A Skilled Frontier with Abilities

Anonymous's picture
April 3, 2012 - 11:58pm
I added abilities to each skill in the article A Skilled Frontier from Issue #9. In some cases the player can choose which ability to use, this remains for the characters life. I've also added two skills: Vehicle Energy and Vehicle Rocket.

Content of Star Frontiersman project

A Skilled Frontier

by Bill Logan

Note, this is a modified version of the original article, a new skill called "Vehicle weapons" was added.

Table of Contents

Character Generation

All players must decide which PSA is primary to their character concept, and which two are secondary to it. List one PSA with a "P:" next to it. List two PSAs with an "S:" next to them. All other PSAs are tertiary to your character concept.


Your character will begin with three level 1 skills. One of which must be from your character's Primary PSA. The second can be from any Primary or Secondary PSA. The third can come from any PSA (even one tertiary to your character concept). 

For example, your character's primary PSA is Military, and your secondary PSAs are Tech and Agent. You begin with three level 1 skills. One of which must come from your Military PSA, the other may come from any primary or secondary PSA (Military, Tech, or Agent). The third can come from any PSA you want. You select Beam Weapons level 1 from Military, Robotics level 1 from Tech, and Survival level 1 from Scout.

Skill Checks

1/2 Ability + 10% for each Level of skill.

For example, if your ability is 60 and you have a 4th level skill the skill check would be 60/2 = 30 + 40 = 70%

Unskilled Skill Checks

1/2 Ability 

Skill Notes

  • Medic - a successful Medic skill roll will heal a number of d10 equal to the medic's skill level, but require a like number of hours of recovery (thus a 3rd level medic might roll 3d10 and get 15... meaning he heals 15 STA if the patient rests 15 hours afterwards). If the full period of rest isn't taken, the healing will be halved.
  • Tech - use the standard AD repair rule

Skill List

Note the ability next to each skill, if there are two listed you must choose one. This choice remains throughout the characters career. Make sure to record the ability next to the skill.

Ron chooses Persuasion for his dralasite character. The skill lists PER or LDR. Ron's LDR is higher, however he imagines his character uses PER more than LDR when trying to persuade others (and he plans on raising his PER score faster than LDR). He records PER next to this Persuasion skill and then calculates the score.  

The Agent professional skill area governs those specialty skills associated with activities often outside
the law. They deal with deception, coercion, theft, and espionage. Skilled agents can slip into an area, carry out a mission, sense any traps you've prepared for him, and if caught convince you to let him go. The Agent PSA consists of the following skills: 
  • Stealth [DEX] (rolls apply to prowling, hiding, shadowing, concealment, etc.)
  • Persuasion [PER or LDR] (rolls apply to con, charm, convince, intimidate, etc.)
  • Thievery [DEX] (rolls apply to lock picking, pocket picking, forgery, sleight of hand, etc.)
  • Detective [INT] (rolls apply to listening, spotting clues, gathering information, surveillance, searching for weapons, reading body language, etc.)
The artist professional skill area covers skills designed to create and interpret various forms of expression. Effective professional artists have a creative streak that permeates everything they do in life. Creative individuals have an easier time learning to play musical instruments, write elegant speeches or songs, sculpt things from various materials, and draw/paint their visions to canvas or paper. The Artist PSA consists of the following basic skills:
  • Visual Art [LOG or INT] (rolls cover creation or interpretation of drawings, paintings, photographs, holovideos, etc.) 
  • Structural Art [LOG or DEX] (rolls cover creation or interpretation of sculptures, pottery, woodcraft, leatherwork, etc.)
  • Composition Art [LOG] (rolls cover creation or interpretation of poetry, stories, articles, music scores, songs, etc.) 
  • Performance Art [DEX or RS] (rolls cover acting, singing, musical instruments, dancing, mime, or other forms of performance art) 
The linguist professional skill area is for those individuals determined to speak, read, and write every language in the Frontier. Although few player characters would select this as their Primary PSA,
many may wish to purchase individual skills. Purchasing languages is handled simply: level 1 allows for basic/halted/limited conversation, level 2 allows basic/limited reading and writing, level 3 means your character is fluent with a strong accent but can read/ write effectively, level 4 is completely fluent and completely literate, level 5 is able to pick up and simulate local dialects, and finally level 6 is a mastery normally reserved for those raised to speak to the language, indistinguishable from a native. If you want to get around in an area, building a language skill to level 2 is typically sufficient. Starting players are automatically considered level 6 in the languages of their native race and level 5 in Pan-Galactic. The Linguist PSA consists of the following basic skills, but more languages can be found throughout the Frontier:

Ability: LOG
  • Human Languages
  • Dralasite Languages
  • Yazirian Languages
  • Vrusk Languages
  • Pan-Galactic
The military professional skill area represents the specialized form of destruction practiced by soldiers, mercenaries, and even private bodyguards. Military specialists are unfortunately common throughout the Frontier. Effective military specialists can take out their enemies with speed and precision. The Military PSA consists of the following skills:

Ability: Ranged use DEX, Melee use DEX or STR and Demolitions uses LOG
  • Beam weapons (roll defines chance to hit with beam weapons)
  • Gyrojet weapons (roll defines chance to hit with gyrojet weapons)
  • Projectile weapons (roll defines chance to hit with projectile weapons) 
  • Archaic weapons (roll defines chance to hit with archaic ranged weapons) 
  • Unarmed Combat (roll defines chance to hit while unarmed) 
  • Melee weapons (roll defines chance to hit with hand-held weapons)
  • Thrown weapons (roll defines chance to hit with hurled weapons)
  • Demolitions (roll includes chance to set or deactivate an explosive charge)
  • Space Energy Weapons (roll defines chance to hit with energy-based starship weaponry) 
  • Space Rocket Weapons (roll defines chance to hit with rocket-based starship weaponry) 
  • Vehicle Energy Weapons (roll defines chance to hit with energy-based starship weaponry) 
  • Vehicle Rocket Weapons (roll defines chance to hit with rocket-based starship weaponry) 
The Pilot professional skill area covers the operation of vehicles, military or otherwise, in stressful situations. A skilled pilot can maneuver his vehicle through tight confines, across dangerous terrain, and recover from losses of control. The following skills comprise the Pilot PSA:

Ability: DEX 
  • Ground vehicles (roll for control of ground cycles, cars, and transports)
  • Hover vehicles (roll for control of hover cycles, cars, and transports)
  • Water vehicles (roll for control of boats, ships, and submarines)
  • Air vehicles (roll for control of rotor-wing, propeller-, or jet-based air vehicles)
  • System vehicles (roll for control of shuttles and fighters and short-range transports)
  • Space vehicles (roll for control of large spaceships capable of FTL speeds)
The scholar professional skill area involves skills that are all about knowledge. Even if that knowledge isn't quite scholarly, it falls under this skill area. Effective scholars can draw parallels between literary and historical events and apply them to what is going on around them, giving them an insight that unscholarly people might lack. Note that all rolls for scholarly skills can be made twice: first to see if you know the fact, and second to research it if you don't know it. The Scholar PSA includes the following skills: 
  • Literature  [LOG]  (rolls involve knowledge of authors and their writings)
  • History [LOG] (rolls involve knowledge of the past, or researching past events, people, or places) 
  • Politics [LOG or INT] (rolls involve knowledge of the inner workings of politics and bureaucracies) 
  • Economics  [LOG]  (rolls involve knowledge of the financial infrastructure of the Frontier)
  • Pop Culture  [LOG or INT] (rolls involve knowledge of present people, places, and events) 
  • Law [LOG] (rolls involve knowledge of and around the laws throughout the Frontier)
  • Philosophy/Theology [LOG or INT] (rolls involve knowledge of the religions and philosophies of the Frontier)
The scientist professional skill area covers those skills that deal with the living, chemical, or physical laws of the universe. Scientists give names to the unknown, bringing them into the realm of the known. A skilled scientist develops ideas or diagnosis, plans experiments, and proves theories. Whether they're in it for the discovery or for the glory, scientists are part of what makes the Frontier an exciting place. The Scientist PSA is comprised of the following skills: 
  • Medic [LOG] (rolls deal with the diagnosis and treatment of infections, disease, toxin, and injury)
  • Psycho-Social [PER or INT] (rolls deal with the study of the psyche, hypnosis, and the unconscious mind)
  • Environmental [LOG] (rolls deal with terrestrial land, water, and air sciences)
  • Space Science [LOG] (rolls deal with astrogation, spatial physics, and starship engineering)
The scout professional skill area includes those skills the outdoorsman would require. Effective scouts can live off the land and survive adversity off even complex environments if they have the right materials handy. The following skills comprise the Scout PSA: 
  • Animal Handling [PER or INT] (rolls include influencing animal behavior, riding, husbandry, etc.) 
  • Athletics [DEX] (rolls include climbing, running, jumping, etc.)
  • Survival [STR or INT](rolls include procuring shelter, hunting, tracking, building fire, etc.)
  • Navigation [LOG or INT] (rolls include finding way in wilderness, charting new courses).
  • Mariner [STR] (rolls include swimming, diving, operating terrestrial watercraft, etc.)
The Tech professional skill area includes those skills that deal with the repair, configuration, programming, and engineering of technology. Effective Techs can repair damaged goods in adverse conditions, operate technological devices to their fullest, and reprogram captured enemy or alien technology for their own use. The following skills comprise the Tech PSA: 
  • Technician [LOG] (rolls include operation, accessing, and repairing vehicles and machines)
  • Computers  [LOG]  (rolls include programming, interfacing, hacking, and repairing computers)
  • Robotics  [LOG]  (rolls include programming, accessing, configuring, and repairing robots)
  • Spaceship Tech [LOG] (rolls include programming, accessing, configuring and repairing spaceship engines)

Spending Experience Points

Table: Experience Point costs
Level 6 
 Primary12 15 18 
 Secondary12 16 20 24 
 Tertiary16 24 32 40 48 
To raise a skill it costs a number of XP shown on the table. For instance, if you have a level 3 skill in your Primary skill area to raise it to level 4 it would cost 12 XP. If it were a Tertiary skill (not in your Primary or Secondary) it would cost 32 XP 

Ability cost 1 for 1.
For instance, if you spend 3 XP you can raise one ability by 3. 

Used with permission from