Skills represent your character's natural and developed talents. They are rarely used during game sessions, but commonly using during Downtime to establish how well your character succeeds at their chosen tasks.

Buying Skills

You have 40 points to spend on skills. These points can be modified up or down by various different Quirks, but you may never have more than 50 points in total.

Skill costs are triangular, as follows:

Rank Cost Explanation
1 1 A little formal teaching or aptitude.
2 3 Study and practice of the skill.
3 6 Considerable experience in the matters pertaining to this skills and a significant degree of competence.
4 10 High professional and practical understanding of the skill and its niggling minutiae.
5 15 Approaching fine art. This is not the be-all and end-all of your abilities, but you are quite the expert.

Note that the examples provided with each skill are not exhaustive of what you can do with it. They are illustrating with one aspect of the skill, how it improves with rank.

Skill Synergies

A large number of skills, and many points to spend means that your character can afford a number of skills. This is encouraged because the skills are designed to work together and even at Rank 5, a single skill will not necessarily be able to accomplish all that you want. Other skills are necessary to ensure success. Each skill has a few important skill synergies listed, but these are not the only ones, if you think that a combination of skills should allow you to do particular tasks or accomplish something better - tell us! Ranks 1 and 2 are not necessarily useless either, and are a significant step up from Rank 0.

Faction Advantages

The different factions give an advantage to one of your skills at Character Generation. You can choose one of the two skills your faction offers from the list below. This skill you get free at Rank 1.

If you wish to then have that skill at a higher rank, you can buy it up the rest of the way, accounting for the 1 Character Generation point given for free. (Thus the new costs become 2/5/9/14)

Please mention in your character description which faction skill you have taken.

The Latin States

The Orthodox States

The Arabic States

Skill Specialisations

With any skill of rank 3 or above, you may choose a free specialisation. These expand on what your character is especially good at in respect to the skill, but in game terms are largely for flavour purposes. They will only affect the outcome of actions in a case where GMs decide there is a balanced situation requiring a tie-breaker (which is really quite rare).

The specialisation is more for the feel and flavour to your character, than a system advantage.

In terms of game mechanics more specific expertise is covered either by the Characteristic Skill and the Skill Synergies.

Skill List


Covers the ability to deal with, manipulate and manage the existing mechanics of state, trade or any other organisation. Bureaucracy also includes the management of estates, businesses and caravans.

Example Specialisations: Paperwork, Avoiding Red-tape, Working the System, Knowing the right people, Scheduling, Estate Management, Centralisation, and Delegation.

To illustrate the differences between the skill levels we shall deal with an imaginary shipment aboard a vessel wanting to leave port of the Golden Horn.

Skill Level Utility
1 You might be able to find the right person to get a shipping license, but will not be aware if you are skilfully fleeced when buying it.
2 You are aware of some of the tricks that might be used by harbour officials and can talk the shipping fees down.
3 You are knowledgeable in the specifics of all major ports and can find the right person to get you the best and cheapest clearance for your merchandise.
4 You've got the understanding to go directly to the woman in charge and strike a deal on the toll, cutting her in on your shipment out and getting the best deal.
5 You know that if you give the bribe to an official at the harbour of the town opposite, you'll get your goods carried in quicker and cheaper and will also avoid the extra tolls they've put up at the most busy entrance to the market district.

Diplomacy - squaring away infractions on laws and customs and better negotiating bribes
Craft - helps better market your goods in the right place
Strategy - Organise armies away on campaign
Navigation - Provisioning for long journeys and ensuring the timely arrival or reinforcements


Covers the creation of physical objects, including their design. It is also vital in the production of books and other works which require ornate designs. Craft is the skills used for the manufacture of useful and applied objects and generally excludes Art (which may be taken as a Characteristic Skill).

Note that, unlike previous society games, there is no invention system. A craftsman will only be able to produce goods and items roughly in period. If you have a very big project, such as building new city walls or illustrating a thousand manuscripts, then please discuss with the GMs how long this will take.

Example Specialisations: Making Books, Crafting Jewellery, Crafting Armour and Weaponry, Engineering (Siege Weapons, Trenches etc)

Skill Level Utility
1 You are capable of making crude items. They are not necessarily of any quality and one will be very different from the next.
2 You can make objects with a greater degree of competence. A journeyman.
3 Your craft is of a very good quality and you can even replicate other items and works with some accuracy.
4 You can create items of top quality and, though they are not necessarily one-of-a-kind masterworks, they could well be sought-after beyond your own country.
5 You are approaching the skill and mastery of (the not yet born) Leonardo da Vinci. You are extremely experienced and can easily produce many different and innovative objects or masterpieces.

Bureaucracy - lets you sell your things for how much you think they're worth. You may be capable of developing your trade into a more effective living and could oversee other masters at work.
Research - into a subject lets you find out how someone else made something, or discover a technique you did not know about.


This skill is about persuading people to do what you want them to do. It is knowing what to say and when to say it to slowly coax people along. It is about negotiation and conversation and largely to do with subtlety and finer arguments than necessarily being right or loud. This also covers your interaction in social situations and to some extent political leadership.

Diplomacy also covers non-physical stealth or spy-mastery in the sense of pretending you're in the right place at the right time or fast-talking to distract someone while your friend gets behind them with a blunt object.

Example Specialisations: Little White lies, Enticement, Entreating, Peace Making, and Flattery.

Skill Level Utility
1 You won't be making any dire gaffes if you try to arrange a simple deal with someone.
2 You are capable of some relatively delicate persuasion, though you are unlikely to be turning anyone around to an opposite solution.
3 You are quite charismatic and perfectly capable of sealing advantageous and peaceful deals.
4 It may be a struggle to get someone to go further than just a compromise and start agreeing with you, but you're not likely to horribly upset them while doing so.
5 Your silver tongue can't quite seduce any maiden you wish, or convert the renowned warmonger to a pacifist, but only the most chaste of maidens will refuse you and the warmonger may be easily persuaded to pick his battles elsewhere while keeping you appraised of his schedule.

Bureaucracy - You know who to bribe to add those extra voices of persuasion to a resisting individual
Strategy - lets you sell your tactics or approach as politically viable or talk your liege into providing you with a better force for your military task


You're good in a fight. Perhaps you're huge and brawny and punch through peoples' armour like it was matchwood, or perhaps you battle like a mosquito, ducking and whirling out of your enemies' way. This only covers your personal ability to fight: to lead an army you need Strategy.

Example Specialisations: Two handed fighting, Sword breaking, Concealed weaponry, Lightning reflexes

Skill Level Utility
1 You can survive a melee, though your tactics are limited more or less to “hide at the back” and “cower”.
2 You are a standard and thoroughly unremarkable fighter. Most battlefield grunts will have Fighting at this level.
3 Being unarmed, tied to a chair, or odds of two-to-one will still make you stop and think, but beyond that there's not an awful lot that can put you off your game.
4 You can defeat people in pretty much any circumstance.
5 The only thing that can really beat you is overwhelming odds of skilled opponents, like five-to-one or more. You still can't pull off the kind of ridiculous manoeuvre like taking on an entire army, but you could certainly make a dent in them before numbers got to you.

Survival - Helps with adventuring into far-off, distant lands.
Strategy - Combine your skills with that of your comrades, strength in numbers.
Stealth - Becoming an effective assassin.


Travel in the world of Crusade! is quite difficult, over land it is slow and laborious, and often dangerous. Navigation relates to your ability to get from A to B over either land or sea, both relatively quickly and safely.

Note that Navigation covers traversing difficult terrain only to the point of getting yourself across it, you may end up battered, wounded or dead of lions without Survival.

If you do not have any Navigation levels, then even normal travel will be very difficult and will give you penalties to your other skills on arrival at your destination. For areas of difficult travels, lower levels of Navigation will also give you similar penalties.

Example Specialisations: Land travel, Sea travel, Difficult Terrain, Lone Traveller, Wilderness Guide

Skill Level Utility
1 You prepare yourself adequately for travel on your own or in a small group and are unlikely to suffer from lack of food.
2 Understanding the principles of getting yourself somewhere quite fast. When leading a large number of people, you can help organise them.
3 Capable of travelling easily on land or sea and preventing companion-caused disaster, if not accounting for them slowing you down. You can get yourself or others through more complicated routes, including those less-travelled or less adapted to civilised transport.
4 Can guide an army through dangerous terrain (forests, deserts, mountains, storms) and easily weather yourself.
5 Able to find the best routes for a given situation and maximise the use of aids (such as horses or winds) to significantly speed travel.

Survival - Ensuring minimal losses at the end of travel.
Bureaucracy - Provisioning for long journeys, ensuring timely arrival of reinforcements.
Strategy - Arranging forced quick-marches to surprise your enemy and avoiding unfavourable fights.


Analysis, investigation, patterning and original thought that allows true research. You are unlikely to be able to develop fantastic new technologies with this skill, but you can find a lot of things out, you can become adept at cryptography and various other useful tricks as well. Think of it as being closer to Investigation than R&D.

Note that combined with a Spy Network, Research offers improved investigation, presenting the character as a shadowy spider on a web of information.

Example Specialisations: Folk wisdom, Intuitive thought, Musty tomes, Eye for detail, Further implications

Skill Level Utility
1 You can figure out where to go or who to ask to get the information you seek.
2 You may well be able to vaguely figure out things on your own, but odds are you would be able to get the correct answer by going to the right place.
3 You have many contacts and you are the go-to man for getting information. Given enough time and effort, you could probably research almost anything you need.
4 Your investigative and deductive abilities are impressive to say the least. If you don't already know something, you know exactly where you can get the answers you're looking for. Not much in this world, if anything, is beyond your intuitive grasp.
5 You are the master of the art of research. You can read between the lines, probe the silences and find things that are hidden from almost everyone else. Your insight knows no bounds, and neither do your sources.

Craft - Develop new methods to set jewels or strengthen iron.
Stealth - Sneak into the enemy's fortress and discover their ruler's penchant for large wooden horses.


This skill governs the expertise in strategy and tactics, specifically on the battlefield or on military campaign. It governs both the grander strategies of a protracted conflict, as well as the more specific tactics employed during a military engagement. It specifically does not include skill in combat and is weighted more towards the theoretical end. Strategy also covers your leadership qualities in battle and specifically commanding any kind of fighting force.

Example Specialisations: Flanking, Naval warfare, Combined arms, Recruitment Strategies, Instilling Loyalty, Stirring Speeches, Leading from the Front, Inspirational Courage

Skill Level Utility
1 You understand the basic principles of commanding an army in battle, though not with any flair or skill.
2 You are capable of relatively effectively marshalling a force during battle to increase its effectiveness.
3 You are comfortable with organising a part of a military campaign and effectively using your troops to beat the enemy on the field.
4 You know how to effectively use terrain and geography to your advantage and can make a small force more effective against a large one.
5 There are few engagements you cannot win, given enough troops. With troops of insufficient quality or number, you are capable of outmanoeuvring a less skilled commander.

Fighting - a greater understanding of military practice
Diplomacy - more effectively inspiring troops to follow your orders and try the most absurd of plans by getting the right people to say the right things
Navigation - the ability to move your force far quicker and more efficiently than your opponent over difficult terrain


You're good at not being noticed: you move silently, don't draw attention to yourself, and keep to the shadows. This covers Being Stealthy in a physical sense (pretending you aren't there at all, rather than pretending that of course you were invited to the party - the latter goes under Diplomacy).

Example Specialisations: Infiltration, Assassinations, Blending in with a Crowd, Pick pocketing

Skill Level Utility
1 If you stay still and keep to the shadows, you can stay unnoticed while you case a house or keep watch on a secure location.
2 You can keep your head down, sneak past guards into a city, and generally go about your business unnoticed.
3 Breaking into a building which has seasoned guards is still a bit beyond you, but you can get in and out of someone's house unnoticed even if there's a few people about.
4 Provided they don't know you're coming and you have a good plan, you can get round most security setups.
5 Even if they are specifically looking for you, you stand a chance at getting to the spot they're guarding.

Fighting - Become a deathly shadow of shadowy death.
Survival - Cover your tracks out in the wilds.
Research - Plan epic heists and discover exactly where the goods are being kept.


This skill allows you to survive and adventure in dangerous situations, such as crossing swamps or surviving in the desert with only a tooth pick. This is the skill most useful for tackling the unknown or unknowable and getting out (mostly) alive.

Example Specialisations: Water Rationing, Animal Lore, Read the Winds, Tracking, Knowing which berries are safe and which cause Nightmarish Diarrhoea

Skill Level Utility
1 You know that sprawling nature outside cities and town are dangerous, wild untamed places. You have a tent, and know how to put it up, can gather water and can light a fire unaided. You'd be surprised how many people don't know this. You can survive a handful of days outside civilization with the right rations.
2 You know how to recognize, follow or avoid animal tracks, and have a detailed knowledge of flora and fungi, and know which to eat, and which to avoid. You can survive a week outside civilization, surviving on berries and rations.
3 You know how to build simple traps to catch animals, and are a capable hunter. The desert stills scares you, but you feel capable of venturing within. You can survive almost a month outside, living purely off small rodents and insects.
4 You can build complex traps for large animals. You are an experienced hunter, and can follow tracks even through river banks and sand drifts. You can find food and water in a desert, easily. You can live for months outside.
5 You are one with Nature. You could be at home in a mountainside cave, a hole in the forest floor, or a tent in the desert. For food, you wrestle meat out of the jaws of bears every morning. In the snow. You are a true survivalist, feel more at home out than in, and can survive outside indefinitely.

Craft - Create traps and shelters, and even other simple objects out of wasteland debris.
Navigation - Planning and execution of travel-schedules through dangerous terrain with little casualty.
Fighting - Learning effective techniques for combating dangerous beasts, as well as using dangerous terrain to your advantage in a combat situation.


The individual magic systems are covered in more detail on their respective pages. However, to use magic you must spend Character Points. The magic skills are exclusive and you may only ever take one magic. (Additionally you can not be taught a school of magic or spend XP to develop it in play.)

The schools of magic are divided into different Level, each with a different Character Point cost, based on their strength and effectiveness. Additionally the Level 2 and 3 magics are specific to certain factions. Check the magic page to confirm that you are able to take your desired school. Level 1 magics are available to all factions.

Level Schools of Magic Character Point Cost
1 Hedge and Witchcraft 7 points
2 Alchemy and Symbolic 10 points
3 Hermetic and Invocation 12 points

In each case you receive one spell from the first tier of your school of magic. Note that the quirks adept and expert allow you to start with additional spells.

Characteristic Skill

There's always something that's vital to your character concept that's missing from these lists of skills. Perhaps you're planning on playing the greatest medic in the Levant, capable of curing every wound short of death, or you'll be an apprentice painter looking to capture the essence of every region. The first might work with one of the Magic skills and the latter with a combination of Craft and Diplomacy, but they might not be perfect fits. This is where a Characteristic Skill comes in.

Each character may select one characteristic skill of their own devising that's appropriate to the character. Examples might be medicine, art or demolition. Art, for example, might allow you to create masterpieces of beauty and capture the beauty (or horror) of the world in a way that the normal skills cannot allow. All such skills are subject to GM approval, and should not overlap too greatly with any of the existing skills. Characteristic skills are paid for, and ranked, in exactly the same way as ordinary skills.

Characteristic skills synergise with the ordinary skills if appropriate, but it's your responsibility when turnsheeting to remind your GM that it may benefit you. Note that if a characteristic skills is used instead of one of the ordinary skills, for example using “Demolition” instead of Fighting in combination with Stealth to carry out an assassination, it is automatically regarded as being at least one rank lower. Additionally, since this skill is supposed to be core to your character concept, we may regard it as an excuse to throw plot at you.

Improving Skills

Experience (XP)

You gain one Experience Point (XP) for each week during which you submit a Turnsheet before the Friday 6AM deadline. Players who fail to meet the deadline will not receive XP for that week.

Players who are unable to attend the session, but who still submit a punctual turnsheet, will receive XP as normal.

Players who join the game late will receive a “backlog” of XP as if they'd been playing from the start, which they may spend at character generation.

Players will not receive extra XP for the equivalent of negative quirks gained during the game.

Spending XP

Each XP is worth one Character Generation point, and may be spent on improving your Skills, as per the costs in the table above. (Quirks may not be purchased with Character Generation points. If you wish to gain a positive Quirk, then please spend AP on attempting to replicate that Quirk's effects, if relevant.)

Raising your skills costs the difference in XP between the cost of your current skill and the next rank up - so going from Rank 3 to Rank 4 costs 4 points, not 10. (Rank 1 is only 1 Point.)

You must have a justification for your XP spends - if you have spent no AP on actions which are relevant to the Skill you are trying to raise or gain, you will not be able to improve in it.

If someone is teaching you a skill, at least one of you will have to spend AP. The lesser the difference between skill levels, the more AP that will be required, and it is not possible to teach someone up to a skill level equal to your own.

If you have doubts, please consult with GMs before attempting to spend your XP, to make sure that your planned spend is suitable.

XP may be spent at any point during turnsheeting after it's earned; put a note in your Housekeeping/0AP actions for that turn. With good reason, it is possible to spend XP on more than one thing/increasing by more than one level in a single turn.

If you submit your turnsheet on time, you are considered to have got your 1XP straight after court.

skills.txt · Last modified: 2009/05/11 18:06 by innokenti
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