Skills on Windy City all use the same sliding scale as a measurement of ability, as follows:

LEVEL 5 Some training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 10 Moderate training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 15 Significant training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 20 Comprehensive training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 25 Rigorous training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 30 Extensive training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 35 Complete training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 40 Exhaustive training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 45 Nearly unparalleled training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 50 Godlike training & practice with the Skill.
LEVEL 5 You know the bare basics of this.
LEVEL 10 You can say, "Yes, I know this" on a job resume.
LEVEL 15 You know this and you know a few tricks. If this can "make things", you can start to make those things from near-scratch.
LEVEL 20 You're familiar with most-all of the fields of this (sometimes in just name alone for the most obscure fields).
LEVEL 25 You're familiar with most-all the fields and have at least trivia in the most obscure fields.
LEVEL 30 You're probably making new fields of this.
LEVEL 35 You're better at this than folks will probably believe anyone could be at it.
LEVEL 40 You're far better at this than folks will probably believe anyone could be at it.
LEVEL 45 You're far far better at this than folks will probably believe anyone could be at it.
LEVEL 50 You're far far far better at this than folks will probably believe anyone could be at it.

NOTE: These are, again, rough hints. Technically the difference between a Skill of 5 and a Skill of 10 is a +5% chance of success in that Skill. For nitpickers looking at Level:15's "make things"? Think of it like someone with Cooking. At 5 they can follow a recipe. At 10 they can get a job at cooking. At 15 they can carry out a cooking job with the wrong utensils. The wrong (or no) utensils is "near-scratch". Some skills have a different "scratch threshold", obviously.

Common uses for skills do not need to be judged by staff. If in any case, the use of a skill is questioned or opposed, please contact staff right away for a judgment. Due to the wide nature of skills, it is literally impossible to list all of their uses here.

Due to its special nature, there is also Faith

Skill List

Windy City Skills
Acrobatics Animal Handling Archery
Architecture Artisan Biological Science
Blacksmith Boating Burglary
Business Management Computers Cooking
Cultural Arts Deception Demolitions
Disguise Driving Electronics
Faith Fashion Forgery
Gaming Gun Combat Heavy Weapons
Interrogation Intimidation Journalism
Law Linguistics Mechanics
Medical Melee Weapons Military Sciences
Navigation Occult Performing Arts
Physical Sciences Piloting Poisons
Police Sciences Preternatural Sciences Research
Riding Seduction Sleight of Hand
Social Sciences Sports Stealth
Swimming Theology Thrown Weapons
Unarmed Combat Urban Survival Urban Tracking
Visual Arts Wilderness Survival Wilderness Tracking


The ability to perform feats of agility with minimal chance for injury. Includes jumping, flipping, contorting, and reacting quickly. Although this can assist in dodging some attacks, it is not actual training in dodging (that'd be high Reflexes).

One way to think of it is "all physical skills that aren't handy in combat nor in swimming nor are you really any stronger/faster/etc.. because of them." If you squint, yoga and juggling could probably fit under this. Although with "juggling" that doesn't mean you can juggle knives and toss them at folks, and your skill in this shows well you're trained in it (actual results would be largely dependent on your Reflexes)


The ability to teach, train, and work with animals.


The ability to use a bow and arrow.


Knowledge of construction methods, architectural drafting, etc. A successful use of this Skill can also find weak points in constructions or help in locating old structural plans.


This Skill represents a character's ability to work with a variety of materials to repair or produce useful or aesthetically pleasing objects not electronic or mechanical in nature (although it can be used for simple tools/weapons, like hand-making a bow or a sword, although a crossbow or a chainsaw would be more under Mechanics).

NOTE: Although Blacksmith is a separate skill, some folks might have their all-purpose metal-working under 'Artisan' without taking Blacksmith.


This field covers scientific knowledge of how living things function


The skill of work and shaping metals into objects both useful and artistic. This skill focuses upon forging, smelting, casting, and blending metals.

NOTE: This skill might go away, once no-one on-grid has it on their +sheet, with Blacksmithing covered by Artisan.


The ability to safely operate a watercraft.


The ability to open locks, quietly cut glass, hot-wire car ignitions, etc. The ability does not cover disarming electronic security systems, which is handled by Electronics


This is the knowledge and skill of how to operate a business from a management aspect. This provides knowledge of how to follow laws, make reasonable decisions, and keep a company up and running.


Practical knowledge of computer use. Computer engineering (hardware) is covered by Electronics.


The skill of meal preparation, as well as meal presentation. A pastry chef, a line-cook, and a bartender would/could all take 'Cooking', even though each would know little to nothing about the others' fields of foodservice. In a pinch, it could also work for a wine-taster or gourmand.


Knowledge of aspects of human culture (or another species' culture) and the art that defines that culture.


This is the ability to deceive. From out right lies to subtle subterfuge, you are able to weave a variety of untruths into a reasonable and believable sounding truth. Your deceptions may or may not last long, depending on many other factors.


The ability to make and set explosive charges without getting hurt in the process or inflicting undesired collateral damage. It is also used for deactivating explosives set by someone else.


The ability to change one's personal appearance in an attempt to deceive others.


The ability to operate a powered ground vehicle. Skill checks are only necessary in difficult situations such as performing vehicular stunts, avoiding hazards, etc.


The ability to maintain, repair, build, modify (and at high Levels, design) electronic equipment.


Actual viable provable (with a holy symbol, a vampire, and an attitude) faith in a 'greater power'. Please see 'news faith' and 'news Faithful' for details.

NOTE: It is rare for a Fae to have Faith. Most Fae who prescribe to any sort of religion tend to follow what can best be called a "Pantheistic Animism" where the material and the spiritual are one in the same, and all combined are the stuff of the divine (IE: If the Divine is a wall, every object in creation is a brick of that wall). The idea of a specific being or beings that embody the divine (IE: God) is alien and creepy to most of them, as is the idea of an afterlife. Given a lack of symbols in this belief system, Fae-Faith tends to do little against vampires.

In Chicago, religious demographics break down to about 41% Catholic, 7.5% Baptist, 4.5% Lutheran, 4.5% Methodist, 2% Presbyterian, 13% of other Christian faiths, 3% Jewish, 13% "Other Religion", and 12% Atheist or Agnostic. "Other Religion" is largely Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh.


This is the knowledge of what is currently fashionable in a society. Not only do you know what is current and what is out, but you also have an understanding of trends, as well as the ability to follow them in a timely manner.


The ability to counterfeit documents, papers, and handwriting.


The ability to play various games (recreational and profitable) well.


The ability to accurately shoot with a hand-held firearm and to keep it properly maintained.

  • PLEASE NOTE: In the Greater Chicago Metro Area, there are no permits issued to allow folks to carry concealed and loaded firearms, except for individuals who are part of the police force or FBI or are officially assisting the federal/state authorities. Security guards, Private Investigators, and Bodyguards can not legally carry them concealed, although they can carry them in a ready-to-fire state while actively protecting against a forewarned 'active fatal threat' or on their way to work or home (as long as the commute is less than an hour). One -can- carry a firearm with just a FOID card (IE: standard gun permit), as long as it is unloaded and "in a case" (IE: Concealed and hard to access). Illegal gun carrying/demonstrating/concealment can bring a $200 fine &/or six months in jail (along with confiscation of the concealed firearm), more if there is threatening involved.

Further details can be found here.


Heavy machine guns, tank guns and other vehicle-mounted direct-fire weapons, Launchers (rocket and missile launchers). The ability to accurately fire vehicle-, shoulder-, or tripod-mounted weapons such as a tank cannon or heavy machine gun, and to perform routine maintenance.


The ability to convince someone to provide information against their will. Can also be used to help withhold information when being Interrogated by an enemy.


The ability to convincingly project a "tough guy" image. A successful check means someone witnessing your performance is convinced you mean any threats you make. How they react after that will depend on how tough they are themselves in relation to the kind of threat you present — they may respond with respect, fear, hatred, or amusement.

MAYBE SEE: 'news scare tactics'


The skill of writing and researching a story of news or magazine article quality. This includes knowledge of the inside functioning of a newspaper or magazine publishing. In some cases, this may also be applied to televised versions.

The leading on-grid in-game newspaper is the Chicago Chronicle, located on the 10th floor of the John Hancock Building.


Knowledge of legal procedure and practice. One may assume that anyone with Level 15 or more may have a license to practice law (or be on their way to one). In addition to lawyers, many police officers, politicians, and such have the Law Skill at Level 5-10.


Not so much the languages known nor the skill with those languages, but a general skill with languages one -doesn't- know (IE: General Language-Theory). If you don't know French, but you know English and Latin, using mostly Latin-based English words to make life easier for a French listener is using your Linguistics Skill. The code under '+help language' is pretty liberal with maximum languages, so you don't have to fill up all your slots. The standard American could know more languages, but just hasn't bothered.

SEE ALSO: +help language


The ability to maintain, repair, or build mechanical and electro-mechanical devices. This also includes knowledge of tool use, welding, etc.


Homeopathy, Pathology, Pharmacy, Surgery, Veterinary Knowledge of how to heal the body. One may assume that anyone with 15 or more has (or could have) a license to practice medicine. A typical general practitioner would be able to use this for most all medical-type situations, while a specialized field (endocrinology) might have a seemingly low score.


Combat by way of non-mechanical tool-use. As in swords, axes, clubs, etc..


The character has military-style tactical, staff, or leadership training. In addition, SWAT (or other tactical police units) often include individuals who pick up similar Skills (and often recruit ex-military personnel).


The ability to read maps or use specialized navigation equipment. The Navigation Skill will help a character find the fastest/safest route to a destination.


Knowledge of the arcane and mystical arts, and their applications in both historical and modern society. When used with at least a significant level of Faith (15+), one may be able to produce preternatural effects similar to those produced by an extensive level of Faith (SEE: 'Faithful' and 'news faith'). When at 30+ (with or without Faith), one might be able to summon things from beyond.


The ability to perform well before an audience, and to evoke an emotional response through that performance. This can cover instrumental music, vocal music, and dance.


Scientific training in the way the universe works, including the necessary background knowledge.


The skill of operating aircraft and an understanding of their proper functioning.


This is the skill of making and use of poisons, as well as corresponding antidotes for them. This includes knowledge of how the ingredients interact, as well, as the over all effects, duration, and variation possible in a poison's use.

Generally, take the Toxicity of a poison and compare that versus the target's Fitness, rolling the difference as a percent. Success shows how much it does (killing poisons do damage, stunning cause +drain). It's a safe bet you can make a poison with at -least- a Toxicity rating equal to your Poisons+Creativity. Obviously, a Toxicity:10 poison will rarely hurt anyone, a Toxicity:35 -might- kill someone with one shot, a Toxicity:135 will almost -always- kill someone in one shot. How often one rolls for it causing damage, how long one keeps checking until it wears off, and how well one can detect it is purely up to the poison. Let's assume antidote work is that you can (with equipment) stave off the effects of a poison with a Toxicity no more than your Poisons+Medical? Probably lowering its Toxicity by that each treatment?

When designing a poison for your character, set a +cnote. In it, cover.. 1) Toxicity level. 2) How often they have to roll a damage-check. 3) How long they have to keep doing damage-checks. 4) How it works in details that even a 10 year old could understand.


This is the science behind detective work. Ballistics is the study of wounds inflicted by projectiles; criminology focuses on the studies of criminal behavior and strategies; forensics covers evidence gathering (including hair-and-fiber, fingerprints and DNA-based identification techniques).


Scientific training in the way of the Preternatural, including how they may work and including any necessary background knowledge. Occult is knowing about the practice of magic, be it theoretical or practical. This is more knowing about magical beings.


The ability to locate information using a variety of resources. It also includes how to sift out important tidbits from huge amounts of garbage.


This is the knowledge of how to care for a riding beast, how to saddle, mount, and dismount the animal, how to get it to perform difficult or dangerous manoeuvres safely and without balking, and how to best pace it for long distance rides.


A character with this Skill is adept at exploiting their sex appeal when neither their personality nor looks are able to do the trick. Whether or not the subject actually responds (positively or negatively) will depend on his or her own romantic inclinations and sexual preferences.


A character with this Skill (also known as prestidigitation) has superior manual dexterity, greater than that suggested by his or her Reflexes. This includes the ability to perform "magic" tricks, palm small objects, cheat at cards, plant an item on someone, etc.


Understanding of the way people function in society as well as societal behavioural patterns.


The ability to play well with others in a team or individual sporting event with specialized rules.


The ability to disguise objects or people so that they blend into their surroundings. This also includes the ability to conceal small objects on one's person and the ability to move silently.


The character is skilled at swimming or diving. Although most any character in a modern setting can swim in a pool or relatively still waters even without this Skill, this covers swimming against challenges.


The knowledge and appreciation for the varied religious beliefs in the world, both current and ancient. Please see 'news faith' for actual faith instead of learning.


The ability to accurately throw weapons or objects at a target.


This skill covers boxing and martial arts, as well as basic 'brawling', clawing, biting, etc.. fighting while using the body as a weapon.


The ability to find food and shelter in an urban environment. This includes where to scavenge, how to deal with the elements using common materials, where to seek shelter and how to use the lowest of possible resources available in a city (soup kitchens, outreach shelters, etc).


Urban Tracking is the ability to "shadow" someone (or follow a vehicle in another vehicle) through an industrialized, populated area or to find certain people in a particular sub-culture or environment by asking the right questions.


The ability to produce a work of fine or commercial art in a particular visual field.


The ability to find food and shelter in the outdoors, to avoid natural hazards, and to identify wild plants and animals.


The ability to successfully trail or track someone or something while outdoors in a rural or wilderness setting.


The ability to communicate ideas or emotions in a written work.

News Files

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License