This post starts a look at the Warden and Master Tiers for the Professions in the 1879 Players Guide.

The Airship Pilot is modeled a bit more after the steamboat pilot than a fighter pilot (you’ll see that influence in the Saurids book with the Sky Rider). As such, we put more emphasis on steering the ship in terms of trade and negotiation in the higher Tiers, rather than fighting ability. The Airship Pilot isn’t the one doing the actual fighting, anyway – that’s what the gunners and deck crew are for. The Pilot takes direction from the captain (and may very well be the captain by these Tiers) and guides the ship on the most advantageous course.

The Warden Skills get the Pilot into and out of trouble on both a tactical and strategic level. Some, such as Winning Smile and Conversation, can be used for both. For example, Winning Smile could charm a key person at a critical moment and gain a negotiation advantage, or could start a relationship that could be traded on later.

The Master Skills toughen the Pilot, give them insight and force of personality, and bring them more into line with the Old Salt model of the senior ship’s officer. At the helm, the Airship Pilot becomes a leaf on the wind, able to take their ship through the fiercest battle or most violent storm (at a considerable cost to their Available Karma).

Skills and Abilities

    • Warden
      • Core Skills
        • Disarming Smile, Escape Plan, Impressive Display, Leadership, Tactics, Taunt, Winning Smile
      • Optional Skills
        • Anticipate Blow, Conversation, Espionage, Etiquette, Forgery, Knowledge (Trade Routes), Resist Pain
      • Abilities
        • The character may spend one point of Karma on any DEX-only Test.
        • The character gains +1 to their Mystic Defense.
        • The character gains +1 Recovery Test per day.
        • Better Than You, Old Chap: Once per conflict, whether ship to ship combat, or an airborne contest, or other confrontation, the Airship Pilot may use their Impressive Display to gain an advantage over their opponent. After a successful Pilot Airship Test, the character may make an Impressive Display Test against the opposing pilot’s Social Defense, at a bonus of +2 Steps per success from the Pilot Airship Test. Successes from the Impressive Display Test may be used as Step bonuses (+1 Step per success) to a Test later in the scene against the same opponent. This later Test does not have to use Pilot Airship – it could, e.g., use Tactics or Taunt – and can target the opposing pilot directly or can target their airship. Using Firearms to shoot at the opponent’s Kipp regulator, for example, would qualify for the bonus.
    • Master
      • Core Skills
        • Diplomacy, Lasting Impression, Resist Taunt, Second Chance, Steely Stare
      • Optional Skills
        • Evidence Analysis, Perfect Focus, Undermine, Witty Repartee, Wound Balance
      • Abilities
        • The character’s Karma Step increases by +1.
        • The character’s Max Karma increases by 15 points.
        • At the Last Second: The Airship Pilot must spend 3 permanent Damage Points to gain this Ability. Once obtained, the Airship Pilot may spend extra Karma on a failed Pilot Airship Test, up to the Rank of the Skill. The Airship Pilot must declare the amount of Karma to spend before rolling the extra dice, and may not invoke the Ability twice on the same Test. Strain or Recovery Tests may not be substituted for Karma for this ability. The Airship Pilot may not spend extra Karma on a successful Test.


  • The Airship Pilot may use Escape Plan to find a route for their ship past known dangers, with the ship itself counting as a fellow character. Anyone on board the ship gets counted in with the vessel itself for this purpose.
  • The Knowledge Skills listed are used as follows. See the Skills chapter (pg.XX) for the more general definitions of these Skills.
  • Trade Routes: The Airship Pilot knows what firms and independent merchants are doing business, what they are buying and selling, and the paths by which they move their goods. This Skill can be used to help find employment, locate a merchant, locate a source or buyer for goods, and other related business actions.