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New Skills

by Harold Hale


Fishing (Explore--INT): Ability to catch aquatic lifeforms, using hook and line, traps, nets, harpoons, or other similar devices. Unlike "survival fishing" (an ability imparted by Survival skill), fisherman have knowledge regarding how to catch specific breeds and types of aquatic lifeforms to the exclusion of others, and have the ability to land particularly large aquatic lifeforms (those over 250 kilograms) such as swordfish or whales.

Catching fish (or an alien equivalent) over 250 kilograms with adequate equipment is normally a Difficult task. This increases to Formidable without it. Fabricating proper fishing equipment for large aquatic lifeforms is an Average task, provided proper supplies are available. The referee should adjust the difficulty of these tasks according to the size and orneriness of the aquatic lifeforms the character is attempting to catch.

Gunsmith (Technician-AGL): Ability to construct, modify, maintain and repair small arms. A gunsmith's experience and background includes a working knowledge of currently available weapons, a historical knowledge of other weapons, and an ability to find references which help in handling otherwise unknown weapons.

The difficulty of Gunsmith tasks varies greatly with the task the character is trying to accomplish, and what tools the character may or may not have at hand. Most normal tasks (fitting and sighting in a telescopic sight, reloading CPR Firearm rounds) are Average with the proper equipment. Some tasks, like constructing an improvised CPR Firearm (aka "zip gun") or making adjustments to the internal ignition lasers on a plasma rifle are normally Average tasks, but become Difficult, Uncertain tasks with potentially fatal results if not perform the proper tools. Identifying an unknown weapon is normally a Difficult task, and can increase to Formidable if the character is forced to work from poor quality photographs instead of actually being able to handle the weapon.

In all cases, the referee should carefully evaluate what task the player wants his character to perform, and advise against particularly risky actions ("mounting that on your gauss pistol is probably not a good idea").

Scrounging (Explore-INT): The character is skilled in finding relic items such as spare parts, tools, vac suits, weapons, etc. Scrounging involves more than just randomly searching through ruins. An individual with this skill is familiar with the kinds of ruins to search for a particular relic item and where within those ruins that item is most likely to be found. In the case of a previously contacted inhabited world, the individual will have knowledge of the proper inhabitants to contact regarding the availability of relics, local laws governing their sale and possession, and be aware of specific areas on the planet where relics are most likely to be found. When a character attempts to scrounge for a specific object, the referee determines difficulty based on his or her opinion of the likelihood the object is where the character is looking. The higher a character's Scrounging skill, the more likely he is to find useful things in unlikely places.

Writing (Social Science--INT): Enables a character to present insightful, entertaining reading materials, factual or fictitious. If used in combination with skills such as Computer or Mechanic, the character has the ability to write technical manuals. Print journalists (those that write for newspapers or magazines as opposed to electronic journalists which work on camera or in front of a microphone) would likely have high levels of Writing skill, and can take it as a substitute for the other skills listed in the Journalist career on page 47 of the TNE manual.

Security (Perception-INT): The individual is knowledgeable in the area of security procedures. This includes both physical security and anti-terrorism security.

Physical security reflects a familiarity with the proper use and placement of a variety of physical security devices, including mechanical and electronic locks, alarm systems, and a wide spectrum of sensors, including infrared sensors and cameras. While it is the job of experts in this skill to prevent break-ins (usually by individuals with Intrusion skill), their special knowledge can be of great assistance to someone attempting defeat a physical security system.

Anti-terrorism security covers a broad spectrum of security procedures designed to deter terrorism and other similar criminal behavior. These include the proper deployment and use of scanning equipment (bomb and weapon detectors), "hands on" physical search techniques, correct procedures for establishing security patrols and escorts, check points, motorcades, and convoys.


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