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The Cultures skill replaces Knowledge (bureaucracy, streetwise).
Culture represents the knowledge of cultures and subcultures, including idioms, body language, and jargon. It is the result of life experience, or rarely specialized schooling such as that given to spies. If you have a cultures specialization that covers the culture you are interacting with, know the language and dress properly, you can interact with members of that culture as if one of their own. This doesn't usually matter much in a cosmopolitan metropolis, but in small, insular, and/or beleaguered cultures, the difference in treatment for insiders and outsiders can be enormous.
It is often neccessary to have multiple overlapping specialites for best results; this is always the GM's call.
Without any applicable specialization at all (i.e. when effectively unskilled), you will always stand out as an outsider. At best, you will be treated as a tourist.
- Examples of general cultures: French, Italian, Japanese, bureacracy.
- Example of somewhat more specific specialties: police, mafia, sf-fandom.
- Examples of really specific specialties: trekkies, camorra.
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