Friday, November 23, 2012

Skill Under The Spotlight: Occult

Occult seems like a simple skill but in practice it has complications all of its own.  Generally, Storytellers won't be willing to let you "roll Occult to solve the plot".  If there's an occult mystery involving spirits, there's no way they're going to want to let you unravel all their efforts with a single die roll - no matter how successful - anymore than they'll let you walk into a crime scene and roll Investigation to figure out that the Great Aunt twice removed did it.  Occult isn't a repository of pure facts, either, and is filled with legend, myth, conjecture, and outright misinformation.  Having plenty of occult, or an understanding of a number of supernatural creatures, helps you wittle out truth from falsehood but in most occult worlds, what seems fake might not be.

Some good specialties would be a particular supernatural group (werewolves), particular powers so you can recognise or identify them (lores, disciplines, rotes), spirit bans, hauntings, demonology, ley lines, arcane archaeology, myths, etc.

Know the theories, myths, and legends (Intelligence + Occult)
Convince occultists to follow you (Manipulation + Occult)
Impress occultists (Presence + Occult)
Discern likely facts (through correlations between stories in far flung places) from fiction (Intelligence + Occult)
Identify gaps in information - what else needs to be known (Wits + Occult)
Identify strategies for learning more (Intelligence + Occult)
Identify a supernaturally caused injury (Intelligence + Occult)
Notice when things have gone weird, i.e. tells of a ghostly manifestation (Wits + Occult)
Have a good idea of what not to do (Wits + Occult)
Be warned about likely occult risks (Wits + Occult)
Discover ways of treating supernatural injuries (Intelligence + Occult)
Find hints of the supernatural through the media (Intelligence + Occult)
Have a deeper understanding of religion and the bases of religion (Wits + Occult; also falls under Academics)
Design and conduct experiments on supernaturals (Intelligence + Occult; often other skills as well such as Medicine or Science)
Identify relics (Intelligence + Occult)
Gain hints on how not to approach a supernatural or what not to say (Manipulation + Occult)
Learn various supernatural philosophies (Intelligence + Occult)
Locate and identify psychics (Wits + Occult)
Locate and identify occultists (Wits + Occult)
Guess at likely threats (Wits + Occult)
Design occult risk assessment plans (Intelligence + Occult)
Learn (or teach humans to conduct) abjurations, seances, banishments, and exorcisms (Intelligence + Occult)
Find a gate to another world (Intelligence + Occult)
Learn a way to close a gate to another world (Intelligence + Occult)
Understand cult mentality (Wits + Occult)

You can find the core article with all of the other likely links over here.

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