Reacting to Skills
The Persuasion skill represents a character being especially convincing in conversation. If you are conversing with someone and they flash the Persuasion Card at you, you must go along with what they say, within reasonable limits.
Persuasion attempts must be within reason: saying "I'm a friend of the innkeep and he asked me to fetch some stuff for him from the storeroom" is near the limit of the use of Persuasion. "Your lives are depressing. You should kill yourselves" or "I'm a nice guy. Give me all your money" are completely out of the question.
Characters with Stealth get a Stealth Card that bears a number equal to their level in the Stealth skill. The card is held up whenever the character does not want to be seen or heard (such as sneaking past some sentries or losing a pursuer). If the person is making a reasonable attempt to hide (e.g., hiding behind obstructions, staying in the shadows) and flashes their card at you so that you can see the number on the card, then compare the number on that card to your Awareness. If your foe's Stealth level is greater than your Awareness, then you must role-play that you did not see the character.
Stealth also grants the ability to pick pockets. A foe will pick your pocket by standing next to you, flashing the Stealth Card, and announcing which pocket or pouch is being picked. Again, if your foe's Stealth level exceeds your Awareness, then you will not notice the theft attempt and must hand over the contents of that pocket or pouch. However, each subsequent time that same foe attempts to pick your pocket at the same event, their effective level of Stealth drops by one. So the second time a foe tries to pick your pocket, the effective Stealth drops by one; the third time, effective Stealth drops by two, etc.
Stealth also grants the ability to sap. This is the ability to knock someone unconscious in a sneak attack. If someone comes up behind you and flashes the back of a Stealth Card in front of your face, you have been sapped. Each time the card crosses your eyes, it is considered another hit. You will immediately fall over unconscious for five minutes. Either a full helm (covering both head and neck) or magical protection is effective against sap hits. Because sapping represents a precision strike, any armor with less coverage is bypassed. While you can see someone fall down when they have been sapped, the sapper may hide behind their victim's body if they follow the other rules for use of Stealth to hide.
Status is represented physically with a purple card, upon which is written the type of Status. Characters with Social Distinction have special standing among the common folk, either through official position (e.g., knight, sheriff) or popular reputation. Characters with Prominence have a standing in high or "polite" society.
Once you are aware of someone's Status and that person flashes a Status Card at you, you should role-play accordingly, based on how your character reacts to persons in positions of authority or influence. However, Status does not explicitly grant a character the right to command or push others around simply by virtue of the Status skill!
Status does not necessarily equal reputation; just because you have Status does not mean that everyone may recognize your name or your face. When you use your Status Card, you should role-play an introduction so that the other person realizes why you have Status and understands your social standing or reputation. For example, a knight of the king has Status, but an innkeep may not recognize her on sight alone. But when she introduces herself as "Dame Gertrude, knight of the king," the innkeep will realize that she is deserving of respect and will react appropriately.
The authorities may give preferential treatment, within reason, to those with Status. In a civilian setting such as a tavern, priority goes to those with Prominence, then Social Distinction, then average characters, and then those with a Stigma. In a military setting, the order is Social Distinction, Prominence, average, then Stigma. Those with a Stigma may not take Status.
Status will not grant rights in obviously inapplicable locations. For example, some places may frown upon battlefield weapons such as battleaxes, even if you have the right to bear arms, and kings and dignitaries may request that no one come before them armed; knights of one kingdom may have no privileges in a hostile kingdom during war; someone with Social Distinction for being a courageous orc-slayer will be frowned upon by the orcs themselves; and no one may bear arms inside the mahiri Temple of Remembrance.
Also, if your character's behavior is inappropriate to your Status, the Status may be taken away. For instance, Prominence requires public respectability. Being found guilty of murder may result in revocation of Prominence.
A character with the Stigma disadvantage is someone who is disliked or hated by most characters. The GMs may point out before the event starts which characters have a Stigma.
You should react to characters with Stigma appropriately with disdain, disgust, fear, or wariness. (Remember, it's okay to do so; these players have chosen to take the disadvantage. If you donít react negatively, the disadvantage is useless!)