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Skip Navigation LinksHack Guidelines>Vocations

Vocations

Using this hack every player character (and significant non-player characters with full write ups) may have a kind of attribute referred to collectively as Vocations, which describe specific professions, backgrounds, fields of study, or specialized training that a character has learned, developed, or been trained in.

Vocations provide justification for doing things based upon their subject matter and a character's Rank within that Vocation. Under normal circumstances it usually isn't necessary to form a dice pool and make a roll when doing routine things; an expert blacksmith making horseshoes is generally not something that requires a dice roll for instance.

However, in heightened circumstances when a character is attempting something to which one of their Vocations is relevant they can add the relevant Vocation at the step associated with the Vocation's Rank to their dice pool just like any other trait die.

A character has no Vocations by default and does not have to choose any, but can have up to a maximum of five (5) Vocations. Every Vocation has four Ranks, from Rank 1 (novice) to Rank 4 (grand master). Each Rank indicates a higher level of capability within a Vocation, and each Rank beyond Rank 1 also grants a character a once per session Exploit invocation for that Vocation.

Vocation Costs

Rank
Die
Title
Benefit
Invocations
Advances
1
d4
Novice
Indicates that a character is able to exercise a Vocation at a basic level, as would be appropriate to an apprentice or a recent graduate of an academic or trade school.
0
1
2
d6
Expert
Indicates greater ability with a Vocation, as would be appropriate to a pro, a journeyman, someone with some experience or some time on the job, an expert. In addition, a character at this Rank can invoke their Vocation once per session to give themselves or their allies an advantage if a player can explain how their Vocation applies to the situation.
1
2
3
d8
Master
Indicates mastery of a Vocation, appropriate to a person with long experience, or to a gifted prodigy. Additionally, a second free invoke of the Vocation per session is gained.
2
4
4
d10
Grand Master
Indicates grand mastery of a Vocation, appropriate to the very best practitioners of that Vocation in the world. Additionally, a third and final per session invoke of the Vocation is gained. This is the highest Vocation Rank available; further depths of competence with a Vocation can be represented through Distinctions or within Ability Sets if desired.
3
6

Life Experience

Vocations that are not actively practiced might fade away as a character's lived experience and focus shift over the course of their life. Thus, it is allowed for players and the GM to occasionally step down a Vocation to regain the Advances spent to attain that Rank, and then spend those Advances elsewhere. This should only be done occasionally and when it makes sense to the narrative; GM's discretion applies.

Exploits

Being skilled in something can sometimes provide significant benefits in certain situations. That's where Exploits come in. Exploits are special one-off effects that are "invoked" to grant characters powerful advantages.

At Rank 1 a Vocation grants zero (0) Exploit invocations, but each higher Vocation Rank grants one (1) additional Exploit invocation. In other words, Rank 2 grants one (1) Exploit invocation per session, Rank 3 grants two (2) Exploit invocations per session, and Rank 4 grants three (3) Exploit invocations per session. Exploits can be triggered whenever they are relevant; a player simply declares they are invoking one of their character's remaining Exploit invocations, checks an invocation of the Vocation off on their character sheet, and the Exploit's effect resolves.

There is a basic set of Exploits that all Vocations offer, as follows:

Standard Exploits

  • Exploit: Augment Dice Pool Result: for a dice pool result that inludes your Vocation trait die, you may either keep an extra die for your total or step up the effect die.
  • Exploit: Create a Asset: a Asset is a temporary d6 trait that represents a professional contact, a piece of equipment, or some kind of useful knowledge related to your Vocation. The Asset lasts until it is removed by someone or because it becomes no longer relevant to the narrative. Write down [Name of the Asset]: d6; you may add it as an additional die whenever the Asset is relevant to an action or reaction. How long it may take to create a particular Asset, and whether it can be done as part of an Action Scene or must be done in a Transition Scene is left to common sense and GM's discretion.
  • Exploit: Affect Complications: if there is a Complication that your Vocation pertains to, you can step it down or remove it from play by describing how your expertise allows you to overcome the Complication. If the Complication is a d6 eliminate it, if it is d8 or higher step it down. Alternately, if you can justify how your Vocation applies, you may create a d6 Complication and put it into play or step up an existing Complication.

Additionally, each Vocation description details special Exploits that the Vocation grants. Refer to individual Vocation write ups for specific options.

Regaining Exploits

Normally, a character's Exploit invocations only reset at the beginning of each session. However, Milestone Rewards offer an option to gain more Exploit invocations during a session.

When defining their character's Milestones a player can select the "gain an Exploit invocation" reward option for one or more of their Milestone Goals. When an Exploit is awarded for meeting a Milestone Goal, a player has the option of either immediately triggering an Exploit from one of their character's Vocations, or saving the invocation for later use during the session.

If they opt to save the invocation for later, the player must pick one of their character's Vocations to assign the additional invocation to and cannot later change their mind. Note that even a Rank 1 Vocation (which normally has zero (0) Exploit invocations) can be selected by the player to gain an invocation in this way.

Signature Exploits

A character can also have one or more Signature Exploits, which are special tricks or techniques that they have developed within a Vocation. For instance, perhaps a character with the Archer Vocation has developed a trick shot Exploit that allows them to sever a rope, or ricochet a shot around a corner.

Signature Exploit Costs

Upgrade
Advances
Signature Exploit
1

Like every other Exploit, using a Signature Exploit expends an invocation of the applicable Vocation.

Each Signature Exploit costs one Advance to add to a character's capabilities. There is no maximum limit on the number of Signature Exploits a character may have; the very limited number of invocations per session acts as a throttle on the impact of Exploits in general. GM's discretion applies to the definition of all Signature Exploits.

Vocations

Agent

You have received specialized training as part of a government or corporate sponsored program intended to enable you to serve the interests of your patron. The exact nature of your training depends upon your origin, but the end result is you are a capable problem solver.

The Agent Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may step up or double Finesse for one action or reaction.
  • Exploit: You may add a d8 to one social action or reaction and keep an extra die for your total.
  • Exploit: You may remember your training in a difficult situation; clear your Ego Stress.

Alchemist

Alchemy is a magical artificing discipline that concerns itself with various practical and esoteric disciplines. Most notably Alchemists make concoctions such as potions and a bewildering array of dusts, oils, traps, and bombs. Doing serious alchemy generally requires specialized equipment and materials but not always.

The Alchemist Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Create Alchemical Assets such as magical potions at a d8, with a wide variety of effects (GM's discretion applies); these Assets can also be given to other characters to use.
  • Exploit: You can identify a foreign substance or poison with a whiff or a glance, at least well enough to know if it is safe or not.
  • Exploit: Ignore a Body Stress or Trauma result caused by poison or other toxins.

Athlete

You engage in athletic activites either competitively, for money, or just for fun. Your coordination, fitness, and techniques can help you succeed where others might fail.

The Athlete Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may step up or double Finesse for one action or reaction.
  • Exploit: You may regroup and get your head back in the game; step down your Body and Ego Stress.
  • Exploit: You may reroll your dice pool when attempting something where athleticism applies.

Businessman

Regional differences and labels abound, but at the most basic level businessmen are those who buy and sell commodities or provide some service for pay. Businessmen have been known for as long as people have engaged in trade and commerce, and depending upon time and place businessmen may occupy a wide range of social statuses.

The Businessman Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You can assess the market value of a commodity relevant to your type of business at a glance or by description.
  • Exploit: You may add Finesse, Smarts, and Psyche to your dice pool on an action or reaction related to making a deal or bargain; if you do remove the highest rolling die from the result or step down the effect die.
  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you may conduct business related to commerce 'off screen' with a favorable outcome (GM's discretion applies).

Criminal

It's said that crime doesn't pay and while that is true for the inept and unlucky, there are exceptions for whom it is quite lucrative. While different specialities of criminal exist focusing on particular types of crime, this vocation is concerned with the fundamentals of life on the wrong side of the law, as well as practical considerations for finding success among the criminal elements of society

The Criminal Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Step up and double Awareness when attempting to detect a double cross or law enforcement activity.
  • Exploit: In any municipality you can scope out and identify the local criminal element during a Transition Scene spent poking around the place.
  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you can create two d6 Assets or a d8 Asset acquired illegally or by leveraging your criminal connections (GM's discretion applies).

Connected

Some people have a knack for establishing and maintaining useful relationships, curating a network of favors, leveraging an extend family, or similar.

The Connected Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: With access to one or more contacts and opportunity, during a Transition Scene you may acquire an appropriate d8 Asset of some kind (GM's discretion applies); you can give this Asset to someone else to use.
  • Exploit: With access and opportunity, if you are able to get in touch with a contact you may call in a favor of some kind (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: Spend a Transition Scene to gain a d6 Tier minion or up to three d4 Tier minions for use in the next Action Scene (GM's discretion applies).

Driver

A lot of people have vehicles and are basically proficient in their use, but some take vehicle operation to a whole different level.

The Driver Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: With access and opportunity, during a Transition Scene you may acquire a vehicle suitable to your current needs. You gain the Asset 'Vehicle: d8'; you can give this Asset to someone else to use.
  • Exploit: If you are driving, you may step up and double Finesse for purposes of handling a vehicle on an action or reaction roll.
  • Exploit: If you are driving you may avoid wrecking, losing control, or having your vehicle fail due to mechanical issues in a given Scene.

Entertainer

Actors, dancers, standup comics, street performers, musicians...many specialties one intent...to entertain.

The Entertainer Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: If there is any reasonable chance at all that you might know of it, you may perfectly recall and perform a complex song, tale, scene, poem, routine, etc on demand so wonderfully that most witnesses will remember it until the end of their days.
  • Exploit: You may perform for a group of people who may all step down Ego Stress or Ego Trauma at the conclusion of your performance.
  • Exploit: You may demonstrate your skills sufficiently to gain employment for an event or a venue.

Journalist

You seek out news, usually with the intent to publish it via some form of media.

The Journalist Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Recall useful information regarding a news story you might reasonably have learned a little something about in the past (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: You may gain access to a place or person by using your press credentials (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: You may elicit a new clue or piece of information regarding something or someone you are investigating from a non-significant NPC (GM's discretion applies).

Law Enforcement

Police, sheriff, deputy, or something similar...people with a law enforcement background vary greatly in scope of training and personal experience, but share some fundamentals.

The Law Enforcement Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Given materials and opportunity you may add a Complication to an incapcitated target called 'Handcuffed: d8'.
  • Exploit: If you are in your jurisdiction, you may leverage institutional resources to benefit your current situation in some way (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: Gain some measure of hospitality or assistance from other Law Enforcement individuals or those friendly to Law Enforcement (GM's discretion applies).

Metropolitan

Cities are large labyrinthine places, full of dangerous turfs, social minefields, bureaucratic bailiwicks, hidden places, and the occasional unknown gems. Knowing how to navigate the urban jungle, where to find things, where not to go, etc...can be quite useful.

The Metropolitan Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you may find a place in the city for you and a small group to hang out in relative safety without unwanted attention...for a while.
  • Exploit: When offered multiple options to proceed while traversing a city or urban neighborhood, you can get a clue as to which one you should take to accomplish your current intent.
  • Exploit: Avoid being lost while in an urban area.

Monster Hunter

Monsters are real. Some prey on humans. Some humans hunt them back.

The Monster Hunter Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: With access to materials, during a Transition Scene you may acquire specialized ammunition or weapons useful for harming the kind of monster you are currently going after. You gain a Asset such as 'Special Ammo: d8' or 'Blessed Stakes: d8' or 'BFG: d8' (etc); you can give this Asset to someone else.
  • Exploit: You may avoid taking Stress from a single supernatural attack.
  • Exploit: You may step up and double Smarts for a single action when trying to investigate a supernatural crime scene or situation.

Necromancer

Practitioners of magic focused on manipulating the forces of life and death.

The Necromancer Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may clear your Physical Stress or step down your Physical Trauma.
  • Exploit: You may step up or step down the Physical Trauma of a living, undead, or spiritual entity in your zone.
  • Exploit: You may reroll the entire dice pool of an action or reaction that includes your Necromancy Ability Trait; the second outcome must be accepted even if it is worse than the first.

Occultist

Practitioners of a hereditary form of magic, those who have the so-called Old Blood manifest strange Gifts spontaneously...often even as children. Unlike Sorcerers, Wizards, and other 'spellcasters', Occultists simply will magical effects into being, bending reality in various ways depending upon which Gifts they happen to have. Learning to master their inclinations and apply them to practical magic takes practice, introspection, and patience.

The Occultist Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: If your Occultist Vocation die rolls a 1 you may change the die to a 4; it does not count as an opportunity if you do (you should use a easily identifiable die to represent your Occultist Vocation when adding it to a dice pool if you intend to use this option).
  • Exploit: You may double your Psyche trait on an action or reaction in a dice pool that includes at least one of your Occultist Ability traits.
  • Exploit: When using an Occultist Ability trait during a Transition Scene you may treat that Ability trait as being 1 step higher for one action, allowing you to justify an action that is normally beyond your capability.

Paramedic

Whether you are a doctor, nurse, EMT tech, military medic, or something else you are trained on how to provide immediate medical care in the field or in an emergency situation.

The Paramedic Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You can identify a foreign substance or poison with a cursory examination, at least well enough to know if it is safe or not.
  • Exploit: You may add Finesse, Smarts, or Psyche to your dice pool when helping others to recover Body Stress or Body Trauma.
  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you may provide care to another who may step down their Body Trauma.

Priest

Priests and priestesses preside over a congregation, and promulgate the doctrine of a particular religion. Priests also often officiate over significant events, ranging from the familial such as marriage and burial, to the societal such as holidays and observations of dogma-mandated special days.

The Priest Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Among those who adhere to or respect your faith, you may make any reasonable demand and expect to have it carried out (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: You may perform a sermon for a group of the faithful who may clear Ego Stress or step down Ego Trauma at the conclusion of your performance.
  • Exploit: You may step up or double Psyche for an action or reaction.

Professional

You are a practitioner of some kind of profession, with the skill set, specialized knowledge, and proficiency with the relevant tools or equipment necessary to be successful at your trade.

The Professional Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Recall useful information regarding a subject relevant to your profession (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: You may add both Finesse and Smarts to an action or reaction related to your profession; if you do you may keep an additional die for your total.
  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you may conduct business related to your profession 'off screen' with a favorable outcome (GM's discretion applies).

Scholar

Some people dedicate themselves to the gaining and sharing of knowledge as a life long pursuit.

The Scholar Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Recall useful information regarding an academic subject you might reasonably have learned a little something about in the past (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: You may reroll a dice pool that includes your Smarts; the second result must be kept.
  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you can create a knowledge related d8 Asset if you are able to cram information on that subject.

Skulker

You are skilled at operating in shadows or behind the scenes, sneaking around, or otherwise avoiding notice while going about your business...whatever that may be. And you know how to conceal your intent, whether it be malevolent or benign.

The Skulker Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: If you fail a roll to avoid detection or discovery, you may reroll.
  • Exploit: You may step up and double Finesse to conceal your presence, purpose, or underlying intent.
  • Exploit: If you are attempting to escape pursuit and are not currently being directly observed by a pursuer you may immediately exit the Scene and thus get away.

Sniper

Many people can shoot a rifle but very few have the patience and skill to crawl into position, then lay in wait unseen indefinitely until the opportunity to take one perfect head shot from up to half a mile away presents itself. You do.

The Sniper Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: When making an attack with a rifle you may attack a target one (1) zone further away than your normal maximum range.
  • Exploit: You may make preparations to improve your chances of success from a specific shooting position; you gain the Asset 'Sniper Preparation: d10' which only you can use and only while holding your current position.
  • Exploit: If you successfully use a rifle to attack a target who is not yet aware of you, step up the effect die.

Socialite

Almost every 'civilized' city or nation has a strata of idle rich, artistes, celebrities, social climbers, hangers-ons, and wannabes who comprise a social scene. This includes things such as a so-called 'high' society, as well as art or music scenes, and the like.

Those who gravitate to this sort of social scene tend to amuse themselves by attending cultural events related to their interests, elaborate parties, and exclusive by invitation only gatherings. As various members of a particular scene often have considerable influence in the world which they are willing to bring to bear for fellow travelers in their scene as patronage, alliance building, deal making, perceived relevance, or in exchange for favors, inclusion in such a scene can have significant benefits.

Knowing what to wear, what to say, assess who is and is not important at society gatherings, how to gain access to exclusive events and enclaves of the influential, and so on...as well as any secondary practical matters such as rumor management and maintaining appearances...are the concerns of this vocation.

The Socialite Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may demonstrate your superior social status sufficiently to gain invite or access to a social event or a person of importance, or otherwise establish yourself and impress other members of your social scene.
  • Exploit: You may step up or double Finesse or Awareness when acting or reacting in a social situation.
  • Exploit: During a Transition Scene you can create a social influence related d8 Asset by calling upon your personal social network.

Sorcerer

Sorcerers learn how to work with the raw forces of magic directly, accepting greater risk in return for more flexibility and potency.

The Sorcerer Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may step up or double your Violence trait on an action or reaction dice pool that includes at least one of your magical Ability traits; if you do both 1's and 2's count as opportunities.
  • Exploit: You may take d6 Ego Trauma to step up the effect die of a roll that includes one of your magical Ability traits.
  • Exploit: You may take d6 Ego Trauma to treat your Spells Ability trait as being 1 step higher for one action allowing you to justify an action that is normally beyond your capability.

Spellbinder

Spellbinders practice a rawer art than Wizards, tapping directly into mystical energies, but to mitigate the great risk intrinsic to such an undertaking Spellbinders usually filter these raw energies into specific rote spell effects that they have mastered and mystically bound to themselves. However under duress, they can simply channel pure extradimensional energies on the fly in attempt to do theoretically anything mystically possible.

The Spellbinder Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may use your Spellbinder Vocation die (without stepping it down) to emulate any other Ability for a single action or reaction; if you do both 1's and 2's count as opportunities.

Survivor

Some people, from all walks of life, seem to just have the knack of avoiding danger and staying alive even in extreme situations.

The Survivor Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may step up and double Awareness when taking an action or reaction related to not being surprised.
  • Exploit: You may step up and double Finesse on reactions to avoid detection or harm; if you do you may include an additional die in your total.
  • Exploit: If you are attempting to hide from something potentially harmful and fail a roll to avoid detection, you may reroll.

Techie

Some people learn the ins and outs of the technology of their era, and leverage it to their advantage.

At lower Ranks you know how to leverage the technology of your era in ways that augment day to day undertakings. At higher Ranks you are able to contribute to the state of the art in at least one technical field, and are capable of doing things with technology that seem incomprehensibly complex to the less knowledgeable.

The Techie Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You may include both Finesse and Smarts in a dice pool related to interacting with technology and keep an extra die for your total.
  • Exploit: You may spend a Transition Scene to prepare a d10 technology related Asset, but it is only good for a single use.
  • Exploit: You may remove from play a technology related Complication with a step equal to or less than your Techie Vocation trait die.

Thief

While anyone might take something that isn't technically theirs, to be a professional thief requires specialized skills.

Different specialities exist, from pickpockets to burglars to con artists, but the ability to size up a mark, the technique to acquire the goods and get away clean, and the connections to swap the loot for coin are difficult to come by.

The Thief Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: If you fail a roll to avoid detection or discovery, you may reroll.
  • Exploit: If you fail a roll to break in or steal something, you may reroll.
  • Exploit: In any municipality you can scope out and identify the local criminal element during a Transition Scene spent poking around the place.

Warrior

Warriors abound the world over, wherever people take up arms and train in their use.

The Warrior Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: When making a Melee or Unarmed attack you may activate an opportunity to shut down one of the opponent's Ability traits that has an applicable Gear Limit.
  • Exploit: You may avoid having an opponent disarm you by activating your Gear Limit.
  • Exploit: You may avoid taking Body Stress from a single attack.

Wizard

Practitioners of a highly structured and formalized tradition of magic.

Wizards are first and foremost academics and proceduralists with elaborate rituals, and precisely defined spells backed by extremely thorough esoteric theorycraft and lore.

The pursuit of wizardry is a lifelong affair of deepening study and mastery of the nuances of the symbology and formal theories the art is founded upon. An old Wizard is usually a force to be reckoned with, but also a sage of the esoteric to be learned from.

The Wizard Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Immediately recognize and recall highly detailed esoteric lore regarding a subject with magical or legendary significance (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: If anyone else casts a spell in your vicinity you may attempt to counter it as a reaction even if it does not target you; your dice pool consists of Tier, Smarts, a Distinction if relevant, the caster's Ego Stress if any, and a d10.
  • Exploit: You may spend a full Panel preparing to cast a spell to treat your Spells Ability trait as being 1 step higher for one action in your next Panel, allowing you to justify an action that is normally beyond your capability.