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1.5.7 Learning Skills

Skills — including the special classes spells and psionic abilities — are abilities the character acquires through study, practice, observation, or a combination of these. See Standard Skills for a list of standard skills provided with a base installation of Argo. In addition to these standard skills, additional skills may be available on your MUCK. (These additional skills can come from theme-specific add-on modules to Argo, or may have been added by the MUCK's administrators.)

All skills have an intelligence rating. You can learn any Skill with an intelligence rating equal to or less than your Intelligence. In addition, some Skills have prerequisites — other Skills or Abilities that you must have before you can learn the Skill with prerequisites. You can view the intelligence rating and prerequisites of

Each Skill is based on a stat or one of the Base Skills: Physical Skill and Craft Skill. Sleight of Hand, for example, is a matter of dexterity and quickness, so Sleight of Hand is based on DEX. Oratory is based on Presence. Most Combat Skills involve not only dexterity and coordination, but also having the physical strength to use weapons forcefully and to resist being thrown off balance impacts, as well as the physical stamina and toughness to train rigorously, resist the pain of wounds, and ward off exhaustion in the course of combat. So, most Combat Skills are Physical Skills, and are based on the average of Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity. A truly skilled Goldsmith needs not only the manual dexterity to shape her materials precisely, but also a firm understanding of the principles and techniques of metalworking, as well as artistic sensitivity. Goldsmith, then, is a Craft Skill, based on the average of Dexterity, Intelligence, and Presence.

The base chance for success is determined by rolling three six-sided dice against the Skill's base plus the number of Skill levels you have. Each additional level adds one to your chance of success. For example, the Oratory Skill is based on Presence. If Antony, PRE 12, has two levels of Oratory Skill (Oratory 2), his chance for success is 14 (PRE 12 + Oratory 2 = 14). He would succeed on a role of 14 or less. You cannot `learn' negative levels of a Skill. Raising a Skill Level costs one character point per Level. Unlike raising a stat, the cost of raising a Skill remains the same after you enter play, but you cannot lower levels after you start.

The command for Learning a Skill is +skills. Simply enter the command and follow the prompts. For spells and psionic abilities, the commands are +spells and +psiabs.

Raising your stats has the advantage of improving your chances with all Skills based on that stat, but since it costs three character points to raise a stat once you have entered play, and since a stat is only a partial component of a Base Skill, it is `cheaper' to improve your chances for success by training in a certain Skill, rather than improving your stats. In other words, the quickest way to become successful and formidable in your chosen ways of dealing with difficulties is to specialize in the appropriate Skills. To raise a Skill you already have, re-enter the +skills command and respond to the prompts. But, by the same token, if you have many Skills that depend heavily on one stat, it can be advantageous to increase that particular stat.

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