Skip to main content Link Menu Expand (external link) Document Search Copy Copied

Careers & Skills

Table of contents
  1. Careers & Skills
    1. Learning New Skills
      1. By Doing
      2. By Training
      3. By Studying
      4. Skill Difficulty
      5. Various Mechanics for Training
      6. Skills & NPCs
    2. Gaining More HP
      1. Optional Rule: Milestones
    3. Increasing Your Attributes
    4. Careers
      1. Hunter
      2. Magic-User
      3. Mercenary
      4. Minstrel
      5. Priest
      6. Thief
    5. Skills

The following list serves 2 purposes:

At Character Creation, choose up to 4 previous careers. Choosing a career means you spend at least some time in this capacity - maybe it was your actual job, maybe a side gig, maybe a personal interest. You can choose a career multiple times. Every time you pick a career, you can choose a single skill from this career and add it to your character.

See Appendix G: Age & Experience for options to have a character’s age affect their careers and attributes.

Secondarily, these skills can be acquired later on, by searching out a skilled individual and receiving training.

Learning New Skills

New skills can be acquired in 3 ways:

By Doing

The Warden is encouraged to award new skills organically if the players show consistent dedication to learning them.

By Training

Training requires a trainer in the mentioned career. If you want to learn how to pick a lock, go find a thief - simple as that. Hiring a trainer will cost about 50 gold per week – though often, trainers will want other incentives than just gold in order to train you. See Appendix E: Finding A Trainer for more ideas!

By Studying

Proper treatises and manuals will seem more expensive and difficult than hiring a trainer, but the benefit is that once purchased, others can follow the training as well. A book that can teach you a skill should cost about twice as much as the estimated cost for training; if a skill takes 3 weeks to learn for 50 gold per week, a book teaching the same skill would cost 300 gold. Training from a book will also take about 50% longer as studying under a trainer.

Skill Difficulty

The Warden will determine how hard the new skill is to learn. Learning a new skill always costs Time. If hiring a trainer or purchasing a manual, it also costs Gold.

Generally, easy skills take about 1 week to learn, and more complex skills 6 weeks or more.

Various Mechanics for Training

There are various ways to implement the actual training:

  • Training only takes the predetermined amount of weeks. After x weeks, the PC is guaranteed to have learned the skill.
  • Use the number of weeks as a tracker for advancement. At the end of a week of training, make a WIL Save. On a success, mark 1 progression. Example: a Skill that would take 3 weeks to learn, requires 3 successful WIL Saves, each after a week of training.

If you’d rather keep Saves as Saves and not as skill checks, consider using a 2d6 roll after each week of training.

  • On a 6 or less, you do not progress in your training.
  • On a 7-9, you make 1 step of progress.
  • On a 10+, you make 1 step of progress and treat the next 2d6 roll as an automatic step of progress as well.
  • This also allows for the implementation of modifiers. If the skill you’re trying to learn is unlike anything you’ve done before, gain a -1 on your roll. If your trainer is particularly skilled, gain +1 or even +2. The Warden is encouraged to come up with further relevant negative and positive modifiers!

Skills & NPCs

The skills described below are meant as a way to kickstart your imagination. They should act as prompts - they are not meant as an extensive be-all, end-all list.

NPCs might have the skills mentioned - in fact, players are encouraged to search for NPCs that can help them accomplish their goals - but I’d urge to not build NPCs as strictly possessing certain skills.

A dreaded evil knight can be spiced up by determining beforehand that they are a Momentum Master, but don’t pre-define every skill.

To illustrate: If the players are stumped by a lock on an ancient stone door somewhere in the city sewers, this should motivate them to find someone who can pick locks. Thieves can be assumed to have this skill, so if the players invest proper time and effort to find a skilled thief, it’d be a good reward to have that thief be a lockpicker. The thief might require the service of the players first, of course.

When in doubt as to whether a certain NPC can provide a certain skill, you can always roll the die of fate - a simple d6, with higher rolls signaling a more favorable outcome.

The skill list should mostly be a reference to give rulings on events that happen naturally within the world - not a strict manual of what those inhabiting that world can and cannot do.

Gaining More HP

Anyone with notably more combat experience than a PC can give general combat training.

  • Regular soldiers, sellswords, and similar folk can give basic combat training which takes 1 week and costs 50 gold, after which the PC can roll 1d6 for their new HP. If the roll is lower than your current HP, ignore the roll and increase your max HP by 1.

  • Veterans and expert trainers can give advanced combat training which takes 4 weeks and costs 75 gold per week, after which the PC can roll 2d6 for their new HP. If the roll is lower than your current HP, ignore the roll and increase your max HP by 1. Taking this training requires a base HP of 6.

  • Legendary heroes and champions can give training that allows the PC to roll 3d6 for their new HP. If the roll is lower than your current HP, ignore the roll and increase your max HP by 1. Taking this training requires a base HP of 9.

Optional Rule: Milestones

When a character completes a significant milestone involving combat, such as partaking in a big battle or contributing to the downfall of a dangerous foe, have them roll for their HP as per general combat training.

If their Max HP is lower than 6, roll 1d6 for your HP, or simply add 1. If their Max HP is between 6 and 8, roll 2d6 and take the result, or add 1. If their HP is 9 or higher, roll 3d6, or add 1.

Increasing Your Attributes

A PC can increase their Attributes through training. This training costs 200 gold per week. At the end of the week, roll a D20. If you roll above your current Attribute, it increases by 1. An attribute cannot be raised above 18.

  • Strength Training can be given by physically strong trainers, such as sailors, blacksmiths, soldiers, but also dwarves and giants.

  • Dexterity Training can be given by thieves, assassins, hunters but also elves and the like.

  • Willpower Training can be given by magic-users, priests, or similar folk.


The full version of Block, Dodge, Parry contains 16 careers. The SRD contains 6, as an example. For the full list of careers, check out Block, Dodge, Parry on


The hunter is a master of tracking prey through the wilderness and the wastelands. Once hunters locate their target, they’ll use stealth, traps, and/or expert bowmanship to bring it down. They are at home in the wild and can survive there for long periods, returning to more civilized areas only when they have furs and hides to sell, or when they require the company of their fellow men (or women).

Common knowledge: You know about beasts, their behaviors, and prey.

  • “What killed this livestock?”

  • What creature passed here?”

  • How could I best draw out this monster?”

Skills: Animal Attuned, Crippling Shot, Heightened Senses, Know Your Enemy, Lumberjack, Marksman, Mount Mastery, Night Sight, Piercing Proficiency, Poison Resistance, Scout, Sensitive Nose, Skilled Climber, Survival Expert, Tracker, Trap Master


Magic-Users studied the arcane, made a dreadful pact, or have something special coursing through their veins; no matter the cause, they are able of casting magic. Depending on their choices and the perceptions of others, they might be called a wizard, witch, a sorcerer, warlock, a cultist, or spellslinger.

Common knowledge: You know all about the arcane.

  • “Where might I learn more about this type of magic?”

  • “How could I stop this profane ritual?”

  • “What would it take to master such powers?”

Skills: Companion, Elemental, Gifted, Heightened Senses, Loremaster, Magic-Sense, Night Sight, Third Eye


These warriors work for anyone who will pay for their services and are primarily motivated by personal gain. Some form themselves into companies under a strong leader and others travel individually or in small bands to seek employment. Often these mercenary groups turn to banditry when not gainfully employed.

Common knowledge: You are skilled at violence and intimidation.

  • “How can I intimidate this goon?”

  • “How would the enemy ambush the VIP I’m hired to protect?”

  • “What is the weak point in the enemy fortification?”

Skills: Alert, Bloodlust, Bludgeon Proficiency, Brawler, Brutal Blows, Commander, Hard to Kill, Merciless, Momentum Master, Piercing Proficiency, Savage Strikes, Slashing Proficiency


Minstrels wander the world, sharing songs, stories, and music. Their words can liven up any tavern - or inspire some to do great deeds.

Common knowledge: You know a lot of folkloric history, and the impact those stories can have.

  • “What kind of story would this crowd enjoy?”

  • “Do I know any songs about this region?”

  • “How could I inspire this downtrodden crowd into action?”

Skills: Carouser, Defensive Posture, Distraction Master, Impressive Skills, Inspiring, Master of Disguise, Mediator, Pocket Change, Provocateur, Rousing Words, Smooth Talker, Socialite


Priests have devoted their lives to something higher, be it a god, demon, a concept (“chaos”), or even nature itself.

Common knowledge: You know about your topic of devotion and the rules by which to live.

  • “Would Akhad approve of this?”

  • “Where would I find followers of Akhad in this city?”

  • “What would be the best way to worship Akhad here?”

Skills: Bludgeon Proficiency, Devotion, Lay On Hands, Learned, Librarian, Loremaster, Sensitive Nose, Third Eye, True Strikes, Words of Grace


Be it as a pickpocket, charlatan, con man, footpad, or fraudster: you made ends meet by being on the other side of the law.

Common knowledge: You know about heists, valuables, and breaking and entering.

  • “How could I enter the temple unseen?”

  • “Would there be anything valuable to steal here?”

  • “How could I best obtain the key to the tower?”

Skills: Acrobat, Alert, Distraction Master, Escape Artist, Friends in Low Places, Haggler, Lockpicker, Market Access, Night Sight, Pickpocket, Scrap Fighter, Skilled Climber, Subtle, Surveillance, Trap Master


Listed below is the full Skill list from Block, Dodge, Parry. For the matching Careers, see the full version of Block, Dodge, Parry.

You’ll find some skills marked with a star. These skills are more advanced, which can mean any of the following:

  • They cannot be picked upon character creation.
  • Not every character that has the corresponding career can teach you this.
  • The skill is difficult to learn; requiring extensive time and dedication, or requiring you to study relevant easier skills first.
  • The technique is lost, ancient or forbidden.
Skill Description
Acrobat You have a near-supernatural sense of balance.
Alert You are rarely surprised. Roll DEX for initiative with Advantage.
Animal Attuned You are good with animals: +1 on reaction rolls with animals & beasts.
Animal Companion You have a faithful pet: 2d6 for stats, 3 HP, d6 attack.
Armor Expert Any armor you wear loses the Bulky tag.
Bloodlust Killing or Critically Damaging an enemy gains you 1d3 HP.
Bludgeoning Proficiency You have damage-type proficiency with bludgeoning weapons.
Brawler Your unarmed strikes do d6 damage.
Brutal Blows When you deal 10 or more damage in a single attack, the target’s attacks are Impaired in the next round.
Bureaucrat You know the local laws and rules, and how to bend them in your favor.
Carouser You know your way around taverns, and know how to gain information or make contacts.
Cloak of Daggers You have two daggers (d6) at hand. Always.
Commander Once per combat, issue a single command to an ally to Enhance their next attack, or to heal them for 1d6 HP.
Companion You have an assistant, bodyguard, or errand boy. Roll 3d6 for stats, 3 HP.
Crafty You know how to repair non-magical objects.
Crippling Shot You know how to hit to maim. When you make a Ranged Attack and your damage roll is in the upper half of the damage die results (i.e., 4-6 on a d6, 5-8 on a d8), the enemy’s next attack is Impaired, and humanoid-sized targets or smaller are unable to move during their turn.
Defensive Posture You know how to wield Fast or Balanced weapons in a defensive manner and gain +1 Armor when not using a shield or weapon in your other hand.
Devotion You gain +1 Faith Die, up to a total of 4.
Distraction Master When you make a big distracting ruckus, all attacks against you are Impaired.
Elemental ★ Choose one element. You always have 3 Armor against it.
Escape Artist You can wriggle free from any restraints, even when it seems impossible, such as from chains or a noose.
Fancy Footwork Being unarmored gives you 1 Armor.
Firm Grip You can never be disarmed as long as you’re conscious.
Friends in High Places You know how to gain access to society’s upper crust.
Friends in Low Places You know how to gain access to society’s lower rungs.
Gifted You gain +1 Magic Dice, to a maximum of 4.
Haggler You sell items for 10% more.
Hard to Kill Once per day, roll your save for Critical Damage with Advantage.
Heightened Senses You get a “weird feeling” when there’s a secret passage Close to you.
Impressive Skills Winning an impressive victory, by defeating a tough foe for instance, you may call for onlookers to either reroll their Reaction Rolls with a +2 bonus, or their Morale Rolls with a -2 penalty.
Inspiring Allies automatically pass morale saves.
Tunnel Vision ★ In combat, choose one humanoid opponent. Your attacks against them are Enhanced, and their attacks against you are Impaired. All other sources of damage against you are Enhanced.
Lay On Hands Once per day, cure someone of a disease, poison, or heal 1d6 STR.
Learned You’ve enjoyed a broad general education in a topic of choice, such as History, Politics, Biology, or Philosophy.
Know Your Enemy ★ You have spent considerable time studying a particular foe. The more specific your foe, the better your boon: Against a broad category (humanoids, animals, dragons, undead, etc.), you deal +1 damage. Against a specific group (dwarves, elves, wizards, etc.) you roll an extra damage die. Against a particular individual (a dragon, a renowned duelist, a legendary battlemage) you can use your training for Enhanced attacks.
Librarian You are skilled at obtaining information from libraries.
Lockpicker You are skilled at picking locks
Loremaster If you don’t know a certain piece of knowledge, you know where to start searching.
Lumberjack You fell wooden objects with supremely efficient strikes.
Magic-Sense ★ You can tell when arcane energies are at work, and where.
Market Access You know how to gain access to the full breadth of commerce in a location - legal and otherwise.
Marksman +1 damage with ranged weapons.
Master of Disguise You know how to acquire, apply and utilize a disguise.
Mediator +1 on reaction rolls with humanoids
Merciless When you inflict Critical Damage, the target loses a limb or is disemboweled. This immediately triggers a Morale Save upon enemies.
Momentum Master When you kill or Critically Damage an enemy, you can attack again.
Mount Mastery You can always keep any mount you’re riding calm and under control.
Mounted Warrior Attacks while mounted are Enhanced.
Night Sight Your eyes are well-attuned to the dark.
Pickpocket You know how to cut a purse.
Piercing Proficiency You have damage-type proficiency with piercing weapons
Pocket Change Be it through pity, sympathy, or entertaining passers-by, you know how to make people part with their coin. After a day of roaming city streets, make a WIL Save. On a success, gain 1d10 gp, on a failure, 1d4 gp.
Poison Resistance Sheer exposure has made you resistant to poison.
Poisoner You know how to make dangerous poisons.
Protect If allies are in the same melee as you, you can give up your Action to draw all attacks to yourself instead. Declare this at the start of a round.
Provocateur Whether through boasting or appealing to a sense of honor, you know how to goad someone into a duel. You can force those who understand you to make a WIL Save. If they fail, they’ll be compelled to duel you (if not already in combat), or focus attacks almost exclusively on you (if already in combat).
Quick Draw When using the specific weapon you trained this skill with, you always go first in Initiative - no need to roll a DEX Save.
Rousing Words Once per combat, you can use your Action to rouse an ally into rolling damage with Advantage on their turn.
Savage Strikes Make an Enhanced attack at the cost of 1 Fatigue.
Scout You know how to travel fast and unseen.
Scrap Fighter You can destroy one item you’re carrying to ignore one instance of damage you’re about to suffer, as long as you can explain how the item protects you.
Sea Legs You can man and repair small vessels on your own.
Sensitive Nose You can smell Undead creatures nearby.
Showfighter You have +1 armor and STR 18 if you have a large audience.
Skilled Climber You can climb near-impossible sheer surfaces.
Slashing Proficiency You have damage-type proficiency with slashing weapons.
Smooth Talker You can convince others to do things for you, within reason.
Socialite You can invite yourself to most parties, ceremonies, or similar functions.
Subtle Enemies tend to give you a low priority, if not outright ignore you.
Surveillance For each week you spend investigating a local powerful person, institution, or structure, you learn 1 dirty secret about it.
Survival Expert You know how to live off the land.
Third Eye You cannot be fooled by magical illusions.
Tracker You know how to track nearly any quarry through the wilds.
Trap Master You are skilled at disabling traps.
Trooper +1 damage when outnumbering an enemy in melee.
True Strikes For 1d4 WIL damage per attack, you can perform unarmed strikes that do 1d8 damage, ignore armor, and can strike ghosts.
Wealthy ★ You have access to considerable funds. +x starting wealth
Well-traveled You know the lay of the land, and know the way to any major settlements and points of interest. You have a 4-in-6 chance to know lesser-known locations, and a 2-in-6 chance to know of obscure locations (what qualifies as lesser-known and obscure is up to the Warden’s discretion).
Words of Grace Heal 1d6 to any ability, but become Deprived.