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License to improvise!

Spycraft 2.0 aspires to model the most common situations and actions encountered in the modern genre, and does so with precise detail in order to provide the most comprehensive overview possible. On the other hand, skill descriptions are often described in broad terms to support a variety of genres, time periods, and settings. This dichotomy may leave some players confused about how to handle situations and actions that aren’t immediately y covered.

Don’t panic! As with any RPG, the Game Control may always change or delete rules as he wishes. Many aspects of the skill system — such as Knowledge checks — already allow him to do this. When a skill check isn’t scripted just the right way to handle a situation, or a player tries to do something outside the scope of these rules, the GC should feel free to call for one or more skill checks of any type, using any skill and attribute combination, with any modifiers and special rules he likes.

As an example, tailing someone in a vehicle might require a Drive check with a synergy bonus from Sneak (despite the fact that the scripted rules don’t mention this relationship). Ultimately, it’s more important that the game match your vision than the other way around.

Skills and skill checks are two different things. A character purchases skill ranks in a skill, which in turn offers him one or more named skill checks he can make with those ranks, using one or two key attributes. For example, the Acrobatics skill governs Balance, Falling, Jump, Maneuver (Personal Vehicle), Skydiving, and Tumble checks.

This helpfully provides a shorthand way to refer to any skill check in the game, but with 30 skills and almost 100 skill checks, it can become confusing. To ease the burden, we often refer to skill checks after their parent skill name when they’re first introduced in each section (e.g. “Acrobatics/Skydiving”).

Occasionally, the rules call for an undefined skill check. This is a check without a scripted description — for example, “Falsify (Int).” In such cases, the check follows all standard skill rules, using the key attribute in the parentheses, but no scripted check description applies.

If you ever get confused or don’t know where to find the rules for a skill check, simply refer to Table 2.3: Skill Check References (see page 90).