Specialty Skills

Just an idea for a new skill mechanic, partly based on the discussion about variations of the Weaver skill to make clothing, hats, shoes, gloves, etc.

Specialty Skills
Specialties are specific applications of an existing skill. Tailor is a specialty of Weaver allowing you to craft clothing but not baskets or sails… Leatherworker is a specialty of Armorer involved in making leather armor. Specialty skills are always named for occupations, same as skills—Trapper, not Trapping. Calligrapher, not Calligraphy.*

Specialties for Fighter, like Axe-Thrower or Sword-fighter, are specific to a weapon and/or use of that weapon. Similar specialties in different skills don’t stack (e.g., Bowhunter and Archer; Liar and Grifter).

Benefits: The benefit of a specialty is that the obstacle is reduced by 1 when performing that skill for a specific application. Obstacles cannot be reduced below 1. You may only possess one specialty per skill.

Requirements: Gaining a specialty requires the normal number of passed tests to advance, but no failed tests are required. Tests toward gaining a specialty are tracked for that specialty—they do not count toward the root skill. You may only train toward one specialty at a time—if you switch tracks, reset those tests for advancement.

For example: I have Hunter 3 and want a specialty in Fisher. After four passed fishing tests, I gain the Fisher specialty. I still need four passed tests and three failed tests to advance Hunter to 4.

Someone with a specialty can use the Mentor skill to train another character in either a skill or a specialty. Even the Mentor skill may have a specialty (for example, an Alchemy Professor could teach Alchemist).


This is a cool, uncomplicated way to add depth.

I guess if I advance to Hunter 4, I can still benefit from my Fisher specialty. That’d be neat and obviously an incentive to specialise early. Another option is to require retraining when the root skill advances: invest another passed test in your specialty to gain it’s benefit at the higher skill level. Might be too fiddly to bother with though.

I also note Fisher is an undefined NPC skill under Fisherman. It’s a significant decision whether something is a specialty or it’s own skill, since it’s considerably faster and cheaper to acquire a high-level specialty by piggy-backing than to acquire a high-level skill from scratch. I just wondered had you thought about how to navigate that choice—both for undefined NPC skills and other potential specialities/skills.

Well, if it would have its own factors then I create the skill!


Fishers use lines, hooks, nets and traps to capture fish and shellfish. Hunters catch whales and seals and Scavengers forage for shellfish.

Fishers can use lines and nets from Weavers, bait from Hunters, Trappers and Fishers and hooks from Smiths as supplies.

Suggested Help for Fisher: Hunter, Sailor
Beginner’s Luck for Fisher: Health

Fisher Factors
Environment: pond, river, coast, ocean, deep ocean (environment sets the maximum obstacle for size)
Size: small, medium, large, giant, monstrous
Type: crustaceans, fish, sharks, The Kraken

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