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Each skill represents training or experience in a group of actions or knowledge. The higher your rating in a skill, the more adept you are at its associated actions or information. By default, your rating in a skill is 0. To increase your rating, you can spend BP (at character creation) or spend XP. Note that buying skill ratings with XP is based on the new rating you are purchasing; spending BP has a static cost per rating. You must purchase each rating increase in 1-rating increments.

BP Cost XP Cost
Cost to Increase Active Skill 1 Rating: 4 New Total Rating × 2
Cost to Increase Knowledge/Language Skill 1 Rating: 2 New Total Rating

     Each skill is categorized as an Active, Knowledge, or Language skill. With the exception of Language skills, all skills also belong to one skill group, which allows you to increase the ratings of multiple common skills at a slight discount. Skill groups still require a bulk investment, but they can be an ideal tool for players who want versatile characters. Note: Active skills are further categorized into Combat, Magical, Physical, Resonance, Social, and Technical sub-categories. These sub-categories are not skill groups.
     Following is the list of individual skills by category. Rules for how skills are used may be found afterward.

Active Skills
Combat Active Skills Magical Active Skills Resonance Active Skills Technical Active Skills (Cont’d)
Archery (AGI) Astral Combat (WIL) Compiling (RES) Electronic Warfare (LOG)
Artillery (INT) Banishing (MAG) Decompiling (RES) Enchanting (MAG)
Automatics (AGI) Binding (MAG) Registering (RES) Fashion (INT)
Bludgers (STR) Counterspelling (MAG) First Aid (INT)
Chem Guns (INT) Spellcasting (MAG) Social Active Skills Framework (LOG)
Dodge (REA) Summoning (MAG) Deception (CHA) Graphics (INT)
Energy Cannons (AGI) Discipline (WIL) Hacking (LOG)
Energy Longarms (AGI) Physical Active Skills Etiquette (CHA) Hardware (LOG)
Energy Pistols (AGI) Aircraft (REA) Insight (INT) Literature (INT)
Heavy Blades (STR) Anthroform (REA) Intimidation (CHA) Locksmith (INT)
Light Blades (AGI) Climbing (STR) Investigation (INT) Medicine (LOG)
Machine Guns (STR) Concealment (AGI) Leadership (CHA) Music (INT)
Missiles (INT) Groundcraft (REA) Prosthetics (LOG)
Siege Weapons (INT) Gymnastics (AGI) Technical Active Skills Ritual Spellcasting (MAG)
Solid Longarms (AGI) Legerdemain (AGI) Architecture (LOG) Robotics (LOG)
Solid Pistols (AGI) Navigation (INT) Armorer (LOG) Security (LOG)
Thrown Weapons (AGI) Perception (INT) Assensing (INT) Smithing (LOG)
Unarmed Combat (AGI) Shadowing (INT) Chemistry (LOG) Software (LOG)
Survival (LOG) Combustion Engines (LOG)
Swimming (STR) Culinary (INT)
Tracking (INT) Cybercombat (LOG)
Watercraft (REA) Digital Data (LOG)
Electric Motors (LOG)
Knowledge Skills Language Skills
A & B Corporations (LOG) Government Law (LOG) Arabic (INT) Russian (INT)
AA Megacorps (LOG) Logistics (LOG) Chinese (INT) Sioux (INT)
AAA Megacorps (LOG) Marketing (LOG) English (INT) Spanish (INT)
Astrogeology (LOG) Physics (LOG) Italian (INT) Sperethiel (Elven) (INT)
Biology (LOG) Politics (LOG) Japanese (INT) Tinoan (Pueblo) (INT)
Bureaucracy (LOG) Sociology (LOG) Keres (Pueblo) (INT) Ute (INT)
Corporate Law (LOG) Trade (LOG) Or’zet (Orkish) (INT) Zuni (Pueblo) (INT)
Finance (LOG) Underworld (LOG)

Skill Tests

Skill tests follow the standard rules for dice tests. The standard dice pool for a skill test equals the sum of your rating in the skill and your rating in its tied attribute. The tied attribute for each skill is listed in parentheses following the skill name in the lists above. Note that certain uses of a skill may require a different attribute to be used instead of the default attribute at the GM’s discretion. Damage, items, and conditions may modify your dice pool as normal for dice tests.


If your rating in a skill is zero and you roll a test for that skill, you default. After determining the test’s result, the GM adds the threshold to the effective number of 1s you rolled for purposes of determining a glitch. It is possible for your test to effectively have rolled more 1s than your dice pool because of this modifier. Even if no dice landed on a 1, you are still considered to have rolled a number of 1s equal to the test threshold.


In addition to increasing your skill rating, you may also purchase a specialization for a skill. A specialization is a subset of a skill which may apply to specific aspects of the skill’s normal functions. In most cases, a specialization will grant a +2 dice bonus to tests for its parent skill if you satisfy a certain requirement. Alternatively, some specializations grant expanded features for a skill that otherwise cannot be achieved.
     Normally, you may only have one specialization per skill, but if a skill’s rating is 6 or higher, you may purchase a second specialization for it. You cannot purchase a specialization for a skill if your rating in that skill is zero.
     Dialects: Instead of specializations, language skills have dialects. Dialects work just like specializations, except that you may have up to one dialect per language skill equal to the skill’s rating.

BP Cost XP Cost
Cost to Buy Specialization 2 2
Cost to Buy Dialect 1 1

Skill Groups

Except language skills, all skills belong to one skill group, which can be considered another way to categorize skills. A skill group always has either 3 or 4 skills and has little effect except when you want to advance all skills in a group. Advancing a skill group is very similar to advancing a skill, except that the total cost will be slightly less than advancing all skills in a group separately. You must increase skill groups in 1-rating increments.

BP Cost XP Cost
Cost to Increase Skill Group by 1 Rating: 10 New Total Rating × 5

     Skills at Different Ratings: If skills within a group are at different ratings, you can still increase the group. The BP cost to improve a group remains the same and has the same effect: all skill ratings in the group increase by 1. (Remember that you cannot raise any single skill rating above 4 by advancing skill groups during character creation.) If spending XP, follow these 2 steps:

  1. Determine the base cost for the increase as if all skills were at the highest rating in the group.
  2. For each skill in the group whose rating is less than the highest, subtract 1 per point of difference in ratings from the base cost.

     For Example: You have Contortion 1, Dodge 4, and Parry 2 and wish to increase your Elusion skill group which contains these three skills. First, determine the highest rating (4) and determine the base cost as if all skills had this rating.

  • New Total Rating = 4 (highest rating) + 1 = 5.
  • Base Cost = 5 (new total rating) × 5 = 25 XP.

Next for each skill with a lower rating than the highest, subtract 1 point from the base cost for each point of difference in rating.

  • Contortion Difference = 4 (highest rating) – 1 (Contortion rating) = 3.
  • Parry Difference = 4 (highest rating) – 2 (Parry rating) = 2.
  • Total XP Cost = 25 (base cost) – 3 (Contortion difference) – 2 (Parry difference) = 20 XP.

     If a skill in a group is already at its maximum limit (rating 6), you cannot advance that skill’s group; each other skill in the group must be advanced individually.

Removed Skills

For your reference, you may find a list of all skills removed from standard rules here . This section will also explain how to adjudicate RAW when it references these skills.

Back to Main Page / Skill Groups / Removed Skills


Nymsilet Shadowrunners TheWaylander