Utopia Descending is designed as an extremely ‘what you see is what you get’ and ‘hands on mechanics’ style of game. This concept means that every physical object that exists in Utopia Descending will be represented by an actual physical representation of that object. While dangerous, expensive, or fantasy object may have equivalent appropriate representation (bubbling colored water instead of a beaker of actual acid for an example), all objects that are meant for in play use will have physical props.
Some of these props are designed to interact with traditionally non-combat aspects character skills. While many skills will require that a player actually perform a task they are attempting to do, some skills will unlock mini-game type mechanics to determine success or failure. These miniature games are representative of the type of skill that is being used, and, to be allowed to engage in or be actively involved in the completion of these mini-games a player MUST possess the appropriate skill for the activity. Objects that are designed for mini-game mechanics will be labeled with the appropriate skill on the props or in the scene setting.
Some examples of non-combat skill use:
Larceny: To picking a lock you will have to untie a knot without being able to look at it. The more difficult the lock, the more knots and more complex the knots are.
Research: A series of word, logic, or memory logic puzzles relating to a potential items to be researched will be provided. Defeating these puzzles allows the player to gain access to information otherwise not available.
Aether Scouting: Creatures that enter the material plane via a portal to the outside world sometimes leave magical trails that can be followed. These trails are invisible, however, players with the Aether Scouting skill are allowed to carry a UV light which will make the trails glow. Only characters with Aehter Scouting are allowed to bring portable UV lights to game.