Nonweapon Proficiencies

A player character is more than a collection of combat modifiers. Most people have a variety of skills learned over the years. Consider yourself as an example--how many skills do you possess? If you have gone through 12 years of school, were moderately active in after-school programs, and did fairly well on your grades, the following might be a partial list of your skills:

English reading and writing

Geometry, algebra, and trigonometry

Basic chemistry

Basic physics

Music (playing an instrument, singing, or both)

Spanish reading and writing (or French, German, etc.)

Basic Shop or Home Economics




Basic biology

In addition to the things learned in school, you have also learned things from your parents, friends, scouts, or other groups. You might be able to add any of the following to your list:



Horseback riding

First aid
Animal training



If you consider all your hobbies and all the things you have done, you probably know many more skills. In fact, if you make a list, you probably will be surprised by the large number of basic skills you have. And, at this point, you are (or were) still young!

Now, having graduated from school, you get a job. Are you just a carpenter, mechanic, electrician, salesman, or secretary? Of course not; you are a lot more than just your job. All those things you learned in school and elsewhere are part of what you are. Shouldn't it be the same for your player character?

For a really complete role-playing character, you should know what your character can do. There are three different ways to do this: using what you know, using secondary skills, and using nonweapon proficiencies. Each of these is optional, but each increases the amount of detail that rounds out your character.

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