The City of Lives
Creativity measures the character’s overall artistic ability, covering the gamut of endeavors, from painting to dance to music. This includes knowledge, composition, and performance. Characters with high Creativity include artists (obviously), aristocrats, certain Crafters, and those of the avant garde.
Creativity is usually either used as a knowledge skill, for knowledge about art, artists, and what it takes to make art, or as an artificing skill, to create a work of art, or as a social skill to entertain.
- Creativity as Knowledge [Creativity]
As a knowledge skill, Creativity is basically identical to Lore, though the fields it applies to are more limited and more focused—a few degrees of success on a Creativity roll may “pay out” more information than if someone applied Lore to the same art-related problem.
- Creativity as Artificing [Creativity]
As an artificing skill, Creativity is fairly straightforward—characters can make art of virtually any type of a quality equal to their skill. Without stunts, none of them will be masterpieces, but any art that’s Mediocre ( +0) or better can be displayed without any real embarrassment.
Sometimes, however, creations must be improvised, and that can be a little more fast and furious. This usually takes a few minutes, and the character can make a roll to create their piece. Generally speaking, for the duration of the scene where it is displayed, the quality of the piece is equal to their roll, with it degrading one step in each subsequent scene.
- Creativity as Communication [Creativity]
While Lore covers the technical building blocks of communication, language, grammar and the like, Creativity covers the expression of ideas, and as such, covers most means of broad communication, like writing. These are not “pure” art forms, however, and a character’s other skills play a role in their application, so a character’s writing is usually modified by their Lore. There are exceptions, such as dry, academic documents (which use pure Lore) and poetry (which uses just Creativity).
Public speaking is a similar creature, but it is more beholden to the charisma and presence of the speaker—in those cases, Creativity modifies whatever skill (Rapport, Intimidation, Leadership or Deceit) the character is using, as long as there is a creative aspect to the communication.
- Creativity as Performance [Creativity]
Creativity can also be used to shape the mood of a group. Whenever a group is exposed to an artist’s work, such as at a performance or a show, the scene may gain an aspect appropriate to the performance. Normally, this aspect only remains on the scene for the duration of the performance, but some stunts allow this to extend into subsequent scenes.
In effect, this is a declaration on the part of the artist, but limited to declaring mood and emotional impact, rather than anything specific. In general, art inspires passion in a broad sense; for example, in may make someone feel hopeful, but not determine what he’ll feel hopeful about. When making a standard performance, any temporary aspects that result—either by treating the performance as a maneuver, or as an attack yielding consequences—must also be broad and nonspecific. “Hopeful” is good; “Hopeful That Thessel Varbor Will Be Defeated” is not. There is an exception; a performance that very clearly has a target, such as a satire, may plant fairly specific opinions of a target, with the difficulty based on the status of the target.
- Forgery [Creativity]
Imitation has a long-standing place in the art world, and thus Creativity is quite good at making fakes, be they “lost” symphonies or falsified documents. When a character uses Creativity to make a forgery, the difficulty depends on the complexity of the thing being duplicated. Having an original on hand can help reduce the difficulty. Deceit should also be used to complement the effort.
For more on how forgery difficulties are set, see Running the Game.
- Creativity in Crafting [Creativity]
- Creativity in Conflicts [Creativity]
Creativity can be used as an Attack skill in Research conflicts. It can be used as a Defense skill in Research conflicts. It can be used as a Maneuver skill in Social and Research conflicts.