Evil Hat has given their blessing to reference sheets which list all of the Skills and Powers for Dresden Files, so I feel comfortable reproducing those here. I won't be explaining the skills or trappings, aside from general examples. Some of them are self explanatory, and for those that aren't, your GM can help you. As always, I urge you to get the books!
Skills are the base ability you have in various areas of expertise. Many Skills have a complimentary skill on one side or the other of the involuntary (Alertness) and Intended (Investigation) divide. Skill Ranks are purchased for one Skill Point per Rank. For example, purchasing Burglary at Rank 3 costs 3 Skill Points. Normal Humans tend to max out at 5 ranks in any skill, and the lower power games won't let characters purchase higher than rank 4. When choosing skills, you must ensure that for every rank 4, you have a rank 3 skill, a rank 2 skill, and a rank 1.
Trappings are the specific concentrations of the base ability. For example, one use of Alertness is determining your combat initiative order. They automatically come with the skill when ranks of the skill are purchased, and the Trappings are as powerful as the base rank of the Skill, unless Stunts are used to alter the Trapping.
Mortal Stunts have the power to add a bonus directly to a trapping without changing the rank of the Skill, and trappings can be moved from one skill to another. For example, a Stunt called Forearmed is Forewarned which moves the Combat Initiative Trapping from Alertness to Weapons, would allow a character to roll the Weapons Skill to determine their Combat Initiative order when they have a weapon in hand.
When a situation arises in which a character needs to use a skill to overcome a challenge, the fate dice are rolled [dice=Skill: Trapping]4dF[/dice] and the Skill Rank is added to the result, with any bonus from Mortal Stunts or Supernatural Powers. The number required (See: Challenge Difficulty Guidelines) to overcome the challenge is subtracted from the total, and anything left over is the number of "Shifts" of success (See Degrees of Success).
For example, in order to climb over a wall, Johnny Danger, who has an Athletics Rank of 2, rolls [dice=Athletics: Climbing]4dF+2[/dice] and gets a result of 4. The wall has a difficulty of 1 to climb, and that is subtracted from the Climb result of 4 to get 3 "shifts". As you can see by the Degrees of Success below, that is a significant success. The GM might say that Johnny nearly vaulted over the wall so quickly that he has time to take an action on the far side.
Challenge Difficulty Guidelines
- A player will nearly always succeed against a difficulty of 2 less than his character’s skill without needing to invoke any aspects.
- A player will usually succeed against a difficulty of 1 less than his character’s skill, but might need to invoke an aspect on occasion.
- A player has a relatively equal chance of succeeding or needing to invoke an aspect against a difficulty equal to his character’s skill.
- A player will usually need to invoke an aspect to succeed against a difficulty of 1 higher than his character’s skill, but has a fair chance of making the roll as well.
- A player will almost always need to invoke an aspect to succeed against a difficulty of 2 higher than his character’s skill.
Degrees of Success
- 0 shifts = Minimal success: The character pulled it off. It’s neither pretty nor graceful, but it works.
- 1 shift = Notable success: This is a clear success. The character’s result is solid and reliable; while it may not be inspired, it is absolutely workmanlike.
- 3 shifts = Significant success: The success is noticeably well done and of fine quality, very reliable, and so on. If you use the optional spin rules (page 214), this level of success and higher on a defense roll generates spin.
- 5+ shifts = Potent success: Not only is the quality of the success remarkable, it may have some unexpected, secondary benefits, such as a deeper insight into a problem at hand.
Skills & Trappings
Alertness: Avoiding Surprise, Combat Initiative, Passive Awareness
Athletics: Climbing, Dodging, Falling, Jumping, Sprinting, Other Physical Actions
Burglary: Casing, Infiltration, Lockpicking
Contacts: Gathering Information, Getting the Tip-Off, Knowing People, Rumors
Conviction: Acts of Faith, Mental Fortitude
Craftsmanship: Breaking, Building, Fixing
Deceit: Cat and Mouse, Disguise, Distraction and Misdirection, False Face Forward, Falsehood and Deception
Discipline: Concentration, Emotional Control, Mental Defense
Driving: Chases, One Hand on the Wheel, Other Vehicles, Street Knowledge and Navigation
Empathy: Reading People, A Shoulder to Cry On, Social Defense, Social Initiative
Endurance: Long-Term Action, Physical Fortitude
Fists: Brawling, Close-Combat Defense
Guns: Aiming, Gun Knowledge, Gunplay, Other Projectile Weapons
Intimidation: The Brush-Off, Interrogation, Provocation, Social Attacks, Threats
Investigation: Eavesdropping, Examination, Surveillance
Lore: Arcane Research, Common Ritual, Mystic Perception
Might: Breaking Things, Exerting Force, Lifting Things, Wrestling
Performance: Art Appreciation, Composition, Creative Communication, Playing to an Audience
Presence: Charisma, Command, Reputation, Social Fortitude
Rapport: Chit-Chat, Closing Down, First Impressions, Opening Up, Social Defense
Resources: Buying Things, Equipment, Lifestyle, Money Talks, Workspaces
Scholarship: Answers, Computer Use, Declaring Minor Details, Exposition and Knowledge Dumping, Languages, Medical Attention, Research and Lab Work
Stealth: Ambush, Hiding, Shadowing, Skulking
Survival: Animal Handling, Camouflage, Riding, Scavenging, Tracking
Weapons: Melee Combat, Melee Defense, Distance Weaponry, Weapon Knowledge