The City of Lives
Alertness is a measure of the character’s regular, passive level of awareness. Specifically, it is the perception skill to notice things the character is not looking for. In an exchange where characters are surprised (and as such, are prevented from choosing which skill to roll), Alertness is the skill which is rolled. In Physical and Race Conflicts, Alertness determines initiative. Characters with high Alertness include bodyguards, outdoorsmen and criminals of a sneaky variety.
Players will rarely ask to roll Alertness—if they are actively looking for something, Investigation is usually more appropriate. Alertness is more appropriate for things that players and characters do not expect or are not looking for, such as whether they notice a surprise, or if they happen to spot a hidden clue. In short, it is reactive perception. As such, it’s a skill that, more often, the GM calls for people to roll.
- Avoiding Surprise [Alertness]
Whenever ambushed (see Stealth, a character may make one final Alertness check against the Stealth of their attacker, in order to see if they are surprised. If they fail this check, their defense skill is considered to be Mediocre ( +0) for the first exchange.
- Physical Initiative [Alertness]
In Physical, Access, Race, and Repair conflicts, Alertness determines initiative. See Conflicts and Resolution.
- Alertness in Crafting [Alertness]
Alertness governs Farsharing.
- Alertness in Conflicts [Alertness]
In Race conflicts, Alertness is used as a Defense skill.