Skills are the basic abilities of the character, chosen from a list provided here, and used mechanically to add to the basic roll during any conflict in which the skill is relevant.
Skills in Edgerunner are defined in somewhat broad terms. A single skill may account for a lot, and there isn’t any room for any more fine grained skills. If you want your character to specialize or shine in doing something, you should use aspects and upgrades for that.
All skills provide a number of basic capabilities on their subject. First, a skill provides knowledge related to the field. If you have high Athletics, you also know about the rules of many different sports by default . Second, a skill grants awareness about the subject. You find it easy to notice that someone is packing if you have a high Firearms skill. Third, a skill gives you aptitude. The ability to get something done in a good way. With high Research, not only you can dig up an obscure fact but also present that fact in a comprehensible way. Next, a skill allows appraisal. The ability to evaluate. You would need a decent level of Close Combat to be able to identify a Masamune sword. Last but not least, a skill gives you renown. You are known for being good in that field. Everybody knows you in the aviation industry if you have Piloting as your apex skill.
Whenever appropriate, a skill also implies access to equipment, licensing, facilities and contacts. For example, an apex Survival skill may mean that you always have your swiss army knife on you and your camping gear is top notch. You may be a certified SAR specialist and member of the local SCUBA and mountaineering clubs. You know people that have survived in the Amazon rainforest with just a rusty knife.
If you want to be good in just one of these capabilities, you can always define aspects and upgrades that help you shine. For example, if you want to be a connosieur of cars, you can take Driving at +2 and the upgrade “
Motorhead: +3 to Driving for non-conflict assessments”. That gives you an effective +5 in your chosen specialty and a free apex skill slot that you can use for something else.
Everyone is assumed to be at least Mediocre, that is, level ±0 at these skills. If you want to model extreme ineptitude in a skill, write a nice aspect for it. Like
Big fingers for bad electronics skill or
Perpetually broke for bad assets.
A skill does not give you specialist knowledge. If you want access to an obscure field like Hitite culture or something requiring special training like Neurology, use an upgrade to extend an existing skill.
Every character has 10 skills arranged in a pyramid. One skill at level 4, two at 3, three at level 2 and four at 1. All other skills are at level 0.
Athletics — How fast, flexible, and dexterous a character is. Running, jumping, throwing, acrobatics.
Assets — Availability of cash, contacts, convertible properties, loans, or an ability to evade debt collection. How rich the character is money wise.
Biotech — Competence in the field of biotechnology. Biotech upgrades, growing organs in a vat, or using DNA analysis. Also, pharmaceuticals.
Business — Running a profitable business. Being active and up to date in the business world. Trading and making critical decisions about business or strategy. Handling bureaucracy.
Charm — One-on-one persuasion Skill. Persuading, seducing, convincing, entertaining. A circle of cool and attractive friends.
Close combat — Martial arts of all forms. Using fists or all kinds of melee weapons.
Composition — Creating works of art and literature. Painting, sculpting, composing music, writing a novel, designing haute couture.
Cultures — Knowing about other people in the world. Different nations, customs, subcultures and languages. Different music, movies, dances. International friends.
Deception — Telling a lie, cheating in exams, forging fake database records, pretending to be someone else, disguising, and spotting any one of these. Untrustworthy friends.
Driving — All kinds of vehicles that don’t fly. Cars, trucks, bikes, boats, hovercraft.
Electronics — Every device without moving parts, hi-tech or lo-tech. Designing, repairing, upgrading, jamming.
Empathy — The people skill. Understanding, consoling, cheering up. Compassion, sympathy, tolerance. A circle of nice people.
Firearms — Guns and other things that you point at a target and shoot.
Hacking — Netrunners' destruction skill. Bypassing firewalls, crashing programs, cracking encrypted files.
Intimidation — Scaring people. Threatening, bullying, coercing, interrogating and torturing.
Leadership — Directing, motivating and inspiring people. Running an organization.
Mechanics — Every contraption with moving parts, hi-tech or lo-tech. Designing, repairing, improving or destroying.
Medical — Understanding of the human body. Diagnosing, healing, hurting.
Net-smarts — Knowledge of the Internet. Evading detection systems, moving data quickly through safe channels, avoiding cyber-bullies. A network of net-savvy online friends and contacts.
Performance — The stage skill. Public speaking, dancing, theatrics, singing, playing an instrument.
Piloting — Controlling all kinds of vehicles that fly. Planes, gliders, helicopters, balloons, aerodynes…
Programming — The digital creation skill. Building new software. Modifying and upgrading existing software. Everything has some sort of software.
Research — Digging up facts. Data mining. Asking the right questions to the right people. Extracting information from data. Making sense of information.
Science — Physics, chemistry, biology. Mathematics.
Stealth — Ninja stuff. Hiding, evading, moving silently. Leaving no trace.
Streetwise — Survival in the urban jungle. Navigating a city. Awareness of combat zones and gang turfs. Finding people and things in cities. Returning from a late night stroll in one piece.
Survival — Living in the wild. Camping, hunting, mountain climbing. Handling extreme weather. Navigating extreme terrain. Eating raw frogs. Finding raw frogs.