menu

The Analysis skill focuses on dedicated evaluations and qualified critical inquiry. Unlike Investigation and Search, which are used to find things under different circumstances, this skill is about working with what you have, further defining and intensely codifying and qualifying every aspect of an item or scene. Analysis is used to determine the value of objects and offers, determine the authenticity of documents and other objects, decipher codes, pick apart film, video, and other media for clues, and perform forensic tests. This skill is common to investigative and sharp-thinking characters, such as criminologists and detectives.
Combat Actions: None.
Dramatic Conflict: None.
Sample Knowledge: Common cryptographic, forgery, and forensics techniques; origin points of media based on format, processing, and printing.

Appraise Check

(Int; Secret; Gear (Appraisal Kit), Hands-On, Vision)
1 Minute (Take 10/Take 20) • Base Error Range 1

With a successful Appraise check, you can estimate the value or importance or an item or offer within 1d10% of its actual value, up or down. Your DC and error range are determined by the item or offer’s obscurity, as shown on Table: Appraise Checks (see below).
With failure, however, your estimation is off as shown on Table: Appraise Checks.
Cooperative: Yes (maximum 5 helpers).
Synergy Skills:Falsify, Investigation, Streetwise (when appraising something offered on the black market).
Retry: No.
Threat: The amount by which your estimate is off is reduced to 1d6%.
Critical Success: Your estimate is perfect — you understand the item or offer’s precise value or importance.
Error: The amount by which your estimate is off is doubled.
Critical Failure: The amount by which your estimate is off is multiplied by 3d4.

Table: Appraise check
Item or Offer Obscurity/CircumstanceDCIncreaseFailed Estimate
Common (e.g. cut diamond, favor from famous NPC, etc.) 15 +0 (2d4+5 x 10)% of actual value
Uncommon (e.g. uncut diamond, favor from noted NPC, etc.) 20 +1 (2d6+3 x 10)% of actual value
Rare (e.g. private collection gem, favor from reclusive NPC, etc.) 30 +2 (2d8+1 x 10)% of actual value
Obscure (e.g. previously unseen gem, favor from unknown NPC, etc.) 40 +3 (1d20 x 10)% of actual value
Item has succeeded with 1 or more Damage saves since last repair +5 +0
Item is broken or vehicle is broken +10 +1
Item is destroyed or vehicle is destroyed +20 +3
 

Authenticate Check

(Int; Secret; Gear (Authentication Kit), Hands-On, Vision)
1 Minute (Take 10/Take 20) • Base Error Range 1

With a successful Authenticate check, you determine whether a document or object is genuine. If the item is genuine, your DC and error range are determined by the item’s obscurity, as shown on Table 2.15: Authenticate Checks (see below). If the item is fake, your Authenticate result opposes that of the Falsify/Forgery check made to create it.
With failure, you are unable to verify the item’s authenticity
Cooperative: Yes (maximum 5 helpers).
Synergy Skills:Falsify, Investigation, Science (Chemistry).
Retry: No.
Threat: You may ask one question about the person who created the document or item (e.g. “What was the creator’s true emotional state when he made the item?”).
Critical Success: You may ask one additional question about the person who created the document or item per action die spent to activate the critical success (maximum five questions).
Error: You incorrectly verify the item (determining it to be a fake if genuine and vice-versa).
Critical Failure:Your mistake leaves you feeling falsely secure. You incorrectly verify the item (determining it to be a fake if genuine and vice-versa), and your error range with all Authenticate checks increases by 3. This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you succeed with an Authenticate check (whichever comes first).

Table: Authenticate check
Item Obscurity/CircumstanceDCIncrease
Common (e.g. cut diamond, well-known NPC’s journal, etc.) 15 +0
Uncommon (e.g. uncut diamond, noted NPC’s journal, etc.) 20 +1
Rare (e.g. private collection gem, reclusive NPC’s journal, etc.) 30 +2
Obscure (e.g. previously unseen gem, unknown character’s journal, etc.) 40 +3
Item has succeeded with 1 or more Damage saves since last repair +5 +0
Item is broken or vehicle is broken +10 +1
Item is destroyed or vehicle is destroyed +20 +3
 

Decipher Check

(Int; Active; Complex, Concentration, Gear (Computer), Vision)
Varies Per Challenge • Base Error Range Per Code

Deciphering a code is a Complex Task (see page 99), requiring you to overcome 1–10 “Challenges” representing the algorithms, analogues, and other tricks woven into the script. The number of Challenges is determined when each code is created. Overcoming each Challenge requires a successful Decipher check with a DC and error range set by the Science (Mathematics) check or checks made to create the code (see page 153). The time required for each check is based on the difference between the code’s Power Rating and the Power Rating of the computer used to break it, as shown on Table: Decipher Time.
Once the last Challenge is overcome, the code is completely deciphered.
The Game Control is encouraged to plan each code in advance, so that he can give away a little about its background, its creator, and other ways it connects to the setting and storyline with each Challenge you overcome. After you overcome the first Challenge of four, for instance, you might learn that the code was scripted in Germany (recognizing some electronic parlance common to German hackers). The second successful Challenge might reveal a location where the code was scripted (pointing to a pre-planned scene where your team might discover other important information). The third might reveal the hacker’s signature, identifying him, and the fourth might lead to his new lair.
Cooperative: Yes (maximum helpers equal to your Charisma bonus, minimum 0).
Synergy Skills:Computers (when using a computer), Investigation, Science (Mathematics).
Retry: Yes, unless a critical failure reduces the number of Challenges completed below 0.
Threat: You begin to see patterns in the code. Your error range with each Decipher check targeting the same code decreases by 1 (minimum 1). This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you fail a Decipher check (whichever comes first).
Critical Success: Today you made several breakthroughs (see Complex Tasks, page 99).
Error: You begin to see patterns in the code — but they’re wrong. Your DC with each Decipher check targeting the same code increases by 5. This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you succeed with a Decipher check (whichever comes first).
Critical Failure: Today you were frustrated by the code’s elegance — and the fact that you’ve been attacking it in entirely the wrong way (see Complex Tasks, page 99).

Table: Decipher time
DifferenceTime Required
Computer greater by 5 or more 15 minutes
Computer greater by 4 30 minutes
Computer greater by 3 1 hours
Computer greater by 2 2 hours
Computer greater by 1 4 hours
Power Ratings equal 1 day
Code greater by 1 3 days
Code greater by 2 10 day
Code greater by 3 1 month
Code greater by 4 3 months
Code greater by 5 or more 1 year per point of difference
 

Examine Media Check

(Wis; Secret; Concentration, Vision)
1 Hour • Base Error Range 1

With this check, you can glean clues from audio, video, or still pictures. This requires 1 hour per 1 hour of audio or video, or 1 hour per 60 pictures. If the media is genuine (i.e. it hasn’t been doctored), your DC and error range are determined by the quality of the recording gear, as shown on Table: Examine Media Checks. If the media has been doctored, your Examine Media result opposes that of the Falsify/Forgery check made to modify it.
With success, you glean one remaining clue from the media.
With failure, you gather no intelligence from the media.

Cooperative: : Yes (maximum 5 helpers).
Synergy Skills:Computers, Investigation, Sense Motive (when gaining clues about people seen on media).
Retry: Yes, but only after enhancing the image by successfully making an additional Examine Media check. This check requires 1 hour, has a DC equal to your original check DC + 10, and provides no clues if successful. Should you fail an analysis check to enhance an image, you may gain no further information from the media.
Threat: The time required to complete the examination is reduced to 1/2 standard (rounded down, minimum 30 minutes).
Critical Success: You glean one additional remaining clue from the media per action die spent to activate the critical success (maximum 5 clues).
Error: You glean an inaccurate clue from the media (per the GC’s discretion).
Critical Failure: Your mistake leaves you feeling falsely secure. You glean an inaccurate clue from the media (per the GC’s discretion), and your error range with all Examine Media checks increases by 3. This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you succeed with an Examine Media check (whichever comes first).

Table: Examine media checks
Recording GearDC/DC Modifier*Error Range Increase
Professional-grade media (e.g. movie studio or military security camera) 15 +0
Commercial-grade media (e.g. TV field recorder private security camera) 20 +0
Consumer-grade media (e.g. camcorder) 30 +1
Infrared filter +0** +0
Black and white film +5 +1
Grainy audio +5 +1
Archaic media +5 per 10 years old (max. +20) +1 per 10 years old (max. +4)
Recorder in motion as it collected data +5 +1
* All visual and hearing range limitations also apply (see page 350).
** An infrared camera ignores visual range limitations due to darkness, but doesn’t allow identification of individuals.
 

Forensics Check

(Wis; Active; Complex, Concentration, Gear (Forensics Kit), Vision)
1 Hour Per Challenge • Base Error Range 1

Piecing together recent events at a location is a Complex Task (see page 99), requiring you to overcome 1–10 “Challenges” representing the smaller puzzles and clues that lead to the truth. The GC sets the number of Challenges when he plans each mystery. Overcoming each Challenge requires a successful Forensics check with a DC and error range set by the scale and complexity of each Challenge, as shown on Table: Forensics Checks (see below). Your DC and error range may be further modified if someone tries to cover the mystery up, as described in the Falsify/Cover Up skill check.
Once the last Challenge is overcome, the mystery is completely solved.
The Game Control is encouraged to plan each forensic mystery in advance, so that he can let a little of the truth unfold with each Challenge you overcome. After you overcome the first Challenge of four, for instance, ballistics might reveal the number of people involved at a gunfight and the weapons they used. The second succesful Challenge might be blood work proving two of those present were brothers, while the third might identify them through AFIS (the Automated Fingerprint Identification System). Finally, the last successful Challenge might reveal the nature of a special gadget weapon they used during the combat — information useful when preparing against the next attack, and for tracking the gunmen.

Cooperative: : Yes (maximum 5 helpers).
Synergy Skills: : Investigation, Medicine (when the mystery involves biological evidence), Science (Chemistry) (when the mistery involves chemical evidence), Science (Fabrication) (when the mystery involves gear remnants), Search, Sense Motive.
Retry: Yes, unless a critical failure reduces the number of Challenges completed below 0.
Threat: You begin to see patterns in the mystery. Your error range with each Forensics check made during the same inquiry decreased by 1 (minimum 1). This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you fail a Forensics check (whichever comes first).
Critical Success: The day’s inquiries were fruitful (see Complex Tasks, page 99).
Error: You begin to see patterns in the mystery — but they’re wrong. Your DC with each Forensics check made on the same surface increases by 5. This effect lasts until the end of the current scene or until you succeed with a Forensics check (whichever comes first).
Critical Failure: The day was spent chasing red herrings (see Complex Tasks, page 99).

Table: Forensics checks
Scale/Complexity of ChallengeDC/DC
Modifier
Error Range
Increase
One room or smaller 15 +0
One house 20 +1
One city 30 +2
More than one city 40 +3
Simple (e.g. ballistics test involving 1 shooters, identifying globally common substance, etc.) +0 +0
Basic (e.g. ballistics test involving 2–4 shooters, identifying regionally common substance, etc.) +5 +0
Involved (e.g. ballistics test involving 5–8 shooters, identifying locally common substance, etc.) +10 +1
Convoluted (e.g. ballistics test involving 9 or more shooters, identifying exotic or unique substance, etc.) +15 +2