Art

Art
All artistic ability, from painting to dance to music,
falls under Art, including knowledge, composition, and
performance. Art also covers public speaking and the
ability to sway a crowd. Characters with high Art include
artists (obviously), playwrights, and aristocrats.
Art is usually used in one of three ways: as a
knowledge skill, for information about art, artists, and the
artistic process; as a craft skill, to create a work of art; or as
a social skill, to entertain.
Trappings
Knowledge
As a knowledge skill, Art is identical to Academics, though
the fields it applies to are more limited and more focussed.
A few shifts on an Art roll for an art-related question
provides more information than the same shifts obtained
via Academics.
Craft
Creating Art is fairly straightforward: characters can create
art of any type of a quality equal to their skill without
rolling. Only use dice if the character’s attempting a
specific effect or taking a risk. Any Mediocre (0) or better
art can be displayed without embarrassment.
Sometimes creations must be improvised, fast
and furious: this takes a few minutes, and the character
makes a roll to create the piece, whose quality is equal to
the roll. If it’s possible to spend extra time, the artist can
get a +1 bonus per step on the Time Increments Table (to
a maximum bonus of +4).
Conversely, if speed is more important than
quality, shifts can be spent to reduce the time required by
one step per shift, for those times when you absolutely,
positively have to pull a poem out of thin airright now.
Create Magical Inscription
Power-using characters can use Art to inscribe scrolls,
glyphs, or magical sigils: see page 148 for details.
Communication
While Academics covers the technical building blocks
of communication, language, grammar and the like, Art
covers expression of ideas and means of communication,
like writing. These aren’t “pure” art forms, however,
and a character’s other skills play a role, so a character’s
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writing is usually modified by his Academics. There are
exceptions, such as dry, scholarly documents (which use
pure Academics) and poetry (which uses just Art).
Public speaking is similar, but as it’s more tied to
a speaker’s charisma and presence, Art modifies whatever
skill (Rapport, Intimidate, Leadership or Deceit) the
character is using. There must be a creative element to the
communication to justify bringing Art into play.
Performance
When a group is exposed to an artist’s work, as in a
performance or show, the scene may gain an aspect
appropriate to the performance for its duration. This
is effectively a declaration by the artist, but limited to
declaring mood and emotional impact, rather than
specifics. Art inspires passion in a broad sense: it can make
someone feel hopeful, but not determine what he’ll feel
hopeful about. Any temporary aspects that result, either
from treating the performance as a manoeuvre, or as an
attack causing consequences, are also broad and nonspecific. “Hopeful” is good, but “Hopeful that the harvest
will be large” isn’t.
There is an exception: a performance with a clear target
(like a satire) may plant fairly specific opinions of that
target. Treat it as an attack opposed by the Contacting skill
of the target being satirized, approximating the target’s
reputation and ability to mitigate the satire’s impact.
An aspect put on a scene using Art describes its
general mood, important for more than just invocations
and compels: a “Sombre” mood is likely to affect the
behaviour of extras and minions; a scene with a “Dark”
aspect would make objects hard to see.
Aspects like this offer opportunities for compels
and other complications: if a player fails to act in accordance
with a “Sombre” mood in a room, others may respond
badly, rather like someone using a cell phone during
a funeral. This is an instance when you could compel a
character using a scene aspect instead of a character aspect.
Not every performance puts an aspect on a scene.
First, the artist describes what aspect he’s trying to put on
the scene and how he’s going to do it. The difficulty for an
adequate performance (one that’s acceptable, but doesn’t
have a significant impact on the audience) is Mediocre
(
0), but the difficulty for a performance good enough to
shape the mood starts at Fair (2). Difficulties are modified
by other factors, as shown on the Performance Difficulty
Table below.
Forgery
Art excels at making fakes, whether “lost” cantatas,
historical records, or falsified documents. The difficulty
depends on the complexity of the thing being duplicated:
Mediocre (
0) for a short letter or melody; Good (3) for
a painting or long essay; Superb (
5) for a well-known
artwork. Having the original on hand reduces the difficulty
by -1. Investigation (modified by Art, if appropriate) can
detect a forgery, opposed by the effect number of the Art
roll used to create it.
Stunts
Appreciation
The Artist’s Eye (Art)
The artist constantly examines the world for the creative
hand at work. He recognizes the “signatures” of other
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individuals in their works, even in endeavours which
have nothing to do with art, ascertaining common traits,
themes, and behaviours. Characters with this stunt may
use Art instead of the usual skill to try and determine the
creator of a thing; if the character has encountered several
creations by the same person, he can confirm a common
source. The character can also connect the artist’s metaphor
– his work – with the artist himself: when encountering
any artwork, the character can roll Art to gain insight into
the artist, as if he were using the Empathy skill on the artist
himself (resisted by the usual skills). It allows a character to
make assessments against the target in absentia.
This stunt may only be used once per piece of art.
Creation
Virtuoso (Art)
The character is master of an art form – painting,
composition, singing, conducting, playing music, etc –
and is a widely-recognized virtuoso. Even if his skill level
isn’t high, he’s on the list of the land’s finest artists – just
not necessarily at the top of it. The character receives a 1
knowledge bonus in his art form, and may pick a specialty
(an instrument, school of painting, etc) in which he gets
a +1 skill bonus. The virtuoso can produce artworks one
time increment faster than usual.
Moving Performance (Art)
Requires Virtuoso
Whenever the artist uses Art to create a scene aspect, it
persists into any subsequent scenes involving the audience,
up to a day from the end of the performance. This essentially
moves the aspect from a scene to the story itself, persisting
across many scenes and many audience members.
Persona
Razor Tongue (Art)
The character knows how to craft the most exquisite
insults, and automatically complements social skills used
this way with his Art skill. The stunt grants an additional
+1 bonus when using Intimidation to get a rise out of
someone, regardless of Art skill: for example, a character
with Good (
3) Art, Fair (2) Intimidation, and this stunt
has an effective Intimidation of Great (
4) when trying to
get a rise out of someone.
Poison Words (Art)
Requires Razor Tongue
The character’s profound satirical skill takes the whole
audience with him. The artist chooses a target (not
necessarily in the audience, although it should be familiar
to them). Normally, aspects resulting from performances
aren’t specific: with this stunt, the player can actually
specify a target for any scene aspect he creates. So, while an
artist can usually only add a “Hate” aspect to a scene, one
with this stunt can specify “Hate Lord Octavian.”
Stage Presence (Art)
Requires Virtuoso
The character’s artistic works can’t be ignored. The
character halves (round down) any difficulty increases due
to distractions: see page 69.
All the World’s a Stage (Art)
Requires one other Art stunt
The character has a natural talent for acting, and may
easily, convincingly adopt a persona off-stage. The artist
may roll Art instead of Deceit to convince a target he’s
someone he isn’t.
Reputations
Commissions (Art)
Requires Virtuoso
The character’s works and performances are much soughtafter, and pay handsomely. Once per session, you can use
Art instead of Resources, representing a successful past
commission.
Do You Know Who I Am? (Art)
Requires Virtuoso
The character’s artistic reputation precedes him. When
identifying yourself in a social or other applicable
situation, your Art skill complements Contacting, Deceit,
Intimidation, and Rapport rolls. This only applies if your
reputation means something to the opposition; odds are
the Uncultured Goblins of Kuldum aren’t familiar with you
or your poetry, although as always you can spend a Fate
pointto ensure they are (maybe they’re not as uncultured
as first thought?).
Performance Difficulty Table
Circumstance Notes Mod.
Existing mood The room has an existing mood, and you’re trying to add another. +1
Changing a mood The room has an existing mood, and you’re trying to change it (either by design,
or because it’s actively contradictory to the desired mood).
+3
Distractions A noisy room or other activities making it hard to focus on the performance. +1
Major Distractions A large, active area with many distractions requiring active effort to pay attention
to the performance, such as a busy marketplace.
+3
Total Distractions There’s no reason for anyone to be paying attention to the performance, such as
on a battlefield.
+5
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Weight of Reputation (Art)
Requires Do You Know Who I Am?
The character is so well-known that his reputation
compensates for his social shortcomings. For a Fate
point, you may use Art instead of Contacting, Deceit,
Intimidation, or Rapport, provided the opposition knows
your reputation.

Art

Of Monsters and Men Monster jacebenson