Dodging (Starting Variance 4d10): Skill at avoiding harm from incoming hostile attackers, explosions, rocks etc. Includes ranged and melee combat.
Aiming (Starting Variance 3d10): Skill at hitting distant targets. Skill used to determine hits when firing handheld, mounted and vehicle-based guns. Possible non-combat applications include, when used in conjunction with other skills, leaping in zero-g towards a distant object or throwing a rope to a floating comrade.
Striking (Starting Variance 2d10): Skill at hitting something with limbs or with objects held with a limb at close range. Used to determine hits in melee combat. Outside of combat, could be used to pull a lever or hit just the right button on a console while under duress.
Resilience (Starting Variance 1d10): Skill at managing pain, avoiding succumbing to shock or loss of vital fluids, and overall ability to remain effective in the face of trauma. Somewhat analogous to “hit points” in traditional RPGs, but it is not a value that is depleted and restored. Being injured in combat forces Resilience checks. Failure can result in unconsciousness or death. Includes both mental and physical toughness and resistance to mental and physical trauma.
Use Electronics (Starting Variance 3d10) Skill in using computers and other electronic machines. Specializations can be for hardware or software or for various activities.
Pilot (Starting variance 4d10) Skill in using aircraft and interplanetary spacecraft. Different specializations exist for interceptors, frigates, capital ships, transportation and shipping craft, ultralights, etc.
Operate Ground Craft (Starting variance 4d10) Skill in using a vehicle that does not fly. Specialties include wheeled, tracked and hovering ground vehicles as well as boats.
Surgery (Starting Variance 2d10) Skill at treating major injuries using a medbay, usually with assistance from medical robots. A surgeon can fix long-term health problems, undo degenerative conditions, and bring someone back from the brink of death under the right conditions, but this skill does not cover the ability to treat common, obvious injuries outside of an operating room—the skillset represented by Surgery is simply too specialized to be of much use on a battlefield or in the midst of a disaster. A character that is Crippled or worse on the condition track can only be brought back to full health with Surgery.
Medicine (Starting Variance 4d10) Skill at treating battlefield wounds, diseases and toxins using first aid kits or improvised materials. This skill can alleviate the symptoms and short-term effects of deleterious bodily conditions but, unlike Surgery, it cannot be used to ultimately cure these conditions. A good example of the distinction would be the difference between a combat medic and a field surgeon. The medic’s Medicine helps him deliver first aid to injured comrades and keep his unit healthy, but serious medical emergencies require the equipment and expertise of a surgeon. Others who might have Medicine include survivalists and dedicated citizen first-responders. Doctors, of course, are often skilled in both Surgery and Medicine, though not necessarily.
Networking (Starting Variance 5d10) Skill at finding new sources of information, meeting new and/or important people, understanding how social groups function, and identifying hierarchies and unstated power structures in society. Does not include actual eloquence, persuasiveness or deceptiveness.
Persuasion (Starting Variance 3d10) Skill at convincing others without resorting to outright deception. Covers eloquence, rhetorical effectiveness, ethos and empathy.
Bluffing (Starting Variance 3d10) Skill at convincing others to believe your lies. Also covers the art of acting.
SPECIFIC SKILLS: These skills must be purchased with a specific named thing in mind, which cannot be changed. A second skill must be taken for a different thing.
Knowledge (Blank) (Starting Variance 1d10): The ability to learn and remember facts about blank, and to analyze and solve problems related to blank.
Craft (Blank) (Starting Variance 1d10): The skill of creating and maintaining a specific type of manufactured good. Covers factory- and hand-crafting in fields such as gunsmithing, spaceship building, clothing production and culinary arts. Also includes the repair and maintenance of blank. Skill can be used to represent creative talents such as singing, painting, playing an instrument or composing poetry, but not talents that would be better represented by other skills such as dancing (Athletics) or acting (Deception).
Athletics (Starting Variance 3d10) Includes running, jumping, climbing and swimming as well as skill in specific sports as well as overall physical fitness not directly related to combat aptitude.
Stealth (Starting Variance 4d10): Skill at avoiding being detected by various (primarily visual) means. Also covers infiltration, sleight of hand, tailing others and losing a tail.
Awareness (Starting Variance 2d10): Skill at noticing things using one’s physical senses or by using sensor equipment. Also includes bodily awareness and the reading of body language and nonverbal communication, and intuiting things that are not obvious. Gamemasters can, but are not obliged to, allow players to use Awareness tests as a sort of “Give me a hint” mechanism, although they should take care to use it sparingly.
Reaction (Starting Variance 5d10): One’s ability to react quickly to changes. The most common use of Reaction is determining Combat Sequence. Reaction tests can also be called for when snap judgments or quick reflexes matter. If someone tries to snatch a gun out of your hand, you’d roll Reaction to try and avoid his grasp.
Survival (Starting Variance 4d10): Skill at maintaining one’s bodily health and overall effectiveness while under adverse conditions. Survival allows characters to find food, water and shelter and avoid common environmental dangers in wildernesses, wastelands or in disaster scenarios.