The Communications Skills are as follows:
- Translate (Used when translation is required)
- Rapport (Used to gather information)
- Intimidate (Required whenever intimidation or lying are required to succeed)
- Negotiate (Used to haggle over the price of goods)
- Distress (Used to either issue or jam distress calls)
This Skill reflects a character's familiarity with the structures and forms of various languages and their ability to apply that knowledge into the translation of a given particular language. A Translate Check is required any time the character is in a situation where they must either read, write or speak in a language other than their primary language to be successful. This Skill is typically subject to circumstantial DC adjustments; a character attempting to read something in a language with which they are completely unfamiliar will likely be facing unfavorable circumstances, as will a character attempting to listen to a message that has been badly garbled by static. Failure of the Check means that some parts of the message will be un-translatable, with the amount of any useful portion of the message decreasing as the degree of failure increases (GMs may handle these situations in any manner that they wish through role-playing). Specializations include any specific language and/or associated writing system.
This Skill indicates a character’s ability to gather information by various means. Rapport Checks are required in situations where the target of communications may or may not remember (or is deliberately withholding) some piece of important information the character must know in order to succeed. They may also be used in an attempt to get a target to give more details on something they’ve already mentioned. This Skill is typically subject to circumstantial DC adjustments; a character that is talking to an uncooperative subject will likely be facing unfavorable circumstances. Failure of the Check means that the target has either forgotten the fact, will say something that's entirely accurate, or flat out refuse to divulge what they know. Specializations include specific methods of gathering information, specific species or members of specific occupations or groups.
This Skill reflects a character's ability to instill fear in others through the sheer force of their personality or to tell a convincing falsehood. Intimidation Checks are required when a character must act aggressively, must attempt to instill fear on a target or must lie convincingly in order to succeed at a task. This Skill is typically subject to circumstantial DC adjustments; attempting to lie to someone who is gullible will work in a character's favor, while trying to tell an outrageous lie or trying to intimidate an opponent who is in a clearly superior position will not. In addition to any other effects, a failure of an Intimidate Check will impart a -2 DC reaction penalty in all future dealings with the target of the Check. Specializations include any method of intimidation, specific species or members of specific occupations or groups.
This Skill reflects a character’s familiarity with the techniques of negotiation and their ability to utilize them in a real world setting. Negotiate Checks are used by a character when trading in order to move the offered price of an item in their favor; they are used in opposition to an opposing Negotiate Check performed by the trader. Whoever has the higher degree of success may move the price point of a commodity in their favor or close out any further attempt at haggling. For specifics of how the Negotiate Skill is used in trading, see Chapter 5.1. Specializations include specific goods or categories of goods.
This Skill reflects a character's familiarity with the use of emergency communications equipment both for the purpose of sending out general distress signals and interfering with the ability of hostile forces to do the same. Distress Checks are required whenever a character wishes to attempt to issue a distress signal. A Distress Check performed in opposition to an enemy combatant's Distress Check in order to attempt to jam their signal and vice versa; whichever side has the higher degree of success will be able to perform their desired action. The successful transmission of a distress signal will ultimately result in the arrival of a number of friendly forces during an encounter, the composition of which should be directly proportional to the degree of success of the Check as should be the amount of time it takes for them to arrive. This Skill is typically subject to circumstantial DC adjustments; a character whose craft is very far from the closest base and is in an encounter with a sizable enemy force will likely be facing unfavorable circumstances. Specializations include the communications/jamming systems on specific classes of craft or types of craft.