Skills & Techniques by: Forged Chaos


by Forged Chaos

ToA will offer a skill system without classes. You will simply gain mastery of the skills that you practice.

Each skill will have one or more techniques that you can better as your skill increases. Techniques will be a way in which your character can specialize within their skill. For example the smithing skill will have forming, tempering and balancing techniques. A smith that focus on bettering herself in tempering will craft items that are far more durable than smiths without the tempering technique.

Skill list

by Ildefonse

Updated on January 16th 2013; (35 skills now confirmed).
Updated on February 8th 2013; (more skills confirmed in podcast 1 and 2).
Updated on February 12th 2013; (more skills confirmed in podcast 3).
Updated on February 19th 2013; (healing skills confirmed, total amount of skills technically up to 40).
Updated on Feburary 25th 2013; (more skills hinted at in podcast 4)

Updated on May 3rd 2013; (botany & alchemy confirmed by Brax in IRC)

The following is a list of skills that ToA will feature. Green are skills that have either been confirmed, indirectly implied, or are very probably in the game based on other information. Red are skills that will not be in the game. The rest is a guess based on other similar games.

As of February 21st 2013, a total of 40 skills have been confirmed to be in the game.

Resource Gathering

  • Fishing
  • Lumberjacking
  • Mining
  • Botany
  • Growing plants
  • Skinning
  • Farming (not an actual skill, but comprised of animal tending and growing plants)


  • Alchemy
  • Blacksmithing
  • Bowcraft & Fletching
  • Carpentry
  • Masonry
  • Cartography (not in the game at launch)
  • Cooking
  • Tailoring (implied by scissors)
  • Leatherworking
  • Tinkering
  • Engineering


  • Archery / Crossbows (possibly split?)
  • Parrying
  • Swordsmanship
  • Axes
  • Maces
  • Pole arms
  • Daggers
  • Throwing weapons
  • Siege weapons
  • Bare handed
  • Magic (this will be a system of its own)


  • Field Dressing (bandaging)
  • Healing organ wounds
  • Healing flesh wounds
  • Healing bone wounds
  • Healing infections


  • Lock picking
  • Trap setting
  • Snooping
  • Stealing
  • Stealth (not included as an actual skill)
  • Tracking
  • Interrogation
  • Disguise


  • Animal Taming
  • Herding / animal tending
  • Veterinary


  • Human language
  • Raknar language


  • Musicianship
  • Navigation
  • Swimming


Do NPC's get better at skills?

Yes, they get better at their skills by use, just like PCs.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will items have minimum skill point requirements before I can even attempt to craft it?

No. Even the newest of crafters can have a chance to make an item, albeit near impossible. That doesn't take techniques into play as you must have points in your desired technique(s) before you can apply them throughout the creation process.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can I discover an innovation even as a new character?

Yes. Innovations will have certain requirements on them, such as minimum/maximum skill level(s), allowed race (once new races are introduced), etc.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Is the skill system class based?

ToA does not have a class system. Character development is skill-based, which means that any character can develop any combination of skills that they see fit.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

How do I gain skill?

You gain skill by practicing the skill you wish to be better in. If you want to be a better swordsman, you need to go out and fight with a sword. Want to be a better smith?Spend some time at a forge crafting various smithing items.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Can I learn any skill?

Yes. You can learn and gain in any skill.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Do skills decay over time?

No. Skill points you earn are permanent.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

Will our skills be displayed as points?

No, you will not see skill points. Instead you will be given different titles as you gain in skill along with a progress bar showing how far you've progressed within the current title.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

What are techniques?

Techniques are different aspects of a skill. For example the smithing skill will have forming, tempering and balancing techniques. A smith that focus on bettering herself in tempering will craft items that are far more durable than smiths without the tempering technique.

You will receive a technique point every so often as you gain in a skill. You may place these technique points in any technique of the skill you gained in.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

How many skills will ToA feature?

There are currently 32 skills slated for development.

Source: Official FAQ, 15-09-2012

We have roughly 35 skills right now, that's up from 32 that I've posted on the website. Your standard stuff. There's combat skills, general skills and crafting skills. Magic is not a skill itself. You learn it much like the rest of the skills, by use, but it runs under its own system.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

I guess technically we now are looking at about 40 skills. You'll have the Field Dressing skill for recovering lost hit points and four skills, one for each of the wound types. This didn't add any time to development, we just decided to branch healing out from a single skill. It's too important to leave be as just one skill.

Source: Forums (Brax), 20-02-2013

Will there be a cartography skill available at launch?

It's been removed though we'll be looking at proper ways to introduce it later. For clarity, the world map will be a very generic look of the world. Think of a parchment with a hand drawn image of the world on it. Not many (if any) details of the terrain, points of interest, etc.

Source: Forums (Brax), 16-09-2012

The fact that we don't see skill points but rather earn titles, I think thats pretty darn awesome.

I've never cared for the min/maxing other games allow and displaying numbers encourages just that.

"Ooo! I hate the look of my weapon but it gives me 0.0004 more DPS!"

Source: Forums (Brax), 16-09-2012

Is there going to be a skill cap or limit to how many skills we can learn?

Each skill will have a hard-coded cap. The skill system allows rate of gain based on two main algorithms: the amount of skill you have in the skill you're attempting to gain in and the amount of overall skill you have. You'll never hit a stone wall in being able to gain (other than above mentioned hard-coded cap per skill) but your rate of gain will slow dramatically as you spread yourself out over numerous skills.

Source: Forums (Brax), 18-09-2012

Actually we're reevaluating the penalty for diversifying for some of the reasons you just hit on.

Source: Forums (Brax), 28-01-2013

Will toxins be available, perhaps as a trade skill?

If not at launch, there will always be innovations you can unlock.

Source: Forums (Varl), 02-10-2012

Is it safe to assume the builders' way to skill up is also by working on construction?

Yes, using a skill is the only way to gain it.

Source: Forums (Brax), 08-10-2012

I would further assume, more complicated (higher tier) structures will requires builders of higher skills (at least in some portion of the contrcution).


Source: Forums (Brax), 08-10-2012

Will each race have their own language? Are languages skills?

Yea, each race will have their own language. Each language will be its own skill.

Also, don't forget NPCs might not know multiple languages. What if half your human NPC guards don't speak arrwic and your PC captain happens to be an arrwic that doesn't speak human?

Source: Forums (Brax), 19-10-2012

Will it be easy for others to obtain innovations via interrogation?

Interrogation itself is a skill where only the highly skilled can extract such sensitive information.

Source: Forums (Brax), 12-12-2012

Does this mean that a highly skilled Interrogator is really an information broker and will more than likely not have the skills to use the information they get?

Actually, if you think about it, a highly skilled interrogator is kinda like an in-game hacker. He acquires information that he probably shouldn't be able to get, but can, and uses it however he wishes ("to hack sites or to help fight against hackers", to extend the analogy).

Source: Forums (Varl), 12-12-2012

If a settlement put all its innovations into a single character, one kidnapping and interrogation would reveal or could reveal all of your technology to an enemy...

Is this a bad thing? Rhetorical question. The answer is no.

You don't get to pick who initially learns an innovation so you can't really "put" your innovations into one character. Plus innovations are going to be so diverse that you'd need a character highly skilled in every skill to be able to execute all those innovations.

Source: Forums (Brax), 25-12-2012

Can we pass on innovations, even if we lack the skill?

No need to be elusive about this. If you have an innovation, you can pass it on, regardless if you have the skill to practice it or not. This may of course change as we continue with development but that's how it stands for now.

Source: Forums (Brax), 26-12-2012

Is interrogation a criminal act?

Yes, interrogating someone is 100% illegal.

Source: Forums (Brax), 29-12-2012

Could we keep knocking each other unconscious to train the interrogation skill?

No, there will be no grinding of the interrogation skill. We've thought of that a long time ago and have methods to stop it dead in its tracks. All told, interrogation will be a skill that takes a very long time to build and only the masters will be able to extract sensitive info such as innovations from others. Even so, it's not a given that your mark will give up his/her info. Lots of things at play such as their fortitude, the interrogation method used, etc.

Source: Forums (Brax), 29-12-2012

I'm not 100% sure if they will classify magic as a skill. Possible the whole magic system will be a system on it's own.

You're correct - it's not associated with the skill system at all.

Source: Forums (Brax), 05-01-2013

On archery and accuracy

Psi Kahn: "Yes, let's not forget that since this is a game, we're one level removed from actual perception of space. We're going on what the game gives us, and I think the game needs to give us a little extra to make up for that disconnect. That said, a reticule need not be particularly precise. In fact it could be quite large for an inexperienced bowman, perhaps growing smaller with skill. In addition to some of the suggestions Logikless gave above, I think it's perfectly reasonable that firing accuracy should not be guarenteed for lower-level archers either. You might have someone perfectly lined up in your target, but there's going to be some variance in exactly how the shot goes off and where it lands. Skill will decrease that variance."

That's pretty much how it'll work. A character new to archery will have a very large aiming area and with each shot the arrow could be headed towards any portion of that area. As you get more skilled, that area gets smaller and smaller, allowing you the player to be more precise with your shots.

Oh and arrows can't separate friend from foe so I'd advise against firing into melee.

Source: Forums (Brax), 08-01-2013

Is it really possible to have a skill that no other player has?

Schrewd: "Yes totally possible, its called Innovations, once you discover it, that innovation will be removed from the list of available innovations other characters could learn. So you'll be the only one who knows that skill. Then its up to you if want to share it with other players or not."

...or, potentially have it taken from your character via Interrogation. The part I like the most is, even the player that takes an innovation away from me via interrogation isn't unique (I still know it), so if I intended to share my innovation with everyone anyway, he merely got it sooner than everyone else. The only drawback is if I intended to never share my innovation with anyone. I just love the idea of it, though; players having all the control over the propagation of an innovation. :D

Source: Forums (Varl), 08-01-2013

Will your inventory be visible to the outdoor world or exposed to other players in any way?

If you mean that when you equip a backpack it will be shown to the world, the answer right now to that is no. But if you mean can other people see into your inventory, then yes, via skill.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Will your inventory influence your ability to sneak, run or jump?

Yes, through encumberance. Your encumberance will impact a lot of your actionable abilities.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Do you have any crafting skill sets like cooking, smithing, that require real world skills, like knowing how to cook?

No, we're not going to expect you to know how to sword fight in order to sword fight in ToA.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

How do you plan on implementing swimming? Will it be a skill you have to learn? And how would you go about learning how to swim?

You'll learn how to swim by swimming, just like all of our other skills. You'll jump in the water and stay really close to where you can at least touch bottom if you get in trouble. So yes, swimming will be a skill. And this goes back to the "less is more" philosophy. Other games, everybody can swim. It's a given. Think of the opportunities that they're missing with that. You're running from bandits, and you come across a river. And you jump right into the river and swim across, because you have swimming. The bandits, half of them don't. So all of a sudden you lose half of the people that are chasing you, because they can't swim. And either they drown, or they know it and they stop. So you get to use the terrain as your friend or your foe. But when you have everybody that can swim automatically, you lose that. And I think that's sad.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Are there any plans to implement throwing weaponry?

Absolutely we're going to have throwing weapons. They're their own skill.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Will there be animal taming?

Yes, you'll be able to own and tame animals.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

Will being a priest-like character with healing be possible?

Healing, yes. Priest, no. We've cut the religion system for launch, but we certainly want to bring that back at some point. But yes, you will be able to heal. Not through magics, it will be through salves and skill.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

What would be the level cap?

First of all, we don't have levels. We have skills. We're not going to tell you the number of the skill that you're on. We're completely anti min-maxer. You will be given a title, like "Apprentice", "Journeyman", "Expert", that sort of thing, and you'll have a progress bar under each title showing you how close you are to the next title. There is technically a cap for every skill, but again, we're not giving you the numbers, we're not going to tell you what that cap is. You'll know it when you reach that title. That said, good luck getting there. The cap is really high, and progression slows down a lot before you get there.

Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013

When I start out as an engineer, will I be able to try to make all available blueprints or only the simple ones?

It's like the rest of our crafting system - you can try to draft up the most complex blueprint available but you're going to fail 999 times out of 1000.

Source: Forums (Brax), 26-02-2013

Are building skills limited to building structures?

Nah. Most of the builder type skills can also build non-structure items like furniture, tools, etc.

Source: Forums (Brax), 26-02-2013

How will skill level affect the quality of structures?

Each building task will give the structure a set amount of minimum hit points. If the skill check at the building task fails, the structure receives nothing and the build marker remains for the task to be attempted again. If the skill succeeds, an amount of hit points will be applied to the structure based on the amount of success.

In other words Andy the apprentice fails his skill check at a carpentry build marker. Nothing is added to the structures hit points and the build marker remains for another attempt. If he tries again and barely succeeds, he will have added 100 hp to the structure. Marvin the master comes along and succeeds wildly at his carpentry build marker adding 150 hp to the structure.

All numbers are for the sake of example only.

Source: Forums (Brax), 27-02-2013

Can you tell us a little about what classes or skills players will have in the game?

ToA is strictly skill based, so you’ll have a lot of latitude in making your character unique.  We currently have 35 skills slated for launch.  The majority of skills will have techniques, meaning that in addition to getting better at a skill by practicing it, you will also be able to enhance a particular aspect of that skill for added specialization.

An example would be the swords skill.  Gaining in swords itself will improve your aim and allow you to do more damage.  A technique of swords would be disarm. The better at disarm you are, the better chance you have at ... you guessed it ... disarming your opponent with each strike.

Source: (Brax), 27-02-2013

Is there going to be a specific stealth skill?

What stealth skills are we talking about here? Have I made specific mention of a stealth skill and don't remember doing so?

Source: Forums (Brax), 16-03-2013

About combat and techniques

Most techniques, especially combat oriented ones, will be behind the scenes abilities and bonuses. Combat is fast paced enough and your focus will need to be on your positioning, orientation, timing, and the aiming of your swings and blocks. Having you mash keys on top of all that would be over-the-top for the design I'm aiming for.

Source: Forums (Brax), 10-04-2013

Generalist vs. specialist

Regarding the generalist vs specialist skillsets - they will both have pros and cons in ToA just as in a lot of other games. Innovations come to mind. You might need to be incredibly highly skilled in swords before you get a chance to receive innovation X. On the other hand, the only way to get a chance at innovation Y is to be of average skilled in swords and skinning (or better), and highly skilled in botany.

Source: Forums (Brax), 10-04-2013

The End