factions.
You are a well-known and trusted weapons contractor for Advanced Armaments. While in good standing, you may be granted access to restricted weapons and devices, as well as experimental Mods and other technology. You also get excellent wholesale rates on standard equipment. Advanced Armaments may also occasionally offer you jobs that they need handled discreetly.
You are well-known and trusted by the Spacer Collective, having done work for them and proven yourself. The Collective is kind to its friends, and will offer you discounts on ship hire and forfeiture costs at events. They may also have some discreet missions that are not offered publicly.
You have been inducted into one Galactic Energy Supplies Pylons - secretive groups of financiers, technicians and scientists. You have access to some of their advanced research facilities. They may also have some discreet missions that are not offered publicly.
You have undergone Clearance Organisation training and are a member of their extended network of contractors. The specialist expertise of your crew is recorded, and you may be offered specific missions by more selective clients. You are also charged less of a fee by Clearance when you complete a mission.
High-reputation characters will be drawn into the Great Game played by the Houses for power and position, which may grant additional missions, rewards, plot opportunities and dangers. For the right person, there may even be offers to be adopted by one of the Noble Houses and profit from their extensive holdings - as long as your House remains powerful. Ascendancy Vassals and outsiders to the Faction pay 3 points per rank for this skill, to reflect the additional difficulty in building reputation as a distrusted individual.
Enhanced status will draw the attention of the Judges and rulers of the Psion Clades - who may involve them in their secret plans and schemes. Like orders from Ascended Masters, their motivations will be strange and fickle, but could potentially grant powerful rewards and hidden knowledge. Commonality Vassals and outsiders to the Faction pay 3 points per rank for this skill, to reflect the additional difficulty in building reputation for those who are unable to participate directly in the Elysian's psionic community.
High-status characters will begin to draw notice from Heroes & Priests alike. The Ecclesiocracy takes notice of those with the potential for greatness, and guides them towards opportunities to excel further. There may be opportunities to join a Mystery Cult of one of the Immortal Spirits for those who are seen to have earned a place among them, revealing hidden secrets and the mysteries of the hidden worlds. Dominion Vassals and outsiders to the Faction pay 3 points per rank for this skill, to reflect the additional difficulty in building reputation for those seen as initiates or beyond the authority of the Ecclesiocracy.
Higher Status will grant opportunities to join one of the various Corps that organise within the Free Union. These groups often arrange secret activities to keep the Sovereign Worlds safe, and have roles for spies, elite military missions, diplomats and many other specialists. Free Union Vassals and outsiders to the Faction pay 3 points per rank for this skill, to reflect the additional difficulty in building reputation with a more limited network of contacts.
Professional skills are the part of the system that represents accomplished technical characters - doctors like Simon Tam and Phlox, engineers like Geordi LaForge or Tony Stark, and scientists like Jadzia Dax or Rodney MacKay. These characters often perform key roles in science fiction stories, using their skills and expertise to solve problems and advance the plot rather than brute force. Most of the professional skills are fairly cheap to purchase a few ranks in, so you can have a more general character with enough science to get by, or have a groups that consists entirely of engineers as well as their own specialities. Alternatively, players who want to play full-on scientists or doctors can purchase multiple ranks and still get useful bonuses.
The majority of professional skills deepen a character's skills as they progress in ranks - while taking a few ranks will allow you to do a few focused things, taking more ranks will allow you to do more things at events, and to do more work between events in downtime. In the case of Engineers, more ranks also allows them to repair SUNDERED items and damaged armour more quickly, while scientists gain the ability to use more Specialised Science Devices.
Scientists may seem underpowered, as they only get the ability to use items that must be modded and bought to even do anything in uptime. However, the key strength of Scientists is their ability to do Research, and interact with Artefacts. With enough Research, Scientists can unlock the powers of Artefacts which can be used in uptime to create very powerful and often unique effects - these abilities get unlocked for the scientist who researched them, and stay on their character, but can be taught to other characters using research points. This allows a group to rapidly learn how to use an Artefact that one of their number has mastered, but will take a long time to start from scratch should someone else steal it. Some artefacts, if researched enough, can be duplicated by Scientists.
The ability of Specialised Scientists to synthesise Exotic Substances is to give them a use for those research points if they don't currently have a relevant artefact to work on - they can make a random selection of buffs to use or sell.