Crew ability for a single character of a different one

Hey blades,
I have a question for you. Recently one of my characters, belonging to a crew of shadows, has expressed the desire of gaining access to the ability of a different crew playbook, the “ghost passage” (smugglers). Just for him, as a “permanent skill” of sort. It does fit the interpretation, so no problem there.
My question is rather: how would you deal with that? Would you concede such skill or not? I have considered to set a 8-clock in order for him to gain such skill as personal ability, but not sure if that would be game-breaking (as crew abilities are meant to be for the crew, not for the players) …

suggestions/help are very welcome, as usual!

I’d play it out as a deal with either a demon or an arcane, higher tier faction. That gives you a narrative excuse for operating outside the usual order of things, sets the stakes high enough that there likely won’t be a land rush for other off-playbook skills, and lets you set up some scores to uphold the player’s end of the bargain.

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The rulebook doesn’t seem to be explicit about this, but the Veteran ability on the character sheets reads:
Veteran: Choose a special ability from another source. (My emphasis)
It doesn’t actually say another character playbook, just a ‘source’ - so I think you can certainly argue that a Crew ability is fair game.
Compare with the Veteran ability on the Crew sheets:
Veteran: Choose a special ability from another crew. (My emphasis)
This does specify that it has to be a Crew ability, so there does seem to be a distinction on this one - I think that if a Crew could all suddenly get, say, most of the Whisper abilities it would be rather overpowering.
I agree with Symbolic City that it might take some narrative justification, but I’m not sure it needs to be done as a long term project with a clock - that wouldn’t be required for an ability from another playbook. However, for the Ghost Passage ability specifically, the wording is:
From harsh experience or occult ritual…
So you should certainly make them work through one of those!


Many thanks to both of you, @SymbolicCity and @Steve_the_Lurk - those are nice suggestions indeed!
Meanwhile I’ve also found another question which is definitely similar to mine, here:

Coincidentally, the answer does sound very similar to yours. Puzzling and interesting at the same time. What puzzled me is that on the Italian sourcebook (which I am relying on :wink: ), the Veteran ability does read “pick another ability from another playbook”, so it does specify the source (playbook). Hence my puzzlement.
I agree that crew-abilities aren’t really fleshed out to suit single players, so I guess I won’t use the Veteran skill-suggestion, rather resorting to the ritual, as it seems particularly fitting, from the pov of both the mechanics and the narrative. But then again, I do believe, then, that even a downtime project of arcane nature could provide that…


It’s possible to gain abilities that are not fron playbooks, see the sword school examples near the back of the book. Thus, if i were the GM I’d either find a way to package the desired crew ability for personal use in some sort of in-game appropriate manner, or put it to the crew to vote on taking the ability for everyone, depending on the context.

– Ben


Good point, @A.D.1066, I must admit I’ve completely forgotten them. Yeah it seems that your first solution is a viable one. After all veteran ability does reflect a commitment in a kind of project (experience gained).