Skill Modifiers

There are a few situations that can modify a skills use. Things such as Encumbrance, Injury, or Time Constraints

Encumbrance
Encumbrance penalties to Agility Skills, listed on page 250 of the HERO System 5th Edition, often come into play during Fantasy games due to the armour and other gear characters must carry with them. Gamemasters may wish to impose the Encumbrance penalty on some other Skills; for example, overloaded characters may find it difficult to be suave or convincing (i.e., to use Interaction Skills well).

Injury
It’s harder for a character to use most Skills when he’s hurt. The penalties in the accompanying table reflect this.

A “significant” injury is one to any part of the body which the GM deems particularly necessary for the Skill used or task attempted. For example, a character who has received an injury to his hand may suffer additional penalties to Skills such as Lockpicking and Sleight Of Hand. Significant injury penalties are cumulative with other injury modifiers.

At the GM’s option, injuries may not affect some Skills. For example, Knowledge Skills and uses of other Skills which simply reflect knowing something often ignore injury penalties (unless the injury is to the head).

Degree of Injury Modifier
From 1 Stun up to 1/2 Characters Stun – 0
From 1 Body up to 1/2 Characters Body – 0
1/2 to 2/3 Characters Stun – 1
1/2 to 2/3 Characters Body – 2
More than 2/3 Characters Stun – 2
More than 2/3 Characters Body – 4
‘Significant’ Injury Additional – 1 to – 3

Time Constraints
If a character has to perform a task in less time than it normally takes, he suffers a – 3 penalty for each level up the Time Chart. For example, to perform a task that normally takes five minutes in 12 seconds (one Turn), a character must make his Skill Roll with a -6 penalty to his Skill. These penalties can be removed or reduced with “Penalty Skill Levels”.

Also, characters receive a positive modifier to a Skill Roll if they take extra time to perform a Skill. The GM determines the minimum amount of time it takes to complete a task (from 1 Phase to days or weeks). If the character takes additional time beyond that minimum, he receives a + 3 for each level down on the Time Chart.

Skill Modifiers

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