Skills and Enhancements

Figuring Levels

A character's level is determined by the total number of ability points (AP) he has gained throughout his adventuring career. For every 50 AP the character earns, he gains one level, with level 1 starting at 50 AP. This means that in order to figure out someone's level, simply divide their total AP by 50 and round down.

Characters also have levels in disciplines and skills, which are separate from their overall character level.

Ability Points

After battles or other challenging situations that the players have overcome, the DM will award Ability Points. These are similar to most games' Experience Points, except that you use them to "buy" skills and enhancements. Normally, about 5 points will be given per encounter, but boss battles or extremely difficult situations may go considerably higher. When fighting weaker enemies, fewer points will be awarded (or sometimes none, if the DM feels the encounter was too easy). Using this method, a character will generally level up after about ten average encounters. An average encounter is loosely defined as one which the party is most likely to win, but will probably lose a significant portion of their HP or other resources in order to succeed (30-50%). Characters may also gain AP through roleplaying awards or story/goal awards as determined by their DM. Use the table below to gauge approximately how much AP an encounter is worth.

For a higher powered game, the DM can simply raise the AP gained per encounter, possibly as high as double. Similarly, a low-powered game can be achieved by reducing the AP award to only 2 or 3 per average encounter. Giving out only a few AP for a rather difficult encounter may lead to dissatisfied players, and giving out too much might make it hard on the DM, so unless you're all sure what you want, try to stick with the norm.

AP Awards
0NegligibleThe challenge poses no significant threat to the party, and the party is likely to take little or no damage and suffer no long-term losses.
1-3EasyThe party may take a few minor hits, and may suffer some small setbacks.
4-6ChallengingThe party is likely to take some damage, and will probably be pushed close to unconsciousness.
7-8HardThe encounter poses a significant threat or challenge, and will drain party time or resources greatly. The party should still be able to succeed with no real likelihood of death assuming they use their abilities well.
9-10Very HardThe party has a significant chance of losing at least one member, and will probably be unable to continue adventuring after the encounter without at least a short rest.
11-12OverwhelmingThe party will almost definitely lose at least one member and be forced to rest afterwards.
13-14DevastatingThe party faces a significant chance of being completely destroyed. Surviving members will be unable to continue without extended rest.
15DeadlyThe entire party will most likely be killed.

For parties of varied levels, where any two members are at least two levels apart, decide on the AP award normally, and award this amount to those party members who are of the average level. For each level a character is above the average, decrease the award that member receives by 1, and for each level below the average, increase it by 1.

Remember, just because the party managed to make it through a fight without anyone dying doesn't mean the encounter can't possibly be worth more than 10 AP. If the party makes it through with clever tactics, quick thinking, and good teamwork, then they probably deserve the full 12 or 13 points. Similarly, just because the party has a particularly difficult time with what should have been an easy encounter doesn't mean you should award more. If they failed to use their advantages, or didn't work together, and made the encounter harder on themselves, don't give any extra reward. If they only did poorly because of sheer bad luck, then go ahead and raise the award, since at this point the encounter itself was actually more difficult than intended.


All characters begin with certain levels in the six attributes, based on what method you are using to create your characters. You may also increase your attributes later on by spending 30 AP for each point gained. However, no matter how high your character level is in relation to your attributes, you may not gain a level in any attribute if you already gained one any time while you were at your current character level or the previous one, regardless of which attribute you increase each time. The first level at which you can improve an attribute is 3.

The average attribute for a normal human is 0 in every category. Every level of an attribute, higher or lower, has a specific effect, as detailed below. There is no upper limit to your attributes, but if any of them reaches -5, you are unconscious, immobile, helpless, or dead, based on the attribute.

Strength: A measure of how strong your character is. Higher Strength allows you to deal more damage with strength-based weapons, score damaging blows more often, and carry more equipment. A strength score of -5 means you are on the ground, helpless.

Every level in Strength increases your carrying capacity and gives a +1 to hit and to critical damage with certain weapons. The bonuses apply to weapons in the following categories: Axes; Gauntlets and Claws; Hammers, Flail, and Picks; Heavy Swords; Javelins; Light Swords; Maces and Clubs; Polearms; and Tools. An unarmed strike uses either Strength or Dexterity, whichever is better.

Dexterity: A measurement of your character's speed, agility, and accuracy. Higher Dexterity primarily affects your skill in ranged combat and your ability to react quickly in dangerous situations. A Dexterity score of -5 means you are paralyzed.

Each point of Dexterity gives a +1 to hit and to critical damage with certain weapons, and a +1 to your Celerity defense. The bonuses appliy to weapons in the following categories: Disks and Boomerangs; Bows; Chains and Ropes; Crossbows; Daggers; and Staffs. An unarmed strike uses either Strength or Dexterity, whichever is better.

Constitution: Constitution represents your character's overall health and fitness. Greater Constitution grants additional hit points and faster healing rates. A Constitution score of -5 means you are dead.

Each level gives a +1 bonus to your Vigor defense, +1 HP, and +1 to your maximum number of short rests per day.

Intelligence: An overall measurement of your character's magical prowess, knowledge, and capacity for learning. A higher Intelligence score means you have more magic at your disposal, and your spells are more effective. An Intelligence of -5 means you are unconscious.

Every level of Intelligence grants a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls and critical damage/healing, and a +1 to your maximum level in each discipline.

Wisdom: Your character's Wisdom represents his ability to think clearly, as well as his common sense and intuition. A greater Wisdom score increases your character's perception and reaction time in combat. A Wisdom score of -5 means you are unconscious.

Each level of Wisdom grants a +1 bonus to your Spirit defense, a -1 bonus to your initiative roll at the start of combat, and a -1 bonus to the standard casting time of spells. If your Wisdom score would lower your initiative beyond 1d6+1, then it progresses as follows: 1d6+1, 1d4+1, 1d3+1, 1d3, 1d2, 1. Your initiative cannot be lowered below 1.

Persona: Persona measures your character's overall charisma, force of will, and determination. Greater Persona improves your communication skills and your resistance to wounds. A Persona of -5 means you are unconscious.

Each level of Persona grants a +1 bonus to your Threshold of Pain, and a +1 bonus to your fatigue recovery rate during a short rest.

Attribute Checks

Some situations require making an attribute check, which is a direct measurement of your strength in one of your primary attributes. An attribute check is made by rolling 1d12 + 1d6 and adding your attribute score. A natural 17 or 18 is not an automatic success, but if it does succeed, then it is a critical success. The effects of a critical success are dependent on the situation, and decided by the DM. Likewise, a failure on a natural 2 or 3 is a critical failure.


Enhancements, unlike the skills detailed below, tend to apply to the character as a whole. Most skills can only be used in certain situations, whereas enhancements are always active. Although most enhancements are fairly basic, do not underestimate their usefulness. Purchasing a few levels of accuracy or defense can be extremely helpful, and obviously gaining hit points and attributes will help as well.

The table below lists the cost of each enhancement.

Table: AP Cost of Enhancements
EnhancementAP cost
Increase max HP by 1½Base HP gained (minus Constitution)1
Increase Fatigue Recovery by 19
Improve any attribute by 126
Increase Power by 120+5×Base Power gained2
Improve Accuracy by 116+2×Base Accuracy gained2
Improve highest of Fortitude, Agility, and Willpower by 110+2×Base modifier gained3
Improve either of the weaker two of Fortitude, Agility, and Willpower by 15+Base modifier gained3
Improve Threshold of Pain by 15×Base Threshold of Pain gained-104
Gain an affinity510
Gain proficiency with a weapon or armorvaries by item
Learn a new spellvaries by spell6
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Personal to Touch6
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Touch to Close10
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Close to Short8
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Short to Mid14
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Mid to Long18
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Long to Distant25
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Distant to Remote30
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Remote to Planar50
Permanently increase one spell's range category from Planar to Inter-Planar80
Permanently charge one spell's duration by one step8
  1. The cost is half of your total HP minus your Constitution score, rounded down, so if you are increasing your HP from 24 to 25 and you have a Constitution of 2, then the total cost is (25-2)/2, or 11.
  2. Your base Accuracy and Power are 0, so increasing either once costs 16+2×1=18. Each additional point adds 2 AP to the cost.
  3. Your base Fortitude, Agility, and Willpower include racial and element modifiers. Any that are tied for highest use the cost of increasing the highest.
  4. Your base Threshold of Pain begins at 3, and does not count your bonus from Persona, so buying your first level costs 10, then 15, 20, etc.
  5. This may be a weapon or discipline affinity.
  6. Spell AP costs are listed in the individual spell description.


Skills describe special actions that your character can accomplish. Each skill has multiple levels that can be purchased with AP, and each level allows the character to accomplish something new or to improve upon the abilities gained from the previous level. All skill levels must be purchased in order (meaning in order to get the third level, you must already have the first and second), and the listed costs are for the level to be gained, not the cumulative cost to gain all levels up to that point. The skills are laid out in the following format:

Skill Title (Prerequisites for level 1)

[Skill descriptors]

Description of the skill.

  1. [cost for level 1] Skill level 1 description
  2. [cost for level 2] Skill level 2 description
  3. [cost for level 3] Skill level 3 description
  4. [cost for level 4] (Prerequisite: requirements before learning skill) Skill level 4 description

Note: special circumstances and things to consider for a given skill, or special rules that apply to the skill.

Under normal circumstances, skills may not exceed the maximum levels presented here. However, the DM may provide methods to gain an additional level (or levels) if he so chooses, but the specifics of such a level will be up to him.

If a skill level has listed prerequisites, then these must be met prior to obtaining that level.

Skill Prerequisites

Most skills require that certain conditions be met prior to obtaining some or all of the levels. A skill that lists Dexterity 3 as a prerequisite requires that your character's Dexterity be 3 or higher. Prerequisites can include attribute levels, discipline levels, total number of spells known, or other skills at certain levels, and some skills also have special requirements as stated in the level description.

Many skills require that your total bonus to a discipline meet a certain number, rather than just the levels in the discipline. These skills specify a discipline and attribute, along with a particular bonus that must be met. This is in the form of Discipline (Att) +Bonus. For example, Improved Flanking 1 has a prerequisite of Acrobatics (Dex) +4, which means your total bonus to Dexterity-based Acrobatics checks must be at least equal to +4.

Skill Descriptors

Some skills have descriptors that specify certain conditions that must be met before use, or other limitations on the skill. Other descriptors just classify skills into groups. The descriptors are listed below.

Agile Combat: This skill requires speed and agility in combat. Certain races pay more or fewer AP to learn these skills.

Archery: This skill applies to the use of bows. Certain races pay more or fewer AP to learn these skills.

Heavy Combat: This skill represents ability with heavy armor, weapons, or hard-hitting attack styles. Certain races pay more or fewer AP to learn these skills.

Mental Discipline: This skill requires focus and diligence. Certain races pay more or fewer AP to learn these skills.

Mounted: This skill applies to horseback or other mounted combat. Certain races pay more or fewer AP to learn these skills.

Passive: This skill grants a benefit that comes into effect either continually or automatically in certain situations, and does not need to be used specifically.

Precise: You cannot use a precise skill when blinded.

Ranged: This skill can only be used with ranged weapons.

Reactive: You can only use these skills as a reaction to a specific event. You cannot use a reactive skill when blinded, immobile, or unsteady.

Expand/Close all skills.

Combat Skills Expand all

Divine Skills Expand all

Magic Skills expand all

Other Skills expand all


No racial bonuses or penalties to skill AP costs apply to any discipline. Each level of a discipline costs the AP indicated in the table below, and there is no absolute maximum level. However, your level in any discipline cannot exceed double your character level plus your intelligence (minimum of 1). Each of these disciplines encompasses a wide range of abilities. For example, Athletics includes your character's abilities to climb, jump, swim, and run. The DM may also use disciplines to make any applicable checks that are not listed specifically. Perception, for example, could also be used to see if the character notices a certain smell, or gets an "eerie feeling" that something just isn't quite right when going into a haunted cave. The disciplines are intentionally broad, so that each will be useful in a variety of situations, without being too powerful.

Your attributes act as modifiers to related checks. For example, your Strength score is added whenever you roll a check to jump, and your Dexterity attribute is added whenever you are attempting to hide or move silently. The appropriate attributes to add for a given activity are generally listed in the discipline description, and the DM decides if there are any exceptions.

You can gain an affinity for a discipline to improve it beyond the normal limit for your character level. You may gain as many affinities as you want, but only one per discipline. Affinities add a bonus to the discipline as specified in the table, and count as a competence bonus. Having an affinity for a discipline does not count as being trained in that discipline, so if it requires training you must still take at least one level in it normally or suffer the normal penalties.

Discipline Checks

A discipline check is used to accomplish a specific task with one of your disciplines. To make a discipline check, roll 1d12 + 1d6 and add all relevant modifiers. Most disciplines can add modifiers from different attributes, but only one attribute can be applied to any specific roll. The attribute used for a specific action is generally stated in the discipline description, and any other cases are left up to the DM's discretion.

If you have 5 or more levels in a discipline, you may choose to roll either 3d6 or 1d12+1d6 when using that discipline. 3d6 results in a slightly higher average than 1d12+1d6, and the rolls will be much more likely to be grouped around the middle.

Discipline checks are referenced with the notation of Discipline (Att), where Discipline is the discipline check required, and Att is the attribute that is applied to the check.

Critical Successes and Failures

A natural 18 on a discipline check is an automatic success, regardless of your total result. If you roll a natural 17 or 18 when making a discipline check, then it is a critical success, provided that it exceeds the minimum requirement. The details of a critical success will vary based on the action being attempted, but typical results include moving twice as fast for a period of climbing, not draining the normal fatigue to perform the action, picking a lock with a single swift movement, or something similar. For opposed checks, a critical success grants a bonus of +5 to the effective roll.

A natural 2 is an automatic failure, no matter what bonuses you have. A natural 2 or 3 that fails is also a critical fumble. Usually, this indicates that something directly opposed to your desired result occurred. For example, you may fall during a climb, aggravate a wound while attempting to bandage an ally, interpret some magical writing incorrectly, and so on. An opposed check takes a -5 penalty if you make a critical fumble.

Taking 10, 15, and 18

In conditions where you are not under stress or time constraints, and there is no penalty for failure, you may choose to take 10, 15, or 18 on a discipline check. Taking any number means that you do not roll your normal check, and are instead assumed to have rolled the number you take. Taking 10 takes only as much time as a normal check, and can be done even in situations where there would be a penalty for failure, as long as it is not life-threatening, as this would cause stress. Taking 15 takes 10 times as long (you prepare carefully beforehand, and may have to make several attempts), and taking 18 takes 100 times as long as a normal check. Taking 18 assumes many failures and an extreme amount of extra effort. Taking 15 or 18 also costs 10 or 100 times as much as normal if the discipline requires money (such as crafting).

DisciplineAP CostAffinity BonusDescription
Acrobatics22+3Measures your flexibility, balance, and similar agility-based skills.
Arcana33+2Measures your skill and knowledge of all things magical and mysterious.
Athletics22+3Represents many skills that are primarily strength- and constitution-based, such as climbing, swimming, running, and jumping.
Craft11+5These are various crafts, such as woodworking, armorsmithing, fletching, etc. that your character could use to earn a living.
Culture2+3Measures your ability to handle yourself appropriately in social situations, as well as your knowledge of etiquette, society, and basic lore.
Deception2+3Represents your ability to lie believably or effectively imitate another person through disguise or forgery.
Heal3+2Allows you to heal injuries sustained in combat, treat poisons, and cure diseases.
Mechanics32+3Measures your knowledge of machinery, architecture, and engineering design, as well as your ability to build, repair, or disable this machinery.
Nature3+2Represents your knowledge of the land, how comfortable you are in the wilderness, how well you can survive on your own, and how well you can deal with animals.
Perception3+2Measures your ability to sense various objects or creatures, whether by sight, sound, or smell, and your basic knowledge of history and religion.
Perform131+5You have skill with an instrument or with something such as poetry, painting, acting, singing, or other performances or arts.
Persuasion3+2Measures your ability to get what you want from others or to convince others of your point of view. Persuasion of this sort may involve lying or threats, or just conveying the facts.
Stealth22+3Measures your ability to remain unnoticed while hiding, sneaking, and performing other acts of legerdemain.
Thievery32+3Represents your training and ability with opening locks and picking pockets.
  1. These categories are actually several smaller skills grouped together. For more information, see the individual listings.
  2. Armor check penalty applies.
  3. If you use this discipline untrained (without at least 1 level in it), you take a -5 penalty on your check.

Show description Acrobatics (Dex)

Show description Arcana (Int, Con, & Dex)

Show description Athletics (Str & Con)

Show description Craft (Varies)

Show description Culture (Per, Int)

Show description Deception (Per, Int)

Show description Heal (Wis)

Show description Mechanics (Dex)

Show description Nature (Wis, Dex, Per)

Show description Perception (Int, Wis, Per)

Show description Perform (Varies)

Show description Persuasion (Per)

Show description Stealth (Dex)

Show description Thievery (Dex)