Knacks are the central element of character development and specialization: they are the talents that make characters unique. Every character begins with three knacks and develops three more with each additional level of experience. As characters grow and develop prerequisite knacks, they gain access to more powerful and specialized knacks.
The knacks listed here are meant to be representative examples of a larger range of possibilities. If you feel that something is missing, add it. With a little work, it is easy enough to convert your own ideas or content from other games into knacks for Karst. Each knack listed below is given a name, a bit of flavor, and a description of its effects; follow this pattern when adding new ones.
Core knacks are a central form of progression. Each of these knacks improves a character in one simple, specific dimension. Compared to the other knacks, these may seem wanting, but their strength is found in the effect of repeated selection as a character advances in level.
Core knacks can each be developed once per level: a maximum of ten times. Characters who are Clever must develop a core knack twice to start. Because of this, their limit for that specific knack rises to eleven.
You are a deft and elusive target.
Add one to your defense, unless completely restrained.
You have the mind for magic.
Once per day, you may cast a single spell that you know. You must develop at least one level of Deceit, Spiritism, Thaumaturgy, or Theurgy in order to have spells to cast.
You strike with clarity even in the heat of battle.
Add one to all attack rolls.
You are fast on your feet.
Add one to all order rolls.
You can survive what life throws at you.
Gain three health.
Basic knacks represent the broadest group of talents. Each one confers some sort of special aptitude or bonus but also represents an important personal aspect of the character who has developed it.
While each basic knack is different, many are complementary, and when taken together or with other types of knacks, they can really shape a character. Most basic knacks are also a prerequisite for one or more advanced knacks, providing a path to future progression.
Your relationship with magic is an uncomplicated one: you despise, distrust, or disbelieve in it to the point of actual resistance.
You roll to resist the effects of all spells and magical effects, even beneficial ones. Add one to these rolls. The bonus granted to Wise characters when resisting deception does not apply to other types of magic.
You have a gift for soothing and healing others.
Add two to any attempt to give aid to another character who is facing death. If you spend time tending to them, up to three other folk in your care can heal two additional health upon resting.
You often sense danger before it strikes.
You are less likely to be surprised by the start of an altercation; add two to all surprise rolls. Lagartos possess a natural version of Alertness and can develop its related advanced knack, Awareness, as if it were a basic knack instead.
Your dislike of a particular group is so great that it translates into righteous fervor.
Choose one group to despise. Add one to any roll you make against them. A group may be a type of folk, the residents of a specific place, a type of beast, or any other reasonable grouping of characters. This knack can be taken multiple times for multiple groups but does not apply multiple times to characters who belong to more than one group; the bonus granted by Animosity is capped at one.
You can reliably hit a bullseye—with a little time to aim.
You can spend a round aiming at a target with your bow before attacking. If you do so, you can choose to add four to either your attack roll or—assuming the attack succeeds—to your damage roll.
Even in bulky armor, you move with grace.
You are restricted by heavy armor as if it were only medium armor. Due to their smaller size, lagartos cannot develop this knack unless they are Strong.
Anyone can stick a knife in someone’s back—but you’ve made an art of it.
When wielding a dagger, you quadruple instead of double the damage you roll against unsuspecting targets.
Fear is meant to be conquered.
You are unaffected by Fear spells and similar effects.
You are not afraid to get your hands or paws a little dirty.
Add two to all unarmed attack rolls and do one additional damage if you hit.
You strike to harm.
Add one damage to all physical attacks.
You can see through simple lies.
You are unaffected by Beguile and Slumber spells and any similar magical effects.
Walls, trees, cliffs—if it has a few finger holds, you can climb up it.
You are able to climb all but the most sheer surfaces; add two to any rolls to do so. Eekhorn possess a natural version of this knack and can develop its related advanced knack, Climb Sheer Surfaces, as if it were a basic knack instead.
The chaos of battle doesn’t dim your concentration; you can cast spells even under duress.
You can cast spells even while wearing light armor or having been attacked previously in the round.
Armor would only weigh you down.
Gain two defense when unarmored.
You find comfort with a weapon in each hand or paw.
Add one to all attacks when wielding two weapons. If the two weapons do different amounts of damage, randomly determine which weapon hits.
You have found a certain calmness—a rhythm by which your magic flows a little bit more.
You can cast the same spell twice in one day. The Echo knack can be used only once per day, and the spell still requires enough Concentration to cast a second time.
You have an excellent constitution.
The effects of most poisons and disease are minimal to you. Add two to any resistance rolls against them.
Friend to Animals
You have a deep connection with the birds and beasts.
You are able to calm and even befriend most animals. Add two to any roll to calm an animal. If the roll is a six on the die, you can instead befriend the animal—a process that takes a number of hours or even days, depending on the nature of the bird or beast.
Conflict brings out something terrible within you.
During an altercation, you can enter a furious trance. This may be done at will, and it happens automatically if you are hit by an attack. During this trance, you add two to all attack and damage rolls, but you may not perform any action other than charging towards the nearest foe and attacking them. You cannot leave this state until either the altercation has ended or you are reduced to two health or less. After a furious trance, you must rest for a short while, subtracting two from all rolls until rested.
You can usually find a meal.
You know how to track prey and kill or capture quarry; add two to any roll to do so.
Poison or salve, causative or cure—distinctions you have learned to discern . . . after a bit of trial and error.
With a bit of study, you can identify most common—and some uncommon—poisons, potions, and similar substances; add two to any roll to do so.
Large Weapon Training
Other folk may find large weapons unwieldy; not you.
You can wield large weapons without a penalty to attack rolls. Due to their smaller size, lagartos cannot develop this knack unless they are Strong.
Some are versed in lore of nature—you are steeped in it.
You know much about the plants, animals, and natural phenomena around you. Add two to any rolls to identify plants, animals, weather patterns, et cetera.
Whether charting the sea or wandering the earth, you are not one to get lost.
Add two to any rolls for navigating across land or sea.
You have an eye for weak spots.
Double your attack’s damage if your attack roll is a twenty on the die.
There are many written languages in the archipelago; you can muddle your way through a surprisingly large number of them.
You can read, or at least partially read, most modern writings. Add two to any rolls to decipher more esoteric scripts, as long as they were written by folk.
You have a preternatural sense for the supernatural.
You have a chance at passively detecting the presence of most magic. When you actively attempt to detect the presence or nature of magical spells and effects, add two to any rolls required to do so.
You have learned to defend with a shield effectively and without hindrance.
You no longer subtract two from attack rolls when using a shield. As an attack, you can perform a shield bash, which, if it hits, momentarily stuns most targets for one round or does a four-sided die roll of damage.
Your hands are light, your footsteps soft—the shadows are your home.
You are skilled at avoiding detection; add two to any rolls to do so—unless you are trying to avoid being seen by ser- pos, who can see heat, or being heard by veldlings, who have especially sharp hearing.
Contraptions, mechanisms, fulcrums, levers, causes and effects: you understand how these things operate—and how they can be used in unintended ways.
You are able to understand and operate most kinds of mechanisms, including locks and small traps. Add two to any rolls involving mechanisms.
There is an art to falling—a form of grace, even.
You suffer far less damage from falling and are not stunned by being knocked over. Unless the distance is very great and there is nothing you can use to catch yourself, the most damage you will ever take from a fall is half of your remaining health.
You are well practiced with a specific type of weapon.
Choose one type of weapon, and add one to attack and damage rolls with all weapons of this type. This knack can be taken multiple times, once for each type of weapon.
Advanced knacks are built on top of other knacks and represent advanced levels of skill and discipline, reflective of a more experienced mindset. These knacks may be developed only by characters who have reached the sixth level or higher. Each advanced knack also has one or more prerequisite knacks that must first be developed at an earlier level of experience.
Many of these knacks are effectively the second level of a basic knack; others represent completely new disciplines, or the pairing of two basic knacks into something more than either alone. As advanced knacks can be developed only by characters who have reached higher levels of experience, fewer characters possess them; those who do may find their skills in high demand.
Whatever it is, you are not surprised.
You are surprised by almost nothing; add four to any surprise rolls. Lagartos are naturally alert and thus may develop this knack as if it were a basic knack.
Climb Sheer Surfaces
If anyone can climb it, you can.
You can climb even sheer surfaces. If you must roll to climb a surface, add four. Eekhorn are natural climbers and can develop this knack as if it were a basic knack.
The rest of the Advanced knacks can be found in the complete edition of Karst.
Visit the Gift Shop to purchase a copy.
Magical gifts and powers are represented by odd-level knacks. These are mystical paths of growth; characters may dabble in them or follow them to mastery. Like core knacks, they may be developed multiple times, but odd-level knacks may only be developed five times each, once for every odd-numbered level of experience that a character has reached—hence the name.
As these knacks are the rarest talents, it may be difficult for a character to develop a new odd-level knack without finding and learning from an appropriate teacher.
Your will can turn back spirits, corpsefolk, and other spiritual beings.
You can banish nearby spiritual beings as an action, dealing one six-sided die roll of damage for each level you have developed this knack. The dice may be split between one or more targets, which you must declare before rolling.
An agonizing power that allows you to channel your own life essence into a bolt of pure energy.
As an action, you can channel your essence at a nearby target, harming it and yourself. You can roll as many six-sided dice as you have levels in this knack, inflicting damage equal to the result on the target. For each die you choose to roll, lose one health.
It whispered. You listened.
You have learned to speak the lies of Deceit. For each level you have developed this knack, you gain knowledge of that level of Deceit spells. These spells are listed within the chapter Magical Traditions (p. 65). You must develop at least one level of the Concentration knack in order to cast spells.
Fists of Will
Whether by the will of the gods, the guidance of the spirits, or the strength of your own soul, your fists are imbued with a supernatural energy.
You roll for damage when making an unarmed attack, rather than dealing a single point of damage. The type of die you roll depends on the number of times you have developed this knack: start with a four-sided die at the first level, and increase by two sides per level, up to a twelve-sided die the fifth time the knack is developed.
In your hands or paws course the will of the gods, mending that which is broken.
For each level you have developed this knack, you can heal six points of damage per day from either yourself or another character, by touch. These six-point increments of healing may be divided across multiple targets, actions, and scenes.
Your will is fortunate.
Once per day, you can re-roll a single die, taking the new result instead. Additional levels grant additional daily re-rolls, but you can never re-roll the same roll twice.
You sing with a most peculiar voice.
Each time you develop this knack, choose one first-level spell from any magical tradition, whether or not you have developed that tradition’s knack. Once per day, you can sing to cast this spell without the use of the Concentration knack. During an altercation, it takes two uninterrupted actions across two turns to cast a spell in this manner; if you suffer damage in between these two actions, the effect of the song is lost to distraction.
In service or in servitude, the spirits guide you.
You speak with the spirits and have been granted their guidance. For each level you have developed this knack, you gain knowledge of that level of Spiritism spells. These spells are listed within the chapter Magical Traditions. You must develop at least one level of the Concentration knack in order to cast spells.
You study the Essence of Existence.
You have learned to perform thaumaturgic transformations. Each time you develop this knack, you discover the next level of Thaumaturgy spells. These spells are listed within the chapter Magical Traditions. You must develop at least one level of the Concentration knack in order to cast spells.
The gods above are dead, but their will still lights this world—and your faith.
You work miracles. Each time you develop this knack, you learn to perform the next level of these wondrous spells. Theurgy spells are listed within the chapter Magical Traditions. You must develop at least one level of the Concentration knack in order to cast spells.