I’ve discussed skills in Cypher before and how the skills your player picked during PC creation can customize your campaign. With the Cypher System Open License, though, some GMs may want to truly build a skill list from the ground up.
Within Descriptors come in two varieties. Either as a PC gets training in a broad category, such as all positive social interactions. The second type is a narrow skill set, much closer to what most gamers think of as a RPG skill. These two types of skills balance out against a bonus to pool points. See Customizing Descriptors for more details.
(Abilities through Types, Flavors and Focuses also adds temporary training in narrow skills such as Stealth or Perception but only in certain circumstances like being invisible or swimming. Check out the Tasks category of focuses for more of these.)
For a skill list as we commonly know it, though, we’ll focus on the special abilities that assign narrow skills. Also, this type of list I am omitting the training for stat pools defenses and Initiative.
Incidentally while the sample skill list on page 19 is helpful, it does not exactly line up with how these skills are worded within the abilities. The list below might be considered the “official” Cypher skill list:
Areas of Knowledge: History, Geography, Geology, (and mentioned on the sample list on page 19 – Archeology, Astronomy, Biology, Philosophy, and Physics)
Breaking into Computers
Crafting – Computers
Crafting - Weapons
Crafting skill (as mentioned in the sample skill list and the crafting section: Leatherworking, Woodworking, Metalworking, Machinery, etc)
Identifying plants and creatures
Machines - Tech skills
Seeing through deception
Sleight of Hand
As you can see, even some of these skills blur the lines between narrow and broad depending on perspective and personal opinion. Honestly, I’m not dying on a hill for any of these skills.
If you want to make up your own skill list, though, you are in luck, several of the abilities offer a more open interpretation That make it easy to add your own. Those that offer training in “Areas of Knowledge” is a perfect example.
It is not a typo that some of them do not have a Focus or Type listed next to them. These are “orphan” abilities hiding in plain sight. I have found one or two in the past but I had no idea how many there were.
Assassin Skill - Focus: Murders
Athlete - Focus: Feats of Strength
Balance - Focus: Moves like a Cat
Crafter - Focus: Crafts Unique Objects
Handy - Focus: Works for a living
How Others Think
Interaction Skills - Focus: Flavor: Skills And Knowledge Abilities; Was Foretold
Investigate - Focus: Operates Undercover
Investigative Skills - Focus: Flavor: Skills And Knowledge Abilities (And at Explorer Tier 2)
Knowledge Skills - Focus: Flavor: Skills And Knowledge Abilities; Conducts Weird Science (and at Tier 4)
Physical Skills - Focus: Flavor: Skills And Knowledge Abilities: Type: Warrior; Type: Explorer
Physical Skills -Flavor: Skills and Knowledge
Post-Apocalyptic Survivor - Focus: Scavenges
Stealth Skills - Focus: Infiltrates and Works the Back Alley
Tech Skills - Focus: Flavor: Skills And Knowledge Abilities; Battles Robots.
Tracker- Focus: Hunts and Fights Dirty
Travel Skills - Focus: Flavor: Skills And Knowledge Abilities (And at Explorer Tier 2)
Wilderness Life - Focus: Lives in the Wilderness
Wilderness Lore - Focus: Speaks for the Land
Wound Tender: Focus - Looks for Trouble
Contortionist - Flavor: Stealth
Disguise - Focus: Operates Undercover
Extra Skill - Flavor: Skills and Knowledge
Investigative Skills - Type: Explorer (And at Focus: Skills And Knowledge Tier 1)
Quick to Flee - Focus: Runs Away
Sneak - Focus Hunts and Fights Dirty
Travel Skills - Type: Explorer (And at Focus: Skills And Knowledge Tier 1)
Master Crafter - Focus: Crafts Unique Objects
Expert Driver - Focus: Drives Like A Maniac
Knowledge Skills -Focus: Conducts Weird Science (and at Tier 1)
Master Thief- Focus: Works the Back Alleys
Multiple Skills - Flavor: Skills and Knowledge
Task Specialization -Flavor: Skills and Knowledge
Further Mathematic - Focus: Calculates the Incalculable
Learned a Few Things - Focus Learns Quickly
No One Knows Better - Focus: Interprets the Law
That breaks down narrow skills for Cypher and I hope it helps you in your own world building with Cypher. If you enjoyed this abbreviated post. You can find the full version on my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/ganzagaming.
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