On page 36, the following is presented:

Each Species has a variety of Skills and Talents to choose from. You may choose 3 Skills to gain 5 Advances each, and 3 Skills to gain 3 Advances each. If a Talent listing presents a choice, you select one Talent from the choices given. Any Random Talents are determined by the Random Talent table. If you roll a Talent you already have, you may reroll. Note: All Characters are assumed to be fluent in Reikspiel,, the language of the Empire, and do not need to take it as a Skill. For more on this, see page 124

I'm mostly interested in the parsing of the first part, Skills. The Talents part I get.

For Human (Reiklander): there are 12 skills listed:

  1. Animal Care*
  2. Charm
  3. Cool
  4. Evaluate*
  5. Gossip
  6. Haggle
  7. Language (Bretonnian)*
  8. Language (Wastelander)*
  9. Leadership
  10. Lore (Reikland)*
  11. Melee (Basic)
  12. Ranged (Bow)*

* italics notes Advanced Skills

Is this to be read as "Humans (Reiklander) ...":

  1. Choose Six (6) and advance three (3) +5 and three (3) +3, or
  2. Have all 12 and advance only six (6) (as directed)

The co-players and I been debating this. I read it as 1) "pick six of the 12 and advance as directed." I base that on the context clue regarding languages. All characters are assumed to be fluent in Reiklander. Why would my character, by being a human from the Reikland, also be fluent in Bretonnian and Wastelander? Seems ... odd.

Maybe that's my decades of WFRP 1e and 2e gaming coming through. I'll add that knowing the list includes Advanced Skills is an additional context clue, but the fact remains, the text could be read both ways.


See accepted answer.


1 Answer 1


Gaining Skills and Advancements

"Getting" a skill just means you have advanced it. As soon as you put 1 advance in, you have it. If you have no advances in it, you don't have it. For basic skills this doesn't matter, but advanced skills require at least 1 advance.

The Skills and Talents section on page 35 explains it this way:

When you learn a skill, note down the number of Advances you gain in the Advances box of the skill.

It's not as explicit as my brain would like, but that's where the idea of gaining and advancing skills is defined. The skills you have are the skills with advances. No advance? You don't have that skill. They mean the same thing.

Species Skills

In the case of species skills, you:

  • Choose any 3 skills from the list of species skills. Advance them 5.
  • Choose 3 other skills from the species skills. Advance them 3.

If it makes sense in your mind to call this "gaining 6 skills", that's probably harmless. Gaining the skill is the result of advancing it, so it's a bit more direct to say you advanced the skill.

As far as your human character, you are correct. You do not automatically get to advance Language (Bretonnian) and Language(Wastelander). They are on the list of skills you may spend your species advances on. Not all humans speak Wastelander/Bretonnian, but you sure can.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll likely accept this but want to proof my understanding. Using the Species Skills listed. The skill mechanics of 4e are essentially the same as 2e. Basic skills can be tested against the Attribute. Advanced skills must be "taken" (have ranks, &tc.). The semantics on the use of "getting" is contextual. "Earning", "Having", "Taken" all the same. \$\endgroup\$
    – javafueled
    Jan 21 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ The listed skills for Human are: Animal Care*, Charm, Cool, Evaluate*, Gossip, Haggle, Language (Bretonnian)*, Language (Wastelander)*, Leadership, Lore (Reikland)*, Melee (Basic), Ranged (Bow)*, where '*' denotes and Advanced Skill which must be taken (have ranks, &tc.) to be used. Answer accepted. I'll likely further expand my question with specifics to help ground the accepted answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – javafueled
    Jan 21 at 14:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @javafueled You are right. I can be more clear in my writing. I think a clearer answer would be that "having" a skill means that you have advanced it. So anything you put an advance in, you have. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21 at 14:25

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