Piloting is generally only used in conjunction with the Vehicle Combat rules, and measures the skill with which a character is able to pilot and fight with a particular type of vehicle. If the vehicle combat rules are not being used in a campaign, these skills are probably less useful than a comparable Profession skill, such as Crewman.
The ability score used by a piloting skill is determined by the vehicle class being piloted. Refer to the Vehicle Classes pages for details. Some vehicles permit the use of any ability score (pilot's choice) while other vehicles require the use of one particular ability score. You can also install the Customized Interface upgrade module to alter which ability score is used for that vehicle.
Regardless of which ability score is used for a piloting skill, Armor Check Penalty never applies (even if it's STR or DEX).
There are four piloting skills, each of which must be purchased as separate skills, assuming they are permitted in the campaign setting (some campaigns may not have flying vehicles, for example). The vehicle's type determines what medium it is able to travel across or maneuver (and fight) within, as well as which piloting skill is needed to control it.
Piloting Skill Vehicle Type(s) Description Aviator Aerial / Aether Flying vehicles that can move through the air of the Prime Material plane, or the Aether between the planes. Delver Subaquatic / Subterranean Subterranean vehicles burrow through the earth, and subaquatic vehicles slide beneath the waters of the seas (or other liquids). Drover Ground Land-based vehicles, such as chariots, stagecoaches, and Crassus engines, which require solid, relatively level land. Also includes managing and directing teams of draft animals, when required, though it does not include knowledge of how to train them (see Handle Animal). Sailor Naval Vehicles which traverse the surface of liquids, such as sailing ships, skimming over the seas and taming the winds.
When a player places a 7th rank in a piloting skill, they may choose to gain either a +1 bonus Maneuver Offense or a +1 bonus to Maneuver Defense, permanently, any time they are piloting a vehicle of a type supported by the piloting skill in question. This bonus is gained again when the player places a 14th rank, a 21st rank, a 28th rank and a 35th rank in the skill. Each time they achieve one of these milestones, they can choose to improve either Maneuver Offense or Maneuver Defense by an additional +1. These bonuses stack with themselves and any other bonuses provided by the vehicle class or vehicle upgrade modules.
If the player has more than one piloting skill, they choose this bonus separately for each skill, as they achieve the appropriate number of ranks, but the bonuses only apply only when piloting vehicles appropriate to that piloting skill. (I.e. a player with 7 ranks in Piloting (Delver) who chooses +1 Maneuver Offense as their bonus for that milestone would only apply that +1 Maneuver Offense bonus to subaquatic and subterranean vehicles. If that same player also had 4 ranks in Piloting (Aviator), the +1 Maneuver Offense bonus from Delver would not apply to flying vehicles.)
Note that these bonuses refer to ranks in the skill, not the skill's total bonus or any integral magic bonuses. A player may never have more ranks in a skill than their total character level.
During Vehicle Combat, the piloting skill may be used to increase the character's focus. As a standard action, make a skill check appropriate to your vehicle type (Piloting (Aviator) for aerial/aethereal vehicles, Piloting (Delver) for tunneling/submerged vehicles, Piloting (Drover) for ground-based vehicles, or Piloting (Sailor) for naval vehicles), versus the CR of the encounter.
- If you achieve an Easy success, you generate 1 point of focus.
- If you achieve a Challenging success, you generate 2 points of focus.
- If you achieve an Impossible success, you generate 3 points of focus.
If you have any Stress when you generate Focus, you must immediately expend the Focus to get rid of the Stress, on a one-for-one basis.
During Vehicle Combat, the piloting skill may be used to repair damage to your vehicle. As a standard action, make a skill check appropriate to your vehicle type (Piloting (Aviator) for aerial/aethereal vehicles, Piloting (Delver) for tunneling/submerged vehicles, Piloting (Drover) for ground-based vehicles, or Piloting (Sailor) for naval vehicles), versus the CR of the encounter.
- If you achieve an Easy success, you restore 1 point of durability.
- If you achieve a Challenging success, you restore 2 points of durability.
- If you achieve an Impossible success, you restore 3 points of durability.
Damage Control can never be used to repair hull damage above your maximum durability.