Abilities have been briefly introduced in Characters. Abilities are based on attributes and characters can train in them. Also there is no fixed set of abilities. Players write down the abilities of their characters as they gain training in them.

To make a dice challenge with an ability, you need to know the consistency and potential of that ability. For this, you will need the base values and the ability training. There are two types of ability training, trained consistency and trained potential. Both the consistency and the potential of an ability have a base value. The base values represents how good a character is in that ability, without the benefit of training. To get the actual consistency and potential, add ability training to the base value. So:

  • Base consistency + trained consistency = consistency
  • Base potential + trained potential = potential

For some dice challenges, items bonuses or situational penalties might be applied. For instance, a large shield will give a bonus when blocking, and darkness might give a consistency penalty to combat rolls.

Players will only need to write down abilities on their character sheets if their character has trained in that ability, if they have an item that requires that ability or if they are frequently used.

Consistency of abilities

The base consistency of an ability is predefined, and is the same for every character. This value may vary quite a bit from one ability to another and depends on how reliable people untrained in that ability can perform in it. The base consistency will be provided by the GM.

Base consistency should range from -2 to +3. Where -2 is an ability which people are naturally bad at, until they gain training (such as lock picking). A base consistency 0 ability is an ability that untrained characters can do well, but which requires some luck to get right (such as throwing a weapon). A base consistency 3 ability is an ability that has very little luck involved. You can either do it, or you can't. Things such as calculations and knowledge would be abilities with a base consistency of 3.

Potential of abilities

The base potential of an ability depends on what attribute(s) the ability is derived from. If the ability is based on one attribute, the base potential of that ability is the same as the attribute. For example if a character has a strength of 2, the base potential of their brawl ability will be 2. This also means that when the attribute changes, the base potential of derived abilities also changes.

If an ability is derived from multiple attributes, the base potential of that ability becomes the average of those attributes, rounded down. So with an attribute of 0 and 3, the average is 1.5, rounded down, so the base potential becomes 1.

Because ability checks are based partially on attributes, an intelligent character will find herself being better at abilities that involve reasoning through a problem, even if she has never encounter a similar problem before.

Standard abilities

There is a small set of standard abilities, one for every attribute. The standard abilities will be useful in most games. In addition to these, the GM should add extra abilities, based on the kind of campaign. The persuasion ability for example, will cover all useful bases when playing a campaign which is heavily combat centred. However for a game which will hold a lot of politics, other attributes concerning social interaction (such as intimidation, bluff and expression) might be added.

The six standard attributes are as followed:

Attr. Description
Brawl Str This ability is used to punch, kick and grapple. When facing an opponent without a weapon, use brawl.
Agility Dex Jumping, climbing and dodging is done using this ability. This ability can be used during combat to dodge attacks.
Survival Sta Hunting, tracking, as well as lasting through the hardships of the weather and the pains of thirst and hunger are done through this ability.
Perception Int To notice things that might not be obvious, you need perception. With perception you can attempt to spot hidden enemies, find hidden objects and discern traps.
Persuasion Soc Persuasion is used to convince other characters of what you are telling them. When using persuasion, you will also need to provide a sound argument (one that does not contain obvious falsehoods).
Insight Emp Insight is used to discover the emotions of other. It can also be used to spot lies and to discern intent others are attempting to hide. Insight will often be rolled opposed to persuasion.

In addition to these six standard abilities, GMs should aim to have between ten and fifteen additional abilities in their campaign. These abilities should either be taken from modules or written by the GM. The GM should strive to inform all players of the abilities they might use, so players can use them during character creation.

Because non-standard abilities might overlap, GMs should always have players roll specific abilities rather then more general abilities, when either one might be applicable. For instance if there is an intimidation ability in the game, whenever a player attempts to intimidate another character, this ability should be rolled, rather then the more general persuasion ability. Even if the character might be better at persuasion then intimidation.

Experience points

During a game, characters will play through encounters and challenges. When characters overcome these encounters, they will get the experience points (XP) equivalent to that encounter. Experience points will be divided among the characters present during the encounter, rounded down to a whole number (for example 10XP divided among four characters, means 2XP per character with 2 remaining). The remaining experience points can be carried over to the next time characters gain XP. So that the 2 XP they earned doesn't get lost.

During downtime, characters can spend XP to improve their abilities. The amount of XP you need to gain one point of ability training for either consistency or potential is the total XP spend on the previous two levels, starting at 5. So:

New height of ability training 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
XP cost 5 10 (5+5) 15 (5+10) 25 (10+15) 40 (15+25) 65 (25+40) 105 (40+65)
Total cost 5 15 30 55 95 160 265

Attribute progress

Attributes can not be trained, they improve while you are training your abilities. Every attribute has a progress value, which works like a kind of XP. It is based on how much the abilities that are based on it have been trained. Every time you increase an ability training by one point, increase the attribute progress of the attribute associated with the ability with one. If an ability is based on multiple attributes, you can choose which attribute you want to increase the attribute progress of.

Once the attribute progress reaches a certain value, the attribute is increased by one. How much attribute progress is required depends on height of the attribute. When an attribute is increased, the attribute progress of that attribute becomes zero. Don't forget to update the base potential of your abilities when changing your attribute.

New attribute value -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 or more
Attribute progress required 8 6 4 6 8 10 12