Abilities, encompass all of human endeavor. When a character reaches the 4th dot in an ability he gains a free Specialty of his choice in that ability. Specialties give the character an additional trait when they are applicable.
Academics represents the character's knowledge of the humanities. Academics is used to appraise items, and to espouse publicly known historical information. It can also be used to understand when and where an object, phrase or item is from. The first Trait of Academics comes with a free Specialization in a language. Any languages beyond that one must be purchased as extra Specializations in Academics. Also covers law. Academics is opposed in most challenges by Academics.
Animal Ken (Socials[Taming] Mentals[Identifying])
Animal Ken is a character's ability to communicate with and have knowledge of animals. It can be used to handle and ride animals, wild or domestic. Additionally, it can be used to tame wild animals, and deduce the medical and emotional state of an animal. Animal Ken is used to fuel the Animalism discipline, as well as deal with other powers that interact with the Beast. Animal Ken is opposed most often by Survival in challenges.
Athletics represents one's aptitude for performing feats of physical fitness and prowess. It is used for running, jumping, climbing, swimming, grappling, throwing weapons (like shurikens, or manhole covers). It can also be used to control one's fall from heights. Athletics is most frequently opposed by Athletics(when in a grapple), or Defense ( when trying to establish grapple or when throwing somethig)
Awareness is the supernatural perception of one's environment and the spiritual changes around them. It can be used to sense a magical change in one's self or on the room in general. In challenges, Awareness is most often opposed by the Occult skill. All Supernatural creatures can recognize any other Supernatural, not tell what type they are or anything merely the presence or absence of being supernatural with the expenditure of an awareness retest per person observed.
Brawl (Physicals or Mentals for sizing up)
Brawl is, simply put, the ability to successfully engage in fisticuffs. It is used to hit someone without a weapon unless that weapon is specifically designed for use with Brawl (spiked/brass knuckles, etc.). Brawl can also be used to size up an opponent at the expenditure of one Brawl retest. Brawl is opposed by, Defense, and occasionally by Subterfuge (when sizing someone up).
It's the 80's. While today literally everyone and their mother knows the basics of how computers work. In 1984 this is not true. Computers is used to program, Search, Hack, and build computers. It is also used to interact with the burgeoning "Internet"
Craft allows one to create and repair things. It also allows one to determine how well-crafted or manufactured it is. Craft can also be used to gauge the condition an item is in. Crafts are most frequently opposed by static challenges. The creation of specific items and devices is in the Item Crafting section. You can repair items, using the craft skill no matter what your focus is so long as it is a non-supernatural craft. Craft makes weapons and Armor. If you want to make skill items see Expression.
Note Discipline-specific crafts have been removed.
Craft: Flesh - Medicine, Craft: Shadow - Subterfuge, Craft: Rune - Scrounge, Craft: Fetish and Craft: Wonder - Craft: Weapon or Equipment
The Defense ability allows the user to dodge or deflect incoming attacks, most often of a physical nature. Defense is reflexive. All characters get one free check when attacked. Defense retests are used if the player loses that initial check. Defense opposes Athletics, Brawl, Firearms, and Melee.
Drive measures one's skill at driving, specifically when it comes to high-speed chases, stunts, getaways, etc. All normal, street-legal driving activities can be done without this Ability. Anyone with at least 3 Mental Traits can reasonably figure out how to drive without needing to have this Ability. Drive is also used to know about the general maintenance of, and details about, non-living vehicles. Drive is most frequently opposed in challenges by Drive.
Empathy is one's skill at detecting what others are feeling and when others are lying. With it, one can gauge the mood of others. Empathy is used by Dementation. It is most often opposed by Subterfuge in challenges.
Expression (Socials or Mentals)
Expression is used to convey or represent any thought or idea in words, art, music, movement, poetry, singing or any other kind of performance. Expression is used by Melpomene. It is opposed most frequently in challenges by Expression. When you take the skill, you must define what form your expression takes.
Expression is also used to create items that provide bonus traits on abilities. It cannot be used to create weapons or armor. See Crafting for more information.
Finance is the science of managing money and other assets through banking, investment, and credit. One can spend one Finance retest to instantly produce $200.00. Finance generally represents knowledge of how the financial world works. Finance is most commonly opposed by Finance in challenges.
Firearms (Physicals or Mentals)
Firearms is the ability to use, understand, and maintain weapons capable of firing a projectile using an explosive charge as a propellant, especially a pistol or rifle. Additionally, Firearms covers the applications of Archery, the ability to shoot a bow and arrow or crossbow. Firearms can only be opposed by Defense. Firearms can be used with mentals or physicals
Intimidation is one's ability to fill others with fear, make them timid, or coerce or inhibit them by or as if by threats. Intimidation lets one discourage, someone, from doing something or scare them. Intimidation helps to keep NPC underlings in line. The Discipline of Dominate uses Intimidation. Intimidation is most frequently opposed by Leadership in challenges.
Investigation is a detailed inquiry or systematic examination into unfamiliar or questionable activities in order to discover facts. Investigation allows one to bug rooms, notice details in the environment, and draw conclusions therefrom. It also allows one to keep from being surprised. Investigation helps with noticing being sneaked up on or noticing if something is wrong. Investigation is used by Auspex. It is most frequently opposed in challenges by Stealth.
Leadership is the ability or capacity to lead others. Leadership allows you to tell people to do things. Specifically, you can add things to the "to-do" list of others. Leadership lets one get NPC to do what one wants, and the maximum number of Ghoul Retainers one can safely have is equal to one's level in Leadership. Presence utilizes Leadership. The skill that opposes Leadership is Intimidate.
Lore provides information on a particular category of supernatural creatures. See Lore Categories. Lore is usually opposed by a static challenge.
Medicine is the science of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases as well as healing damage to the body or mind. Medicine can be used to keep a mortal from bleeding, to double the rate of recovery from wounds for mortals, and as an anatomical knowledge retest when attempting to stake a Vampire through the heart. Medicine can be used to diagnose disease and identify pharmaceuticals and poisons. Obeah utilizes Medicine. Medicine is most often opposed by Medicine in oppositional challenges.
Melee is specifically the ability to effectively wield non-projectile armaments, like swords, clubs, knives, axes, polearms, etc. Melee also allows for the repair and upkeep of melee weapons. Melee is most frequently opposed by Defense.
Occult deals with things relating to or dealing with supernatural influences, agencies or phenomena. It is used for spell research and for performing various Blood Magics. It is also used to recognize magical rituals and items. Occult is most frequently opposed by occult or a static challenge, or defense.
Politics is the art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, the administration and control of its internal and external affairs, and the activities or affairs engaged in by a government, politician, or political party. Politics can determine another Kindred's Status and identify someone's name and what is publicly known about them with the expenditure of one Politics retest. Politics also gives a general knowledge of the law. Politics is most frequently opposed by Politics.
Science is the study of the nature and behavior of the physical universe, based on observation, experimentation and measurement. Science allows one to use grand-scale weaponry as well as invent, create and identify devices and processes. Science lets one utilize technological devices. Science is most frequently opposed by Science.
There are two science skills; Life Sciences (Biology, Ecology, Anatomy, etc) and Physical sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, etc). Science allows one to lower the difficulty of any check in the game by one, so long as the character has at least a minute to think about the check before making it, except for when it interacts with any bluebook action where it takes an additional action. The character makes a science check, at one lower difficulty than the challenge they are facing. If successful, the difficulty of the original challenge is reduced by one. This can be used on any challenge in the game if the character has the time. (remember willpower must be spent to refresh skills between each scene.)(The science check must be made anew each time they want to lower the difficulty, even if the character has faced the same or similar challenges in their life.)
Scrounge (Mentals or Socials)
Scrounge is the ability to obtain something by begging or borrowing with no intention of reparation, or by salvaging or foraging. Scrounge allows you to obtain $300 worth of illegal items, Scrounge is also valuable for appraising objects. The magnitude of a Scrounge challenge is equal to the [Resources + 2]*5 value of the thing with [Resources + 2] retests against. Scrounge also covers all things involving with or coming out of sewers. This is typically a mental or social challenge. Scrounge is most frequently opposed by Stealth. If you have Scrounge 4 with a Specialty in Labs, you can make two Labs per one action.
Security (Physicals or Mentals)
Security gives or assures safety from risk or danger and provides safety through human and technological means or bypasses security measures. It is used both to set up security and bypass it. It is used to create or bypass alarms and traps and disguise or disable security systems. It also allows one to recognize security measures in place. Security is most frequently opposed by Security.
Stealth is the act of moving, proceeding or acting in a covert way carefully and quietly, so as to avoid being seen or heard. It allows one to move while escaping notice. Obfuscate utilizes Stealth. Stealth is most frequently opposed by Investigation.
Streetwise (Mentals or Socials)
Streetwise is the quality of having the shrewd awareness, experience, and resourcefulness needed for survival in a difficult, often dangerous urban environment. It allows the recognition of Street and Underworld figures, as well as letting one know one's way around town. Streetwise is most frequently opposed by Streetwise.
Subterfuge is the ability to misrepresent the true nature of an activity and conform to the practices and forms prescribed by social convention or by authority, and to follow the customs or rules of behavior regarded as correct in social life. It grants the ability to deceive others and expend one Subterfuge retest to undo any unintentional social gaffe or faux pas that occurred in the past round. It also makes NPCs more likely to believe one when lying. Subterfuge is most frequently opposed by Empathy.
Survival (Mentals or Physicals)
Survival is the ability to sustain oneself from environmental harm, especially in a wilderness setting. It allows one to hunt animals, forage for flora and fungi, and protect oneself from the environment. One can, by spending two Survival retests while in the wilderness, scare up one Blood Trait. It also gives one the knowledge of one's location in the wilderness and the ability to know the time of day to within half an hour. Survival is utilized by both Fortitude and Protean. It is most often opposed by Animal Ken in challenges.