Cinematic Background Skills

pip's cousin playing with items

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!     

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