Skills in Lazuur Avatars
As mentioned in the introduction to the Lazuur Avatars system, the performance of most of your character’s actions will governed by Success, Opposed, or Extended Tests. Nearly all of these will be the accumulation of an Active Skill like Influence: Negotiate, its linked Attribute Charisma and various modifiers like synergy when being assisted, penalties when wounded, etc.
Note that the Linked Attribute for each Active Skill is the Attribute which is most commonly used. For example, if a character wanted to attempt to walk along a narrow ledge, do a tumble-roll, or something of that nature, the GM would ask the player to roll the character’s Athletics: Acrobatics and it would be linked to Agility. However, when a roll calls for maintaining one’s footing during a strong earthquake, the GM may request an Athletics: Acrobatics + Reaction roll instead. Don’t hesitate to recommend an appropriate Active Skill and Linked Attribute for something your character wishes to try. Also note in the example below that while the Athletics Active Skill is usually linked to Strength, ‘Acrobatics [A]’ signifies that this specific Skill usage is usually linked to Agility; Ride is usually linked to Reaction.
Specialization & Expertise
If a character has at least 3 ranks in a specific Active Skill, they can purchase a Specialization in one of the listed specific Skill uses for 5 XP. Doing so gives the character an additional +2 die bonus on Tests involving that particular use of the Skill, even when a different Linked Attribute is being used. Though not expensive compared to advancing the Skill ranks directly (new rank x 5 XP, or costing 25 XP to advance from rank 4 to 5), developing a Specialization usually takes a lot of time and effort — one month which may be shortened if the character is using the skill on a daily basis.
Once an Active Skill with a Specialization has reached 5 or more ranks (not 3 ranks plus the +2 bonus), the character can spend another 5 XP (and likely around two months) to convert it into an Expertise, giving a +3 die bonus thereafter (in the example below, you can see that the +2 from Sneak specialization was crossed out once the +3 Expertise was purchased). Within each Active Skill, you can never have more than two Specializations, only one of which can be improved into an Expertise. At character creation, you may only use the starting XP to purchase a single Specialization per Active Skill unless the GM indicates that it’s an advanced character.
Here’s an example of an experienced scout as the Physical Active Skills would appear on a character sheet. The character has 4 ranks in Athletics and Strength 3. The Sprint Specialization was purchased (circled). For the Stealth Active Skill, Specializations have been purchased in both Sneak and Shadow, and an Expertise in Sneak has also been achieved. In this situation, the character will not be able to purchase additional Specializations or Expertises within Stealth. To further improve, ranks in the Stealth Active Skill can be bought up to the maximum of 9 (10 with the Aptitude Edge).