SKills - Questions/Proposals

I am playing a Medeek/Ghetto Sheef Kerrn and looking at my skill list and thinking Building Scenes… what will I be able to do.

I got a 5 in Surgery and Pharmacology.

But the rules don’t have much in Pharmacology; just some Ob1 Pain Killers and an expensive laboratory.

So is Pharm considered a Job Skill and a Manufacturing Skill regarding Technology for reasonable types of “Drugs”? We are talking about Advantage Dice and Obstcle Dice. Manufacturing Gas weapons (including stuff like VX and Mustard) for explosives and Stet guns. I hate to play a character who makes poisons, I am thinking about war and the terrible things it breeds.

In this case Only Affects Naiven/Vaylen would be a benifit rather than a typical Categorical Limitation, or are we encouraged to break the rules like this…

more later they are kicking us out.

Any thoughts fellow Kerrn?

What are your Beliefs?

Is there a world burning thread that lays out the situation?

Instincts are currently weak, but workign on that.

The world is a barren wasteland with Shieches/Warrens housing the population. The human population is primarly Nobility and serfs, with a mix of some free traders (very minor from off world) and criminals. The Kerrn Ghetto is the primary black market, medical care, and semi-skilled labor. The Kerrn Hammer Fleet has the real skill labor. I think this game might go in the direction of leading the serfs/slaves to freedom, though once we get there,
who the hell know what we will do.

Name: Fazia Eisen

Stock: Kerrn

Age: 47 years

Born Kalakesh, Yusheva (Kerrn Student), Teasha (Teacher), Medeek (Medic), Drei (Operations Staff), Sheef (Operations Chief), Ghetto Sheef (Planet-side Leader of the Ghetto)

The Fazia of the Ghetto, Fazia Eisen is in charge of a strange and desperate mix of Kerrn and humans. The Kerrn are free but marginalized, the Humans are criminals and outcasts outside of the structure of the Nobility/Serf relationship. The Ghetto is the location of the Black-market, which seeks to pass goods around the controlling and taxing arm of the Church of Purity. Fazia Eisen is also a known surgeon and pharmacist; one of the few doctors and sources of medication outside of the Church’s Health and Wellness Wing (HAWW). He is a business man, who has begun to agitate the serf for their rights, which might even hurt his business.


  1. The Vaylen are a threat to us all, I will prove to these humans that the Vaylen are among us if I have to fabricate the evidence myself.

  2. The Kerrn know about slavery first hand, I will assist the human slaves to win their freedom from their corrupt masters.

  3. The so called Purity Laws are disgusting, and the Priests have become intolerable; but I need an agent who can keep my businesses ahead of their Inspectors; I must find the unimaginable, a trustworthy priest.


  1. When asked for succor by the needy, provide shelter and help.

  2. When asked for assistance, bargain.

  3. Never trust a human, they speak lies.

If I was playing your guy:

First Story Builder:
Dark night. Shadowy figures lug a heavy black body-sized bag to a door marked with a red cross.

Fazia Eisen escorts them in. “Did anyone see you?” “I don’t think so.”

Fazia Eisen unzips the bag. Inside is a human body, ashen-faced.

Resources test: Human body, recently deceased.

“Let’s get to work.” Single-handedly, he pulls the body on to his operating table, lying it face-down. He stabs a long needle into its brain stem, injecting a thick, milky fluid.

Pharm Test: Synthetic “naiven extract” - a substance made to look exactly like the residue a naiven leaves in its host. Linked test.

The fluid injected, the Kerrn Medeek grabs a power drill and bores a hole into the body’s skull.

Surgery Test: Drill a field hull into the body, just like the Vaylen do. Intent: get the church to investigate the Vaylen when they are presented with the body.

“Make sure this body is found by the HAWW. That should rouse them to action.”

Thats where I am going… ! You see the same potential I do.

You could also perform Surgery on a wounded Cotar or Dregus who somehow found himself in the ghetto (Circles test). Make your intent to have him feel like he owes you one for saving his life.

Or you could Circle up a Cotar or Dregus who is an addict who comes to you for drugs (which you can manufacture). Pharm test to make good drugs; intent = to keep him dependant on you. You can blackmail him into working for you.

We should just come up with Obs 1 to 5 for Pharmacology.

My impression was that it was similar to Fabrication, except used for drugs 'n stuff.

My stab at it:

Ob 1: Aspirin: Remove one superficial wound. Lasts 4 hours
Ob 2: Identify commercial drug and possible effects.
Ob 3: Painkiller: If the character is wounded will restore 1D. Last 4 hours (p. 238)
Ob 4: Anesthesia: Linked test for surgery. Can knock someone out for 4 hours + 2 hours per additional success.
Ob 5:
Ob 6: Create a drug compound with a particular effect.

And with that I introduce the:

Drug Burner!! :smiley:
Base 1 Ob

Effective on:
0 Ob Unsafe, roll a DoF match to limitations on list, apply to this drug without benefit of Ob reduction. Let it ride. :wink:
+1 Ob Humans or Kerrn
+2 Ob Other species
+3 Ob Vaylen only, and not host body.

Multi-organism drugs: add obstacles for each species that’s affected.

0 Ob Vaccine
+2 Ob Pill / consumable liquid

0 Ob 4 hour dose
+1 Ob 8 hour dose
+3 Ob Daily dose

0 Ob detectable in bile, urine, breath, skin and hair
+1 Ob for each method removed
+6 Ob Undetectable

+1 Ob to reduce hesitation per 1D, multiply hesitation duration on failure by bonus dice + 1.
+2 Ob to reduce hesitation per 1D, double hesitation duration.
+3 Ob gain benefits of Obedient trait
+3 Ob gain benefits of Numb trait
+3 Ob cure for Distortion Sickness
+4 Ob gain benefits of Nimble trait
+6 Ob gain benefits of Eidetic Memory trait
+7 Ob gain benefits of Berserker trait

-1 Ob gain benefits of Jumpy trait
-1 Ob gain benefits of Exhausted trait
-1 Ob gain benefits of Light Sensitive trait
-1 Ob gain benefits of Casually violent trait
-2 Ob all perception based tests are at +1 Ob.
-2 Ob drug is Addictive to those that consume it more than twice in one manuever, they are eligible for the Addicted trait.

Successful roll means you’ve discovered the formula for said drug. Additional rolls can be made as linked tests to eventually manufacture of the drug.

Fabrication: Resources obstacle equal to Pharmacology Ob to create drug.
Production penalties

  • 1 Ob for vaccines

Comments, flames, suggestions welcome :slight_smile:

Too cool! I can’t wait to try this out!

Esteban -

I have not had a chance to check, are those Obs based on the trait costs? or just your ultimate sense of fairness and balance? :slight_smile:

A bit of both. I mostly tried to stick to the trait costs, but I did tweak a few to fit with my general sense of ‘fairness and balance’.

Honestly though, I’d have to add them up and compare them to the probability for each Ob against the number of dice to see how broken the obstacles are. Though I suspect you could split the task much like you can with fabrication/resources. That is start with a base drug, and add elements as hard “pharma” to the game in bits and pieces through succesive building rolls.

Very cool Estaban. This is not a challenge of your coolness, i dig all of it, but what do you feel this does that the tech burner did noy?" Other than say “gee, you’re fabricating your ‘tech’ - read: drugs - using Pharmacology instead of Fabrication.” Doesn’t that pretty much do all this?

Aside form my question of it’s need I think the Drug Burner is wicked fun!

I don’t like the implication of “Unsafe” being a 0 ob. It’s too easy to weaponize that. unsafe should be a trait, I’d think.

Excretion is a bit fiddly for my taste. I would just create a varied level with Obstacles to discovery and a final Untracable trait that disallowed a test.

I kinda like the idea that you use Pharmacology kinda like circles in this manner where you finally learn the formula and duplicate it enough that it’s kinda tried and true. What if you have a double ob Fabrication penalty until it’s a proven drug and when you’ve learned it (10-Pharmacology+Ob) or something like that.


  • Don

You know, the Tech Burner probably does all that’s necessary. Interspecies obstacles can be categorical limitations on devices. Some of the traits I listed weren’t available as features in the Tech Burner, like changes in hesitation, which makes sense from a device point of view, but drugs can affect your entire perception and mental state.

But mostly, I thought the intent of the exercise was to take all the raw capability in systems like the Tech Burner and apply them to a particular instance, in this case pharma. So with that in mind, I crafted the Drug Burner, to provide a glimpse of the potential already embedded in the system using mechanics already in play in the game.

Also, I wanted to get precious feedback on the matter. For example, your comment about Unsafe being a boon was spot-on. However, I’d add the obstacle to the fabrication, you need to find someone twisted enough to help you manufacture a blatantly unsafe drug. Especially as most medical items would fall within quarantined item guidelines.

From a pharmacological point of view it’s not harder to make an unsafe drug, the problem is making one that’s safe. Though I would add the “lethal” option to the list. Honestly it shouldn’t be that hard to create something lethal.

I honestly like your interpretation of how Excretion should work, it should add Ob’s to being detected. Undetectable should be a bargain version that sets a high but not outright impossible obstacle, like 10D.

Yeah, whenever I approach these things rarely do I apply “real world” perspectives, rather focus on “how will this be used and what will it do to the story.” Sometimes you get a disparity where it’s easier to do something (it’s not hard to make an unsafe drug at all) but story and game wise you know it will derail a game in some hands. :slight_smile:

I honestly like your interpretation of how Excretion should work, it should add Ob’s to being detected. Undetectable should be a bargain version that sets a high but not outright impossible obstacle, like 10D.

Nah, make untracable, untracable. It’s ugly to be like “test denied!” it’s just a rulesbreaker traits. It also makes for less calculated decisions when looking at story. “Hmm, I will spend the time on this roll not because I think I can make it rather for a challenging test.” I am all for pushing failures to your benefit but I don’t think this would be a test that would usually move story forward in a cool way if you fail, no? Glad you dug the obstacles idea. :slight_smile:

I like the raise difficulty to raise detection, though it could be done through traits or just numbers… (+2Ob for for first +1Ob to detect, and +1Ob for each additional level of difficulty etc…)

I like it, and think it Adds to the Tech burner. though in some cases the Tech Burn is going to be simpler to use.

I will print this out, with changes and use it in our up coming game. Though first game is in a week.