Know (Action)

From Action
Jump to navigation Jump to search
ActionT4 logo
Heroic Action Role-Play

I hate my interests. - Seymour in Ghost World

This is a generic skill for the character's scholastic ability and knowledge. You know who is who, who did what, and when. You know art, culture, and history as well as laws and customs - all from a theoretical point of view. You understand the human sciences and can make educated guesses even about fields you have no direct experience with, such as alien cultures. Know also covers medicine, tough it takes schticks or powers to do more than basic first aid.

Know covers non-technical subjects and sciences, see Create for the technical stuff.

Know defaults to Mind and an outcome matching this attribute on a stunt directed against Know will often result in a Setback.

Use in Action

You quickly pick up the lore of any region or juncture you pass through. You can perform research in depth, collecting information from libraries and by field study. You can hold lectures, debate with other scholars and write scientific books and penetrating news articles. Know is most often used to realize things about a person or setting, such as the weaknesses and strengths of creatures and objects. By pondering the intricacies of a problem, you can often come up with a good solution, giving a bonus to other tasks. Know is also the skill to analyze and mitigate powers, governing Dispel powers.


You become very knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects. Naturally, your skills and background will play a major part in deciding what you know, but even outside your field of expertise you often give loads of trivia.

Regardless of your Know skill, you can still use the knowledge elements of any other skills you have - this is not a part of the Know skill, but a replacement for it. If you have both Know and another relevant skill, you can roll for both.


You know other scholars, some of whom are allies or enemies form old debates. They might not like you, but they do respect you, and they are all very knowledgeable. You know people who have aided your field research. This includes practical experts in your field of study as well as people who can arrange transportation, hire crews, provide security, and other essentials. You have acted as an advisor or expert to lots of people, both bigwigs and little people.


You notice things that break cultural patterns; odd art, behavior, words, attire. This applies especially to text, science, and lore. You can see what belongs and what does not. When you add schticks that lets you perform in other areas, such as medicine, you gain an experts eye in those fields as well.


Know is linked to the forms of Death and Magic.


Analyze Weakness

Limit Break

Make a Know roll against the target's Dodge or Know. On a success you identify what type of creature this is and gain an Advantage against that opponent. If the target has any hidden strengths or weaknesses relevant to the encounter, you realize what origin/theme/form they are on and learn the details of one such power. If you score an Outcome matching the target's Reflexes, you either analyze all special weaknesses or defenses he has, specifically all their Dodge powers and schticks. If you already know all the creature's combat-relevant abilities, you may instead gain other kinds of secrets, as determined by the GM. If you have already completely analyzed the creature, you instead gain an additional Advantage.


Limit Break

A debate is a scientific or theological discussion about points of fact and theory - not a piece of oratory. It only works if both sides are willing to discuss the issue in a rational manner. But it is also very persuasive - convincing someone in a debate can often change their entire world-view, as well as that of your audience.

A debate is run in rounds of approximately 15 minutes. Generally a debate is 1-2 hours long. To successfully debate, you need to beat your opponent in an opposed Know roll. An outcome equal to your opponent's Mind counts as two successes. The side with the most successes at the end wins the debate, but with no major repercussions. If you manage to score successes equal to a listener's Mind you have convinced either him or the audience you are right. If the opponent scored less than half as many successes as you did in the debate, the result is a lasting one and the listener is permanently swayed; otherwise it is merely a temporary conviction, maybe the permanent ceding of some minor point.

If either side is "in the right" - that is has significantly more proof than the opposition - they get a bonus of +3 or even +5 on their debate rolls.

First Aid

Basic Action

You can stabilize a Mortal Wounded character you touch. This takes a Know roll against the damage value of the attack that caused the condition (not the damage inflicted), and must be done soon; in an action scene you can try this again and again, but outside of combat you only get one attempt per victim you try to help. It reduces the lasting effect of such damage, saving lives and helping future recovery.

A creature that has been saved by First Aid still suffers the effect of the Damage Setback for the rest of the session. After that, the creature is generally ok unless the plot dictates otherwise.

A hospital emergency ward is automatically successful at a First Aid check if the patient is brought in in time - unless there is a plot reason not to.



Action does not normally concern itself with things like literacy and knowledge of languages, but if it matters or a player wants to make a statement about languages, a character knows their native tongue plus one additional language for each point of Know over 8.


Basic Action

You can make a focused attempt to remember something out of your background and education, such as a particular name, date, or simple fact. The difficulty depends on the obscurity of the fact and how it relates to your background and experiences.

Roll Knowledge
3 Common knowledge
6 Trivia
9 Unusual or learned subject
12 Specialized knowledge
15 Unpublished lore
18 Unknown lore

A success gives you general information on the subject and answers most immediate questions. If you get an Outcome of 5, you get more detailed information and background. An Outcome of 10 gives exhaustive knowledge and a realization of what part of the lore is relevant to the situation at hand.

You get only one chance per scene at recalling something with Lore; if you do not remember it at once, you will have to use Research or wait until later. This is similar to, and in addition to, any Knowledge Element rolls your skills may entitle you to do - you can do one Lore and one Knowledge Element check for each topic, but the difficulty might well be different depending on how scholarly the information is.

Mental Push

Trigger Action (Combo)

You can use this stunt to focus in order to function at a higher Mind rating for one action. This is useful with a lot of powers whose effect derives from Mind. This works only for effects whose effectiveness is solely determined by Mind. You cannot do this for a power where the Outcome is directly added to Mind to derive an effect, such as most attacks.

An illustrative example is the Telekinesis power. The amount you lift depends on a skill roll and cannot be pushed, but the speed at which you move it is determined solely by Mind and can thus be pushed.

This is a trigger action triggered by whatever action you needed greater mental power for. Make a Know roll against your own Mind; for every 3 points you score on this roll, your effective Mind is increased by one, with a minimum of +1 for a successful roll. An Outcome of 1-5 allows +1 Mind, 6+ allows +2 Mind, 9+ allows +3, 12+ allows +4 and so on.

Refute Action

Limit Break

So, if they fire their weapons in there, won't they rupture the cooling system? - Ripley, Aliens (1986). A scientific theory can never be verified; it only stands until refuted. You can refute what another is trying to do, and why it cannot succeed as well as they think. Refute Action cannot hinder everyday actions such as walking or actions the targets have already undertaken this scene. But if the situation is new or has changed or are somehow extraordinary, Refute Action can work. Propose an action and why it would not work and make an opposed Know roll against the highest Know among the opposition. On a success, you add an additional hazard to the situation. Any creature that fails at the specified action suffers a Setback.


Limit Break

You can find information in reference books; from small handbooks like a travel guide or Woodchuck guide to whole libraries. Make a Know roll to find the actual facts you seek; the difficulty is generally the same as Lore. Books and libraries are limited mainly in the number of research attempts you can make in them; a small reference work is exhausted after one attempt, the congressional library or internet is good for years of research on almost any subject.

Certain libraries are especially good in some fields, and make research in these fields easier. Big libraries give this bonus in many fields, but really esoteric information might require looking in out-of-the way repositories of knowledge. Research in such a library is Confident. This never applies to the internet.

Sage Advise

Trigger Action

You aid a friend in performing an action. It doesn't matter if you know the skill that would normally be used. You can use the bonus yourself, or give others advice (and the bonus). This works as an Assist Action, except that you always make a Confident Roll Know roll, regardless of what skill is involved. When assisting someone of the same or lower skill, you can forgo the die roll for speed.

Seal Power


This stunt allows you to capture power-users, preventing them from using their powers. The result is that you can actually keep a powered character as a prisoner instead of having to kill them.

All Traditions have weaknesses and flaws that can be used to suppress power use. But beside those limitations severe enough to become Methods or Power Loss Limitations, all traditions also include smaller flaws, not significant enough to count as one of the above, but which can still be used to temporarily suppress power use. Exactly how this is done depends on the situation, tradition, and the gamemaster's whim.

Make an opposed Know roll against the target to see if the method you are trying works. If you succeed, the target suffers from Power Loss. This roll is modified depending on how well you know the target's powers and tradition.

Condition Modifier
Unknown tradition -5
Strange or foreign tradition you have limited experience with -2
Common tradition +0
Well-known tradition +2
You have successfully power-suppressed this individual before +5

This kind of restraint involves an object; a seal, talisman, plug, or other inhibitor placed on the target. This seal is fairly easy to remove, which means the target must generally be restrained or kept under watch to make sure the seal is not broken.


Limit Break

You search an area (crime scene, fight scene, hall, apartment), looking for hidden dangers and clues. You automatically find all things a normal perception element check can find - anyone simply using Sneak, normal concealed objects and doors, and other things that could be found with a quick scan are obvious to a Search. You can also find hidden clues, deduce what happened in the area recently, and find carefully hidden devices such as advanced traps and secret doors with a successful Know check.

Thing to notice Difficulty
Carefully hidden device or door. Create skill of the builder.
Find physical clues, hidden notes and such. 5
Reconstruct events at a fight or crime scene by physical evidence. 10
Recognize people you know of by physical evidence. 15
Identify people you do not know by physical evidence. 20

Spurious Logic


You can create logical conundrums; tricks that can be simple for normal common sense to see through, but which are at least superficially logical and can fool logical automatons and others lacking common sense. In this way, you can bluff anyone who is immune or resistant to normal Charm, using your Know skill as tough it was Charm. You cannot bluff ordinary people this way, only those with special resistances such as Automatons or those with Logical Detachment.