Each character’s talents and abilities are represented by nine different professions which the player rates accordingly – Acrobat, Aristocrat, Brute, Marksman, Mystic, Rogue, Scholar, Survivalist and Warrior. Your character is considered to be Great at one profession (+4), Good at another (+3), Fair at two (+2) and Average at a further two (+1).
Each profession covers a number of areas where your character’s abilities come into play. They are as follows:
Acrobat covers manoeuvrability and agility – shadow dancers boasting perfect poise and balance, assassins who move silently, those adventurers fleet of foot; also athletes capable of swimming, jumping, and climbing; fencing masters who dodge incoming blows at a moment’s notice and those ‘lucky’ souls who always seem to land on their feet.
This is the default profession applied when making an action to defend against melee or missile attacks in a conflict.
- Athlete. You move two zones for free in a conflict without rolling, instead of one, provided there are no situation aspects restricting movement – or you may ignore one aspect hindering movement that depends on the physical intervention of one normal-sized creature.
- Bladesinger. You gain two free boosts per session which may may be invoked whenever you choose Full Defence on any exchange.
- Dazing Counter. When you succeed with style on a Defend action against an opponent’s melee attack, you automatically counter with some sort of nerve punch or stunning blow. You get to attach the Dazed situation aspect to your opponent with a free invoke, instead of just a boost.
- Hardcore Parkour. +2 to Overcome or Create an Advantage actions made with Acrobat when free-running about rooftops or similarly precarious environments.
- Martial Artist. Provided you are wielding a finesse weapon you may make attack actions using the Acrobat profession (requires Peaceful Warrior).
- Peaceful Warrior. Provided you are not wearing any armour or shield you enjoy two free boosts per session which may be invoked on any Defend action.
Aristocrat represents a character’s refinement and influence, the pass-times of the nobility – horsemanship, falconry, chess and courtly etiquette; diplomacy and negotiation among ‘honest’ gentlemen, tutoring in the fine arts of music and poetry and crucially, the ability to impress your will upon others and lead. Knowledge of the politics and economy of the realms also falls under this profession. Even a commoner with the right schooling can pass among the high-born and move into ‘society’.
- Best Foot Forward. Twice per session, you may upgrade a boost you receive with Aristocrat into a full situation aspect with a free invocation.
- En Garde. You may apply Aristocrat when making melee attacks with a finesse weapon – specifically a one-handed blade such as a rapier or cutlass.
- Demagogue. +2 to Aristocrat when you’re delivering an inspiring speech in front of a crowd. (If there are named NPCs or PCs in the scene, you may target them all simultaneously with one roll rather than dividing up your shifts.)
- Ear to the Ground. Whenever someone initiates a conflict against you in an area where you’ve built a network of contacts, you use Aristocrat instead of Marksman to determine turn order, because you got tipped off in time.
- Friendly Liar. You may use Aristocrat in place of Rogue to create an advantage predicated on a lie.
- Trust Fund Baby. Twice per session, you may take a boost representing a windfall or influx of cash.
Brute defines raw, physical strength, endurance and constitution – your ability to move and lift heavy weights, fight toxins, run marathons and even intimidate people with your sheer physical presence (provided you have the right stunt).
Brute also grants your character additional stress and consequence slots. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5) and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes. This slot can only be used for physical harm.
You may use Brute to make unarmed physical attacks but your opponent automatically gains one free invocation for every piece of armour they have equipped (see the black box on p.281 of the Fate-Core System). This profession can also be applied when rolling to attack using any heavy weapon (note: wielding a heavy weapon normally requires both hands).
- A Friendly Chat. You may use Brute in place of Rogue when attempting to intimidate another character owing to your impressive bulk or size.
- Grappler. +2 to Brute rolls made to create advantages on an enemy by wrestling or grappling with them.
- Strong Arm. Provided you have a rating of Superb (+5), in Brute – you may wield a heavy-weapon with just one hand.
- Take the Blow. You can use Brute to defend against attacks made with fists or blunt instruments, though you always take 1 shift of bludgeoning damage on a tie.
- Tough as Nails. (Requires Take the Blow) – Once per session, at the cost of a fate point, you can reduce the severity of a moderate consequence that’s physical in nature to a mild consequence (if your mild consequence slot is free), or erase a mild consequence altogether.
Marksman describes sensory awareness and accuracy with projectiles; either objects thrown – be they rocks, javelins or knives, or ammunition fired from weapons like bows and slings. Keen senses can allow an adventurer to spot hidden signs of danger, discerning those things concealed or camouflaged.
Apply Marksman whenever making an Attack action using a ranged weapon.
- Body Language Reader. You can use Marksman in place of Mystic to learn the aspects of a target through observation.
- Called Shot. During a ranged attack, spend a fate point and declare a specific condition you want to inflict on a target, like Shot in the Hand. If you succeed, you place that as a situation aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.
- Danger Sense. You have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting danger. Marksman works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm you.
- Knight Fall. You may fire a heavy crossbow at any melee opponent in your current zone without having that aspect invoked against you. Additionally, at the cost of a fate point not only do you gain a +2 bonus but your opponent is barred from invoking any armour aspects in their defence.
- Throwing Knives. Once per session – you may make up to two melee attacks with a throwing knife or dart that you keep secreted on your person (in a boot for example), the DM gets no free invocations to defend even though your opponents may be at close quarters or engaged in a melee.
- Uncanny Accuracy. Once per conflict, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent the time you take to aim or line up a shot (like In My Sights ).
Mystic provides for empathy and will-power, emotional intelligence and self-control. It describes your capacity for reading intent and body language, counselling and soothing those angry or traumatised and resisting efforts made to intimidate and cajole. It also describes those who have a preternatural awareness of illusion and deceipt (including the magical variety).
Mystic grants you additional mental stress boxes or consequence slots. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5) and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes. This slot can only be used for mental harm.
- Hard Boiled. You can choose to ignore a mild or moderate consequence for the duration of the scene. It can’t be compelled against you or invoked by your enemies. At the end of the scene it comes back worse, though; if it was a mild consequence it becomes a moderate consequence, and if it was already moderate, it becomes severe.
- Indomitable. +2 to defend against provocation attacks specifically related to intimidation and fear.
- Sticks and Stones… You may use Mystic to make Defend actions provided you have already taken a physical consequence from an attack in the current exchange (requires the stunt Hard Boiled).
- Strength From Determination. Use Mystic instead of Brute on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength.
Rogue covers almost all acts of subterfuge – dodging the law by slipping into the shadows or becoming lost in a crowd, bluffing and telling lies, moving in disguise, confidence tricks and provocation; not to mention streetwise cunning, familiarity with thieves’ cant and the criminal underworld are all covered here as are the abilities to lip-read and tail a mark.
This profession can also be applied when rolling to attack using any finesse weapon.
- Always a Way Out. +2 on Rogue rolls made to create an advantage whenever you’re trying to escape from a location.
- Dual Wielder. You carry an additional finesse weapon in your weaker hand. Whenever you are attacking two or more creatures you may choose to re-roll your action, however, when splitting shifts to distribute damage you always count the modifier from the off-hand weapon.
- Ninja Vanish. Once per scene, you can vanish while in plain sight by spending a fate point, using a smoke pellet or other mysterious technique. This places the Vanished aspect on you. While you’re vanished, no one can attack or create an advantage on you until after they’ve succeeded at an overcome roll with Marksman to suss out where you went (basically meaning they have to give up an exchange to try). This aspect goes away as soon as you invoke it, or someone makes that overcome roll.
- Slippery Target. Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Rogue to defend against Marksman attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.
- Swashbuckler. Once per conflict – claim a +2 when you attempt to disarm an opponent’s melee weapon – provided you are wielding a finesse weapon. Make a Rogue roll versus your opponent’s relevant melee profession and if successful strip them of their weapon, attaching the aspect Disarmed. If you succeed with style the weapon is flung to another zone (or some hard-to-reach area).
Scholar describes men of letters and their accumulated knowledge. Any mental activity that depends on reason and logic would fall under the purview of this profession. Engineering, craftsmanship, alchemy and anatomical knowledge are all covered here (including the strengths and weaknesses of the many perverse, magical beasts that haunt Faerûn). Suffice to say that most folk in the realms can barely spell their own name so an education carries a certain amount of social standing with it.
Those with a rating of Great (+4) in this profession may choose an additional Scholar-based stunt to reflect time devoted to the pursuit of knowledge.
- Apt Pupil. Once per contest or challenge, whenever you create an advantage with Scholar you enjoy a +2, provided you can explain how your keen intellect grants you an edge.
- Armourer. You may use the Scholar profession to create an advantage and repair any piece of armour, replenishing one of it’s free invocations.
- Dungeon Mechanic. You enjoy a +2 whenever you make an overcome action to disarm, re-work or repair any mechanical dungeon trap.
- I’ve Read about That! You’ve read hundreds—if not thousands—of books on a wide variety of topics. You can spend a fate point to use Scholar in place of any other profession for one roll or exchange, provided you can justify having read about the action you’re attempting.
- Learned Consultant. You may use Scholar in place of another profession in a challenge – provided you can justify your methodology (so you may possibly benefit from using Scholar twice in total).
- Shield of Reason. You can use Scholar as a defence against Rogue provocation, provided you can justify your ability to overcome your fear through rational thought and reason.
- Specialist. Choose a field of specialization, such as herbalism, theology, or zoology. You get a +2 to all Scholar rolls relating to that field of specialisation.
Survivalist describes those who can make it away from civilisation, in the great outdoors or even the alien depths of the underdark. Orientation, tracking, foraging and hunting for food are all activities covered here. Knowing the habits and patterns of animals, how to set traps, where to find useful herbs and plants and protection against the elements are all essential skills. There are many wizards and apothecaries who pay large sums for the procurement of rare glands and other body parts, making the monster hunter a lucrative yet dangerous profession.
- The Back of my Hand. You may use Survivalist to determine initiative in the great outdoors.
- Camouflage. You may use Survivalist in place of Rogue when attempting to hide outdoors.
- Dungeoneer. You may use Survivalist to manipulate and disarm any complex, mechanical or clockwork traps and devices found in underground or man-made structures (i.e. any structures built by intelligent beings).
- Leave No Trace. You are diligent when moving through the wilds and know all the necessary tricks to cover up and disguise your progress. You never leave any tracks. If being pursued by any hostile being you automatically get two free boosts which can be invoked at any time during that session to gain an edge on your pursuers.
- Nature’s Bounty. You may use Survivalist in place of Scholar for the knowledge and application of any herbal medicine or solution. You are the equal of any monk when it comes to their refinement and use and gain a +2 when applying them.
Warrior is the profession that governs martial combat and the use of melee weapons. It not only covers how to implement these weapons in combat but also their care and maintenance.
A rating of Fair allows the wearer to invoke the aspect Light Armour, Good to invoke the aspect Medium Armour and Great to invoke the aspect Heavy Armour. Without an appropriate rating, players may be compelled by the DM when performing any actions that depend on complex movements, such as martial arts or displays of magic. A positive rating of any kind under Warrior will allow the PC to equip and use a shield unmolested. Additionally players may use this profession to create an advantage and repair their armour, replenishing one of it’s free invocations.
Warrior is the default profession applied when rolling to attack using any martial, finesse or heavy weapon.
- Ancestral Warhammer. You carry one of the legendary warhammers of your clan – handed down through generations. Whenever you succeed with style during a melee attack with a dwarven warhammer you no longer have to sacrifice 1 shift of damage in order to claim a boost.
- Backup Weapon. Once per exchange – when someone’s about to hit you with a Disarmed situation aspect or something similar you may declare that you have a backup weapon. Instead of a situation aspect, your opponent gets a boost, representing the momentary distraction you suffer having to switch.
- Heavy Hitter. When you succeed with style on a Warrior attack and choose to reduce the result by one to gain a boost, you gain a full situation aspect with a free invocation instead.
- Killing Stroke. Once per scene, when you force an opponent to take a consequence, you can spend a fate point to increase the consequence’s severity (so mild becomes moderate, moderate becomes severe). If your opponent was already going to take a severe consequence, he must either take a severe consequence and a second consequence or be taken out.
- Man-At-Arms. You may use Warrior in place of Acrobat to defend against any melee attack.
- Pole-Arms Master. When attacking or defending you may decide whether the pole-arm you wield is a slashing, piercing (or possibly, bludgeoning), weapon. Also whenever an opponent ties an attack, she does not gain the customary boost – owing to your superior defensive stance.
- Weapon Smith. You may use Warrior in place of Scholar for the making of or mending of any metal compounds or devices (including, possibly some forms of alchemy). Any time your skills are called upon to perform any such activity you get a +2 bonus to your roll.