New Abilities

Academics (Knowledge)

Although this is a literate age, the Caribbean is home to many uneducated and/or primitive peoples. This Knowledge reflects some degree of schooling. Europeans with this Knowledge will be able to read Latin and Greek as well as their native tongue, add figures, discuss philosophy and understand astrology. Aztecs will learn their ancient Nahuatl or Mayan; Africans may know Arabic or a major African language like Songhai, Yoruba or Fon; Lascars will know Arabic, Pali or Sanskrit.

This Knowledge doesn’t allow characters to speak other languages, but it does allow them to recognize a language from seeing it written and perhaps (with 3+ dots) guess at a few common words or phrases.

Basic: You can write (a bit), do sums and know classical words
●● Minor: You are fully literate in Latin and come across as educated
●●● Useful: You know Latin and Greek, understand higher mathematics and are schooled in philosophy and the arts
●●●● Significant: You could study at university and debate politics or philosophy with anyone
●●●●● Incredible: You are one of the great scholars of your age

Possessed by: Clerics, Physicians, Clerks, Magicians, Scientists, Alchemists, Vampires
Specialties: The Classics, the Arts, Literacy, Mathematics, Accounting, Philosophy, Calligraphy, Astrology

Artillery (Knowledge)

You understand the science of gunpowder and metallurgy enough to fire, repair and even construct cannons and grenades. This is an essential Ability for a Master Gunner who supervises the cannons on Ghost Ships but can also be used to create cannons and bombs.

This Knowledge doesn’t allow characters to fire pistols or muskets unless the character specialises in Firearms. Similarly, the Storyteller might allow a character with the Firearms Skill to specialise in Artillery.

Basic: You can detonate a grenade
●● Minor: You can load and fire a culverin
●●● Useful: You can supervise the loading and firing of cannons
●●●● Significant: You can forge and repair cannon carriages
●●●●● Incredible: You can design new and devastating explosives and artillery

Possessed by: Naval Officers, powder monkeys, gunners, pirates, scientists, soldiers
Specialties: Ship cannons, land cannons, grenades, bombs, culverins, broadsides

Culture (Knowledge)

If you understand a person’s culture you can predict how they will behave – a useful skill when dealing with a foreigner. The Dark Caribbean setting is a melting pot of cultures – from Old World European to the New World Creole, including English, French and Spanish but also Dutch, Sandinavians, Levantines and Turks; then there are the Lascars of South Asia, the West African slaves and the Cimarron free Africans, the native Caribs, Taino and Arawaks, including the remnants of the mighty Aztecs. There are religious groupings, from arch Catholics to radical Puritans, and the syncretic religion of Voodoo. In the Shadowlands this mix is made more perilous by the embittered ghosts of the Aztec, Inca, Maya and Carib peoples.

This Knowledge doesn’t allow characters to speak other languages, but it does allow them to recognize a language from hearing it and perhaps (with 3+ dots) guess at a few common words or phrases.

Basic: You know some names from far off lands
●● Minor: You’ve read travelers’ tales and studied maps
●●● Useful: Although your understanding is skewed, you appreciate foreign concepts and customs
●●●● Significant: You pick up on foreign customs quickly and blend in easily
●●●●● Incredible: You’re a seasoned traveler with accurate lore about many lands

Possessed by: Naval officers, Pirates, Explorers, Traders, Missionaries, Slaves, Mestizos
Specialties: The Old World, Royal Navy, Creole, Catholicism, Voodoo, Carib, Aztec, Lascar, Folklore, Superstitions, Trade

Navigation (Knowledge)

A rare knowledge for landlubbers, but a vital one at sea. Navigation covers familiarity with the stars, wins and tides and using them to get to your destination. At higher levels it includes cartography – reading and creating maps. It also includes regional geography of the Caribbean and the location of its major islands, settlements, reefs and hazards.

This Knowledge doesn’t allow characters to read, but it does allow them to interpret a map and (with 3+ dots) draw a map themselves.

Basic: You know the prevailing tides and winds and can find land
●● Minor: You know the vagaries of the tides, can predict the arrival of winds and you can navigate by the stars
●●● Useful: You are a Cartographer and can navigate by dead reckoning
●●●● Significant: You have an immense knowledge of the topography of the Caribbean, its major ports and safe harbours
●●●●● Incredible: You know all the little islands, secret coves and out-of-the-way creeks, reefs and lagoons

Possessed by: Naval Officers, Pirates, Merchants, Magicians, Sailors
Specialties: Astronomy, Dead Reckoning, Cartography, Winds & Tides, Hazards, Harbours

Sailing (Skill)

You know how to work and survive at sea. Crews in the Caribbean setting have to be competent at all aspects of life on ship – handling sails and rigging, firing canon, navigating, rowing and taking depth. Among the Restless, this Skill is useful for handling Ghost Ships as well as recognizing other vessels by their size ad rigging and perhaps guessing at their capabilities and intentions.

This Knowledge doesn’t allow characters to swim (a rare skill in this time) unless they have 2+ dots and at least one dot in Athletics.

Basic: You can row and recognise common ships
●● Minor: You can tie knots and handle a rudder
●●● Useful: You can manipulate sails and recognise ships by their sails
●●●● Significant: You can tack, manoeuvre and run in front of a storm
●●●●● Incredible: A veteran seadog, you can outsail most enemies

Possessed by: Pirates, Naval ratings and officers, Fishmermen, Carib & Moskito seamen
Specialties: Storms, Shallows, Reefs, Sea Battles, Swimming, Repairs, Broadsides

Villainy (Talent)

You know how to get away with crime. Since criminals stick together, this Talent includes a knowledge of who’s who in the Brethren of the Coast and where goods and be fenced or illegally purchased. It includes an aptitude with bribing harbour officials and some practical skills such as basic forging and pickpocketing.

This Knowledge doesn’t allow characters to speak other languages, but (with 3+ dots) it lets them communicate in the criminal patois of the islands with other rogues, so long as the subject is buying, selling, stealing or cheating.

Basic: You are a lowlife who knows where to find trouble
●● Minor: You are a street urchin who knows where things can be acquired for the right price
●●● Useful: You know local Brethren and speak Patois
●●●● Significant: You are one of the Brethren of the Coast
●●●●● Incredible: You could be the Pirate King

Possessed by: Pirates, Thieves, Slavers, Corrupt Officials, Beggars
Specialties: Fencing, Forgery, Pickpocketing, Rumours, Bribery, Patois, Brethren of the Coast

New Abilities

Rime of the Restless Mariners Jon_Rowe