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Thousand Suns — Terminological Help

August 12, 2007

In Thousand Suns, there are two types of skills. The first type, which includes the vast majority of them, are broad skills that include specializations beneath them. No character is required to take a specialization, but specializations confer certain benefits, notably a better chance of success and a greater likelihood of a critical success when dealing with the narrower realm of the specialization. For example, there is a skill called Bureaucracy that covers a character’s knowledge of organizations, their rules, and how to use them to get what one wants. A character with Bureaucracy (Military) 3/4 gains a +3 bonus to his Target Number when dealing with tasks related to any bureaucracy and +4 to his TN when dealing with a military bureaucracy. He also increases his critical range by 2 (half his total bonus), meaning his achieves a critical success on a roll of 2, 3, or 4 instead of just 2.

The second type of skill encompasses things like Language or Profession, which are not in fact broad skills at all. One does not ever have Language 3; it is always Language (Lingua Terra) 3 or Language (Hen Jaa) 2 or whatever. The problem I am having is how to terminologically distinguish between the specializations of broad skills (like Biology for Life Sciences) and the required specializations of things like Language or Profession.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.


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