Dresden Files: New York
A measure of your general mortal knowledge.
Scholarship operates as a catch-all skill for most kinds of regular, everyday, “book” knowledge with a few practical applications out in the field as well.
Use of Scholarship to answer questions related to things like history, literature, and the sciences both “soft” and “hard.” There may be no need to roll, if the subject is within your a specialty indicated by your background or aspects or common enough. If you fail a roll, you may stumble onto a false lead that gets you deeper into trouble, or you may simply need to research the topic.
Use Scholarship to access and operate complex computerized or electronic systems, especially if using them for their proper and intended purpose. This doesn’t really include any competence at hacking, per se— Burglary is still used to actually defeat security measures and systems. However, Scholarship should modify (page 214) Burglary whenever computers are involved.
Declaring Minor Details
Use Scholarship to declare facts, and fill in minor details that the GM has not mentioned. These facts must be within the field of your Scholarship, and the GM has the right to veto them. If all’s well, the GM sets a difficulty for the truth of the assertion, and if you succeed at your Scholarship roll, the assertion is true. If not, you are mistaken. This is treated as a straight-up declaration action, as described on page 116. If your assertion is correct (i.e., successful), the aspect is placed; it can be tagged once and then invoked as usual (page 106). If your assertion turns out to be wrong, there is no penalty, but there may be complications—at her option, the GM could place a temporary Mistaken! aspect on you, compelling it to represent the fallout (and netting you a fate point). For GM advice on setting difficulties for declarations, see page 313.
Exposition and Knowledge Dumping
Use Scholarship to justify dispensing important plot relevant information to the rest of the group. Assuming you agree, the GM can share all appropriate background and is encouraged to give you a fate point for having your character temporarily commandeered for the purposes of the story.
Use Scholarship to determine the number of additional languages you might speak or understand. Each step of Scholarship above Mediocre gives you knowledge of one additional language (so one additional at Average, two at Fair, and so on). You don’t need to choose the languages when the character is created; you can instead choose languages in the course of play, as is convenient.
Use Scholarship to administer basic First Aid. This allows you to declare that your care is sufficient justification for recovery from mild consequences, because you can create an environment that makes this recovery possible. See page 220 in Playing the Game for a discussion of justifying recovery from consequences. Stunts are necessary to take this to the level of true doctors and surgeons.
Research and Lab Work
Use Scholarship to perform time consuming and arduous research and experimentation. This is exactly the sort of thing worth skimming over with a few quick dice rolls. Treat research as an extension of the knowledge the character has—you know the answers to some questions off the top of your head and can answer other questions because you know what book to look in. If the knowledge is sufficiently out of your grasp it will require intense research and study. Academic research requires a library (page 140), while research through experimentation requires a laboratory. The quality of these workspaces determines the hardest possible question you can answer within them (so a question of Good difficulty requires a Good library or better). If you attempt to answer a question in a library that’s not equipped to answer it, the GM is encouraged to be up-front about its shortcomings. Most high schools and private individuals have Mediocre, Average, or Fair libraries. Small colleges often have Good libraries and laboratory facilities; larger institutions may have Great ones. Superb and better libraries are few and far between. Many workspaces also have a specialty or two where they are considered to be one step higher—for example, Georgetown’s library specializes in law, so it has a Great library which is treated as Superb for legal questions. Characters may own libraries, laboratories, and other workspaces of their own; see the Resources skill (page 139) for more.
Capable Researcher: Some say you were born in a library. Any scholarly research you do is completed two time increments (page 315) faster than usual—due in large part to the fact that you’ve probably read something about it before. (This ability does not extend to Lore research, which somehow never seems to go any faster no matter how good you are at the mundane stuff.)
Doctor (Specify): You have a medical degree or the equivalent of such an education. You may use your Scholarship skill to declare appropriate justification for the recovery of moderate physical consequences when outside a medical facility, and for the recovery of severe physical consequences within a medical facility. For research purposes, gain +1 on Scholarship for any medical research and an additional +1 in a specific area of medicine. This stunt may be taken twice, with the bonuses on research stacking to indicate particularly deep or excellent medical knowledge (such as with a heart surgeon, etc.).
Forgery Expert: You are trained to distinguish forged documents from real ones. You gain a +2 on any roll to spot forgeries or falsified documentation.
Linguist: You may speak (and read) additional languages as if your Scholarship score was 4 higher than it is. You may take this stunt multiple times, adding four more each time. Up to half of the languages you speak may be obscure, rare, or dead, provided you can establish an opportunity to study them.
Scientist (Specify): When using Scholarship to do scientific research, gain +1 in a particular area of focus (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Physics). Gain an additional +1 in an even more specific area of specialization (e.g., Marine Biology, Organic Chemistry, Quantum Physics). A “Scholar” version of this stunt may be taken instead for something outside of the realm of science (e.g., Literature/19th Century Literature or History/Chinese History).