Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The demolitions skill provides a 3 increased force with planted bombs. However, the SRC indicates that most bombs:

"Such bombs are inevitably powerful enough that characters in close proximity to them when they detonate have very little chance of survival. "

Given that the engineering "breaking things" doesn't refer to the force of a bomb, why should an engineer take demolitions?

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Simple: because you want the GM to have the bad guys have stuff armored enough to require your use of Demolitions to place the charges right for that extra damage.

Which probably means some form of mad scientist villains.

To be clear - I'm not trying to be snarky. Your skill choices in SOTC are cues to the GM. A SOTC GM who isn't challenging the key skills, or is avoiding allowing opportunities for them to matter, isn't really grasping the nature of the intended narrative mode of SOTC. Characters are supposed to be pulp Heroes, so it's their areas of skill that should be challenged most.

So, if you take pilot, and the GM makes certain you never get near a plane, he's already rejected your concept and not been kind enough to tell you.

Same for a dem-tech and things to blow up.

Further, as Tetra noted in the comments, your skill choices dictate how something gets narrated. Using Engineering to take down a bridge is different than using Demolitions or artillery.

share|improve this answer
+1 for Your skill choices in SOTC are cues to the GM. – SnakeDr68 Jan 15 '12 at 0:54
I very much agree that they are partly cues for the GM, but they are also a good place for you as a player to narrate things differently. If your trying to break the deathstar, doing it with engineering might work sure... but demolitions should have an extremely different narration, you aren't just trying to break it with demolitions – Tetra Jan 19 '12 at 8:20
@Tetra Excellent point! – aramis Jan 19 '12 at 19:07
Being able to point to relevant aspects, skills and stunts should also give your GM more reasons to allow you to do things. If it's a borderline decision whether you should be able to blow that thing up, it might persuade them if you can point to your demolitions skill and say "I'm pretty good at finding the weak points". – Aether Jan 20 '12 at 9:51
Something you didn't point out is that besides simple destruction of things, it is also a very useful "dynamic entry" skill into even otherwise secured places. Doorways and windows tend to be guarded, walls less so. – Ashen Jan 22 '12 at 2:49

Engineering: Breaking Things

…Given time and tools, an engineer can topple virtually any building or structure. …

I guess carefully placed big bombs make a huge difference in the time involved in destroying a building.

To be clear, taking down a structure with engineering is a very long process. With demolitions, preparation takes some time but the actual taking-down is very, very quick.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.