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1.6.2 Using Coded Skills

Some skills, spells, and psionic abilities have coded effects. That is, success or failure causes some change to the database, such as raising or lowering someone's hit points, transferring money, unlocking an exit, etc. The online manual entry for a skill should say whether or not it is coded.

In order to trigger an ability's coded effects, you need to use +use (for skills), +cast (for spells), +focus (for psionic abilaties), or a specific named action rather than +roll to perform the action.

    +use <skill> vs|at|on <target>
    +cast <spell> vs|at|on <target>
    +focus <psiab> vs|at|on <target>

Example: If Nim had the Medic skill, and wanted to try to give Antar medical aid, she would do +use medic on antar. If she instead wanted to help him with the healing spell Anjin's Cantrip, she would do +cast anjin's cantrip on antar.

The online manual on your world should indicate what skills are defined, and their coded effects if any. You can also use the +info command to get information about prerequisites, tools, and materials needed to learn and use specific skills, spells, or psionic abilities. For example, typing +info spells/steal intelligence produces the following output:

        Base:             Craft Skill
        INT Rating:       10
        Prequisites:      Skills: Mage (1)
        Prequisites:      Skills: Pon's Lore (2)
        Components:       Wizard's Staffs (1)
        Materials:        Anise (1)
        Materials:        Cobweb (1)
        Fatigue:          16
        Defence:          Intelligence

This indicates that you must have an INT of 10 and the skills Mage (at level 1) and Pon's Lore (at level 2) in order to learn the spell in the first place. In order to actually cast the spell, you would need to have a Wizard's Staff, some anise, and a bit of cobweb (spell use is discussed in greater detail in the Magic section). So, when attempting to use a skill, spell, or psionic ability that you know, check the ability with +info if the system tells you that you need something else in order to use it in a way that invokes its coded effects.

+Use, +cast, and +focus are `generic' commands: each makes the appropriate rolls and applies results as needed. . Some skills though, are aspects of a subsystem of Argo and are invoked through special commands, specific to the subsystem. Weapon skills and other combat skills such as Martial Arts, for example, are part of the combat system. To engage in combat, you don't +use sword vs antar or +use martial arts; instead, you use the commands relating to the combat system, such as +attack, +parry, and +aim. To start a rumor at court, you would use the +gossip command, rather than +use court influence. Objects are created with the +make command. These commands carry out the implied action, referencing your skill levels as needed. Coded skills that have their own set of commands are discussed in separate sections of the manual (Combat, Artisan Skills, Thieves' Skills, Medical Skills, and Rumors and Influence, etc.)

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