menu

Unless otherwise stated, the following modifiers may apply to any skill check of any type.

uNTRAINEd SkIll CHECkS

When a character possesses 0 ranks in a skill, he is considered “untrained” with it. Any character may make an untrained skill check, simply making the check with a skill bonus calculated with 0 skill ranks. His error range increases by 2.

SkIll SyNERgy

When a character possesses two skills that work well together, such as Athletics and Acrobatics, his knowledge of one may assist him when he makes a skill check with the other. This is handled with a “synergy bonus.”

Stacking modifiers
There are a number of modifiers in Spycraft 2.0, but all of them are either named or unnamed. This determines whether one bonus stacks with others — that is, whether the modifiers are added together before they’re applied to a character’s attack check, skill check, statistic, etc.

All synergy bonuses work the same. For every 5 ranks the character possesses in a skill, he gains a +1 synergy bonus with each skill check listed in the skill’s description (maximum +5).

Example 1: Kevin possesses 7 ranks in the Falsify skill. He gains a +1 synergy bonus with Ambush, Appraise, Authenticate, Harassment, and Tracking checks.

Example 2: Kevin possesses 14 ranks in the Analysis skill. He gains a +2 synergy bonus with the Chemistry, Detect Search, Forgery, Haggle, Mathematics, Modify, Programming, Research, and Sabotage checks.

Synergy bonuses are granted by skills with passive checks, but they are never granted to passive skill checks (remember that the player — who typically keeps track of his own synergy bonuses — is often unaware when a passive skill check is being made).

Table: Skill Synergies lists all the skills that typically grant synergy bonuses to each check, though a player may make a case to his GC to allow a synergy bonus not listed in a skill’s description. The GC should only allow synergy bonuses he finds logical and supportive of the situation at hand.

Like all named bonuses, synergy bonuses do not stack, so only the best available synergy bonus applies to each skill check (see Stacking Modifiers, above).

For a quick reference list of every available skill synergy, see Table: Skill Synergies.

dISCRETIONARy mOdIfIERS

The Game Control can apply a “discretionary modifier” to reflect miscellaneous situations at hand. This modifier may range from –4 (for the most abject conditions) to +4 (for the most favorable).

Example: Kevin climbs a cliff in a light wind, so the GC applies a –2 discretionary penalty.

No more than one discretionary modifier may apply to any single skill check. When multiple circumstances apply to a single check, the GC should factor them all into a single discretionary modifier that doesn’t fall outside the –4 to +4 range.

Example: Kevin climbs a cliff in a light wind (–2) during a tremor (–2), so the GC applies a –4 discretionary penalty.

With interpersonal skills like Impress, the GC is encouraged to factor good roleplay into his discretionary modifiers, though he should err on the side of caution. As a rule of thumb, no roleplaying bonus should exceed +2 (total).

Special Note: Discretionary modifiers replace circumstance modifiers in Spycraft 2.0. Circumstance modifiers don’t exist in this edition, nor do discretionary modifiers stack with one another, as circumstance modifiers did in Spycraft 1.0. For more information, see Stacking Modifiers, above.

NAmEd mOdIfIERS

When a character benefits from more than one named modifier of the same type (discretionary, synergy, etc.), only the best of the bonuses and the worst of the penalties with the same name apply. Example: When making a skill check, Kevin gains a +1 synergy bonus from one skill and a +2 synergy bonus from another. He gains only a +2 synergy bonus with the skill check.

Example: When making a skill check, Kevin gains a +1 synergy bonus and suffers a –3 synergy penalty. He suffers a –2 synergy penalty with the skill.

If two or more like-named or same-source modifiers with time limits affect a character at the same time, the best of each bonus and the worst of each penalty apply until each duration ends, after which the next best bonus or penalty takes its place. This process continues until no bonuses or penalties with durations remain.

Table: Skill Synergies
Skill/ChecksSkills That Grant a Synergy Bonus
Acrobatics
Balance Athletics, Resolve, Sneak
Falling Athletics, Sneak, Survival
Jump Athletics, Sneak, Survival
Maneuver (Personal Vehicle) Drive, Sense Motive, Streetwise (in a city)
Skydiving Athletics, Resolve, Survival
Tumble Athletics, Blend, Sneak
Analysis
Appraise Falsify, Investigation, Streetwise (when appraising something offered on the black market).
Authenticate Falsify, Investigation, Science (Chemistry)
Decipher Computers (when using a computer), Investigation, Science (Mathematics)
Examine Media Computers, Investigation, Sense Motive (when gaining clues about people seen on media).
Forensics Investigation, Medicine (when the mystery involves biological evidence), Science (Chemistry) (when the mystery involves chemical evidence), Science (Fabrication) (when the mystery involves gear remnants), Search, Sense Motive
Athletics
Bind Notice, Sleight of Hand, Survival
Climb Mechanics (when using climbing gear), Resolve, Survival
Escape Acrobatics, Bluff (when trying to escape unnoticed), Sleight of Hand
Forced March Resolve, Survival, Tactics
Maneuver (Foot) Acrobatics, Streetwise (in a city), Survival (in the wild)
Power Lifting Resolve
Smash Resolve
Speed Push Resolve
Sports Resolve, Sense Motive, Tactics
Swim Resolve, Survival
Blend
Stealth None
Bluff
Deception Bureaucracy (in a corporate or government environment), Cultures (in a focus area), Impress (when being positive), Intimidate (when being negative), Sense Motive, Streetwise (in a city)
Bureaucracy
Bribe Impress, Networking, Science (Economy)
Computers
Optimize Electronics, Science (Programming), Science (Super-Science)
Cultures
Communication Impress, Networking, Sense Motive
Drive
Maneuver (Vehicle) Intimidate, Notice, Sense Motive, Streetwise (in a city)
Electronics
Build Computers, Science (Super-Science), Security (when building a security device)
Disable Computers, Science (Super-Science), Security (when disabling a security device)
Modify Analysis, Computers, Science (Super-Science), Security (when modifying a security device)
Optimize Computers, Science (Fabrication), Science (Super-Science)
Repair Computers, Science (Super-Science), Security (when repairing a security device)
Sabotage Analysis, Computers, Science (Super-Science), Security (when sabotaging a security device)
Falsify
Cover Up Bluff, Streetwise (in a city), Survival (in the wild) Disguise Blend, Bluff, Bureaucracy (in a corporate or government environment), Sneak, Streetwise (in a city) Forgery Analysis, Bureaucracy (when creating any document, cover identity, or art object native to a corporate or government environment), Cultures (when creating any document, cover identity, or art object native to a focus area), Electronics (when creating a simulation of an electronic device), Mechanics (when creating a simulation of a mechanical device), Science (when creating any simulation of an item created with a Science focus), Streetwise (when creating any document, cover identity, or art object native to a city)
Impress
Influence Bureaucracy (when targeting any corporate or government character), Cultures (when targeting any character from a focus area), Sense Motive, Streetwise (when targeting any urban character)
Performance Bureaucracy (when targeting any crowd consisting of corporate or government characters), Cultures (when targeting any crowd from a focus area), Streetwise (when targeting any crowd consisting of urban characters)
Persuasion Bureaucracy (when targeting any corporate or government character), Cultures (when targeting any character from a focus area), Resolve, Streetwise (when targeting any urban character)
Intimidate
Coercion Bureaucracy (when targeting any corporate or government character), Cultures (when targeting any character from a focus area), Manipulation, Resolve, Streetwise (when targeting any urban character)
Domination Bureaucracy (when targeting any corporate or government character), Cultures (when targeting any character from a focus area), Manipulation, Resolve, Streetwise (when targeting any urban character)
Investigation
Canvass Area Bureaucracy (when in a corporate or government environment), Cultures (when in a focus area), Impress, Networking, Sense Motive, Streetwise (when in a city)
Detect Search Analysis, Notice, Search Research Analysis, Computers (when using a computer), Investigation, Notice, Search
Manipulate
Harassment Bureaucracy (when targeting any corporate or government character), Cultures (when targeting any character from a focus area), Falsify (when the harassment involves physical props), Streetwise (when targeting any urban character)
Slander Impress, Sense Motive
Mechanics
Build Drive (when building a vehicle), Science (Fabrication), Security (when building a security device)
Disable Drive (when disabling a vehicle), Science (Fabrication)
Modify Analysis, Drive (when modifying a vehicle), Science (Fabrication)
Repair Drive (when repairing a vehicle), Science (Fabrication), Security (when repairing a security device)
Sabotage Analysis, Drive (when sabotaging a vehicle), Science (Fabrication)
Medicine
First Aid Science (Pharmacology), Search, Survival
Stabilize Resolve, Science (Pharmacology), Search, Survival
Surgery Notice, Science (Chemistry), Science (Genetics), Search
Therapy Manipulate, Science (Pharmacology), Sense Motive
Treatment Notice, Resolve, Science (Pharmacology), Sense Motive
Networking (Contacts)
Contact Bureaucracy (when targeting any corporate or government contact), Cultures (when targeting any character from a focus area), Streetwise (when targeting any urban contact), Survival (when targeting any wilderness contact)
Endorsement Impress, Manipulate, Sense Motive
Mediation Bureaucracy (when targeting any NPCs from a corporate or government environment), Sense Motive, Streetwise (when targeting any NPCs from an urban environment), Tactics
Notice
Awareness None
Profession
Accomplishment None
Resolve
Concentration None
Morale None
R&R None
Resist Impress None
Resist Intimidate None
Science
Chemistry Analysis, Medicine, Science (Mathematics)
Economy Bureaucracy, Networking, Profession
Engineering Electronics, Mechanics, Science (Fabrication)
Fabrication Electronics, Mechanics, Science (Engineering)
Genetics Medicine, Science (Chemistry), Science (Pharmacology)
Mathematics Analysis, Computers, Manipulate, Science (Super-Science)
Pharmacology Medicine, Science (Chemistry), Science (Genetics)
Programming Analysis, Computers, Science (Mathematics), Science (Super-Science)
Super-Science Computers, Electronics, Mechanics, Science (Fabrication), Science (Mathematics)
Search
Perception None
Security
Disable Computers (when targeting any computerized security device), Electronics (when disabling any electronic security device), Mechanics (when disabling any mechanical security device), Science (Chemistry) (when disabling any explosive security device), Science (Fabrication) (when disarming any security weapon)
Hotwire Computers (when targeting any computerized ignition), Electronics (when targeting any electronic ignition), Mechanics (when targeting any mechanical ignition), Streetwise
Installation Computers (when installing any computerized security device), Electronics (when installing any electronic security device), Mechanics (when installing any mechanical security device), Science (Fabrication) (when installing any security weapon)
Sense Motive
Detect Lie None
Innuendo Blend, Impress, Networking
Resist Manipulate None
Sleight of Hand
Conceal Action Blend, Bluff, Impress
Stash Item (Person) Blend, Bluff, Search
Sneak
Hide None
Stash Item (Scenery) Blend, Bluff, Search
Streetwise
Black Market Cultures (in focus area), Investigation, Networking
Bribe Impress, Networking, Resolve, Science (Economy)
Gambling Bluff (in a competitive game), Science (Mathematics), Sense Motive (in a competitive game)
Haggle Analysis, Networking, Sense Motive
Survival
Animal Training Impress, Resolve, Sense Motive
Foraging Cultures (in focus area), Notice, Search
Forecast Weather Cultures (in focus area), Science (Mathematics)
Maneuver (Animal) Impress, Resolve, Sense Motive
Tracking Athletics, Bureaucracy (in a corporate or government environment), Cultures (in focus area), Falsify, Notice, Search, Streetwise (in a city)
Tactics
Ambush Blend (when striking from a crowd), Falsify (when using a disguise), Sense Motive, Sneak, Streetwise (when preparing an ambush in a city), Survival (when preparing an ambush in the wild)
Maneuver (Crewed Vehicle) Intimidate, Networking, Resolve Rally Impress, Intimidate, Resolve

uNNAmEd mOdIfIERS

Unless otherwise stated in their description, unnamed modifiers stack with all other modifiers all the time.

Behind the curtain: skill checks

The skill result scale in Spycraft 2.0 is far from arbitrary. The first edition introduced a great many skill check bonuses, some named and therefore limited and others unnamed and completely open to abuse. This edition carefully controls bonuses by establishing a small pool of strictly limited bonus types.

In general, the 10 to 60 scale produces three tiers of skill specialty: 10–20 for low-level results, 21–40 for mid-level results, and 41–60 for high-level results. From a character’s viewpoint, this roughly corresponds to the average and extreme progress he might see on the way to Level 20, where he can theoretically max out with +23 from skill ranks and +25 in miscellaneous modifiers (at most, +10 from attribute modifiers, +6 from insight bonuses, +5 from synergy bonuses, +4 from gear bonuses, and +4 from GC-controlled discretionary bonuses).

This produces a smooth scale in which a character gains access to more and more spectacular skill use outcomes over the course of his career. For example, when combined with a random 1d20 roll, the scale’s upper end sees a maximum skill yield of +68 — 8 higher than the topmost common DC seen in the game. That’s a 60% chance of the most capable Level 20 character achieving the most incredible outcome possible — a more conservative but far more manageable ceiling than before.

Of course, this assessment doesn’t take action dice into account. By Level 20, characters are starting each session with an additional 6d10 in potential skill boosts, which translates to roughly 33 more result points. Certainly, no character is expected to spend all of his action dice boosting his skill results, but this side pool is one more tool in his arsenal, another way to circumvent the system and manage the impossible.

For more information about skill check DCs, see page 88.

mOdIfIER TyPES

For your convenience, here’s a complete list of Spycraft 2.0 modifier types, their ranges, and when they come into play. Discretionary: The GC applies these modifiers to reflect miscellaneous circumstances in the situation and environment (see page 92). Discretionary modifiers range from –4 to +4.

Insight: Origins and special skill checks offer these bonuses, which represent keen understanding. Insight bonuses range from +1 to +6.

Gear: Gear and gadgets offer or trigger these modifiers, which range from –4 to +4.

Morale: Class abilities and other effects that bolster or shake confidence apply these modifiers, which range from –4 to +4.

Size: The Size of a character or object affects its Defense and attack checks (with modifiers ranging from –16 to +16), as well as Blend/Stealth and Sneak/Hide checks (with modifiers ranging from –20 to +20).

Synergy: Complementary skills and special skill checks offer these modifiers, which represent interlocking utility. Synergy modifiers range from –5 to +5.