Abilities

Abilities represent the things your character knows how to do or understands. The 7th Age utilizes specific Abilities from among the various MET books. Each are detailed below. If you are looking for an ability that isn't listed here, it is possible we have applied it as a specialization to another ability.

Specializations - Ability Specializations take a month to learn, which cannot be reduced by any means. You may still learn other Abilities during this time, but only one specialization may be learned per month. You may learn up to one specialization for every three levels in an ability. The list below provides some examples of Specializations for many of the abilities.

Lores - Knowledge of each lore at each level will be defined as time permits. Lores at level 1 may be learned after a few months (at ST discretion) of interacting with the subject of that lore. Beyond the first level, one must locate a teacher either through role-play or through use of Learning or Occult influences. In order to interact with species' magical abilities, you must have the Lore of that creature type at or above the level of the ability you wish to affect. This applies to Counter Magic as well as powers like Thieving Talons of the Magpie.

Academics

You possess a level of education and general knowledge beyond rudimentary schooling. With Academics, you can express artistic criticism, debate the classics, consider philosophy and indulge in studies of culture. This broad Ability covers all sorts of humanities in learning. Academics allows you to recognize historical, art and cultural references. You can use Academics when working in such fields, when developing a critique or researching. Calling on Academics Ability may require a Mental or Social Challenge to determine your exact level of competence. You may further direct your studies by choosing a specific field, such as Art Criticism, Classical Studies, History, Journalism, Theology or anything else that could be studied with higher education.

Alertness

You pay attention to your surroundings. Even if your senses aren’t particularly good, you know enough to put together clues and scrutinize things going on around you. You use Alertness in conjunction with your Perception-related Mental Traits to notice sounds, detect things that are out of place and spot concealed objects or people. When you’re surprised, you may spend one level of Alertness to negate the surprise penalty and act normally instead.

Animal Ken

It’s not so much a cut-and-dried language, but rather, you can sometimes deal with them more equitably. Though they may retain a healthy fear of supernatural creatures, you know what drives them and how to assuage their fears. With Animal Ken, you can train an animal (especially with certain powers) into specific behaviors (stay, fetch, attack), or attempt to deduce an animal’s state of being (injured, angry, frightened, etc.) with a Mental Challenge. If you work with an animal over a long period of time (generally a month or so), you may be able to teach it a simple trick, up to a limit of one trick for each Mental Trait that the animal has.

Archery

Archery is the ability to use bows, the most common ranged weapon of the era. Experienced archers also know how to maintain and repair these weapons, and in some cases how to make them as well. Archery covers crossbows and other related weapons. It does not cover spears or other thrown weapons, which require Athletics. Once you possess the Archery Ability, you may opt to bid Mental Traits instead of Physical Traits in the event of ties.

Athletics

Athletics is aptitude for physical exertion, be it during relatively formal sports or simply in the course of an active life. Athletic feats directly related to combat are covered by Brawl, Dodge, Melee and other combat abilities, except in the case of thrown weapons. These require Athletics. Your Athletics Ability is used for retests on most forms of raw physical activity, such as acrobatics, running, climbing, jumping, swimming and throwing. You may also choose to focus on something you do especially well.

Awareness

You have a talent for knowing when things are not as they should be, whether by that strange feeling in the pit of your gut or through tested observation. This Ability is particularly useful for sensing when other supernatural creatures are about, detecting evidence of strange magical phenomena, or just getting that weird feeling when the laws of nature are about to take a hard left. Awareness challenges usually pit your Mental Traits against a Static Challenge determined by a Narrator. If someone performs a magical Effect with no visible result, you can call for an Awareness challenge with a difficulty of six Traits minus the Effect’s casting difficulty before modifiers (minimum zero for a really big Effect). If you succeed, you know that something magical happened, although you don’t necessarily know what it was. Actually figuring out the properties of something magical may require other Abilities such as Occult.

Brawl

Back alleys, martial arts schools and rough bars are your stomping grounds. You might have military training, or maybe you just grew up with a passel of rough-and-tumble siblings. Whatever the case, you know how to dish out the damage with your fists and your feet. Use the Brawl Ability for retests in combat when you are using your natural weapons (teeth and fists, or even magically grown claws and appendages). This Ability is also the province of the martial arts, although you should specify which art your character performs when you take this Ability.
Specializations: Blindfighting, Do (Mages only), Natural Weaponry

Commerce

Commerce is the Ability to successfully bring goods to market, and all that entails. It includes the ability to evaluate various goods how to best market them to the populace, knowledge of trade routes and fairs, and skill at negotiating prices. Your character should specify one class of goods as a field of expertise when you first purchase it. You can buy additional fields of expertise with Experience or Free Traits just as with Linguistics and knowledge of various languages. You can apply Commerce outside your field of expertise to identify potential markets and experts in the field, and to negotiate and haggle over just about anything. Evaluating an item or a trade route that you have no experience with is beyond your grasp, and it counts as acting without the required Ability.
In the Seventh Age, the line between legitimate and illegitimate trade is fuzzy to non-existent, as Commerce comes into play just as much when buying cheese as when hiring a mercenary, soliciting a courtesan or selling black-market goods. As such, Commerce conveys a general sense of the shadier side of life as well.

Cosmology

The Tellurian is vast and full of mysteries, but some of those mysteries are clear to you. Whether through hearsay or personal experience, you know of many fantastic places and creatures throughout the cosmos. When you encounter a strange Realm, a mystical Node or an unknown spirit, you use your Cosmology Ability to puzzle out its nature. Usually doing so calls for a Mental Challenge with a difficulty determined by the Storyteller. By expending a Cosmology Trait, you can determine the strength of a Node or how powerful a spirit is. Additional information relies on challenges and your ability to roleplay through the process of dealing with alien places and changeable entities.

Crafts

You can build things. Depending on your area of expertise, you know how to manufacture items and make handy tools or decorations. You must choose a focus for Crafts, specifying your preferred form of creation. Carpentry, Clockworks, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking and the like are all possibilities. You can fashion works of art by studying Painting, Drawing or similar physical media. Crafts also covers more technical skills, such as Mechanics and Electronics. Making or repairing an item with Crafts usually involves a Physical Challenge of your dexterity, with a difficulty set by the Storyteller based on the type of job. Making a concealed spring-loaded trap is far more difficult than planing a board, for instance. Making a work of art may require Mental Traits instead, such as when you draw a precise map or devise an electrical design. For more information on Crafting, see Crafting Times.
The Bodycrafting ability, which applies to Vicissitude and similar powers, will be treated as a specialization of Crafts.

Demolitions

This Ability covers the knowledge to identify, build, place and disarm explosive devices of all kinds, from industrial dynamite charges to sophisticated military ordinance. A character may make a Mental Challenge to attempt to disarm any such devices she encounters, including booby-traps with explosive components. The difficulty of this test is based on the complexity of the device and the hunter’s familiarity with the type of explosive in question.
She may also attempt to build and place such devices herself, provided she has sufficient time to work and access to the proper materials. All such attempts require a Mental Challenge as well, where the difficulty depends on type of device being created and/or the result the hunter is hoping to achieve with the explosion when she places it. Bear in mind that mere possession of bomb-making material or literature is a punishable crime in many countries, and even fairly ordinary explosives may be difficult or impossible for a regular citizen to obtain through legal channels. Of course, a hunter can always turn to less reputable sources for what she needs, but such shady dealings have risks of their own. (High levels of Arsenal and/or relevant Influences such as Larceny or Industry are all recommended for characters who plan on making a habit of working with explosives.)

Disguise

Creating a disguise requires a Mental Challenge, where the difficulty depends on how much of a change the hunter is trying to make. Appearing as a generic “someone else” is a difficulty of three Traits, appearing as a general type of individual (soldier, repair man, gang member, etc.) is a difficulty of five, and taking on the appearance of a specific person is a difficulty of seven. Appearing as someone of the opposite gender adds two to the difficulty of a test, and the Narrator should feel free to raise or lower the difficulty to accommodate other factors as well. Ideally, the player should also adopt the proper makeup, costuming and props to indicate the use of this Ability, but those features are not strictly necessary - all a player is required to do is wear a description tag marked “Disguise” that describes their altered appearance to other players, which must be displayed prominently for other players to notice. Other characters may make a Mental Challenge against the hunter to try to pierce the disguise, provided they have a valid in-game reason to be suspicious about the character's identity
Bear in mind that even though a character’s physical disguise may be flawless, she may still give herself away through inappropriate speech or behavior, especially when attempting to impersonate specific people or members of tightly knit groups. Thus, most individuals skilled in the craft of Disguise are equally skilled in Abilities such as Subterfuge and/or Performance (Acting) to help maintain their cover, not to mention taking time to do a bit of research beforehand. Likewise, even a completely convincing performance might still be disbelieved for reasons outside of the character’s control - no matter how well she looks or acts the part, if the bloodsucker’s bodyguards know for a fact that his lady love left last night for a two-month vacation, the hunter’s disguise isn’t going to work!

Dodge

When trouble rears its ugly head, you know how to get out of its way. Unhesitating reactions let you evade blows and gunshots, getting aside just in time to avoid injury. You can use Dodge against any attack that you're aware of. You can dive for cover as someone fires a gun or twist away from a sword before it bisects your spine, for instance. You may use the Dodge Ability as a retest when defending against an attack that you can see or sense coming.

Empathy

You are sensitive to the moods and emotions of people around you. When you listen to someone, you understand her feelings. You can identify with others and tell when people are lying or holding back while talking to you. With a Social Challenge and the expenditure of an Empathy Ability, you can determine if the last thing that someone said was a lie (although Subterfuge can defend against this expenditure). Alternately, you can attempt to determine the subject's current Demeanor.

Enigmas

Puzzles, riddles and problems are your hobby and passion. Whether you're working on the morning crossword or translating an ancient scrawl in a buried tomb, you have a penchant for coming up with unusual solutions, answering mystical conundrums and solving all manner of brain-twisters. You use Enigmas most often with a Mental Challenge to help figure out a puzzle of some sort. Of course, the Ability alone shouldn't substitute for all of the roleplaying involved in working out the puzzle. However, when you are trying to work out a riddle or other such challenge, your Enigmas Ability allows you to double any given time limit for each Trait expended, or to make an extra guess for each Trait expended.

Etiquette

Even though knowing which fork to use isn't as important to Kindred society, you do know the proper way to greet someone, when to rise and how to make introductions. You can hold a toast with the best of them, and you keep your cool in any social scenario, from high tea to a gang's rally. The Etiquette Ability can be used with Social Tests to impress or blend in at parties. If you make a social faux pas, you may expend an Etiquette Ability immediately to negate the gaffe — your character knew better than to make the mistake.

Expression

Words and feelings flow freely from you. When the muse strikes, you put pen to paper (or fingers to musical instrument) and pour out a torrent of emotion and stirring imagery. You can convey message and meaning in your art, from symphonies to poetry, and whatever you write is both clear and moving. When writing or composing, you can sink Expression Traits into the work. Doing so typically denotes some level of quality. Professional poets, writers and musicians often use three or more levels to make their best material. Works created with Expression x 3 or more have the potential to entrance Toreador, as per their clan weakness.

Firearms

A little time at the gun range goes a long way. You know how to hold, fire and clean a gun. You can unjam one too, and you can tell different models apart. You know how to stand to get the best aim, how to handle recoil and how to take care of problems in the field. If you possess the Firearms Ability, you use your Mental Traits for gun combat instead of using Physical Traits. You can expend Firearms for a retest in ranged-fire combat with pistols, rifles, shotguns, crossbows and similar weapons.

Gremayre

(Fae Only)

You are conversant in the knowledge of myths, legends and rituals of the Kithain and all things fae - the lifeblood and history of all changelings. With sufficient knowledge of this Ability, you can create new oaths, or even a new Art. Along with the Remembrance Background, it is an essential Ability to deciphering fae things, and can be used with a Mental Challenge to understand or remember facts about other kith, the Dreaming and fae society, the difficulty of which is decided by the Storyteller based on familiarity with the subject of the question, obscurity of the lore, etc. You may also use this Ability to try to counter cantrips cast against you.

Instruction

You’re really good at relaying information, teaching material, and helping other folks understand potentially complex principles. It’s not so much that you’re an expert on the subject at hand (though you might be), but that you’ve got a knack for taking your subject and making it easier to comprehend. A very useful Talent for mentors, professors and, of course, instructors for any given course of study, this Ability helps your character share his expertise with other characters. In game terms, you can use Instruction to train other characters in any Ability (or power, if they can learn it) that you possess. For each Trait of Instruction you expend in this tutelage, you can reduce the Learning Time for your student.

Intimidation

Intimidation represents any of a broad variety of techniques for terrifying people into compliance. This could be anything from physical size, to a particularly frightening grin, to knowing which emotional buttons to push. You can use Intimidation when trying to scare someone with a Social Challenge, or with certain Disciplines.

Investigation

You know how to pick up clues and put together disparate pieces of information. By habit and training, you can set a jumbled mass of data into order, discovering identities, motives and patterns in an otherwise chaotic scene. You can use Investigation with a Mental Challenge to puzzle out meaning to a random series of events, to spot when someone is carrying a concealed weapon or to find a clue at a crime scene.

Kenning

(Fae & Fae-Blooded Kinain Only)

Kenning is the Ability of faerie sight. It is the Ability to sense Glamour in whatever form it takes, be it a chimera, a changeling, a cantrip, whatever. Although often linked with sight, this Ability doesn’t require it - it is an instinctive sense rather than a simple visual trick. With a successful use of this Ability, the user may identify a “sleeping” changeling through her mortal guise, sense a cantrip (and possibly who cast it), and otherwise determine if Glamour is in the area. For an area or item, this is typically a Simple Test and successful on a win or a tie; for a cantrip, chimera or freehold, it is a Static Mental Challenge with a Storyteller-assigned difficulty based on the strength of the Glamour and the pains with which it was hidden. Finally, to sense another changeling or a changeling “sleeping” in Banality requires a Mental Challenge. As a rule, any place or item marked with a green circle is chimerical, and can only be seen by Kithain or enchanted characters. Characters who are unenchanted must completely ignore all things marked with green circles (of course, they cannot be affected by them, either).

Law

Nobody is above the law, except those who know how to use it to their advantage. You’re one of those people. Perhaps you uphold the law, or maybe you have been on the wrong side of it so often that you’ve picked up a few tricks to twist it to your own ends. Your knowledge of Law allows you to understand legal processes, courts and lawyers, and to use and twist them effectively to your own ends. Use the Law Ability in court situations or with Social Challenges involving legal matters. Because the legal body is so vast, your Storyteller may require you to select a focus of legal expertise such as Criminal Law, Civil Law or Tax Law.

Leadership

A good speaking voice and self-confidence lend a powerful presence to a leader. Leadership represents your ability to motivate people and convince them to follow your guidance. Even among those who do not know or respect you, you can demand attention. You can use Leadership with a Social Challenge to try to get a minor favor or task from a character.
Specializations: Morale, Tactics

Linguistics

You've studied a language — or languages — other than your native tongue. Whether you're an older vampire whose childhood language is no longer spoken, you frequent the global community, or it is necessary for other studies, you can speak, write and read other languages. You must choose one language for each level of Linguistics you possess. Thus, you could have Linguistics: Cantonese and Linguistics.- German. Alternately, you can focus on the underlying study of Linguistics itself, granting some understanding of the principles behind the structure of language. Languages need not be spoken; American Sign Language or Egyptian hieroglyphics would also be considered fields for study. Those who wish to converse in another language (but cannot actually do so) should hold up one hand with the first finger and thumb making an L-shape to indicate to other players the characters are not speaking English. Those who wish to listen in must also possess the language.

Lore

You know more about supernaturals than they’d appreciate you knowing. Sure, your understanding gets filtered through the lens of your own group’s perspective, but it’s more than the average person comprehends. Such knowledge is considered Lore: the hidden secrets of vampires, werecreatures, and the like. Different Lore categories are listed below. Each Lore category counts as a separate Lore specialty; knowing about Sabbat Kindred won’t teach you anything about Seelie Fae Kith. Having a broad spectrum of Lore will help you assemble a formidable amount of information about various groups within those categories. Even then, however, your knowledge will be full of holes, misconceptions, prejudices, and lies. These secretive beings don’t even have accurate appraisals of themselves, so an outsider has obvious disadvantages in that regard as well. Another thing – despite their long rivalries, different factions don’t often have accurate data about one another.
Types of Lore (and example specializations) include: 

  • Fae: Kith, House, Court (Seelie / Unseelie), Arts / Cantrips, Oaths, Dautain, Gallain, Thallain, Kinain, Chimera
  • Fallen: Houses, Factions, Lore
  • Hunter: Powers (Numina, Sorcery, True Faith), Factions (Arcanum, Inquisition, etc.), Imbued
  • Kuei-Jin (Kindred of the East): Dharmas, Disciplines, Yama Kings
  • Mage: Factions (Traditions, Technocracy, Disparates, Marauders, Nephandi), Paradigms (Practice and Foci), Spheres
  • Mummy: Type (Amenti, Capocochan, etc.), Paths, Sects
  • Shifter: Fera (Ananasi, Bastet, Corax, Gurahl, Mokole, Nuwisha, Ratkin, Rokea), Garou (Tribe, Auspice), Hengeyokai (Khan, Kitsine, Kumo, Nagah, Nezumi, Same-Bito, Tengu, Zhong-Lung), Septs, Extinct Breeds
  • Spirit: Triat (Wyld / Weaver / Wyrm), High Umbrood (gods, demons, angels, elementals, muses), Middle Umbrood, Low Umbrood (wraiths, specters, malfeans, death lords), Gaffling / Jaggling / Incarna / Celestine
  • Umbra: Inner Umbra, High Umbra (Vulgate, Spires, Courts, Afterworlds, Epiphanies), Middle Umbra (the various realms), Low Umbra (Shadowlands, Dark Kingdoms, Tempest, Far Shores, Oblivion), Dreaming (Near Dreaming, Far Dreaming, Deep Dreaming, Arcadia, various realms), Zones (Vistas, Mirror Zone, Mt. Qaf/Digital Web, Null Zone), Deep Umbra (Malfeas, Pattern Web, Flux, Paradox Realms, COP, Cerberus), Horizons (Horizon Realms, True Horizon, Far Horizon, Shard Realms), Void, Umbral Pathways
  • Vampire: Clans, Disciplines, Sects
  • Conspiracy Theory

Medicine

You know how the human body functions. You can speed the recovery and healing of an injured person, or you can use your knowledge to inflict injury. Many mages learn just enough to assist their magical healing or to create harmful coincidental Effects. You can use the Medicine Ability to speed a person's healing by one category. A Wounded person would heal as if he were only Bruised, for instance (taking less time to actually become Bruised, and then recovering very rapidly from there). Medicine may be used for other sorts of research and lab work with a Mental Challenge. Since Medicine represents such a vast field, your Storyteller may require you to specify a focus, such as Pharmaceuticals, Internal Medicine or General Practice.

Meditation

Regardless of distraction or injury, you're quite skilled at focusing your thoughts. You put aside extraneous concerns and chaos, and center all of your attention inward instead. In this way, you can rest peacefully or organize your thoughts even under duress. You can expend a Meditation Ability Trait to make up for a lost hour of sleep (in case your mage really needs to finish a ritual or he has already been up way too long). You can also use Meditation with a Mental Challenge to reach a trance state in which your mage can ignore injury or distraction. (In doing so, for instance, he may avoid taking a penalty on a challenge of Enigmas by focusing and ignoring the diversions of his surroundings.)

Melee

If you've got something in your hands, you're a deadly fighter. Be it a sword, a stick or a set of nunchaku, you can use it to damaging effect. Expend Melee for retests in hand-to-hand combat when you are using a close combat weapon like a knife or a chair. Certain weapons function best when wielded by a character with Melee.

Occult

The hidden world teems with mysterious secrets. By unlocking universal keys and studying the basics of spirituality, you can learn the shadowy paths of the supernatural. Your Occult Ability serves as a general knowledge of the supernatural, alerting you to the existence of many varied sorts of inhuman creatures and paranormal events. Occult grants some basic (and sometimes erroneous) knowledge of the various denizens of the supernatural world. For more detailed information, study Lore in your particular subject of interest.
Specializations: Abyss Mysticism, Koldunism, Thanatology, Rune Magic

Performance

You are a true virtuoso. Whatever your chosen medium, you have a gift for artistic endeavors. Whether playing an instrument, singing, dancing or acting, your skills allow you to entertain and even earn money. Your Performance Ability can earn you a modest income, just like other artistic trade skills. You must choose a specific arr form as a focus for Performance, such as playing an instrument, singing, acting or doing dramatic readings. Note that Performance generally applies to art rendered before an audience, while Expression most often focuses on literary works or underlying emotions, and Crafts concentrates on the creation of physical objects such as paintings or sculptures. If you execute a work with Performance x 3 or better, you may transfix Toreador in the area with the beauty and grace of your style.

Poisons

You know how poisons work-from their effects to their sources and antidotes. You can analyze a substance and conclude if it is poisonous. If it is, then you can determine what sort of toxin it contains and formulate an antidote. This Ability allows you to brew your own poisons and mix antidotes with access to the proper material, which generally requires more than just a rattlesnake, a pair of pliers and a mason jar.

Politics

The world of influence-trading and favors is extensive enough among mortals. In supernatural society, where one's prowess is measured in standing with one's peers, the game of Politics is all-consuming. Through observation, intrigue and a bit of spin-doctoring, you've learned how to handle appearances, what a speech really means, and where the deal-making is going on. In short, it's Politics as usual.
The Politics Ability is useful primarily in dealings with mortal society or Influence. You may be able to manipulate the outcome of local political actions, with the proper Influence and some well-placed Social Challenges; Politics Ability ensures that matters proceed in the direction that you desire. Politics is also used to discern hidden motives and broker deals, and as such, it is almost a requirement of any noble. With Politics, you can usually set an appropriate level of debt for a boon. The hierarchies of power are often obvious to you, granting you insight into whether the prince is really in charge, or is simply a puppet of a lord, for example. Politics also makes you aware of who's in favor and who's out, and you can determine how much Status a particular vampire possesses once introduced. (If you know your quarry's name, expend a Politics Ability to determine the subject's Status Traits.)
A knowledge of Politics includes, by extension, an understanding of the bureaucratic levels of power. You know how to cut through red tape, or how to obstruct others with it. By determining who's important in a given strata, you can usually avoid wasting time and simply go straight to the person with the power to do what you want.

Primal Urge

(Shifter Only)

As primal creatures, Garou have a long history of fighting bravely and ferociously as proud warriors in service to Gaia. Primal-Urge represents the close tie you have to this ancestry, not only as a wolf but also as a half-wolf. As such, you may spend a Primal- Urge Trait to instantly shift between forms instead of a Rage Trait or assist you in passing through the Gauntlet. Homid characters may not begin play with this Ability, except with the Storyteller’s permission.

Repair

You possess a working understanding of what makes things tick. With times, tools and parts, you can fix or slightly alter most of the trappings of modern society. This knowledge also allows you to excel at sabotage. The Repair Ability is widespread among inventors, mechanics and handymen. Using this Ability usually calls for a Mental Challenge, the difficulty of which depends on such factors as the item's complexity, tools and parts available, extent of damage and time spent on the repairs.

Research

It ain’t glamorous, but people need to know how to track things down. This Skill helps you locate sources of information – public libraries, private archives, Internet searches, occult collections, verbal lore, and so forth – and then skim them for the information you seek. You might not find exactly what you’re looking for; some things can be found only in special places. Still, a successful mental challenge can help you get on the right track, even if specific facts remain elusive… at least for now. You may also expend Traits of the Research ability to reduce Learning Times on anything that can be adequately researched.

Ride

Ride is the ability to travel astride a horse or other riding animal, keeping it under control in varying circumstances. Experienced riders can fight from horseback, tend horses’ common ailments and evaluate the quality of their mounts and related gear.

Ritual

Rites and rituals are immensely important to many different types of creatures. With this Ability, you know something about the traditions, ceremonies and other sacred mysteries, and are a master of such pomp and circumstance. With enough time and study, you may even know something about the rites of cultures other than your own, or even a fragment or two about the ceremonies of other creatures. You know exactly where the candles go, how the invocation reads and which color of drapes to use for the best effect. You can take into account the participants' personalities, your own knowledge and the limitations of your budget and still come up with a ritual that will not only succeed in amplifying your magic, but will look damn cool, too. This knowledge is necessary for Shifters to learn rituals - your rating must be equal to or greater than the level of the rite you wish to learn (1-2 for Basic, 3-4 for Intermediate, 5 for Advanced). You can expend a level of Rituals for a retest when performing a ritual or rite. Mages can expend a level of the Ritual Ability as a downtime action to extend your rite into the realm of Superhuman Ritual. Each level allows you to tack on one more grade of casting time, and thus one more grade of success. Of course, once you're done, you likely collapse from exhaustion and sleep for about 16 hours. Alternatively, you can use your High Ritual to grant a single retest to one other participant who fails a challenge when attempting to aid you in a cooperative rite.

Science

The modern Information Age sees the explosion of all manner of studies. Categorizing and breaking down the world into many different forms, the methods of logic and reason give sentient beings the means to understand the universe, or at least small pieces of it. Education in Science covers techniques of inquiry, modern studies and a broad range of underpinning work in a diverse range of fields. Science Ability requires an area of particular study: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Metallurgy, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Geology and Botany are all possibilities, though such a list is far from comprehensive. Combining a Science with different fields may give a wide variety results. For example, Science: Metallurgy with Academics may give results regarding historical research and theory, while the same Science with Occult may center around ancient alchemy or parapsychology. Actually constructing objects or devices theorized with Science may require use of the Crafts Ability. Using a particular branch of Science usually requires a Mental Challenge of some sort to determine the success of research or the viability of theoretical work.

Scrounge

You're exceptionally good at finding stuff. Whether it's a crucial part for a 1890s' gramaphone, invitations to the most exclusive gallery opening in town, or just haven space in the downtown, you're a wiz at knowing where to go, who to talk to and how to get what you need. Granted, the things you get are rarely brand-new or exactly right and do take time and favors to acquire. Still such an ability is useful when your finances are less than sparkling or theft is out of the question. Scrounge is typically used in conjunction with Mental Traits (although the Storyteller may occasionally require a Social Challenge for haggling), and can be useful when looking for particular items or searching a place that is in shambles.

Security

Whichever side of the law you've worked on has granted you experience in Security techniques. You know about police operations and guard work, how they make their schedules and how they undertake their business — and how to disrupt such operations. Locks, traps, security systems and alarms are all within your purview. With a little time, you can put together Security measures for a location; you can also defeat such measures. Use the Security Ability with Mental Traits to set up a secure area or network, or to formulate a plan for breaching such a network. Security Ability is also used to disarm traps, alarms and other devices, and to defeat locks. At the discretion of a Narrator, you may be required to use a Physical Trait related to dexterity when attempting to bypass a physical lock or alarm.

Seneschal

Seneschal is the ability to administer holdings, from households to kingdoms. It covers the knowledge of physical assets and their needs, from harvesting crops to the maintenance of buildings, management of various taxes and the social skills to coordinate others’ labor, and resolve disputes. A skilled seneschal can evaluate the state of others’ holdings based on personal experience and theoretical knowledge, too. Each Trait of Seneschal increases your Influence cap by one.

Stealth

By blending into cover, blurring your lines and moving carefully and quietly, you can evade notice or sneak past people. You know how best to take advantage of surrounding cover and how to use light and shadow. Opportunities for unnoticed movement are not lost on you, as you understand the uses of timing and diversion. With an appropriate Physical Challenge, you can sometimes sneak past the notice of guards and searchers (who contest your Ability with their Mental Traits and Investigation Ability). You also use Stealth to augment powers such as Obfuscate or Blur of the Milky Eye.

Streetwise

Word on the street is known to you. Even if you don't have any particular friends or contacts in the area, you know about the different communities and gangs that hang out in town. You recognize tagging and other territorial markers, and you know some of the signs, colors and clothes that denote street people, homeless, gangbangers, hoodlums, criminals and social workers. Using the Streetwise Ability, with your Mental Traits, lets you recognize the influence of various gangs or street communities. You also know about criminal organizations and activities, and you could perform a little larceny yourself. An appropriate Social Challenge can help smooth dealings with a hostile gang (though you may need Etiquette to make a really good impression).

Subterfuge

There are many ways to talk about subjects, and equally many ways to uncover the truth of the matter. Even in idle conversation, people use little white lies, slip hints about their true motives, try to guide the course of discussion and give away their secrets indirectly. The art of Subterfuge is the art of reading these tricks and using them effortlessly. When someone confronts you with one of your lies, you can use the Subterfuge Ability in your own defense (if someone uses the Empathy Ability, for instance). By guiding a conversation, you can also unearth someone's Negative Traits; if you manage to steer conversation to a particular topic in play, you can expend a Subterfuge Ability and make a Social Challenge to determine one of the subject's Negative Traits related to the topic. 

Survival

Survival Ability represents a knowledge of terrain, how to find shelter, where to find water, techniques in hunting, edible and poisonous plants and fungi and so on. Though a vampire needs only blood to live, use of Survival makes hunting of animals much easier, and it provides some assurances of a safer existence for those who travel outside the cities. Hunting and avoiding danger in the wilderness usually relies on a Physical Challenge. With Survival, you can substitute your Mental Traits if you so desire. Survival is also a measure of the character's ruggedness and ability to overcome obstacles and injury. Specialties in Survival can relate to skills like Tracking, Hunting, Trapping or to types of environment (Arctic, Desert, Forest).

Technology

You know all about high-tech gadgetry, devices, machines and toys. Whether building, repairing or just figuring the infernal contraptions out, you have a good sense of how such mechanisms work, be they televisions, microwave ovens or sprinkler systems. With the Technology Ability, you can puzzle out most technical devices. You understand all manner of electrical and mechanical engineering, material work and even a little bit of hotwiring. You are equally able to program a DVD player or install an alarm. You can also use Technology to circumvent such devices, which can be very handy in defeating Technocratic security. Use Mental Traits for such challenges. 
Specializations in Technology can be something along the lines of Hardware, Software, or Hypertech. 

Torture

You know how to inflict pain and are efficient at doing so. This Ability allows you to retest any Physical Challenge when you are in a torture situation - i.e., when you have already caused pain to your opponent and are continuing to inflict pain (not damage). Regular combat is not an appropriate use of this Ability; this can be used for retesting when inflicting pain on your opponent either during an interrogation or when using powers. Normally when you engage in physical torture, the victim suffers health levels of damage. With the Torture ability, you can make a Static Mental Challenge (difficulty of the victim's Willpower Traits) to try to deliver agony without causing fatal damage. If you win, your "tender ministrations" cause the subject to lose a Willpower Trait instead of a health level. If you desire, after stripping all temporary Willpower Traits, you can even cause the victim to lose permanent Willpower with further applications. A subject reduced to zero permanent Willpower is little more than an utterly insane, vegetative lump (apply the derangement: Catatonia). Applying torture requires special equipment and can’t be done in a hurry. Given enough time, though, you will either break or kill the subject. Naturally, making someone lose permanent Willpower is pretty nasty, but if you’ve already got the subject in that position, you could have presumably killed him anyway, so...