Agony says “cannot use skills or items…but can defend themselves.” Well, if you can’t use skills then you can’t use the melee, brawling or exotic skills, and if you can’t use items then you can’t use weapons or shields. So what exactly does “defend themselves” mean in this context? What CAN you do while under Agony?
Well, I feel like it allows what it says it allows, thus defending yourself via weapon blocks, which would not be considered a Skill Use under Agony.
So that would mean no defensive calls for attacks or other effects.
It is probably meant to be ‘no purchased skills’ similar to blinding.
I agree that the intent is probably the same as blinding, which means no purchased skills. So any basic skills at character creation are okay as long as you’re just blocking. (Which means all basic combat skills minus florentine)
But yeah, interesting!
You have it spot on.