Things to do with shade-shifted mundane skills

I was looking through the Lifepaths and realized that there’s a few civilian LPs that simply bathe you in skill points- Student (11 pts!) being the biggie, though pretty much anything with 7+ points can get pretty damn impressive…

…which means with GM’s permission, players could be starting with Grey or even White shaded skills on humans… even with 3 or 4 LPs. (or, if they’re using Child Prodigy, 2 LPs)

It’s pretty easy to see how that would get broken or problematic when it’s stuff like combat, social skills, or sorcery- but what about mundane civilian stuff? History, Philosophy, Sing, Cooking, Mending, etc?

I’m thinking that might be fun to play with, not just as a player, but as a GM, in terms of the kinds of problems that might come up…

  • History - you’ve deduced the REAL history, the events left out or deliberately falsified by historians. If authorities find out, they want you killed. Maybe even Elves are seeking you out to get the real skinny on things that happened…

  • Sing (or any performance skill) - when you perform well, people are making Steel tests, Dwarves are planning to abduct you, maybe, just maybe, if you sing the right song at the right time in someone’s life, you change one of their traits on the spot (“Depressed” to “Hopeful”, etc.) You’re getting invitations to sing from fey creatures, or even a Dragon might seek you out…

  • Mending - You’re the medieval version of MacGuyver meets Tony Stark. You’re not just fixing things, you’re making A-team modifications to have stuff meet specific needs of the situation (“I stripped the wax off the discarded armor, put it on the blades - it’ll keep it from rusting during the storm, for a day or two, at least”). People are bringing their Grey or White objects to you- you’re fixing Elven cloaks.


  1. Is there any kind of dangerous side effects that might come out of letting players start with shade-shifted mundane skills, other than being awesome (and soon to be famous) at that skill? (or particular skills to watch out for? I mean, shade-shifted Falsehood-wise would probably be a heavy thing…)

  2. Any fun ideas as far as things players could do, or things the GM could spin conflicts around based on shade-shifted mundane skills?


My Elf has a gray-shade Dance skill. I thoroughly enjoy disguising myself in the courts of our enemies and challenging them to dance.

I once started a character with a gray-shade Haggling skill. I absolutely terrorized the GM with my ability to get what I wanted at market.

There’s a reason why, in real life, everyone takes student at least twice.