Master Skill List

This is a list of skills compiled from various games produced by Palladium Books®, including Rifts®, Phase World(TM), Palladium Fantasy RPG(TM), and Heroes Unlimited(TM). A few skills are taken from Rifts® Manhunter.

I have made some modifications, like changing the skill percentages of First Aid and Paramedic so that Paramedic is better. In other cases, the various games assign different base values to the same skill, so I picked and choose between them. Weapon proficiencies are a good example of skills that had different bonuses in the various games. Finally, a few skills have just been changed or combined. For example, I didn't see the need for separate skills for demolitions and demolitions disposal.

Note: The setting column indicates where each skill is available, abbreviated with A for all, F for fantasy, M for modern, and S for science fiction.

Computer OperationM,S40+5Literacy+25% if using a neural interface
CryptographyA25+5Literacy-10 in Fantasy settings
Radio: BasicM,S45+5  
Radio: Deep SpaceS45+5  
Radio: ScramblersM35+5 in science fiction settings, this is included in Radio: Basic due to ease/sophistication of gear
Radio: SatelliteM25+5 in science fiction settings, this is included in Radio: Basic due to ease/sophistication of gear
TelecommunicationsM30+5 fiber optics, digital switches, routing, etc. +5 to Computer Hacking

Play InstrumentA35+5  

Basic ElectronicsM,S30+5  
Computer RepairM,S25+5  
Electrical EngineerM,S30+5Adv. Mathinc. Basic Electronics
Robot ElectronicsS30+5Elect. Eng. 

Black MarketA26+4 +5 to streetwise
Criminal ScienceM,S40+5 basic law, fingerprinting, ballistics, general investigation
Detect ConcealmentA25+5 inc. Detect Ambush
Escape ArtistA30+5  
FieldcraftA40+4 tricks of the trade for spies, using passwords, dead drops, counter-tailing, etc.
ImpersonationAvaries imitate regional accent: 36+4/lvl, imitate a voice: 16+4/lvl, impersonate native of a region: 16+4/lvl, a specific occupation: 12+4/lvl, or a specific person: 10+4/lvl
Pick LocksA30+5  
Pick PocketsA25+5  
SniperAn/a +2 on aimed shots with an appropriate weapon
StreetwiseA20+4 +5 to Black Market
Surveillance SystemsM,S30+5 does NOT include Tailing, but does include designing and bypassing security
TailingA30+5 use skill explanation under Surveillance Systems, includes counter-tailing
Traps and MinesA20+5 bonuses from special equip.
Wilderness SurvivalA30+5  

Aircraft MechanicsM,S25+5  
Automotive MechanicsM,S25+5  
Basic MechanicsM,S30+5  
LocksmithA25+5***requires Basic Electronics in modern and science fiction settings
Mechanical EngineerA25+5Advanced Math+5 to locksmith & surveillance systems
Robot MechanicsS25+5Mech. Eng. 
Spacecraft MechanicsS20+5Mech. Eng. 
Weapons EngineerM,S25+5Mech. Eng. 

First AidA30+5  
Forensic MedicineM,S35+5Biology, Chemistry 
Holistic MedicineA20+5 +10 in Fantasy setting, inc. Identify Plants at 20% or +10%
Medical DoctorA60/50 +5Biology, Chemistry-30 in Fantasy setting, 1st is diagnosis, 2nd is treatment
M.D., Cyber-SurgeonS40/60 +5Biology, Chemistry1st is diagnosis, 2nd is surgery. if taken twice and have elec eng then bionics
PathologyM,S40+5Biology, Chemistry 
VeterinarianA60/50 +5Biology, Chemistry-30 in Fantasy setting

Armorer (field)A40+5 can be used in place of basic mechanics
DemolitionsM,S60+3 inc. Demolition Disposal
Military EtiquetteA35+5 soldiers get a flat 30% for free
Nuke, Bio, Chem WarfareM,S35+5  
Recognize Weapon QualityA25+5  
SniperAn/a +2 on aimed shots with an appropriate weapon
Traps and MinesA20+5 bonuses from special equip.

AcrobaticsAvaries Balance 60+2, Tightrope 60+3, Rope 70+2, Flip 50+5, Climb 40% or +15, Prowl 30% or +5, +2 roll, +1 PS/PP/PE, +1d6 SDC
AthleticsAn/a +1 parry and dodge, +1 roll, +1 PS, +1d6 Spd, +2d4 SDC
Body BuildingAn/a +2 PS, +10 SDC, can be taken multiple times
BoxingAn/a +1 attack, +2 parry/dodge, +1 roll, +2 PS, +3d6 SDC
GymnasticsAvaries Balance 50+3, Rings/Bars 60+3, Rope 60+2, Flip 70+2, Climb 25% or +5, Prowl 30% or +5, +2 roll, +2 PS and PE, +1 PP, +2d6 SDC
JugglingA35+5 +1 initiative
RunningAn/a +1 PE, +4d4 Spd, +1d6 SDC
WrestlingAn/a +1 roll, +2 PS, +1 PE, +4d6 SDC
Zero-Gravity MovementSPPx5 +4 no penalty except -20% spd. Without it, -15% skills, -1 action, x1/2 bonuses & spd

AirplaneM,S40+4 any plane, large or small, prop or jet, but no combat training
Airplane (small)M,S50+4 only small planes, prop or jet, but no combat training
Airplane, CombatM,S40+4 basic combat training, plus can fly any small plane, prop or jet
AutomobileM,S60+4 pickup trucks, vans, hovercraft, etc, at speeds under 125 mph, but no combat training
Automobile, RacingM,S45+4 driving at high speeds, routinely at speeds over 125 mph, effectively combat training
Boat, CombatM,S40+4 any size of motor boat, includes basic combat training
Boat, MotorizedM,S40+4 any size of motor boat, but no combat training
Boat, Motorized (small)M,S60+4 small motor boats, jet skis, etc., but no combat training
Boat, SailingM,S35+4 any size of sail boat, but no combat training
Boat, Sailing (small)M,S45+4 small sailing boats and yachts, but no combat training
HelicopterM,S35+5 includes basic combat training
HorsemanshipA50+4 includes basic combat training
Jet PackM,S40+4 includes basic combat training
MechaS55+4 any vehicles larger than standard power armor, includes basic combat training
MotorcycleM,S55+4 at speeds under 125 mph, and no combat training
Motorcycle, RacingM,S45+4 driving at high speeds, effectively combat training
Power ArmorS60+4 any humanoid suit that relies on pilot movement, includes basic combat training
SpacecraftS40+4 any spacecraft from shuttles to cruisers, but no combat training
Spacecraft (small)S50+4 only small spacecraft, including shuttles, fighters, scouts, but no combat training
Spacecraft, CombatS40+4 basic combat training, plus can fly any small spacecraft
SubmersiblesM,S40+4 includes basic combat training
Tanks and APCsM,S40+4 includes basic combat training
Trucks, LargeM,S40+4 no combat training

Advanced Combat PilotingM,Sn/abasic combat trainingAdds +25% to the combat piloting skill in ONE specific make and model of vehicle
Navigation: StellarS40+5Navigationincludes instellar and in-system
Navigation: TerrestrialA50+5Basic Mathincludes air, sea and land
Read Sensory EquipmentM,S30+5Literacy 
Weapon SystemsM,S40+5 skill is chance to learn new weapon quickly, but having the skill provides +1 to strike in addition to PP bonuses with hand-maneuvered weapons. For computer targeted weapons, it gives +1 to strike at levels 1, 3, 6, 10 and 15.

Black MarketA26+4 +5 streetwise
CardsharpA24+4 +5 gambling
Computer HackingM,S20+5Computer Prog.+10% if using a neural interface, gives +5 to cryptography, surveillance, locksmith.
GamblingA20+5Basic Mathhelps win by strategy, can also be used to cheat or spot a cheater
Locate Secret CompartmentA40+5  
PalmingA20+5 +5 pick pockets, cardsharp
Pick LocksA30+5  
Pick PocketsA25+5  
SafecrackingM,S20+4 +5 pick locks, lock smith, demolitions
SeductionA20+3 +1 / M.A over 15 and +2 / PB over 15
StreetwiseA20+4 +5 to Black Market
Surveillance SystemsM,S30+5 does NOT include Tailing, but does include designing and bypassing security
TailingA30+5 use skill explanation under Surveillance Systems, includes counter-tailing
Use & Recognize PoisonsA24/16 +4 1st is to use, 2nd is to recognize, add +4 to both if you have Holistic Medicine

ArchaeologyA20+5 inc. a base of 20% or gives +5 to anthropology
AstronomyA30+5Basic Mathknowledge of constellations, planetary movements, etc.
AstrophysicsM,S25+5Physicsinc. Astronomy
BiologyA30+5Basic Math 
BotanyA25+5Basic Mathinc. a base of 20% or +5 to Identify Plants and Fruits
ChemistryA30+5Basic Math 
Chemistry, AnalyticalM,S25+5Basic Math 
GeologyA30+5Basic Math 
Mathematics, BasicA45+5  
Mathematics, AdvancedA45+5 inc. Basic Math
PhysicsA30+5Advanced Math 

Animal HusbandryA35+5  
Business and FinanceA35+5Basic Math 
CarpentryA25+5 +5 boat building, locate secret compartments
Computer OperationM,S40+5Literacy+25% if using a neural interface
Computer ProgrammingM,S30+5Computer Operation+10% if using a neural interface
DivinationA24+3M.E. of 13use 1 method (palm, tea leaves, runes, etc) to gain insight into past, present and future. Type of info depends on type of divination, so palm reading, tarot and astrology are about a person, weather-watching, pyromancy, and runes are about general events in the vicinity, etc.
GemologyA25+5 used for both precious metals and gems
General RepairA35+5  
HeraldryA20/15 +5 first is knowledge of proper design, second is to recognize/interpret identity & political significance, +5 to second number if you have Intelligence skill
LawA25+5Literacy+15% if a concentration is taken
LiteracyAn/aLanguageTake once, can read any known language at that language's rating
Lore: AstralA25+5  
Lore: Demons & MonstersA25+5  
Lore: DreamstreamA25+5  
Lore: Faerie FolkA30+5  
Lore: GeomancyA30+5  
Lore: MagicA30/10 +5 1st is layman's Principles of Magic, 2nd is layman's Recognize Enchantment
Lore: PsychicA30+5  
Lore: ReligionA30+5  
MasonryA30+5 +5 to Locate Secret Compartments
PhotographyM,S35+5 +5 to Video
Public SpeakingA30+5  
Sculpting & WhittlingA30+5  
Sign LanguageA25+5  

ArcheryAn/a Strike +1 at levels 1, 3, 6, 8, 11, 14.
Battle AxeAn/a Strike +1 at levels 1, 4, 6, 9, 12. Parry +1 at 2, 5, 9, 13.
BluntAn/a Strike and Parry +1 at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12.
ChainAn/a Strike +1 at levels 1, 3, 7, 10, 13. Parry +1 at 4, 8, 12.
KnifeAn/a Strike +1 at 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13. Parry +1 at 2, 4, 8, 11, 15. Throw +1 at 1, 6, 11, 15.
Paired WeaponsAn/a Learn to use two specific weapons at the same time
ShieldAn/a Strike +1 at levels 4, 8, 12. Parry +2 at 1 and +1 at 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13.
SpearAn/a Strike and Parry +1 at 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 13. Throw +1 at 3, 6, 10,14
StaffAn/a Strike +1 at levels 1, 3, 7, 10, 13. Parry +1 at 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 14.
SwordAn/a Strike +1 at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15. Parry +1 at 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13.
ThrowingAn/a Strike +1 at levels 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13. Replaces the thrown knife & spear bonus.
WhipAn/a Strike and Entangle +1 at levels 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13. Damage +1 at 2, 4,8,12.
Modern PistolM,Sn/a Strike +1 at levels 4, 7, 10, 13. Includes revolver, semi-auto pistol, energy pistol.
Modern RifleM,Sn/a Strike +1 at levels 4, 7, 10, 13. Includes rifles, sub-machineguns.
Modern HeavyM,Sn/a Strike +1 at levels 4, 7, 10, 13. Includes machineguns, bazookas, rail guns.

Boat BuildingA25+5  
HuntingAn/a +5 prowl, tracking, skin animals, wilderness survival and cook
Identify Plants & FruitsA25+5  
Land NavigationA36+4 just being able to find your way on the ground
Preserve FoodA25+5 +5 in Fantasy setting
Skin & Prepare HidesA30+5 +5 sewing
TrackingA25+5 use skill description from Espionage, not the Track Animals skill
Wilderness SurvivalA30+5  

Magical Skills

In general, all practitioners of magic who develop their powers through study and knowledge will have the following skills. Mystics and other classes who gain their magic through meditation, insight or natural ability do not gain these skills, though they can learn a layman's equivalent by taking Lore: Magic (see above).

Principles of Magic
Mages know and understand the main principles of magic, including rituals, symbols, incantations and paraphernalia. This allows them to distinguish between fake "occult" materials and the real thing, as well as to determine the general purpose of specific items and even which supernatural forces or mystic traditions are involved. A failed roll indicates that the mage does not realize or misunderstands the significance of the evidence. Base Skill: 70% + 2% per level.
Recognize Enchantments
The mage can recognize the influence of magic that charms, hypnotizes or otherwise causes mind control (including trances, domination, compulsion, quest, etc). This ability also includes identifying magic sickness, curses, the effects of faerie food, and supernatural or magic possession. Base Skill: 35% + 5% per level.
Recognize Magic
The mage may recognize that an area is under an enchantment or that an object is magic due partially to intuition and a "feel" for the aura of magic, but also due to inscriptions, magic symbols and general design. The character may believe that something has mystic properties but he does not know what powers it has or how to use it. Base Skill: 20% + 5% per level.

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This page is copyright © 1998 by Jim Stoner
Last Modified July 11, 1998