Abilities and Disabilities

Abilities and Disabilities are your character’s inherent advantages and disadvantages. In game play, they can help or hurt your character directly, or boost your character’s Skills or limit them. This is a reflection of the fact that most people are naturally better at some things or have certain other types of advantages in life, but may have to work harder than others to achieve the same levels of success.

Most Abilities and Disabilities are listed as costing a certain number of CP per level. Positive numbers show the number of CP you must give up to gain a level of an Advantage, while negative numbers reflect the number of extra CP you receive when you accept each level of a Disadvantage. CP you gain by accepting a Disadvantage can be put toward other Attributes or Skills. In most cases, the level of the Ability or Disability indicates the degree to which your character possesses it, though there are some that are single-level, meaning you either have it or you don’t. There are no levels for them.

Some important things to keep in mind about Abilities and Disabilities:

  1. Some make it much easier or harder for you to do certain things. These typically give bonus levels to certain Attributes or Skills. For each bonus level, your character’s Attribute or Skill is considered to be higher than it actually is.
  2. Example: Jolene has Rapid Healing at level 5, and a Con of 6. She has been injured, and is under the care of a physician. When rolling to see how well she heals, she adds 5 to her Con level. In other words, thanks to Rapid Healing, Jolene heals as if her Con were 11, not 6.

  3. Most of the rest give you bonus or penalty dice when trying to perform some action. Bonus and penalty dice function as described on the main rules page. You can try to overcome some Disabilities through force of Will or some other Attribute.
  4. Example: Dianne has Impulsiveness at level 3 and a Will of 5. She is supposed be watching Hamish, but Hamish isn’t doing anything even remotely interesting. A street band begins playing down the street, attracting her attention. Dianne needs to achieve at least 3 Ss on a Will roll to avoid being distracted by the band.

  5. Many Abilities and Disabilities can be modified by the current situation. It may in general be very difficult for you to keep your temper, but certain things may be happening at the moment that change exactly how difficult that is at the moment. Friends gathered around “talking you down” will make it easier. An enemy mocking you to your face makes it harder. The GM will use these and similar situational modifiers as the game progresses. Some of the more common modifiers are labeled “Typical modifiers” in the descriptions in the Abilities and Disabilities list, but in reality, there is no limit to the number of possible modifiers.
  6. Example: Using Dianne’s example above, let’s change the scenario a little. Dianne absolutely loves Dwarvish bands, and as it happens, the street band we spoke of is one of the better known Dwarvish bands in the land. The GM may assess a 2-level penalty to her Impulsiveness Disability in this instance. So now, Dianne needs to achieve at least 5 Ss on her Will roll (3 for Will + 2 penalty) to avoid being distracted by the band.

Will Roll Failures

As a general rule, when a Will roll is allowed to attempt to overcome the Disability, the ramifications of failing the roll are summed up below. Specifics of the failure can be found on each applicable Disability’s page.

-Ss* General Failure Results
0 No outward sign, other than some hesitation
1 Minimal impact to situation
2 Moderate impact to situation
3 Major impact to situation
4 Sever impact to situation
5 Catastrophic impact to situation
6 Cataclysmic impact to situation
7 Apocalyptic impact to situation

*This refers to how badly the character failed the roll to overcome the Disability.

In Dianne’s second example, she needed 5 Ss to overcome her Impulsiveness Disability, but when she rolled, she only managed 3 Ss. She failed by 2 Ss, which equates to a moderate impact on the situation. The actual outcome will ultimately be up to the GM to decide, and in this case the GM interprets the moderate impact to mean that Dianne briefly allows the band to distract her. While distracted, she fails to notice the stranger surreptitiously sidle up to Hamish, whisper something in his ear, and quickly leave.

Creating New Abilities and Disabilities

Note that players can create their own Abilities and Disabilities if they wish and if the GM agrees. As a rough rule of thumb, if the Ability or Disability in question affects 5 or more Skills, it should be considered as +/- 5 points/level. Otherwise, it should be considered as +/- 2 points/level. Some Abilities and Disabilities add bonus or penalty dice to the Skill roll it affects, others actually give additional (or fewer) levels to the Skill levels they affect.

Changes to Abilities and Disabilities During the Game

Finally, Advantages and Disadvantages are attributes that affect your character before the game starts. If events during game play cause you to suffer what would be considered a Disadvantage when creating your character (e.g., you lose a hand or some of your hearing), you do not gain CP.

With the GM’s permission (some may not allow it), you can use CP you earn during game play to “buy down” a Disability picked up during character creation, though you cannot gain Abilities you didn’t have before or improve your initial Ability levels. Buying down a Disability costs the same number of CP you gained when you initially “purchased” it.

Example: When the game started, Kevin took a Combat Paralysis Disability for his character at level 5, gaining 25 CP for doing so. Now that the game is underway, Kevin realizes that this particular Disability is too detrimental in the game, so he starts using CP he earns to “buy down” his Combat Paralysis. In “real life” terms, perhaps Kevin’s character is being tutored by a more seasoned warrior, or is being guided by a psychologist to overcome his fear. However he’s doing it, when Kevin’s character earns 5 CP, he uses them to drop his Combat Paralysis from level 5 to level 4. When he earns another 5 CP, he will be able to lower it to level 3. Kevin’s character is making progress in the quest to be free of the burden of Combat Paralysis.
Name Cost Description
Absentmindedness -5/lvl Your memory is inconsistent.
Absolute Direction 2/lvl Your can tell the points of the compass with extreme accuracy.
Absolute Timing 5 You can tell the passage of time very accurately.
Acute Hearing 2/lvl Your sense of hearing is more acute than the normal person’s hearing.
Acute Vision 2/lvl Your sense of vision is more acute than the normal person’s vision.
Addiction Varies You are addicted to some drug.
Albinism -10/lvl You have the genetic disorder Albinism.
Alertness 10/lvl You are extremely in tune with all your senses.
Allegiance Varies You respond to the needs of a group of people.
Alliance Varies You have someone or something that helps you accomplish your goals.
Ambidexterity 10/40 You are skilled with your off-hand, or can use both hands equally well.
Animal Empathy 2/lvl You understand animals, and they understand you.
Bad Hearing -2/lvl Your hearing is worse than normal.
Bad Sight -2/lvl Your vision is worse than normal.
Bad Temper -5/lvl You have trouble controlling your temper.
Berserk -5/lvl Being injured in combat causes you to lose control of your emotions.
Bully -5/lvl You love to intimidate people weaker than yourself.
Charisma 5/lvl People are drawn to you when you speak.
Color Blindness -5/-10 You have trouble distinguishing between certain colors.
Combat Paralysis -5/lvl You tend to freeze up when in combat.
Combat Reflexes 5/lvl Combat sharpens your reflexes.
Contact Varies A friend that may come to your aid when needed.
Cowardice -5/lvl You detest the thought of risking physical harm.
Danger Sense 5/lvl You know when danger is afoot, and react to it more quickly than others.
Debt Varies You owe someone a debt--and they will call in the marker one day.
Delusion Varies You think something is true that others do not believe.
Dependant Varies You have someone who depends on you for protection.
Double-Jointed 2/lvl Your joints are extremely supple.
Duty Varies You have a responsibility to someone or something.
Dyslexia -2/lvl You have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, and doing math.
Empathy 5/lvl You have a sort of intuition, a feeling about people that is usually right.
Enemy Varies An enemy is someone or something that is after your hide.
Extra Fatigue 5/lvl You have more stamina than the average person.
Extra Hit Points 5/lvl You can take more damage than other people before passing out or dying.
Fanaticism -15 You believe in something that defines the way you live your life.
Gadgeteer 5/lvl You can create items on the fly with odd bits of stuff.
Gluttony -5/lvl You love to indulge in food and drink.
Greed -5/lvl You love money. Precious metals and gems will also do.
Hemophilia -30 You afflicted with a rare disease that keeps your blood from clotting.
High Pain Threshold 5/lvl You have a higher tolerance for pain than most people.
Honesty -5/lvl You are a very honest person--you hate to lie, cheat, or steal.
Immunity to Disease 5/lvl You get sick less frequently than other people.
Impulsiveness -5/lvl You tend not to think before you act.
Intolerance Varies You despise people of a certain class or race.
Jealousy -5/lvl You are resentful of other people have who have more than you do.
Kleptomania -2/lvl You steal compulsively.
Lame -2/lvl Your legs are partially damaged.
Language Talent 5/lvl You are able to pick up and translate languages easily.
Law Abider -5/lvl You always follow the rules and regulations of the society you are in.
Laziness -5/lvl You dislike work, and will avoid it whenever possible.
Living on the Edge -5/lvl You love to take risks.
Luck 5/lvl You are luckier than the average person.
Magical Aptitude 10/lvl You are naturally attuned to magical runes.
Masochism -5/lvl You enjoy being hurt.
Mathematical Ability 2/lvl You are able to understand and use mathematics better than others.
Megalomania -10 You believe that you are destined for some great task.
Miserliness -5/lvl You do not like to part with what you have.
Musical Ability 2/lvl You are musically inclined.
Mute -25 You do not have functioning vocal cords.
Night Vision (10 points). Your vision is almost as good at night as it is in the day. Deep darkness is like a moonlit night to you.
No Smell/Taste (-5 points) Your sense of smell is poor. Any attempt to identify items by smell is made with a -2 penalty.
Odious Personal Habits (-5 points/level) You have some disgusting personal habit that most people find obnoxious. For each level of this subtract 1 from any character’s reaction roll to you.
One Arm (-20 points) One of your arms is missing. -2 from any reaction roll.
One Eye (-15 points) One of your eyes is missing. -2 from any reaction roll, and from any skill requiring depth perception.
One Hand (-15 points) One of your hands is missing. -2 from any reaction roll.
Overconfidence (-5 points/Level) You believe yourself to be bigger, badder, and better than you really are. For each level of this disability, add 1 to all of your skill levels for your character’s perceptions of his/her skills. For example, Rothno is overconfident (level = 4). He has a 5 in Lockpicking, but he will believe it […]
Pacifism (-5 points/Level) You dislike aggressive behavior. In order for you to participate in violent actions you must make a will roll with the number of successes of this level. If you are attacked first the target number will be 3 instead of the typical 4.
Paranoia (-5 points/Level) You believe that "they" are out to get you. "they" are an amorphous group that contains all of your enemies. this group is always adding new members and they always try to subvert those closest to you. When meeting a new person you will subtract you level from your reaction roll. Others will […]
Phobia (VAR) You carry an unreasonable fear of some things. When you are close to the object of your fears you become very frightened. You will have to make a will roll to keep from "freaking" out. the target number depends on the proximity of the phobia. On you 6 Within 4 meters 5 4 to […]
Phobia (VAR) You carry an unreasonable fear of some things. When you are close to the object of your fears you become very frightened. You will have to make a will roll to keep from "freaking" out. the target number depends on the proximity of the phobia. On you 6 Within 4 meters 5 4 to […]
Photographic Memory (20 points/Level) This character has a photographic memory. If the player forgets something that the character has seen, then the GM must inform the player of the correct information. This skill adds 1 points/Level to mainly knowledge skills. In other words a skill that cost 5 points to move up now costs 4.
Promiscuous (-5 points/Level) You have a strong desire for sex. Romance and intimacy are not a concern of yours–your object is sex. Any time you see a person of the opposite sex for which you have a positive reaction you will make a "pass" at. In order to stop this, you must make a will roll; […]
Pyromania -2 points/Level You enjoy watching the destruction of objects due to fire. To avoid watching a fire you must make a will roll. the number of successes needed is the level of this skill. Also, once a month the GM will roll a will roll to see if you start a fire. Here the number […]
Rank variable Rank allows a character to demand more rights and privilege than the ordinary person (or have it demanded of them). People will typically obey someone of a higher rank, even if they know the request is wrong, unethical, or illegal. Whenever someone of rank demands something of another that would not normally be accepted […]
Rapid Healing 5 points/Level Your body heals much quicker than the average person. Every level of this adds 1 to your con when rolling for healing.
Runic Association 5 points/Level Some people are naturally attuned to the metaphysical world than others. Each level of Association gives you + 1 die to any spells that you perform (Note that this allows you to cast a spell when you have a skill of 0.). there are actually many different forms of associations, in fact as […]
Sadism -5 points/ Level You enjoy giving physical pain. Whenever anyone is in your control you will actively try to hurt them, eventually to the point of death. If there is no one under your control at the time, then you must find someone. To stop hurting someone (or to not start at all) you must […]
Shyness -5 points/Level You are afraid of saying the wrong thing to others so you do not speak. When confronted with new people you must make a Will roll to overcome your shyness. If the other person is attractive, add their reaction bonus to your level when determining the number of successes needed. For example, Darla has a […]
Split Personality -2 /Level You have multiple personalities. For each 5 levels of this you have another personality (i.e. 10 levels of this will give you 2 extra personalities or 3 total). Your personalities may or may not know about each other, and will sometimes even interact. Generally they do not know the others exist, and even more rarely […]
Stubbornness -5 You hate to admit you are wrong. You will always push your plan unless it has been utterly rejected or you personally are convinced it is not the best. Although you might adopt another’s plan you will never admit that yours was inferior. You followed the others not because it was better, but because […]
Stuttering -5 points/Level You tend to repeat certain syllables over and over again. All of your verbal language skills are reduced 1 point for every level of this disability. In a stressful situation you must subtract 2 levels from your language skill. the length of time for any messages is doubled normally, and quadrupled in a […]
Toughness 10 points/Level Each level of this adds 1 AP to your character’s armor. You are able to absorb damage much better than the average person.
Unluckiness -5 points/Level You have always had the worst luck. For every level you have in this you must reroll one success on the first roll. For example, you have unluckiness-4 and you roll a 6,6,5,4,3,3,2,2, and a 1. the GM tells you to reroll your successes.
Vengeful -5 points/Level You are a vengeful person. Perceived slights or wrongs must be redressed “an eye for an eye.” this does not mean that corporeal punishment must be meted out for every offense. It means that small slights need to be handled with small punishments and large slights will be handled by large punishments. Vengeful […]
Voice 5 points/Level You have a very smooth and beautiful voice. For each level this ability adds 2 to singing, and 1 to diplomacy, politics, and fast talk.
Wealth ±5 points/Level For each level of this your character has ±25% pennies more than the average character.