Basic vs Advanced
Winter of Wolves is a Rule-based RP, but that doesn't mean we want players to have to crunch numbers and learn the whole system to play. Pretty much all of the game can be played with basic rules, for which you only need to know the information written out here. Sometimes, there will be advanced rules which can be handled back stage by the GM, whenever you see text Written like this, these are advanced rules and you can feel free to ignore them if you don't want to get into the mechanics of the RP.
What can your character do?
Proficiency is the measure of your character's advancement and they list all the things your character might be able to do that other characters cannot. Whereas your background is picked once by the character and traits tend to be awarded by the GM, the player can pick what proficiency their character get over time, specializing them and making them more powerful as they earn experience.
Handle Simple Weapons
This character knows how to wield most simple melee and ranged weapons in a combat situation.
A character wielding simple weapons in combat without this proficiency gets a +1 Difficulty to all Strike and Finesse and Aim tests.
Handle Martial Weapons
This character knows how to wield martial melee and ranged weapons in a combat situation.
A character wielding martial weapons in combat without this proficiency gets a +1 Difficulty to all Strike and Finesse and Aim tests.
Pre-requisites: Handle Simple Weapons
Two Weapon Fighting
This character can wield two weapons in combat with great skill, allowing them to attack twice while others hit only once.
A character with this proficiency can wield a single one handed weapon in each hand and attack with both weapons at a single enemy. A character without the proficiency can still do this, but each attack will have +2 Difficulty.
Through years of training and practice with one particular weapon, this character has attained a mastery of it few can hope to emulate.
A character with this proficiency can pick a single type of weapon they know how to handle, any Strike, Finesse or Aim test done with this weapon has a bonus od +1.
Pre-requisites: Handle Simple Weapons.
Weaponsmiths arm the masses that make up most of the Royal army. To the common man, guns and powerful Tesla weapons are but a far away dream, and they will prefer a trusty blade to that dream any day.
A character that is proficient at Weapon-smithing can create Simple, Martial and Exotic weapons given enough time and the right materials with a Forge test. Characters without the proficiency can also attempt it with +2 difficulty.
Though armor had been rendered useless in the days before the winter by powerful magics and the penetrating power of firearms and weapons that could wield lightning and flame, it has begun to make a return to the underground cities. In the close quarters of the city, the products of armor smiths are still the most reliable way to stop an enemy's blade.
A character that is proficient at Armor-smithing can create Shields, Light and Heavy armor given enough time and the right materials with a Forge test. Characters without the proficiency can also attempt it with +2 difficulty.
Machine-smiths are skilled workers that work the forges and smelters of the imperial city, creating thousands of parts needed for the engineers mechanical wonders.
A character that is proficient at Machine-smithing can create components and advanced components given enough time and the right materials with a Forge test. Characters without the proficiency can also attempt it with +2 difficulty.
Exceptionally powerful people might be used to hacking through their enemies defenses as if they were nothing, these charged up strikes are can cleave through anything in their way and stun the enemy.
A character with this proficiency can take a whole turn to perform a Strike attack that also has a chance of Breaking enemy equipment on a Break test. Additionally, the enemy character struck by the attack must perform a Resist test or be stunned by the strike.
Some people prefer to fight unarmed, grabbing at their opponent, pushing him, pulling him and tossing him on the ground. These grapplers are as deadly with their bare hands as another man would be with a war-hammer.
A character with this proficiency can perform strike attacks with his bare-hands at no penalty. They may also use Push/Pull and throw tests as attacks to strike other characters. Characters without this proficiency can attempt to grapple others at +1 difficulty.
By really putting one's back into it, even a thrown weapon can hit like a hammer.
A character with this proficiency has a chance to stun an enemy (Throw vs Resist) when striking them with any thrown weapons size small or larger.
Leaps & Bounds
Sometimes knowing how to jump and how to properly take a dive can be a saving grace.
Characters with this proficiency get a +2 to Jump rolls and takes halved damage from falling.
A powerful cleave in a wide arc can dispatch several enemies and it is the ideal skill to use when surrounded and outnumbered.
A character with this proficiency is able to perform a smash attack against enemies in up to three contiguous spaces that are adjacent to himself.
Pre-requisites: Smash Attack
Through training, this character has been able to tone his muscles to the point where he can carry loads that would be impossible to bear for others.
A chharacter with this proficiency gains +1 to all Push/Pull rolls and +10 Carrying Capacity
Some of the strongest, most powerful people can become veritable battering rams, able to plow through rows of enemies as if they were not there.
This character is able to perform a powerful, high speed ramming attack after running towards an enemy. The attack is a strike roll which can stun, knock down and push back every enemy character in the path of the run.
Pre-requisites: Ox's Strength
Handle Heavy Armor
This character knows how to move in heavier types of armor.
A character with this proficiency gets half the normal penalties from wearing heavy Armor.
Characters with this proficiency are able to perform powerful attacks equipped with shields that not only deal damage, but are able to stun enemies.
A character with this proficiency can perform Strike attacks with a Shield with no penalties. A character without the proficiency can strike with a shield at +1 difficulty. Additionally a character that takes damage from the shield strike must pass a Resist test or be stunned.
People who live in dangerous places sometimes do not wish to become killers themselves, only to avoid getting killed. These people master the arts of defense, meeting each attack with their shield arm at the ready.
A character with this proficiency receives an extra +2 to their Block skill from shields.
The most stalwart and and resistant people are those who simply refuse to give in under any circumstances. Even defying the odds, the persevere and outlast any threat.
A character with this proficiency can re-roll the highest dice in any Fortitude or Resist test they perform if they fail.
Feel No Pain
The pinnacle of stoicism, this character has mastered pain and is able to withstand it as if it was nothing, ignoring his injuries to carry on.
A character with this proficiency can perform a Difficult fortitude test whenever he's injured or wounded in order to ignore the effects.
Some people just have a knack for eating anything and shrugging it off, fighting off deadly poisons as if they were a bad meal.
A character with this proficiency gets a -1 difficulty to any Fortitude roll dealing with poison, to a minimum of easy.
Be it through some hereditary trait or magical help, a character with this proficiency seems to recover faster than normal from wounds and injuries.
A character with this proficiency gets +2 to Recovery.
Handle Light Armor
This character knows how to move in lighter types of armor.
A character with this proficiency gets no penalties from wearing Light Armor.
Though all the great lakes and oceans above ground have long since turned into frozen lakes, every day the diggers of the royal city find new underground lakes and rivers. Many a miner has drowned in these new discoveries, gasping for air in the pitch black water, so the survivors make a point to learn how to swim.
A character with this proficiency gets +2 to Swiming tests.
A character who is knocked down in combat is an easy target and usually does not live very long past that point. Knowing that, many characters train not in balance, but in the capacity to become unmovable objects in the field.
A character with this proficiency has a +2 bonus to Resist tests.
Through training or natural aptitude, this character can engage in physical activities for much longer than others without becoming tired.
A character with this proficiency gains a +2 bonus to Stamina Tests.
Bodyguards, knights and other warriors are trained to put their lives on the line for someone else, taking blows instead of their allies or charges.
A character with this proficiency may attempt to block any attacks against an ally that is adjacent to him. If he fails to block, however, he will take the damage instead of the ally.
Some times one has to develop skills focused not only in defending oneself, but keeping the enemy from getting through an area. A character with this ability is able to perform well placed defensive strikes at enemies attempting to pass by them.
A character with this proficiency may attempt a free attack with a melee weapon against any enemy who moves into an adjacent space.
Pre-requisites: Deep Rooted
This character knows how to use an enemy's strength against him in order to knock them off of their feet.
As an action during their turn, this character can choose to take parrying stance. When parrying, the character's turn immediately ends but gets a +2 to block and if he blocks any melee attacks, the enemy making the attack may be pushed to the floor.
Pre-requisites: Shield Bash
This character can move in heavy armor as if it was a second skin.
A character with this proficiency ignores the penalties from wearing heavy Armor.
Pre-requisites: Handle Heavy Armor
This character knows how to wield firearms in a combat situation.
A character wielding firearms weapons in combat without this proficiency gets a +2 Difficulty to all Aim tests.
Pre-requisites: Handle Simple Weapons
Handle Exotic Weapons
This character knows how to wield exotic weapons in a combat situation.
A character wielding exotic weapons in combat without this proficiency gets a +1 Difficulty to all Strike and Finesse and Aim tests.
Pre-requisites: Handle Simple Weapons
Characters with this proficiency can whirl around the battlefield with unparalleled dexterity and skill, striking everything in range of their blows.
A character with this proficiency can not only wield two weapons with no penalty, but can direct each attack at a different enemy within range.
Pre-requisites: Two Weapon Fighting
This character can sneak into the most secure places and remain unseen.
A character with this proficiency has a -1 difficulty whenever it takes a Sneak test, to a minimum of Easy.
This character has extremely skillful hands, able to relieve unsuspecting bystanders of their belongings with extreme ease.
A character with this proficiency can use a Finesse test to pickpocket someone after a succesful Sneak test. A character without the proficiency can still do this, but each test will have +1 Difficulty.
Armed with a lockpick, there's no closed door or lock that can resist this character's skill.
A character with this proficiency can use a Finesse test to pick a closed lock, chest, door etc. A character without the proficiency can still do this, but each test will have +2 Difficulty.
Marksmen understand the distinct disadvantage they are at while they reload their weapons, for that reason, a character with this proficiency has trained at reloading her weapons as fast as possible.
A character with this proficiency can reload all bows, crossbows and firearms in one less action than normal.
Pre-requisites: Handle Martial Weapons or Handle Firearms
A character with this proficiency can draw and fire a loaded firearm in a single, quick action.
A character with this proficiency can draw a loaded firearm and fire it in the same action with a +1 difficulty to their Aim roll.
Pre-requisites: Handle Firearms.
Characters who are exceptionally proficient at using ranged weaponry at marksmanship can attempt to disable an enemy with a single, well placed bullet.
A character with this proficiency can take a whole turn to fire a ranged weapon at +2 difficulty. If he succeeds in the shot, however, it is automatically a critical hit.
Pre-requisites: Handle Firearms or Handle Martial Weapons.
The ability to producer objects of great beauty and intricate design is greatly appreciated, characters who are proficient in craftsmanship
A character with this proficiency and the right materials can attempt to create jewelry, accessories, clothing and magical focuses with enough time, the right materials and a craft test. A character without this proficiency may attempt to build the same objects, but will do so at a +2 difficulty.
With firearms becoming smaller and smaller, this is one ability many engineers and firearm wielders are beginning to adopt, the idea that when shooting, volume can make up for aim.
A character with this proficiency might fire two one handed firearms in the same turn as one action with no penalties.
Pre-requisites: Handle Firearms
The advent of repeaters has solved one of the most crippling weaknesses of firearms, the risk of being reached before being able to fire. If one is fast enough, it is even possible to take down two enemies in an instant.
A character with this proficiency can fire a single firearm up to twice in the same turn as one action.
Pre-requisites: Handle Firearms, Rapid Reload
This character has learned to navigate the craggy walls surrounding the royal city as well as the frozen wilderness.
A character with this proficiency gains +2 to climb.
This character has learned how to fall, jump and move around with incredible ease, never losing their balance.
A character with this proficiency gains +2 to tumble.
Sometimes the best way to defeat an enemy is to wait until they lower their own defenses and attack.
A character with this proficiency may use an action to take a riposte stance. While in the stance, he may counterattack whenever he dodges an enemy melee attack. Taking a riposte stance automatically ends a character's turn, however.
Handle Advanced Weapons
This character knows how to wield weapons constructed with advanced engineering in a combat situation.
A character wielding Advanced weapons in combat without this proficiency gets a +2 Difficulty to all Aim, Strike and Finesse tests.
Pre-requisites: Handle Simple Weapons
Engineers make the wonders of the Royal city come to life, they maintan the boilers that keep the city warm, the lifts that keep it communicated and the clockwork soldiers that keep it secure. They are the ruling elite of the winter world.
A character that is proficient at Engineering can create clockwork items given the right components, blueprints and time with an Engineering test. Characters without the proficiency can also attempt it with +2 difficulty.
Using gun parts created by machinesmiths, gunsmiths are able to supply the most advanced weaponry to the Daguerrian elite of the Royal city, making new and terrible machines every day.
A character that is proficient at Gunsmithing can create Firearms and Advanced Weapons given the right components, blueprints and time with an Engineering test. Characters without the proficiency can also attempt it with +2 difficulty.
Sometimes the difference between a poor and a rich man is knowing the worth of things. Appraisers are adept at trying to become the rich man in the example.
A character with this proficiency gains +1 to their Decipher/Identify and Barter skills.
Most doctors are used to operating within a safe environment, supported by staff and the right equipment. Medics, on the other hand, can use their gifts in any situation, even when their own lives are on the line.
A character with this proficiency gets not penalty while trying to heal someone in the middle of a combat scenario. Characters attempting to use the heal skill in a battle without this proficiency do so at +1 difficulty.
Once you learn enough languages, you begin to notice the invisible rules that tie all of them together, making it easy to understand what others are saying even when speaking a tongue you can't.
A character with this proficiency gains +1 to their Decipher/Identify and Listen skills.
Intelligent characters find it particularly easy to choose a field of study or knowledge and focus on it, gaining further insight than if they were to keep a general approach.
A character with this proficiency may choose any Intelligence skill and get a +2 bonus to it.
The more a character progresses and the more information he has in a particular field of study, it gets easier for her to recall or learn new information that pertains to that field.
A character with this proficiency may choose one specialization; Engineering, Magic, Art, History, Biology, Geography, Nature, Religion, Architecture, Society, Crime or one you may suggest to the GM. Any Learn, Decipher/Identify or Memory rolls related to that specialty gets a -1 to Difficulty, to a minimum of Easy.
Just like there is a method to learning, there is a method to learning. A skilled teacher can make the experience of learning something new much easier and faster.
A character with this proficiency grants other characters a +1 bonus to Learn when trying to teach them something.
An intelligent character knows that to destroy an object, it's not so much about how much strength you apply to it, but where you apply that strength.
A character with this proficiency may choose to do an intelligence instead of a strength test in order to break objects.
Through years of practice and studies, some doctors are able to become masters of the human body, healing grievous injuries and making sure their patients survive.
A character with this proficiency heals twice as much endurance on a successful heal roll. Additionally, a character whose wounds are treated by a surgeon gets a +2 on all tests to recover from their wounds.
A sharp mind can be applied to many things, some people can glean far more than others from the very same experiences by keeping an open mind and inquisitive demeanor.
A character with this proficiency gains 1 more XP for every 5 XP they receive.
Eye for Detail
It's not always how hard one looks, many times, it's how smart one looks for something that counts.
A character with this proficiency gets an extra 10% guerrmarks whenever they find money.
Some characters are such experts in their chosen field that they no longer have to even try to recall common information relating to it.
A character with this skill no longer requires to do any memory or decipher/identify rolls when dealing with the area of knowledge they have an expert knowledge proficiency in. If they would normally be able to access the knowledge, they are automatically successful.
Pre-requisites: Expert Knowledge
With the advent of clockwork prosthetics, it has become able to doctors to not only heal the human body, but to actually improve upon it.
This character gets -1 Difficulty both to the creation and implantation of clockwork prosthetics. They also automatically gain a new blueprint for a prosthetic device.
Pre-requisites: Medic and Engineering
Some people have learned that the best way to avoid being caught by surprise is to be mindful of their surroundings all the time.
A character with this proficiency has a +1 to Notice and Listen
There is a distinct line between being aware of one's surroundings and having a supernatural sense to the threats surrounding oneself. This character has crossed that line.
A character with this proficiency can never be caught off guard.
Some characters, through training or breeding, seem to have control over their emotions. Able to force themselves to overcome fear and temptation, they are paragons of stoicisim.
A character with this trait gets a +2 bonus to Willpower tests.
Know the Way
A character who has earned enough experience, be it in the formless white snowed in wastes as one of the rangers, or leading diggers through endlessly dangerous, pitch black tunnels in search for resources, tends to develop an almost supernatural ability for spacial location. These people are able to orient themselves with the smallest of signals.
A character with this proficiency has a +2 bonus to Orientation tests.
Casting a spell is a dangerous and carefully calibrated ritual. Any word mispronounced, any line that is drawn out of place, any object that is not perfectly aligned could muddle the request one makes of the great spirits. In the midst of a fight or other tense situations, Mages tend to become useless unless they have trained before as a Battlemage, able to overcome all these limitations to cast their magic in any situation.
A character with this proficiency has no penalty when casting spells while under attack or wounded.
Be it through diligent training or a naturally strong mind, some people are able to resist the wiles of magic. A nuissance to all but the most powerful mages, some spellcasters have specially prepared spells to break through those resistances.
A character with this proficiency can attempt to cast a spell with +1 difficulty to the Magic test required for casting. In return, the spell will have +1 difficulty to any test taken by the target to resist it.
It takes a special kind of level head to fire ranged weapons in a hand to hand fight accurately. In the heat of the fight, it is easy to lose any sense of precision and simply fire wildly into the enemy. People who train with guns and other ranged weapons in close quarters know not to lose their cool and look for that perfect shot even in the face of an incoming blade.
Characters with this trait are able to fire ranged weapons into melee range without any penalties.
When a character needs to judge people in a split second, he becomes skilled at reading everything from their breathing, near unnoticeable facial cues and body language in order to know what the other person thinks and feels before they even say a word.
A character with this proficiency has a +1 to all Charm and Bluff tests.
Magic is a complicated thing, like playing a lute with a million strings, you never know which might play which notes and how those might intermingle. The farther the magic flows from the caster, the harder it's effects are to foresee, as the spirits invoked tend to be fickle. Some mages, however, are able to control the flow of magic much farther than others.
A character with this proficiency can cast spells 6 feet farther than normal.
Called 'The Farsight', this is an ability very few mages have developed even since ancient times. Farseers are able to focus their magic power to look into places they have no true line of sight to. In olden days, great mages were said to be able to look into one side of the continent all the way from the other, but since the old arts have been lost, farseers can only peer a few hundred feet away.
Characters with prescience can focus on see through obstacles such as walls and the sort without need for a spell. In order to use their power, they need to perform a Normal difficulty Magic Test.
While most of the human population left in the world live barely ever venturing into the white wastes outside of their cities, not all come to a profound understanding of how these cities work. Some even manage to move about in the city as a deer would through a forest before the long winter.
A character with this proficiency gets a +1 to their Notice, Listen and Orientation rolls while in an urban environment.
There are many dangers and distractions in an urban environment, and someone learned and experienced enough is able to use these against a potential enemy or threat.
A character with this proficiency gets a +1 to their Strike, Block, Finesse, Aim, Sneak and Blend In while in an urban environment.
It is said that many of those who practiced the magical craft can sometimes hear the whispers of the great spirits at the ear. They are barely audible but through focus and meditation, one may glean new knowledge from their words.
A character with this proficiency immediately gains knowledge of a random Formulae. The first time a character takes this proficiency, it costs 10 XP regardless of any other factors. This proficiency may be taken several times, but it costs 10 more XP each time. The cost of Enlightenment is not affected by whatever other Perception proficiencies the character may have.
Wholeness of Mind
Casting magic can be an exhausting process for the mind and spirit of a person, they feel as if they lose tiny little bits of themselves every time they attempt to access their abilities, and though those little bits of their spirit coalesce back towards them slowly, some more proficient spell-casters are able to gather their spirit back faster than others.
A character with this proficiency recovers will power at a rate of 2 points per turn, double the normal recovery rate.
Through the careful observation of others, a truly emphatic person is able to make guesses not only on their current emotional state, but their motivations and intent.
A character with this proficiency may attempt a special "Know Intent" roll against an opposing character's charisma in order to try and guess their true intentions in any situation.
Pre-requisites: People Reader
Talk fast and with confidence. Those are the rules for anyone who wishes to convince others of their point. Particularly charismatic people practice their talking skills to exhaustion until they can easily get anyone on their side with a few, well placed words.
A character with this proficiency has a +2 to Charm
There are not many animals left in the world these days. Though some, like wolves, bears or caribous still manage to survive in the frozen lands, there is not room for grazing underground, and with just enough food for humans, dogs and cats are a luxury most can't afford. Still, however, some people learn to handle and manage these animals, in case the situation ever arises when these skills can be of use.
A character with this proficiency has a +1 Difficulty when using social skills on animals, as opposed to the normal +2. When combined with the Animal Friend trait, it denies the penalty entirely.
Master of Disguise
There is a difference between being unseen and being unnoticed. Unlike sneaks and thieves who scurry like rats into the night, a con-man with the right skills can look their mark in the face while they take them for everything they have, and be sure they'll never be identified.
A character with this proficiency gains +1 to their Blend in skill and is able to craft costumes, given the right materials, with a successful Charisma test. A character without this proficiency may attempt to craft costumes with a +2 difficulty,
Music is one of the few pleasures that remain for the inhabitants of the sprawling underground cities. The echoing caves means every house can be considered a concert hall. As such, it' no surprise many learn how to sign and plat musical instruments.
A character with this proficiency is able to play musical instruments or sing to a tune with a successful Dexterity test. A character without this proficiency may attempt the same with +1 Difficulty.
The beautiful paintings, perfectly detailed statues and stylish wall hangings that decorate the homes of the wealthy don't appear out of thin air. Even in the darkened corridors of the underground cities, the work of artists is usually appreciated.
A character with this proficiency is able to create visual works of art such as Paintings and Sculptures with a successful Dexterity test and the right materials. A character without this proficiency may attempt the same with +2 Difficulty.
Everyone appreciates entertainment and people who provide it usually climb much higher than their station would ordinarily let them. On some level, any harlot, performer and politician can make use of some skill with acting.
A character with this proficiency gains a +1 to their Blend In and Bluff skills.
A very specific set of skills is required to copy someone's handwriting, or painstakingly reproduce a prized artifact. People who develop these skills are usually appreciated by the less than reputable segments of society.
A character with this proficiency is able to copy documents and imitate people's handwriting with a successful Dexterity test and the right materials. A character without this proficiency may attempt the same with +2 Difficulty.
Some people are born mean looking, others, however, have to work at it. A crazy look, an evil sounding growl, a crack of the knuckles and neck. All of these things can seem genuine with practice and used to great effect.
A character with this proficiency has a +2 to all Intimidate tests.
Like anything, the more one barters, the more used you get to it. With time, one can see patterns, identify the type of people you're dealing with faster and learn to identify how much people will pay for any given item.
A character with this proficiency has a +2 to all Barter tests.
The seedy underbelly of the world is an economy like all others, however, many things obtained and traded inn such economy arrive through less than legal means. Buying and selling stolen objects carry a hefty penalty, so some traders become experts at not getting caught while doing it.
A character with this proficiency is able to sold stolen items at stores with no risk. A character without the proficiency might attempt to sell stolen items but must make a bluff test against the shopkeeper's charisma for every item to avoid being found out.
Pre-requisites: Skillful Trade
This character can motivate others to do what they consider must be done, though this ability may be used for both good and evil.
A character with this proficiency has a +2 bonus to all their Persuade tests.
A well placed word may cut as deeply as any blade, and in combat, to psyche out one's opponent and keep them off their game can win as many battles as a well placed strike.
This character may use Charm, Persuade or Intimidate rolls in combat against an enemy as a free action once per turn. If the enemy character is unable to resist the rolls, they get a -1 to all their tests during their own turn.
Pre-requisites: Silver Tongue OR Menacing OR Natural Leader
Sometimes being able to look someone in the eye and lie with a straight face can be a precious skill.
A character with this proficiency gets a +2 to all Bluff tests.
The best trick to beat someone else at a mind game is not to make a particular face or use a tone of voice, but to be completely blank. To become a mirror on which their own attitudes and thoughts might be reflected.
A character with this proficiency is immune to all "Know Intent" rolls and any character attempting to use Charm or Intimidate against them get a -2 Penalty to their roll.
Most of the times the best way to win a fight is to make sure the opponent has no chance to fight back. A character with this proficiency knows when and how to hit the hardest, sealing an opponent's fate.
As long as an opponent is not ready for battle, a character with this proficiency may attempt a "Dirty Fighting" attack which, if successful, deals an automatic wound.
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