One of the goals of the Cinematic System is to give an unprecedented level of depth to player characters. Background skills are an essential (and fun!) component of this depth: they are the skills characters developed while they were growing up. The set of background skills a character has helps their player write the “script” of their background story.
Background skills work much the same as standard skills or weapon skills: they are improved with background skill points, they have a maximum number of ranks (equal to half a character’s Charisma score, rounded down), and each one has a “key ability” which modifies their check. Cinematic System characters start with (4 + their charisma bonus) x 5 background skill points. This assumes that the more charismatic – and hence more social and confident – characters had more opportunity to pick up and develop skills.
We have provided a whopping 292 Background Skills for your character to grow up with. In the future we will likely add even more – if your gaming group has ideas for them let us know! There will likely be a reward. We’ve also included random tables of these background skills (in both “d300” format and “d100 rolled 2x” format). To review the Cinematic System chapter on background skills, click here: Background Skills.
The background skills we offer are written with a fantasy campaign in mind, so they won’t be as relevant to high-tech characters. If we have sufficient demand, we would happily create a few hundred modern ones! Enjoy!