In a society without the scientific method, this is the skill governing understanding of the natural world. All modern sciences, hard and soft, as well as medicine and the fundamental concepts behind Crafting, are covered by this skill. Characters with a high Philosophy include philosophers and surgeons.

  • Lab Work [Philosophy]

Philosophy can be used to answer all manner of questions, provided there’s time and equipment to look into them. A philosopher looking to solve a problem should figure out what question he’s trying to answer, like “What killed this man?” or “What is this object composed of?”. The GM will call for a roll to see if the character can answer the question. This will require a lab of some sort, and it’s possible that some questions can’t be answered without the right equipment. In the end, this functions the same as Lore performing research in a library (see Lore).

  • Medical Attention [Philosophy]

Natural philosophers are broadly versed, and this includes a basic understanding of medicine. A character can use the Philosophy skill for first aid and more advanced medicine. See below for a discussion of the difficulties in using Philosophy for medical purposes.

  • Philosophical Explanation [Philosophy]

When confronted with a challenge, the character can apply a scientific explanation, and roll against a difficulty set by the GM. This is a declaration action. If a character acts in accordance with the resulting scientific advice, and they succeeds on the roll, they gain a +2 bonus or a reroll on the action, by tagging the aspect they’ve introduced. The science of this declaration doesn’t necessarily need to be accurate to the real world—it just needs to sounds scientific, and can even just be regular advice using long scientific words. Since the bonus comes from tagging an aspect, the first one’s free, and subsequent uses will cost a fate point.

Example: Mo and Tyche are engaging in a covert assault on a rival House’s compound. A construct roams the corridors as a guard. Tyche declares that this particular type of construct has a fatal flaw in its construction, a weak point in the knee joints. The GM sets a (secret) difficulty of Good ( +3), and Tyche rolls her Philosophy. She gets a Good ( +3) success, and succeeds. Mo can now free-tag the “Weak Knees” aspect as he sneak-attacks the machine.

  • Philosophy in Crafting [Philosophy]

Philosophy governs Nullcrafting.

  • Philosophy in Conflicts [Philosophy]

Philosophy can be used as an Attack skill in Repair conflicts. It can be used as a Defense skill in Repair and Research conflicts. It can be used as a Maneuver skill in Physical, Social, Repair, and Research conflicts. It can be used as a Move skill in Repair conflicts.

Medical Attention

When using Philosophy as first aid in the middle of a fight, the character must take a full action with a target who’s not trying to do anything else active (i.e., forfeiting their next action). Make a roll against a target of Mediocre ( +0); if it succeeds with at least one degree, the subject may remove a checkmark in their one-stress box on their physical stress track. Every two degrees beyond the first improves this effect by one; for example, with five degrees, a character can remove a checkmark in their target’s three-stress box. Success can also be used to “stabilize” someone who has taken a severe or lesser consequence that would appear to be life-threatening (e.g., a Bleeding to Death aspect)—in game terms, this has the effect of limiting the extent to which the aspect can be compelled. A given person can’t be the target of more than one first aid action in a single conflict.

When using Philosophy to address someone’s long-term injuries, the character must spend a scene providing proper medical attention. This is a use of Philosophy to directly address someone’s physical, long-term consequences. If the roll is successful, then the time it takes the subject to recover from the consequence is reduced by one step on the Time Chart. Multiple such attempts may not be made.

The difficulty of the roll depends on the severity of the consequence; the difficulty increases by two steps for each level of severity:

Consequence Difficulty to Reduce Time
Mild Mediocre ( +2)
Moderate Fair ( +4)
Severe Great ( +6)

At the GM’s discretion, when the doctor in question gains spin on their roll, the time to recover may be reduced by two steps instead of one.

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