New Skills


General Skills

AI Programming (speciality skill to Computer Science, 5 T)

This speciality skill deals with the design and implementation of AI programs. AI programmers can build and modify AIs, as well as understand some of an AI's code. Usually this is used when combining modules into a new AI or tuning it, while more advanced applications involve writing new cognitive functions, learning algorithms and modules. It is a complex discipline, somewhere in between programming and psychology. It is also useful for figuring out what motivates an AI, its weak and strong points as well as what kinds of abilities it could possess.

An AI programmer can modify a simple AI or expert system at rank 3, a full AI at rank 6 and advanced AIs at rank 9. Writing new modules and cognitive functions become possible at rank 3, while more advanced abilities require higher ranks.

Nanotechnology (speciality of Physical science, 4 T)

Nanotechnology deals with building devices on the molecular scale, ranging from simply putting together atoms into patterns over chemical synthesis to building sophisticated machines. The field relies heavily on chemistry and physics, as well as advanced computer simulations of how molecules behave. Nanotechnologists in the past usually worked using nanomanipulators, modified bacteria or other clever tools to coax together the structures they need; for centuries they struggled to control the nanomachines. Today nanoassemblers are finally becoming useable, ushering in a new era of nanodesign.

Nanotechnology can be used in the same way as technical science to construct nanodevices, although the difficulties tend to be very high - it is usually teamwork and requires much planning.

Scalar field technology (speciality of Physical science, 4 T)

The sub-field of physics dealing with the Abdela "trick" of modifying the Higgs fields and the physics of higgsrams. It is essential for understanding, building and repairing antigravity systems and starships.

Quantum Navigation (speciality of Navigation, cost 4, T)

The ability to navigate through the Planck scale foam of quantum wormholes making up the vacuum and the process of blowing up wormholes with a higgsram. Extremely arcane; it involves not just quantum gravity and scalar field technology, but also the ability to predict how many-dimensional manifolds curve and twist amd where they lead. Usually only possessed by ship Quais, although some pilots and researchers also possess it. People who understand the quantum foam at this level tend to be more than a little unusual.

This skill replaces/modifies Drivespace Astrogation.

Cryptography (T)

(see for a writeup; the most advanced codes of 2350 using algebraic varieties and quantum crypto go beyond the Amazing codes referred to in the text.)

Culture AI

Just like ordinary Culture skills, but deals with the culture of AIs on Nova (or Pi3, which is a separate skill).

Media (Speciality skill of Knowledge, restricted, cost 3, D)

Knowing who's who in the media, how it works, where to hang out, what to say, how to be, how media is made etc. This skill is essential for anybody who wants to appear well in mass media, get in touch with media personalities or figure out what is going on. Very common on Nova.

At rank 5, Media can be used to increase someone's Fame temporarily (including the character's own). The difficulty depends on how inherently interesting or newsworthy the person is. On an ordinary success, fame is temporarily increased with one. On a Good success by two, and an Amazing success increases fame by three. A Critical Failure might decrease the Fame by overexposure or by becoming known as a wannabee. It is possible for several attempts to try to boost someone's Fame, but the difficulty increases with one after each attempt as the easily used attention-hooks are used up.

Marketing (Speciality skill of Business, cost 3, D)

How to market a product, survey the public and manipulate the media to make your organisation or your product look good while the competitors appear inferior. It can be viewed as a form of Media for objects rather than humans.


Dionysos Skills

Psychodesign (speciality skill to Medical Science, cost 5)

See own page.


Trahan Skills

Trahan Philosophical Science (Broad INT skill, cost 7)

The Trahan grand system of philosophy. It combines all the philosophies and ideas the species have gathered over the millennia, in a kind of synthesis where many mutually incompatible ways of looking at the world are combined in a grand network where philosophers can manage entire philosophies. It is essential for understanding the complexities of Trahan society and Trahanitas, but extremely alien to the human way of thinking. In order to learn it, the skill in the Trahan language needs to be higher than the skill level.

Trahan Philosophical History (speciality skill, cost 4)

The history of Traha, a speciality of Philosophical Science. Covers everything from the uncertain past before the first dynasties to the present, covering a span of at least 50,000 years. In order to make sense of it and organise the huge body of knowledge Philosophical Science is necessary.

Plexing (speciality skill, cost 4)

The ability to mesh philosophical systems and use this to manipulate them. With plexing a hero can analyse philosophies, belief systems and other structures, figure out their strong and weak points and develop ways of consistently integrating them with other systems. This can, for example, be used to recombine Trahan religions with human religions into a convincing amalgam. At its lowest levels it is merely clever sophistry, but at higher levels the plexures become truly insightful, showing unexpected synergies and strengths.

Metaphilosophy (cost 4)

The science of possible philosophies and their evolution. The equivalent of theoretical physics when philosophy is compared with physics.

Modern philosophy (cost 4)

The currently dominant paradigms, the Imperial Nastasch.


Unity Skills

Mental Interfacing (broad WIL skill, cost 4, Unity members)

The ability to interface one's mind through broadband interfaces with other minds and mechanisms. People with this skill can connect their minds to Unity systems and each other.

Unity Communication (speciality skill of Mental Interfacing, cost 4)

This skill acts as "Telepathy" among Unity members, allowing them to communicate, access information and monitor their thoughts. The following abilities described in the Psionics chapter of Alternity apply to Mental Interfacing: Contact, Datalink, Illusion, Mind Shield, Suggest, Navcognition (by interfacing with GPS) and Empathy.

Mental Architecture (speciality skill of Mental Interfacing, cost 4)

The ability to become a group mind. This skill is pursued by Unity members with great zeal, and individuals/unities with high ranks are viewed as exemplars to all others. Training it requires total honesty with oneself and others, opening up every corner of one's mind for scrutiny. Most prospective unity members train as teams, and become very close to each other.

The difficulty of merging depends on mood (strong emotions tend to disrupt the link), experience (interfacing with strangers is hard, interfacing with long-time partners easy) and number of people involved (+1 for every person beyond 2). Once unity is reached, it remains until something happens or it drifts apart (after a number of hours equal to the lowest rank in the unity). Surprises, strong emotions, wounds or communications disruptions will force a re-roll. Normally it is an Average task for two people familiar with each other to interface. If five people (+3) who know each other intimately (-1) and have two people who are anxious (+2) try to interface, the total difficulty becomes +4, or a formidable +d12 action.

Each person attempting must roll individually, and those who succeed will form an Unity. The quality of the experience will depend on how well they succeeded; it is possible for some members to form a more closely linked sub-unity than the rest, although usually the effect is a kind of average.

If an Ordinary unity is reached, the individuals will be in constant mental contact, aware of what happens to each other and what they are doing. They work as a team, and can assist all actions of each other although each member can only do one thing at each moment (i.e. a member can help another member or do something on his own, but not both).

If a Good unity is reached, the unity can act as a single individual composed of the member individuals - the unity can use all the skills they possess either together or separately. Each individual both act and assist others at the same moment.

Amazing unity ("group satori") creates a transcendent consciousness - the members are neither linked individuals not a single mind, but a state of pure consciousness. There are no longer any distinct mental abilities, just a group mind with INT, WIL and PER equal to the highest abilities in the group +1 for every other member. (E.g. an unity with three members with INT, WIL and PER 10/10/9, 12/10/14 and 10/13/11 will have 14/15/16 in "group satori"). This affects all skills based on INT, WIL and PER of all members (although many unities do not act much when in group satori, and instend spend the time contemplating the experience). Other benefits as in Good unity.