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Skill Rate: Fast

Uses: A character with the Timing skill has, as the name implies, excellent timing ƒ whether deliberately or simply through chance. At very low levels, the Timing skill could be used to, say, calmly walk through a crowd without bumping into anyone, arrive at a bus stop precisely as a bus arrives, or hit an unusual amount of green lights. At higher levels, a character could run through a crowded area or drive through heavy traffic at high speed, run through a corridor of swinging pendulum traps, or jump off a bridge ƒ and land on a passing garbage barge. This skill relies heavily on GM and player co-operation. Timing, like the Ingenuity skill, has no techniques. Instead, it has deliberately broad application if it‚s basic uses. This skill has as many uses as the player‚s creativity will allow, but some common examples are listed below.

Crowd Navigation:  This use of Timing is fairly mundane, but can also be extremely useful. Normally, moving through crowds of people limits characters‚ speeds to 1m/s or lower. The character can make a Timing check to move at higher speeds through crowds. If desired, the character can also make optimum use of the surrounding crowd members as cover. Simply make one check per round and consult the chart for the results. Obviously, a character can‚t move faster through a crowd than he can move in open terrain ƒ the maximum movement speed may still be higher than the character‚s normal move speed, so the character simply moves at his normal speed.

Check Result

Sparse Crowd

Dense Crowd

5 or lower

normal speed, no running, no cover

1/4 speed, no running, medium cover


Run at 2x speed, light cover

1/2 speed, no running, medium cover


Run at 3x speed, light cover

normal speed, no running, medium cover


Any speed, medium cover

Run at 2x speed, heavy cover


Any speed, heavy cover

Run at 3x speed, heavy cover


Any speed, heavy cover

Any speed, heavy cover

Serendipity: This broad use of Timing means that a character uses a combination of good timing and simply being lucky to great effect. He describes what he wants to have happen (such as a garbage barge appear underneath a bridge he wants to jump off of) and the GM sets a DC based on how likely that is.





Fairly Likely

Arriving at a parking lot just as someone is pulling out



Looking over a bridge and seeing a passing truck to jump onto; a bus arriving within 1 minute of arriving at the bus stop, hitting a green traffic light if desired; saved from an awkward moment by a phone call; running out of gas near a station


Very Unlikely

A bus arriving at precisely the instant you arrive at a stop; hitting only green traffic lights while driving; seeing a convenient grain or garbage barge passing underneath the bridge to land on


Extremely Unlikely

Transit security searching for bus tickets when you have one and your pursuers don‚t.




Driving at top speed through a crowded street without risking a collision


Nearly Impossible


Theoretically Possible

Walking through a storm without being rained on,

Other possible uses could include running across a prison yard without being tagged by a searchlight, escaping from a prison cell while the guards are on patrol elsewhere or are changing shifts,

Consequences of Failure: Characters cannot retry Timing checks, but the consequences of failure can vary. Generally speaking, failing a timing check doesn‚t mean that something bad happens, just that nothing surprisingly good happens. So, a character could fail his check to have a bus appear conveniently. This doesn‚t mean that a bus will never appear, or that it will be late ƒ just that this character has the same chance of catching a bus as a normal person would. However, this could have dire consequences. Say a vigilante is being pursued and is cornered on a bridge. He makes a Timing check to have a boat pass underneath (DC 8) and fails. No boat passes, so he has to escape in another manner. However, if he was pressed for time and  jumped off the bridge before checking for a boat, he‚d make the same check (DC 8). If he failed, he‚d hit the water and might drown (Acrobatics check to minimize falling damage, Athletics to swim). Even on a success, he would need to make an Acrobatics check to minimize falling damage upon hitting the barge, and maybe an Athletics or Acrobatics check to even land on it at all.

Limitations: Timing can never be used as a substitute for another skill. So, a character can‚t use Timing to run through a hail of bullets ƒ instead, he‚d have to make defence rolls such as Reflex checks to dodge the attacks. Similarly, Timing shouldn‚t be used offensively (e.g., “lightning strikes the person shooting at me!”) or overused.

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