Borderlands/Skill Specialties

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Revision as of 17:28, 12 October 2010 by Jerril (talk | contribs) (Species)

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Some mental skills have required (or optional) specializations that are very campaign-world dependent. Here's a quick rundown on how they fit into Borderlands.


Specialty by species is required for many skills, e.g. Diagnosis, First Aid, Psychology, and Sex Appeal. However, needing a gazillion skills for all the fantasy races isn't fun, and many DF species really aren't different enough to warrant an entirely new skill.

Instead, use the following four "species" groups. All four groups default to each other at -2. If your character sheet doesn't specify a group, I will treat it as specialized in the group that your character belongs to. I will also assume your character is NOT familiar with the "exceptional" races noted as having familiarity penalties below, unless you are one, or the group starts with one.

All the "standard" fantasy races are Anthropoi.

Some Required Specialties
  • Anthropoi
    "Men". Includes Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings, and all Goblin-kin. Winged and Sea elves are at -1 for Familiarity.
  • Gigantas
    "Giants". Gargoyles, Kabeiroi, Ogres, Trolls of all types, and full fledged Giants. Gargoyles are at -1 for Familiarity.
  • Pnevmatodi
    "Spirits". Faerie Folk, Half Spirits and Dark Ones. Dark Ones are at -1 for familiarity.
  • Ktinoi
    "Beasts". Cat-folk, Coleopterans, Kentauroi, Minotaurs, Reptilians, Wildmen. Coleopterans are at -2 for familiarity (they're exceptionally weird).
Optional subspecialties

Any specific race. Elves and Goblin-kin must be specialized in a specific template (e.g. High Elves, Hobgoblins), not "All Elves" or "All Goblin-Kin".


For Hidden Lore, Psychology, and Physiology.

Some Required Specialties
  • Daímones
    Demons, vehicles of divine vengeance and punishment, natural people and transformed by curses.
  • Stoicheiá
    Elementals and creatures empowered by elemental forces.
  • Neráides
    Fae creatures, including sundry nature "spirits".
  • Oinopnevmatódi
    Spirits (Divine or Titanic), and the small gods of places and regions. Includes worshiped heroes with shrines.
  • Gérontasónton
    Elder Things of all description (or indescription). A new option for Scholars and Wizards (lucky you).
  • Fantásmata
    Undead, both physical and spectral.
Some Optional Specialties

Any specific creature.


There's only one, so you can just write "Naturalist" if you like.

  • Kosmos
    The world.


All the Basic Set specialties are available, but the aquatic ones are not likely to come up unless something really unexpected happens. Arctic is also a bit of a long-shot but more plausible. Add a new specialty to the list:

  • Subterranean

This is something like "Survival (Radioactive Wasteland)" might be in a post-apocalyptic setting.