At each level, all characters gain skill points according to their class, ability scores, and other factors. Every skill has several different levels. No more than one skill point can be invested in a skill at a time, and the number of points in a skill can not exceed the character’s level (with exceptions as explicitly noted in the skill description). Some skills describe special benefits granted at various skill levels. Others demand checks, the details of which are described below.

A check is performed by rolling a die; a result of equal to or less than the skill level is a success. Generally, very simple tasks may be resolved with a d4, simple tasks with a d6, standard tasks with a d8 (the default), and harder tasks with a d12 or d20.

Group checks:

In appropriate situations, a group may act in concert. A leader is chosen to make the check, with a +1 bonus for each helper. (This includes characters distracting or otherwise hindering a target in combat to give bonuses to an ally’s attack or defense.) Note that practical considerations should determine whether a check can be performed by a group. In some cases, too many would-be helpers will only hinder the character performing the check. In other cases, helpers might need a minimum level of skill in order to render effective aid (two or three ranks in the relevant skill). As a rule, group checks should not give more than a +2, or rarely a +4 bonus.

Hurried or extended checks:

Some checks, such as Crafts, can be attempted in a shorter time-frame than they would normally require. For such rush jobs, each 10% reduction in time required imposes a -1 penalty. Whether a check can be hurried is always up to the YAM.

Other tasks represent long-term undertakings. At periodic intervals (per day of work for most Crafts, per week or month for massive projects such as architectural or engineering work), checks are made (often one group check for each team working on an element of the task). Each success adds one to the pool of successes. Each roll of 8 (or the highest possible result, if a non-d8 die is being used) represents a disaster that reduces the pool by 1d6 successes. If a target number of successes is accumulated, the project is completed successfully; if the pool is ever reduced to 0 or below by disasters, the whole attempt is a failure and new work must be started from scratch.

For each class, a given skill may be forbidden (X), normal (-), or difficult (D). No points may be spent on forbidden skills; they remain at their base efficacy (or unusable, depending on the skill) for the character’s entire career. Difficult skills cost two skill points to improve by one rank. Normal skills may be improved by spending skill points on a one-for-one basis,although never by more than one rank at a time.

Skill Listing

Note that some skills listed below are in fact “families” of related skills, and each individual skills must be learned separately. For example, each language is a skill unto itself, and learning how to paint does not grant any proficiency in musical performance. These are designated with an (F) after the name.


YAOSC (Yet Another Old School Clone) Confanity Confanity