Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 450

CYPHER SYSTEM RULEBOOK

CREDITS
Designers Monte Cook, Bruce R. Cordell, Sean K. Reynolds
Additional Designers Shanna Germain, Robert J. Schwalb
Creative Director Monte Cook
Managing Editor Shanna Germain
Editor/Proofreader Ray Vallese
Art Director Bear Weiter
Cover Artist Roberto Pitturru

Artists
Eren Arik, Jacob Atienza, Bruce Brenneise, Marco Caradonna, chrom, Vincent Coviello, Biagio D’Alessandro,
Sarah Dahlinger, Florian Devos, Jason Engle, Felipe Escobar, David Hueso, Baldi Konijn, Guido Kuip, Kezrek Laczin,
Katerina Ladon, Brandon Leach, Eric Lofgren, Raph Lomotan, Anton Kagounkin Magdalina, Patrick McEvoy,
Jeremy McHugh, Brynn Metheney, Giorgio De Michele (Erebus), Reiko Murakami, Federico Musetti, Irina Nordsol,
Mirco Paganessi, Grzegorz Pedrycz, Angelo Peluso, Mike Perry, John Petersen, Roberto Pitturru, Scott Purdy,
Aaron Riley, Riccardo Rullo, Nick Russell, Seth Rutledge, Martin de Diego Sádaba, Sam Santala, Lie Setiawan,
Joe Slucher, Lee Smith, Kim Sokol, Matt Stawicki, Cyril Terpent, Cory Trego-Erdner, Tiffany Turrill, Shane Tyree,
Jordan K. Walker, Chris Waller, Cathy Wilkins, Ben Wootten, Kieran Yanner

© 2019 Monte Cook Games, LLC. CYPHER SYSTEM and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A.
and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of
Monte Cook Games, LLC.

Printed in Canada
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE CYPHER SYSTEM 4 PART 3: GENRES 251
Chapter 1: WORLDS OF ADVENTURE 4 Chapter 13: FANTASY 252
Chapter 2: ANYTHING GOES 5 Chapter 14: MODERN 261
Chapter 3: HOW TO PLAY THE CYPHER SYSTEM 7 Chapter 15: SCIENCE FICTION 270
Chapter 16: HORROR 280
PART 1: CHARACTERS 13 Chapter 17: ROMANCE 286
Chapter 4: CREATING YOUR CHARACTER 14 Chapter 18: SUPERHEROES 289
Chapter 5: TYPE 20 Chapter 19: POST-APOCALYPTIC 295
Chapter 6: FLAVOR 34 Chapter 20: FAIRY TALE 302
Chapter 7: DESCRIPTOR 38 Chapter 21: HISTORICAL 307
Chapter 8: FOCUS 60
Chapter 9: ABILITIES 95 PART 4: GAME MASTERING 311
Chapter 10: EQUIPMENT 201 Chapter 22: CREATURES 312
Chapter 23: NPCs 372
PART 2: RULES 205 Chapter 24: CYPHERS 377
Chapter 11: RULES OF THE GAME 206 Chapter 25: RUNNING THE CYPHER SYSTEM 402
Chapter 12: EXPERIENCE POINTS 237
PART 5: BACK MATTER 443
INDEX 444
CAMPAIGN DESIGN WORKSHEET 446
CHARACTER SHEET 447
Chapter 1

WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

U
ltimately, what we all want is to play precisely material easier to use and easier to customize.
the game we want to play. Game masters The brand-new content, like the character arc
all have a perfect setting in the back of their system, the crafting system, the additional genre
brain. Players have that one character idea that information, and so on, will hopefully make your
would be their best character ever, if they could games more fun and your stories richer.
just have the chance to make and play them. But let me reiterate: we haven’t changed the
Those dreams of playing exactly what you want way the game works. You can use this book
to play are why this book exists. alongside the old Cypher System Rulebook
This is a revised version of the original Cypher without much issue at all.
System Rulebook. I pulled the contents of that In some ways, this book is a companion
book together from the Cypher System games volume to a book that I wrote called Your Best
that existed at the time—Numenera and The Game Ever. That book is a system-agnostic
Strange. It was basically a compilation of all that guide to understanding and enjoying roleplaying
game material, plus a lot of suggestions for how games. This book takes the ideas and
to use it in any way you wished. Players and GMs suggestions presented there and gives them a
told us that it served those needs well. set of rules that empowers them. It’s my goal to
We’ve learned a lot since then, though. Not give you the tools to have your best game ever.
so much about the system rules themselves— And that, I believe, involves getting to play in
which remain essentially untouched—but about the setting and with the characters that you’ve
how we want to use this kind of book, and always wanted. Now, hopefully, you can do just
therefore how to present the information in it. that.
It’s really challenging to make something that’s
usable by anyone for anything and present it in Have fun!
a truly user-friendly way. But I think we did just
that with this book. The innovations you’ll find
in these pages—the way all the abilities have
been cataloged so you can use them however
you need, the focus on subtle cyphers, the Monte Cook
breadth of the genres presented—make this March 2019

4
Anything Goes

Chapter 2

ANYTHING GOES

F
or just a moment, we’re talking directly to Speaking of worlds, you get to decide what
the game masters out there. Both players setting to use, based on what genre you want.
and GMs will use this book, but more than It can be anything. Pick your favorite book or
likely the GM will look at it first. movie, or design something from scratch.
What you hold in your hands is a guidebook. A
how-to. You can’t just sit down and start playing,
because the Cypher System Rulebook is not meant GENRES
to be used that way. You have to put something Take a look at Part 3: Genres, which has a Part 3: Genres, page 251
of your own into it first. There is no setting or number of chapters devoted to genres. These are
world here. The system is designed to help you broad categories, and we use them in this book
portray any world or setting you can dream up. as a starting point. Those categories are: fantasy,
Think of this book as a chest of toys. You modern, science fiction, horror, romance,
can pull out whatever you want and play with it superheroes, post-apocalyptic, fairy tale, and
however you want. You won’t use everything in historical.
it, at least not all at once. You’ll use parts of it to With those broad strokes, we cover most
build the game you want to play. Pull out some (but probably not all) of the kinds of games you
pieces and give them a try. Put back the ones can run with the Cypher System. Some of these
that don’t suit you, and try different ones. Use genres require unique equipment, artifacts, or
some now and save others for your next game. descriptors. Some need new rules to convey the
You have all the freedom in the world (many experience you’re after.
worlds, actually). We say “experience” because in many ways,
that’s what a genre is. If you want to capture
the experience of being terrified by zombies
swarming around a character’s home, you want
Think of this book as a chest of toys. horror. If you want to convey the experience
of being extremely powerful and using those
You can pull out whatever you want powers to protect the world from aliens, you
and play with it however you want. want superheroes (maybe with a dash of science
fiction).

5
Genre categories are difficult. Sometimes they can be constricting when
they should be liberating. Don’t worry too much about being a genre purist.
Just have a fun game.

So, really, what you’re choosing here is the for your PCs, even though it’s fine in other
experience you want to have—and that you want fantasy games.
the players to have. This is such a fundamental The more specific details you have about your
decision that perhaps the whole group should setting, the easier this is to do. And the more
be in on it. Ask the other players what genre they distinct your setting is from genre tropes, the
like and what kinds of experiences they want more you’ll have to do it. But that’s okay. Specific,
to have. This is vital because it ensures that distinct settings are usually the most fun, the
everyone gets what they want out of the game. most memorable, and the most likely to engage
Of course, not everything in this book is your players. They’re worth the extra work.
suitable for every genre. You, the GM, will need to
read through it once you’ve chosen a genre and
pick types, foci, and so forth. Then tell your players TAILORING THE RULES
what material you’ve chosen to be available so Sometimes you have to alter things to make
they can create characters that fit the genre. them into what you need and want. Take, for
Flavor, page 34 example, the magic flavor that you can give to
Chapter 5: Type, page 20 any of the types in chapter 5. It’s called “magic”
SETTINGS and has a lot of the trappings of magic, but
While genres are useful categories to organize it would be simple to change the name to
your thoughts, what you’re actually going to “psionics,” “mutant powers,” or whatever your
create is a setting. Labels like “science fiction” setting needs.
or “space opera” are fine, but in the end, what is In other words, picking and choosing material
important is the specific setting. from this book might not be enough. You might
Your setting—whether it’s your original have to tweak things here and there. Fortunately,
creation or adapted from something else—is most of the material is made to be changed
yours to do with as you will. Don’t worry about or manipulated. In fact, because the core
what anyone else might think is appropriate mechanics of the Cypher System are so simple,
for the genre. Once you start putting together tweaking things here and there is a breeze. This
the setting, you might want to go through the is not the kind of game where changing one
character creation material in this book again. thing creates a domino effect that has a lot of
Just because something is appropriate for the unintended consequences.
Chapter 7: Descriptor, fantasy genre, it might not work for your fantasy In chapter 7, you’ll find guidelines for creating
page 38 setting. For example, you might have designed new descriptors. In chapter 8, you’ll find an
Chapter 8: Focus, it such that fire magic is always evil and in the entire section dedicated to helping you create
page 60 hands of demon-possessed priests, and thus brand-new foci specific to your own games. And
Bears a Halo of Bears a Halo of Fire is not an appropriate focus the character types in chapter 5 are designed to
Fire, page 64 be tailored and reshaped.
When making alterations, worry less about
If you like the Cypher System but don’t
game balance and more about telling the stories
want to create your own setting, check
you want to tell and allowing the players to create
out the games Numenera or The
and play the characters they want to play. If you
Strange, or the books Gods of the Fall,
do both of those things successfully, everyone
Predation, and Unmasked, as well as the
will be happy. And that’s really what game
upcoming titles The Stars Are Fire, Stay
balance is all about.
Alive!, Godforsaken, and We Are All Mad
Chapter 25: Running the You can also look at chapter 25 for further
Here. All of these offer complete settings
Cypher System, page 402 insights into changing the mechanics. But
with predetermined genres, foci, types,
mostly, that chapter will tell you the same thing
and more. None require customization if
that you’re reading now: it’s your game to do
you don’t want to do that.
with as you will.

6
How to Play the Cypher System

Chapter 3

HOW TO PLAY THE CYPHER SYSTEM

T
he rules of the Cypher System are quite which assumes it’s eased by one step). If they
straightforward at their heart, as all of are specialized in climbing, they turn a difficulty
gameplay is based around a few core concepts. 6 climb into a difficulty 4 climb. This is called
This chapter provides a brief explanation of how easing the difficulty by two steps. Decreasing the
to play the game, and it’s useful for learning the difficulty of a task can also be called easing a task.
game. Once you understand the basic concepts, Some situations increase, or hinder, the difficulty Hinder, page 207
you’ll likely want to reference Chapter 11: Rules of of a task. If a task is hindered, it increases the Chapter 11: Rules of
the Game, for a more in-depth treatment. difficulty by one step. the Game, page 206
The Cypher System uses a twenty-sided die A skill is a category of knowledge, ability, or Skill, page 19
(1d20) to determine the results of most actions. activity relating to a task, such as climbing,
Whenever a roll of any kind is called for and no geography, or persuasiveness. A character who
die is specified, roll a d20. has a skill is better at completing related tasks
The game master sets a difficulty for any given than a character who lacks the skill. A character’s Difficulty, page 207
task. There are ten degrees of difficulty. Thus, the level of skill is either trained (reasonably skilled)
difficulty of a task can be rated on a scale of 1 to 10. or specialized (very skilled).
Each difficulty has a target number associated If you are trained in a skill relating to a task, Trained, page 207
with it. The target number is always three times you ease the difficulty of that task by one step. If
the task’s difficulty, so a difficulty 1 task has a you are specialized, you ease the difficulty by two Specialized, page 207
target number of 3, but a difficulty 4 task has a steps. A skill can never decrease a task’s difficulty
target number of 12. To succeed at the task, you by more than two steps.
must roll the target number or higher. See the Anything else that reduces difficulty (help from
Task Difficulty table (page 8) for guidance in how an ally, a particular piece of equipment, or some
this works. other advantage) is referred to as an asset. Assets Asset, page 209
Character skills, favorable circumstances, or can never decrease a task’s difficulty by more
excellent equipment can decrease the difficulty than two steps.
of a task. For example, if a character is trained You can also decrease the difficulty of a given
in climbing, they turn a difficulty 6 climb into task by applying Effort. (Effort is described in Effort, page 15
a difficulty 5 climb. This is called easing the more detail in chapter 11.) Ease, page 207
difficulty by one step (or just easing the difficulty,

7
TASK DIFFICULTY
Task Difficulty Description Target No. Guidance
0 Routine 0 Anyone can do this basically every time.
1 Simple 3 Most people can do this most of the time.
2 Standard 6 Typical task requiring focus, but most people can usually do this.
3 Demanding 9 Requires full attention; most people have a 50/50 chance to succeed.
4 Difficult 12 Trained people have a 50/50 chance to succeed.
5 Challenging 15 Even trained people often fail.
6 Intimidating 18 Normal people almost never succeed.
7 Formidable 21 Impossible without skills or great effort.
8 Heroic 24 A task worthy of tales told for years afterward.
9 Immortal 27 A task worthy of legends that last lifetimes.
10 Impossible 30 A task that normal humans couldn’t consider (but one that doesn’t break
the laws of physics).

To sum up, three things can decrease a task’s COMBAT


difficulty: skills, assets, and Effort. Making an attack in combat works the same
If you can ease a task so its difficulty is way as any other roll: the GM assigns a difficulty
reduced to 0, you automatically succeed and to the task, and you roll a d20 against the
don’t need to make a roll. associated target number.
The difficulty of your attack roll depends on
how powerful your opponent is. Just as tasks
WHEN DO YOU ROLL? have a difficulty from 1 to 10, creatures have a
Any time your character attempts a task, the GM level from 1 to 10. Most of the time, the difficulty
assigns a difficulty to that task, and you roll a of your attack roll is the same as the creature’s
d20 against the associated target number. level. For example, if you attack a level 2 bandit,
When you jump from a burning vehicle, swing it’s a level 2 task, so your target number is 6.
an axe at a mutant beast, swim across a raging It’s worth noting that players make all die rolls.
river, identify a strange device, convince a merchant If a character attacks a creature, the player makes
to give you a lower price, craft an object, use a an attack roll. If a creature attacks a character,
power to control a foe’s mind, or use a blaster rifle the player makes a defense roll.
to carve a hole in a wall, you make a d20 roll. The damage dealt by an attack is not
However, if you attempt something that determined by a roll—it’s a flat number based on
has a difficulty of 0, no roll is needed—you the weapon or attack used. For example, a spear
automatically succeed. Many actions have a always does 4 points of damage.
Armor, page 202 difficulty of 0. Examples include walking across Your Armor characteristic reduces the damage
the room and opening a door, using a special you take from attacks directed at you. You get
ability to negate gravity so you can fly, using an Armor from wearing physical armor (such as a
ability to protect your friend from radiation, or leather jacket in a modern game or chainmail in
activating a device (that you already understand) a fantasy setting) or from special abilities. Like
to erect a force field. These are all routine actions weapon damage, Armor is a flat number, not a
and don’t require rolls. roll. If you’re attacked, subtract your Armor from
Using skill, assets, and Effort, you can ease the damage you take. For example, a leather
the difficulty of potentially any task to 0 and jacket gives you +1 to Armor, meaning that you
thus negate the need for a roll. Walking across a take 1 less point of damage from attacks. If a
narrow wooden beam is tricky for most people, mugger hits you with a knife for 2 points of
but for an experienced gymnast, it’s routine. You damage while you’re wearing a leather jacket,
can even ease the difficulty of an attack on a foe you take only 1 point of damage. If your Armor
to 0 and succeed without rolling. reduces the damage from an attack to 0, you
If there’s no roll, there’s no chance for failure. take no damage from that attack.
However, there’s also no chance for remarkable When you see the word “Armor” capitalized
success (in the Cypher System, that usually in the game rules (other than in the name
Special rolls, page 9 means rolling a 19 or 20, which are called special of a special ability), it refers to your Armor
rolls; chapter 11 also discusses special rolls). characteristic—the number you subtract from

8
How to Play the Cypher System

GLOSSARY
Game master (GM): The player who doesn’t run a Session: A single play experience. Usually lasts a few
character, but instead guides the flow of the story and runs hours. Sometimes one adventure can be accomplished in a
all the NPCs. session. More often, one adventure is multiple sessions.

Nonplayer character (NPC): Characters run by the GM. Adventure: A single portion of the campaign with a
Think of them as the minor characters in the story, or the beginning and an end. Usually defined at the beginning by
villains or opponents. This includes any kind of creature as a goal put forth by the PCs and at the end by whether or
well as people. not they achieve that goal.

Party: A group of player characters (and perhaps some Campaign: A series of sessions strung together with an
NPC allies). overarching story (or linked stories) with the same player
characters. Often, but not always, a campaign involves a
Player character (PC): A character run by a player rather number of adventures.
than the GM. Think of the PCs as the main characters in
the story. Character: Anything that can act in the game. Although this
includes PCs and human NPCs, it also technically includes
Player: The players who run characters in the game. creatures, aliens, mutants, automatons, animate plants,
and so on. The word “creature” is usually synonymous.

incoming damage. When you see the word that must be used in two hands is a heavy
“armor” with a lowercase “a,” it refers to any weapon.
physical armor you might wear.
Typical physical weapons come in three
categories: light, medium and heavy. SPECIAL ROLLS
When you roll a natural 19 (the d20 shows
Light weapons inflict only 2 points of damage, “19”) and the roll is a success, you also have a For more on the types of
but they ease attack rolls because they are fast minor effect. In combat, a minor effect inflicts 3 weapons that characters
and easy to use. Light weapons are punches, additional points of damage with your attack, or, can use, see Chapter
10: Equipment.
kicks, clubs, knives, handaxes, rapiers, small if you’d prefer a special result, you could decide
pistols, and so on. Weapons that are particularly instead that you knock the foe back, distract
small are light weapons. them, or something similar. When not in combat,
a minor effect could mean that you perform the
Medium weapons inflict 4 points of damage. action with particular grace. For example, when
Medium weapons include swords, battleaxes, jumping down from a ledge, you land smoothly For some people, combat
maces, crossbows, spears, pistols, blasters, and on your feet, or when trying to persuade will be an important part
so on. Most weapons are medium. Anything that someone, you convince them that you’re smarter of the Cypher System.
However, it’s your
could be used in one hand (even if it’s often used than you really are. In other words, you not only
choice; a Cypher System
in two hands, such as a quarterstaff or spear) is a succeed but also go a bit further. game doesn’t have to
medium weapon. When you roll a natural 20 (the d20 shows be about combat.
“20”) and the roll is a success, you also have
Heavy weapons inflict 6 points of damage, a major effect. This is similar to a minor effect,
and you must use two hands to attack with but the results are more remarkable. In combat,
them. Heavy weapons are huge swords, great a major effect inflicts 4 additional points of
hammers, massive axes, halberds, heavy damage with your attack, but again, you can
crossbows, blaster rifles, and so on. Anything choose instead to introduce a dramatic event

In the Cypher System, players make all die rolls. If a character attacks a
creature, the player makes an attack roll. If a creature attacks a character,
the player makes a defense roll.

9
such as knocking down your foe, stunning them, Short distance is anything greater than
or taking an extra action. Outside of combat, a immediate distance but less than 50 feet (15 m)
major effect means that something beneficial or so.
happens based on the circumstance. For
example, when climbing up a cliff wall, you make Long distance is anything greater than short
the ascent twice as fast. When a roll grants you distance but less than 100 feet (30 m) or so.
a major effect, you can choose to use a minor
effect instead if you prefer. Very long distance is anything greater than
For more information In combat (and only in combat), if you roll long distance but less than 500 feet (150 m)
on special rolls and a natural 17 or 18 on your attack roll, you add 1 or so. Beyond that range, distances are always
how they affect combat or 2 additional points of damage, respectively. specified—1,000 feet (300 m), a mile (1.5 km),
and other interactions,
Neither roll has any special effect options—just and so on.
see page 210.
the extra damage.
Rolling a natural 1 is always bad. It means that The idea is that it’s not necessary to measure
the GM introduces a new complication into the precise distances. Immediate distance is right
encounter. there, practically next to the character. Short
distance is nearby. Long distance is farther off.
Very long distance is really far off.
RANGE AND SPEED All weapons and special abilities use these
Distance, page 213 Distance is simplified into four categories: terms for ranges. For example, all melee
immediate, short, long, and very long. weapons have immediate range—they are
close-combat weapons, and you can use them
Immediate distance from a character is within to attack anyone within immediate distance. A
reach or within a few steps. If a character stands thrown knife (and most other thrown weapons)
in a small room, everything in the room is has short range. A bow has long range. An
Adept, page 24 within immediate distance. At most, immediate Adept’s Onslaught ability also has short range.
Onslaught, page 167 distance is 10 feet (3 m).

10
How to Play the Cypher System

A character can move an immediate distance EXPERIENCE POINTS


as part of another action. In other words, they Experience points (XP) are rewards given to Experience points,
can take a few steps over to the control panel players when the GM intrudes on the story (this is page 237
and activate a switch. They can lunge across a called GM intrusion) with a new and unexpected GM intrusion, page 408
small room to attack a foe. They can open a door challenge. For example, in the middle of combat,
and step through. the GM might inform the player that they drop their
A character can move a short distance as their weapon. However, to intrude in this manner, the
entire action for a turn. They can also try to move GM must award the player 2 XP. The rewarded
a long distance as their entire action, but the player, in turn, must immediately give one of those
player might have to roll to see if the character XP to another player and justify the gift (perhaps
slips, trips, or stumbles as the result of moving the other player had a good idea, told a funny joke,
so far so quickly. performed an action that saved a life, and so on). Many rules in this system
For example, if the PCs are fighting a group Alternatively, the player can refuse the GM avoid the cumbersome
of cultists, any character can likely attack intrusion. If they do so, they don’t get the 2 XP need for precision. Does
it really matter if the
any cultist in the general melee—they’re all from the GM, and they must also spend 1 XP
ghost is 13 feet away from
within immediate range. Exact positions aren’t that they already have. If the player has no XP to you or 18? Probably not.
important. Creatures in a fight are always spend, they can’t refuse the intrusion. That kind of needless
moving, shifting, and jostling, anyway. However, The GM can also give players XP between specificity only slows
if one cultist stayed back to fire a pistol, a sessions as a reward for making discoveries things down and draws
character might have to use their entire action during an adventure. Discoveries are interesting away from, rather than
contributes to, the story.
to move the short distance required to attack facts, wondrous secrets, powerful artifacts,
that foe. It doesn’t matter if the cultist is 20 answers to mysteries, or solutions to problems
feet (6 m) or 40 feet (12 m) away—it’s simply (such as where the kidnappers are keeping their
considered short distance. It does matter if the victim or how the PCs repair the starship). You
cultist is more than 50 feet (15 m) away because don’t earn XP for killing foes or overcoming
that distance would require a long or very long standard challenges in the course of play.
move. Discovery is the soul of the Cypher System.

11
You don’t earn XP for killing foes or overcoming standard challenges in the
course of play. Discovery is the soul of the Cypher System.

Experience points are used primarily for


Chapter 4: Creating character advancement (for details, see Chapter
Your Character, page 14 4: Creating Your Character), but a player can
also spend 1 XP to reroll any die roll and take the
better of the two rolls.

CYPHERS
Cypher, page 377 Cyphers are abilities that have a single use.
In many campaigns, cyphers aren’t physical
objects—they might be a spell cast upon a
character, a blessing from a god, or just a quirk
of fate that gives them a momentary advantage.
In some campaigns, cyphers are physical
objects that characters can carry. Whether or not
cyphers are physical objects, they are part of the
character (like equipment or a special ability) and
are things characters can use during the game.
The form that physical cyphers take depends
on the setting. In a fantasy world they might be
wands or potions, but in a science fiction game
they could be alien crystals or prototype devices.
Characters will find new cyphers frequently in
the course of play, so players shouldn’t hesitate
to use their cypher abilities. Because cyphers are
always different, the characters will always have
new special powers to try.

OTHER DICE
A d6 is used most In addition to a d20, you’ll need a d6 (a six-sided
often for recovery rolls die). Rarely, you’ll need to roll a number between
(page 218) and to 1 and 100 (often called a d100 or d% roll), which
determine the level of
you can do by rolling a d20 twice, using the last
cyphers (page 377).
digit of the first roll as the “tens” place and the
last digit of the second roll as the “ones” place.
For example, rolling a 17 and a 9 gives you 79,
rolling a 3 and an 18 gives you 38, and rolling a
20 and a 10 gives you 00 (also known as 100).
If you have a d10 (a ten-sided die), you can use
it instead of the d20 to roll numbers between 1
and 100.

12
Part 1
CHARACTERS

Chapter 4: CREATING YOUR CHARACTER 14


Chapter 5: TYPE 20
Chapter 6: FLAVOR 34
Chapter 7: DESCRIPTOR 38
Chapter 8: FOCUS 60
Chapter 9: ABILITIES 95
Chapter 10: EQUIPMENT 201
Chapter 4

CREATING YOUR CHARACTER

T
his chapter explains how to create characters Might governs actions from forcing doors
to play in a Cypher System game. This open to walking for days without food to
involves a series of decisions that will shape resisting disease. It’s also the primary means of
your character, so the more you understand what determining how much damage your character
kind of character you want to play, the easier can sustain in a dangerous situation. Physical
character creation will be. The process involves characters, tough characters, and characters
understanding the values of three game statistics interested in fighting should focus on Might.
and choosing three aspects that determine your
character’s capabilities. SPEED
Speed could be thought Speed describes how fast and physically
of as Speed/Agility coordinated your character is. The stat embodies
because it governs your
overall swiftness and
CHARACTER STATS quickness, movement, dexterity, and reflexes.
Every player character has three defining Speed governs such divergent actions as dodging
reflexes.
characteristics, which are typically called attacks, sneaking around quietly, and throwing a
“statistics” or “stats.” These stats are Might, ball accurately. It helps determine whether you can
Might could be thought Speed, and Intellect. They are broad categories move farther on your turn. Nimble, fast, or sneaky
of as Might/Health that cover many different but related aspects of characters will want good Speed stats, as will
because it governs how a character. those interested in ranged combat.
strong you are and
how much physical
punishment you can take. MIGHT INTELLECT
Might defines how strong and durable This stat determines how smart, knowledgeable,
your character is. The concepts of strength, and likable your character is. It includes
Intellect could be thought endurance, constitution, hardiness, and physical intelligence, wisdom, charisma, education,
of as Intellect/Personality prowess are all folded into this one stat. Might reasoning, wit, willpower, and charm. Intellect
because it governs isn’t relative to size; instead, it’s an absolute governs solving puzzles, remembering facts,
both intelligence and
measurement. An elephant has more Might than telling convincing lies, and using mental powers.
charisma.
the mightiest tiger, which has more Might than Characters interested in communicating effectively,
the mightiest rat, which has more Might than the being learned scholars, or wielding supernatural
mightiest spider. powers should stress their Intellect stat.

14
Creating Your Character

POOL, EDGE, AND EFFORT CREATING YOUR CHARACTER


Each of the three stats has two components: Pool
and Edge. Your Pool represents your raw, innate
IN 5 EASY STEPS
1. Grab a pen and blank piece of paper
ability, and your Edge represents knowing how to
(or a character sheet) to record all your
use what you have. A third element ties into this
choices. Choose from one of four types
concept: Effort. When your character really needs Chapter 5: Type, page 20
in chapter 5. Follow the instructions
to accomplish a task, you apply Effort.
provided for finishing your stats,
abilities, equipment, and cyphers.
POOL A walk-through example of a player
Your Pool is the most basic measurement of a Warrior Example, page 23
creating a character (Warrior Example,
stat. Comparing the Pools of two creatures will Adept Example, page 26
Adept Example, Explorer Example, and
give you a general sense of which creature is Explorer Example, page 29
Speaker Example) accompanies each
superior in that stat. For example, a character Speaker Example, page 32
type. Each example showcases a player
who has a Might Pool of 16 is stronger (in a
following all the steps presented here.
basic sense) than a character who has a Might Chapter 7: Descriptor,
2. Choose a descriptor in chapter 7.
Pool of 12. Most characters start with a Pool of 9 page 38
3. Choose a focus in chapter 8.
to 12 in most stats—that’s the average range. Chapter 8: Focus, page 60
4. Choose a character arc in chapter 12.
When your character is injured, sickened, Chapter 12: Experience
5. Begin your adventure!
or attacked, you temporarily lose points from Points, page 237
one of your stat Pools. The nature of the
attack determines which Pool loses points. For
example, physical damage from a sword reduces A character who has a low Might Pool but a
your Might Pool, a poison that makes you clumsy high Might Edge has the potential to perform
reduces your Speed Pool, and a psionic blast Might actions consistently better than a character
reduces your Intellect Pool. You can also spend who has a Might Edge of 0. The high Edge will
points from one of your stat Pools to decrease a let them reduce the cost of spending points from
task’s difficulty (see Effort, below). You can rest the Pool, which means they’ll have more points
to recover lost points from a stat Pool, and some available to spend on applying Effort. Recovering points in
special abilities or cyphers might allow you to a Pool, page 218
recover lost points quickly. EFFORT
When your character really needs to accomplish
EDGE a task, you can apply Effort. For a beginning
Although your Pool is the basic measurement character, applying Effort requires spending 3 Your stat Pools, as
of a stat, your Edge is also important. When points from the stat Pool appropriate to the well as your Effort and
something requires you to spend points from action. Thus, if your character tries to dodge Edge, are determined
by the character type,
a stat Pool, your Edge for that stat reduces the an attack (a Speed roll) and wants to increase
descriptor, and focus
cost. It also reduces the cost of applying Effort the chance for success, you can apply Effort by that you choose. Within
to a roll. spending 3 points from your Speed Pool. Effort those guidelines,
For example, let’s say you have a mental blast eases the task by one step. This is called applying however, you have a lot
ability, and activating it costs 1 point from your one level of Effort. of flexibility in how you
Intellect Pool. Subtract your Intellect Edge from You don’t have to apply Effort if you don’t want develop your character.
the activation cost, and the result is how many to. If you choose to apply Effort to a task, you
points you must spend to use the mental blast. must do it before you attempt the roll—you can’t
If using your Edge reduces the cost to 0, you can roll first and then decide to apply Effort if you
use the ability for free. rolled poorly.
Your Edge can be different for each stat. For Applying more Effort can lower a task’s
example, you could have a Might Edge of 1, a difficulty further: each additional level of Effort
Speed Edge of 1, and an Intellect Edge of 0. You’ll eases the task by another step. Applying one
always have an Edge of at least 1 in one stat. level of Effort eases the task by one step,
Your Edge for a stat reduces the cost of spending applying two levels eases the task by two steps,
points from that stat Pool, but not from other and so on. However, each level of Effort after
Pools. Your Might Edge reduces the cost of the first costs only 2 points from the stat Pool
spending points from your Might Pool, but it instead of 3. So applying two levels of Effort
doesn’t affect your Speed Pool or Intellect Pool. costs 5 points (3 for the first level plus 2 for the
Once a stat’s Edge reaches 3, you can apply one second level), applying three levels costs 7 points
level of Effort for free. (3 plus 2 plus 2), and so on.

15
Every character has an Effort score, which MULTIPLE USES OF EFFORT AND EDGE
indicates the maximum number of levels of Effort If your Effort is 2 or higher, you can apply Effort
that can be applied to a roll. A beginning (first-tier) to multiple aspects of a single action. For
character has an Effort of 1, meaning you can apply example, if you make an attack, you can apply
only one level of Effort to a roll. A more experienced Effort to your attack roll and apply Effort to
character has a higher Effort score and can apply increase the damage.
more levels of Effort to a roll. For example, a The total amount of Effort you apply can’t be
character who has an Effort of 3 can apply up to higher than your Effort score. For example, if
three levels of Effort to reduce a task’s difficulty. your Effort is 2, you can apply up to two levels
When you apply Effort, subtract your relevant of Effort. You could apply one level to an attack
Edge from the total cost of applying Effort. For roll and one level to its damage, two levels to the
example, let’s say you need to make a Speed roll. attack and no levels to the damage, or no levels
To increase your chance for success, you decide to the attack and two levels to the damage.
to apply one level of Effort, which will ease the You can use Edge for a particular stat only
task. Normally, that would cost 3 points from once per action. For example, if you apply Effort
your Speed Pool. However, you have a Speed to a Might attack roll and to your damage, you
Edge of 2, so you subtract that from the cost. can use your Might Edge to reduce the cost
Thus, applying Effort to the roll costs only 1 point of one of those uses of Effort, not both. If you
from your Speed Pool. spend 1 Intellect point to activate your mind
What if you applied two levels of Effort to the blast and one level of Effort to ease the attack
Speed roll instead of just one? That would ease roll, you can use your Intellect Edge to reduce the
the task by two steps. Normally, it would cost 5 cost of one of those things, not both.
points from your Speed Pool, but after subtracting
your Speed Edge of 2, it costs only 3 points. STAT EXAMPLES
Once a stat’s Edge reaches 3, you can apply A beginning character is fighting a giant rat.
one level of Effort for free. For example, if you The PC stabs their spear at the rat, which is a
have a Speed Edge of 3 and you apply one level level 2 creature and thus has a target number
When applying Effort to of Effort to a Speed roll, it costs you 0 points of 6. The character stands atop a boulder and
melee attacks, you have from your Speed Pool. (Normally, applying strikes downward at the beast, and the GM rules
the option of spending one level of Effort would cost 3 points, but that this helpful tactic is an asset that eases the
points from either your
you subtract your Speed Edge from that cost, attack by one step (to difficulty 1). That lowers
Might Pool or your Speed
Pool. When making reducing it to 0.) the target number to 3. Attacking with a spear is
ranged attacks, you may Skills and other advantages also ease a task, a Might action; the character has a Might Pool of
spend points only from and you can use them in conjunction with Effort. 11 and a Might Edge of 0. Before making the roll,
your Speed Pool. This In addition, your character might have special they decide to apply a level of Effort to ease the
reflects that with melee abilities or equipment that allow you to apply attack. That costs 3 points from their Might Pool,
you sometimes use brute
force and sometimes use
Effort to accomplish a special effect, such as reducing the Pool to 8. But the points are well
finesse, but with ranged knocking down a foe with an attack or affecting spent. Applying the Effort lowers the difficulty
attacks, it’s always about multiple targets with a power that normally from 1 to 0, so no roll is needed—the attack
careful targeting. affects only one. automatically succeeds.
Another character is attempting to convince
EFFORT AND DAMAGE a guard to let them into a private office to speak
For information on Instead of applying Effort to ease your attack, to an influential noble. The GM rules that this
additional types of you can apply Effort to increase the amount of is an Intellect action. The character is third tier
damage, see Damage damage you inflict with an attack. For each level of and has an Effort of 3, an Intellect Pool of 13,
Track, page 218, and
Effort you apply in this way, you inflict 3 additional and an Intellect Edge of 1. Before making the
Special Damage,
page 219. points of damage. This works for any kind of roll, they must decide whether to apply Effort.
attack that inflicts damage, whether a sword, a They can choose to apply one, two, or three
crossbow, a mind blast, or something else. levels of Effort, or apply none at all. This action
When using Effort to increase the damage of an is important to them, so they decide to apply
area attack, such as the explosion created by an two levels of Effort, easing the task by two steps.
Concussion, page 121 Adept’s Concussion ability, you inflict 2 additional Thanks to their Intellect Edge, applying the Effort
points of damage instead of 3 points. However, costs only 4 points from their Intellect Pool (3
the additional points are dealt to all targets in the points for the first level of Effort plus 2 points for
area. Further, even if one or more of the targets the second level minus 1 point for their Edge).
resist the attack, they still take 1 point of damage. Spending those points reduces their Intellect

16
Creating Your Character

Pool to 9. The GM decides that convincing the To progress to the next tier, characters earn
guard is a difficulty 3 (demanding) task with a experience points (XP) by pursuing character
target number of 9; applying two levels of Effort arcs, going on adventures, and discovering new
reduces the difficulty to 1 (simple) and the things—the system is about both discovery and
target number to 3. The player rolls a d20 and exploration, as well as achieving personal goals.
gets an 8. Because this result is at least equal Experience points have many uses, and one
to the target number of the task, they succeed. use is to purchase character benefits. After your Skills are a broad
However, if they had not applied some Effort, character purchases four character benefits, they category of things your
they would have failed because their roll (8) advance to the next tier. Each benefit costs 4 XP, character can learn and
accomplish. For a list
would have been less than the task’s original and you can purchase them in any order, but
of sample skills, see the
target number (9). you must purchase one of each kind of benefit Skills sidebar on page 19.
(and then advance to the next tier) before you
can purchase the same benefit again. The four
CHARACTER TIERS character benefits are as follows.
Every character starts the game at the first tier.
Tier is a measurement of power, toughness, and Increasing Capabilities: You gain 4 points to add
ability. Characters can advance up to the sixth tier. to your stat Pools. You can allocate the points
As your character advances to higher tiers, you among the Pools however you wish.
gain more abilities, increase your Effort, and can
improve a stat’s Edge or increase a stat. Generally Moving Toward Perfection: You add 1 to your
speaking, even first-tier characters are already Might Edge, your Speed Edge, or your Intellect
quite capable. It’s safe to assume that they’ve Edge (your choice).
already got some experience under their belt. This
is not a “zero to hero” progression, but rather an Extra Effort: Your Effort score increases by 1.
instance of competent people refining and honing
their capabilities and knowledge. Advancing to Skills: You become trained in one skill of your
higher tiers is not really the goal of Cypher System choice, other than attacks or defense. As
characters, but rather a representation of how described in Chapter 11: Rules of the Game, a
characters progress in a story. character trained in a skill treats the difficulty

17
of a related task as one step lower than normal.
The skill you choose for this benefit can be
CHARACTER DESCRIPTOR,
anything you wish, such as climbing, jumping, TYPE, AND FOCUS
You can use flavors persuading, or sneaking. You can also choose to To create your character, you build a simple
(chapter 6) to slightly be knowledgeable in a certain area of lore, such statement that describes them. The statement
modify character types as history or geology. You can even choose a skill takes this form: “I am a [fill in an adjective here]
to customize them
based on your character’s special abilities. For [fill in a noun here] who [fill in a verb here].”
for different genres.
example, if your character can make an Intellect Thus: “I am an adjective noun who verbs.” For
roll to blast an enemy with mental force, you example, you might say, “I am a Rugged Warrior
can become trained in using that ability, easing who Controls Beasts” or “I am a Charming
the task of using it. If you choose a skill that you Explorer who Focuses Mind Over Matter.”
are already trained in, you become specialized In this sentence, the adjective is called your
Descriptor, page 38 in that skill, easing related tasks by two steps descriptor.
Type, page 20 instead of one. The noun is your character type.
Focus, page 60 The verb is called your focus.
Other Options: Players can also spend 4 XP to Even though character type is in the middle
purchase other special options in lieu of gaining of the sentence, that’s where we’ll start this
a new skill. Selecting any of these options counts discussion. (Just as in a sentence, the noun
as the skill benefit necessary to advance to the provides the foundation.)
next tier. The special options are as follows: Your character type is the core of your
• Reduce the cost for wearing armor. This character. In some roleplaying games, it might
option lowers the Speed cost for wearing be called your character class. Your type helps
armor by 1. determine your character’s place in the world
Recovery roll, page 218 • Add 2 to your recovery rolls. and relationship with other people in the setting.
• Select a new type-based ability from your tier It’s the noun of the sentence “I am an adjective
Warrior, page 20 or a lower tier. noun who verbs.”
Adept, page 24 You can choose from four character types
Explorer, page 27 in chapter 5: Warriors, Adepts, Explorers, and
Speaker, page 30 Speakers.
Your descriptor defines your character—it
colors everything you do. Your descriptor
places your character in the situation (the first
adventure, which starts the campaign) and
helps provide motivation. It’s the adjective of the
sentence “I am an adjective noun who verbs.”
Unless your GM says otherwise, you can
choose from any of the character descriptors in
chapter 7.
Focus is what your character does best. Focus
gives your character specificity and provides
interesting new abilities that might come in
handy. Your focus also helps you understand
how you relate with the other player characters in
your group. It’s the verb of the sentence “I am an
adjective noun who verbs.”
There are many character foci in chapter 8. The
ones you choose from will probably depend on
the setting and genre of your game.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Character types and foci grant PCs special
abilities at each new tier. Using these abilities
usually costs points from your stat Pools; the
cost is listed in parentheses after the ability
name. Your Edge in the appropriate stat can

18
Creating Your Character

reduce the cost of the ability, but remember that to remind you. It also might provide more
you can apply Edge only once per action. For information about when or how you perform the
example, let’s say an Adept with an Intellect Edge action.
of 2 wants to use their Onslaught ability to create Some special abilities allow you to perform a Onslaught, page 167
a bolt of force, which costs 1 Intellect point. They familiar action—one that you can already do—in
also want to increase the damage from the attack a different way. For example, an ability might
by using a level of Effort, which costs 3 Intellect let you wear heavy armor, reduce the difficulty
points. The total cost for their action is 2 points of Speed defense rolls, or add 2 points of fire
from their Intellect Pool (1 point for the bolt of damage to your weapon damage. These abilities
force, plus 3 points for using Effort, minus 2 are called enablers. Using one of these abilities
points from their Edge). is not considered an action. Enablers either
Sometimes the point cost for an ability has a function constantly (such as being able to wear Because this book
+ sign after the number. For example, the cost heavy armor, which isn’t an action) or happen covers so many
might be given as “2+ Intellect points.” That as part of another action (such as adding fire genres, not all of the
descriptors, types, and
means you can spend more points or more damage to your weapon damage, which happens
foci might be available
levels of Effort to improve the ability further, as as part of your attack action). If a special ability for players. The GM will
explained in the ability description. is an enabler, the end of the ability’s description decide what’s available
Many special abilities grant a character the says “Enabler” to remind you. in their particular game
option to perform an action that they couldn’t Some abilities specify a duration, but you can and whether anything
normally do, such as projecting rays of cold or always end one of your own abilities anytime you is modified, and they’ll
let the players know.
attacking multiple foes at once. Using one of wish.
these abilities is an action unto itself, and the
end of the ability’s description says “Action”

SKILLS
Sometimes your character gains training in a specific skill probably best to run it past the GM first, but in general,
or task. For example, your focus might mean that you’re the most important thing is to choose skills that are
trained in sneaking, in climbing and jumping, or in social appropriate to your character.
interactions. Other times, your character can choose a skill Remember that if you gain a skill that you’re already
to become trained in, and you can pick a skill that relates to trained in, you become specialized in that skill. Because
any task you think you might face. skill descriptions can be nebulous, determining whether
The Cypher System has no definitive list of skills. you’re trained or specialized might take some thinking.
However, the following list offers ideas: For example, if you’re trained in lying and later gain an
ability that grants you skill with all social interactions, you
Astronomy Healing Philosophy become specialized in lying and trained in all other types of
Balancing History Physics interactions. Being trained three times in a skill is no better
Biology Identifying Pickpocketing than being trained twice (in other words, specialized is as
Botany Initiative Piloting good as it gets).
Carrying Intimidation Repairing Only skills gained through character type abilities or
Climbing Jumping Riding other rare instances allow you to become skilled with attack
Computers Leatherworking Smashing or defense tasks.
Deceiving Lockpicking Sneaking If you gain a special ability through your type, your focus,
Disguise Machinery Stealth or some other aspect of your character, you can choose it
Escaping Metalworking Swimming in place of a skill and become trained or specialized in that
Geography Perception Vehicle driving ability. For example, if you have a mind blast, when it’s time
Geology Persuasion Woodworking to choose a skill to be trained in, you can select your mind
blast as your skill. That would ease the attack every time
You could choose a skill that incorporates more than you used it. Each ability you have counts as a separate skill
one of these areas (interacting might include deceiving, for this purpose. You can’t select “all mind powers” or “all
intimidation, and persuasion) or that is a more specific spells” as one skill and become trained or specialized in
version of one (hiding might be sneaking when you’re such a broad category.
not moving). You could also make up more general In most campaigns, fluency in a language is considered
professional skills, such as baker, sailor, or lumberjack. If a skill. So if you want to speak French, that’s the same as
you want to choose a skill that’s not on this list, it’s being trained in biology or swimming.

19
Chapter 5

TYPE

C
haracter type is the core of your character. WARRIOR
Your type helps determine your character’s Fantasy/Fairy tale: Warrior, fighter, swordsman,
place in the world and relationship with knight, barbarian, soldier, myrmidon, valkyrie
other people in the setting. It’s the noun of Modern/Horror/Romance: police officer, soldier,
In some roleplaying the sentence “I am an adjective noun who verbs.” watchman, detective, guard, brawler, tough,
games, your character You can choose from four character types: athlete
type might be called Warrior, Adept, Explorer, and Speaker. However, Science fiction: security officer, warrior, trooper,
your character class.
you may not want to use these generic names soldier, merc
for them. This chapter offers a few more Superhero/Post-Apocalyptic: hero, brick, bruiser
specific names for each type that might be more
appropriate to various genres. You’ll find that You’re a good ally to have in a fight. You know
names like “Warrior” or “Explorer” don’t always how to use weapons and defend yourself.
feel right, particularly in games set in modern Depending on the genre and setting in question,
Most Cypher System times. As always, you’re free to do as you wish. this might mean wielding a sword and shield in
games, like Numenera, Since the type is the basis upon which your whole the gladiatorial arena, an AK-47 and a bandolier
The Strange, and character is built, it’s important to consider how the of grenades in a savage firefight, or a blaster
Predation, have highly
type relates to the chosen setting. To help with this, rifle and powered armor when exploring an alien
specific types designed to
fit those settings perfectly. types are actually general archetypes. A Warrior, for planet.
example, might be anyone from a knight in shining Individual Role: Warriors are physical,
armor to a cop on the streets to a grizzled cybernetic action-oriented people. They’re more likely
veteran of a thousand futuristic wars. to overcome a challenge using force than by
To further massage the four types for better use other means, and they often take the most
Flavor, page 34 in various settings, different methods called flavors straightforward path toward their goals.
are presented in chapter 6 to help slightly tailor Group Role: Warriors usually take and deal
the types toward fantasy, science fiction, or other the most punishment in a dangerous situation.
genres (or to address different character concepts). Often it falls on them to protect the other group
Further Customization, Finally, more fundamental options for further members from threats. This sometimes means
page 33 customization are provided at the end of this that warriors take on leadership roles as well, at
chapter. least in combat and other times of danger.

20
Type
ago, allowing you to attack all three as a single
PLAYER INTRUSION action. Make a separate attack roll for each foe.
A player intrusion is the player choosing You remain limited by the amount of Effort you
to alter something in the campaign, can apply on one action.
making things easier for a player Old Friend: A comrade in arms from your
character. Conceptually, it is the reverse past shows up unexpectedly and provides aid
of a GM intrusion: instead of the GM in whatever you’re doing. They are on a mission GM intrusion, page 408
giving the player XP and introducing an of their own and can’t stay longer than it takes
unexpected complication for a character, to help out, chat for a while after, and perhaps Player intrusions
share a quick meal. should be limited to
the player spends 1 XP and presents a
Weapon Break: Your foe’s weapon has a weak no more than one per
solution to a problem or complication. player per session.
What a player intrusion can do usually spot. In the course of the combat, it quickly
introduces a change to the world or becomes damaged and moves two steps down
current circumstances rather than directly the object damage track. Object damage
track, page 116
changing the character. For instance, an
intrusion indicating that the cypher just WARRIOR STAT POOLS
used still has an additional use would be Stat Pool Starting Value
appropriate, but an intrusion that heals the Might 10
character would not. If a player has no XP Your type is who your
Speed 10 character is. You should
to spend, they can’t use a player intrusion.
Intellect 8 use whatever name you
A few player intrusion examples are want for your type, as
provided under each type. That said, long as it fits both your
not every player intrusion listed there is You get 6 additional points to divide among character and the setting.
appropriate for all situations. The GM may your stat Pools however you wish.
allow players to come up with other player
intrusion suggestions, but the GM is the final FIRST-TIER WARRIOR
arbiter of whether the suggested intrusion First-tier warriors have the following abilities:
is appropriate for the character’s type and Effort: Your Effort is 1.
suitable for the situation. If the GM refuses Physical Nature: You have a Might Edge of 1
the intrusion, the player doesn’t spend the 1 and a Speed Edge of 0, or you have a Might Edge
XP, and the intrusion doesn’t occur. of 0 and a Speed Edge of 1. Either way, you have
Using an intrusion does not require a an Intellect Edge of 0.
character to use an action to trigger it. A Cypher Use: You can bear two cyphers at a time.
player intrusion just happens. Weapons: You become practiced with light, Practiced, page 207
medium, and heavy weapons and suffer no
penalty when using any kind of weapon. Enabler.
Societal Role: Warriors aren’t always soldiers Starting Equipment: Appropriate clothing and Your character’s
or mercenaries. Anyone who is ready for two weapons of your choice, plus one expensive starting equipment is
violence, or even potential violence, might be item, two moderately priced items, and up to as important as their
starting skills. Learn
a Warrior in the general sense. This includes four inexpensive items.
more about what you
guards, watchmen, police officers, sailors, or Special Abilities: Choose four of the abilities carry and how it’s used in
people in other roles or professions who know listed below. You can’t choose the same ability Chapter 10: Equipment.
how to defend themselves with skill. more than once unless its description says
Advanced Warriors: As warriors advance, their otherwise. The full description for each listed
skill in battle—whether defending themselves or ability can be found in chapter 9, which also has Chapter 9: Abilities,
dishing out damage—increases to impressive descriptions for flavor and focus abilities in a page 95
levels. At higher tiers, they can often take on single vast catalog.
groups of foes by themselves or stand toe to toe 11 Bash (112)
with anyone. 11 Combat Prowess (120) The small numbers
11 Control the Field (121) you see after abilities
WARRIOR PLAYER INTRUSIONS 11 Improved Edge (151) throughout this book
are page numbers
You can spend 1 XP to use one of the following 11 No Need for Weapons (166)
for easy reference.
player intrusions, provided the situation is 11 Overwatch (168)
appropriate and the GM agrees. 11 Physical Skills (170)
Perfect Setup: You’re fighting at least three 11 Practiced in Armor (171)
foes and each one is standing in exactly the right 11 Quick Throw (174)
spot for you to use a move you trained in long 11 Swipe (188)
11 Trained Without Armor (193)

21
SECOND-TIER WARRIOR THIRD-TIER WARRIOR FOURTH-TIER WARRIOR
Choose two of the abilities listed below Choose three of the abilities listed below Choose two of the abilities listed below
(or from a lower tier) to add to your (or from a lower tier) to add to your (or from a lower tier) to add to your
repertoire. In addition, you can replace repertoire. In addition, you can replace repertoire. In addition, you can replace
one of your lower-tier abilities with a one of your lower-tier abilities with a one of your lower-tier abilities with a
different one from a lower tier. different one from a lower tier. different one from a lower tier.
11 Crushing Blow (123) 11 Deadly Aim (125) 11 Amazing Effort (109)
11 Hemorrhage (149) 11 Energy Resistance (134) 11 Capable Warrior (118)
11 Reload (176) 11 Experienced in Armor (136) 11 Experienced Defender (136)
11 Skill With Attacks (183) 11 Expert Cypher Use (137) 11 Feint (139)
11 Skill With Defense (183) 11 Fury (144) 11 Increased Effects (153)
11 Successive Attack (187) 11 Lunge (159) 11 Momentum (164)
11 Reaction (174) 11 Pry Open (172)
11 Seize the Moment (181) 11 Snipe (183)
11 Slice (183) 11 Tough As Nails (192)
11 Spray (185)
11 Trick Shot (194)
A character can’t apply 11 Vigilance (196)
Effort or other abilities to
any task they accomplish
using Tough As Nails.

WARRIOR BACKGROUND CONNECTION


Your type helps determine the connection you have to the setting. Roll a d20 or choose from the following list to determine a
specific fact about your background that provides a connection to the rest of the world. You can also create your own fact.

d20 Background
1 You were in the military and have friends who still serve. Your former commander remembers you well.
2 You were the bodyguard of a wealthy woman who accused you of theft. You left her service in disgrace.
3 You were the bouncer in a local bar for a while, and the patrons there remember you.
4 You trained with a highly respected mentor. They regard you well, but they have many enemies.
5 You trained in an isolated monastery. The monks think of you as a brother, but you’re a stranger to all others.
6 You have no formal training. Your abilities come to you naturally (or unnaturally).
7 You spent time on the streets and were in prison for a while.
8 You were conscripted into military service, but you deserted before long.
9 You served as a bodyguard to a powerful criminal who now owes you their life.
10 You worked as a police officer or constable of some kind. Everyone knows you, but their opinions of you vary.
11 Your older sibling is an infamous character who has been disgraced.
12 You served as a guard for someone who traveled extensively. You know a smattering of people in many locations.
13 Your best friend is a teacher or scholar. They are a great source of knowledge.
14 You and a friend both smoke the same kind of rare, expensive tobacco. The two of you get together weekly to chat
and smoke.
15 Your uncle runs a theater in town. You know all the actors and watch all the shows for free.
16 Your craftsman friend sometimes calls on you for help. However, they pay you well.
17 Your mentor wrote a book on martial arts. Sometimes people seek you out to ask about its stranger passages.
18 Someone you fought alongside in the military is now the mayor of a nearby town.
19 You saved the lives of a family when their house burned down. They’re indebted to you, and their neighbors regard
you as a hero.
20 Your old trainer still expects you to come back and clean up after their classes; when you do, they occasionally share
interesting rumors.

22
Type

FIFTH-TIER WARRIOR DEFENSE TASKS Remember that at


Choose three of the abilities listed below (or higher tiers, you can
Defense tasks are when a player makes a
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In choose special abilities
roll to keep something undesirable from from lower tiers. This
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier happening to their PC. The type of defense is sometimes the best
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. task matters when using Effort. way to ensure that
11 Adroit Cypher Use (108) you have exactly the
11 Arc Spray (110) character you want. This
Might defense: Used for resisting poison,
11 Improved Success (152) is particularly true with
disease, and anything else that can be abilities that grant skills,
11 Jump Attack (156)
overcome with strength and health. which can usually be
11 Mastery in Armor (161)
taken multiple times.
11 Mastery With Attacks (161)
Speed defense: Used for dodging attacks
11 Mastery With Defense (161)
and escaping danger. This is by far the
11 Parry (168)
most commonly used defense task.

SIXTH-TIER WARRIOR Intellect defense: Used for fending off


Choose two of the abilities listed below (or mental attacks or anything that might Strong, page 56
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In affect or influence one’s mind.
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier Masters Weaponry,
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. page 72
11 Again and Again (109) grenade that explodes like a firebomb when
11 Finishing Blow (140) thrown, inflicting 3 points of damage to all within Trained Without
11 Magnificent Moment (159) immediate range. Armor, page 193
11 Murderer (165) Ray still needs to choose a descriptor and a
11 Spin Attack (185) focus. Looking ahead to the descriptor rules, Ray Combat Prowess,
11 Weapon and Body (196) chooses Strong, which increases his Might Pool page 120
to 17. He also becomes trained in jumping and Improved Edge, page 151
WARRIOR EXAMPLE breaking inanimate objects. (If he had chosen
Ray wants to create a Warrior character for a jumping as one of his physical skills, the Strong Defeat a Foe, page 244
modern campaign. He decides that the character descriptor would have made him specialized in
is an ex-military fellow who is fast and strong. jumping instead of trained.) Being Strong also Physical Skills, page 170
He puts 3 of his additional points into his Might gives Ray an extra medium or heavy weapon. He
Pool and 3 into his Speed Pool; his stat Pools chooses a baseball bat that he’ll use in a pinch.
are now Might 13, Speed 13, and Intellect 8. As a He keeps it in the trunk of his car.
first-tier character, his Effort is 1, his Might Edge For his focus, Ray chooses Masters Weaponry.
is 1, and his Speed Edge and Intellect Edge are This gives him yet another weapon of high
both 0. His character is not particularly smart or quality. He chooses another combat knife
charismatic. and asks the GM if he could use it in his left
He wants to use a large combat knife (a hand—not to make attacks, but as a shield. This
medium weapon that inflicts 4 points of will ease his Speed defense rolls if he has both
damage) and a .357 Magnum (a heavy pistol that knives out (the “shield” counts as an asset). The
inflicts 6 points of damage but requires the use GM agrees. During the game, Ray’s Warrior will
of both hands). Ray decides not to wear armor, be hard to hit—he is trained in Speed defense
as it’s not really appropriate to the setting, so rolls, and his extra knife eases his defense rolls
for his first ability, he chooses Trained Without by another step.
Armor so he eases Speed defense actions. For Thanks to his focus, he also inflicts 1
his second ability, he chooses Combat Prowess additional point of damage with his chosen
so he can inflict extra damage with his big knife. weapon. Now he inflicts 6 points of damage with
Ray wants to be fast as well as tough, so he his blade. Ray’s character is a deadly combatant,
selects Improved Edge. This gives him a Speed likely starting the game with a reputation as a
Edge of 1. He rounds out his character with knife fighter.
Physical Skills and chooses swimming and For his character arc, Ray chooses Defeat a
running. Foe. That foe, he decides, is none other than
The Warrior can bear two cyphers. The GM someone in his company who was once a friend
decides that Ray’s first cypher is a pill that but went rogue.
restores 6 points of Might when swallowed,
and his second is a small, easily concealed

23
“Magic” here is a term ADEPT Group Role: Adepts are not powerful in
used very loosely. It’s a Fantasy/Fairy tale: wizard, mage, sorcerer, cleric, straightforward combat, although they often wield
catch-all for the kinds druid, seer, diabolist, fey-touched abilities that provide excellent combat support,
of wondrous, possibly
Modern/Horror/Romance: psychic, occultist, both offensively and defensively. They sometimes
supernatural things
that your character can witch, practitioner, medium, fringe scientist possess abilities that facilitate overcoming
do that others cannot. Science fiction: psion, psionicist, telepath, challenges. For example, if the group must get
It might actually seeker, master, scanner, ESPer, abomination through a locked door, an Adept might be able to
be an expression of Superhero/Post-Apocalyptic: mage, sorcerer, destroy it or teleport everyone to the other side.
technological devices, power-wielder, master, psion, telepath Societal Role: In settings where the
channeling spirits,
mutations, psionics, supernatural is rare, strange, or feared, Adepts
nanotechnology, or any You master powers or abilities outside the are likely rare and feared as well. They remain
number of other sources. experience, understanding, and sometimes belief hidden, shadowy figures. When this is not the
of others. They might be magic, psychic powers, case, Adepts are more likely to be common and
mutant abilities, or just a wide variety of intricate forthright. They might even take leadership roles.
devices, depending on the setting. Advanced Adepts: Even at low tiers, Adept
Individual Role: Adepts are usually thoughtful, powers are impressive. Higher-tier Adepts can
intelligent types. They often think carefully before accomplish amazing deeds that can reshape
acting and rely heavily on their supernatural matter and the environment around them.
abilities.
ADEPT PLAYER INTRUSIONS
When playing an Adept, you can spend 1 XP
Player intrusions, page 21 to use one of the following player intrusions,
provided the situation is appropriate and the GM
agrees.
Advantageous Malfunction: A device being
used against you malfunctions. It might harm
the user or one of their allies for a round, or
activate a dramatic and distracting side effect for
a few rounds.
Convenient Idea: A flash of insight provides
you with a clear answer or suggests a course
of action with regard to an urgent question,
problem, or obstacle you’re facing.
Inexplicably Unbroken: An inactive, ruined, or
presumed-destroyed device temporarily activates
and performs a useful function relevant to the
situation. This is enough to buy you some time
for a better solution, alleviate a complication that
was interfering with your abilities, or just get you
one more use out of a depleted cypher or artifact.

Adepts are almost ADEPT STAT POOLS


always emblematic
Stat Pool Starting Value
of the paranormal or
superhuman in some Might 7
way—wizards, psychics, Speed 9
or something similar.
If the game you’re Intellect 12
playing has none of
that, an Adept could be You get 6 additional points to divide among
a charlatan mimicking your stat Pools however you wish.
such abilities with tricks
and hidden devices, or
a gadgeteer character
with a “utility belt” full
of oddments. Or a game
like that might not have
Adepts. That’s okay too.

24
Type

ADEPT BACKGROUND CONNECTION


Your type helps determine the connection you have to the setting. Roll a d20 or choose from the following list to determine a
specific fact about your background that provides a connection to the rest of the world. You can also create your own fact.

d20 Background
1 You served as an apprentice for an Adept respected and feared by many people. Now you bear their mark.
2 You studied in a school infamous for its dark, brooding instructors and graduates.
3 You learned your abilities in the temple of an obscure god. Its priests and worshippers, although small in number,
respect and admire your talents and potential.
4 While traveling alone, you saved the life of a powerful person. They remain indebted to you.
5 Your mother was a powerful Adept while she lived, helpful to many locals. They look upon you kindly, but they also
expect much from you.
6 You owe money to a number of people and don’t have the funds to pay your debts.
7 You failed disgracefully at your initial studies with your teacher and now proceed on your own.
8 You learned your skills faster than your teachers had ever seen before. The powers that be took notice and are
paying close attention.
9 You killed a well-known criminal in self-defense, earning the respect of many and the enmity of a dangerous few.
10 You trained as a Warrior, but your Adept predilections eventually led you down a different path. Your former
comrades don’t understand you, but they respect you.
11 While studying to be an Adept, you worked as an assistant for a bank, making friends with the owner and the
clientele.
12 Your family owns a large vineyard nearby known to all for its fine wine and fair business dealings.
13 You trained for a time with a group of influential Adepts, and they still look upon you with fondness.
14 You worked the gardens in the palace of an influential noble or person of wealth. They wouldn’t remember you, but
you made friends with their young daughter.
15 An experiment you conducted in the past went horribly awry. The locals remember you as a dangerous and foolhardy
individual.
16 You hail from a distant place where you were well known and regarded, but people here treat you with suspicion.
17 People you meet seem put off by the strange birthmark on your face.
18 Your best friend is also an Adept. You and your friend share discoveries and secrets readily.
19 You know a local merchant very well. Since you give them so much business, they offer you discounts and special
treatment.
20 You belong to a secretive social club that gathers monthly to drink and talk.

FIRST-TIER ADEPT otherwise. The full description for each listed


Your character’s starting
equipment is as important
First-tier Adepts have the following abilities: ability can be found in chapter 9, which also has as their starting skills.
Effort: Your Effort is 1. descriptions for flavor and focus abilities in a Learn more about what
you carry and how it’s used
Genius: You have an Intellect Edge of 1, a single vast catalog.
in Chapter 10: Equipment.
Might Edge of 0, and a Speed Edge of 0. 11 Distortion (130)
Expert Cypher Use: You can bear three cyphers 11 Erase Memories (136) Chapter 9: Abilities,
at a time. 11 Far Step (138) page 95
Starting Equipment: Appropriate clothing, 11 Hedge Magic (149)
Cautious Adepts rely on
plus two expensive items, two moderately priced 11 Magic Training (159) Ward. Depending on what
items, and up to four inexpensive items of your 11 Onslaught (167) you work out with your
GM, the energy shield
choice. 11 Push (173)
might be completely
Weapons: You can use light weapons without 11 Resonance Field (176) invisible, visible only
penalty. You have an inability with medium 11 Scan (179) when you are attacked,
always visible as a faint
weapons and heavy weapons; your attacks with 11 Shatter (182)
glimmer surrounding
medium and heavy weapons are hindered. 11 Ward (196) you, or something else.
Special Abilities: Choose four of the abilities
listed below. You can’t choose the same ability Adept abilities require at
least one free hand unless
more than once unless its description says the GM says otherwise.

25
SECOND-TIER ADEPT SIXTH-TIER ADEPT
Choose one of the abilities listed below (or Choose one of the abilities listed below (or
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier
GMs are always free to abilities with a different one from a lower tier. abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
pre-select a type’s special 11 Adaptation (108) 11 Control Weather (122)
abilities at a given tier 11 Cutting Light (123) 11 Earthquake (133)
to reinforce the setting.
11 Hover (149) 11 Move Mountains (164)
In the fantasy setting of
11 Mind Reading (162) 11 Traverse the Worlds (194)
Jen’s sorcerer, the GM
might have said that all 11 Retrieve Memories (177) 11 Usurp Cypher (195)
sorcerers (Adepts) start 11 Reveal (178)
with Magic Training as 11 Stasis (186) ADEPT EXAMPLE
one of their tier 1 abilities. Jen wants to create an Adept—a sorcerer for a
This doesn’t make
the character any less THIRD-TIER ADEPT fantasy campaign. She decides to be somewhat
powerful or special, but Choose two of the abilities listed below (or well rounded, so she puts 2 of her additional
it says something about from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In points into each stat Pool, giving her a Might
her role in the world and addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier Pool of 9, a Speed Pool of 11, and an Intellect
expectations in the game. abilities with a different one from a lower tier. Pool of 14. Her Adept is smart and quick. She
11 Adroit Cypher Use (108) has an Intellect Edge of 1, a Might Edge of 0, and
11 Countermeasures (122) a Speed Edge of 0. As a first-tier character, her
11 Energy Protection (134) Effort is 1. As her initial abilities, she chooses
Onslaught, page 167 11 Fire and Ice (140) Onslaught and Ward, giving her a strong offense
Ward, page 196 11 Force Field Barrier (143) and defense. She also chooses Magic Training
Magic Training, page 159 11 Sensor (181) and rounds out her character with Scan, which
Scan, page 179 11 Targeting Eye (189) she hopes will be useful in gaining insight and
information. For this character, Onslaught, Ward,
FOURTH-TIER ADEPT and Scan are all spells she has mastered through
Choose one of the abilities listed below (or years of training and study.
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In She can bear three cyphers. The GM gives her
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier a potion that acts as a short-range teleporter, a
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. small charm that restores 5 points to her Intellect
11 Death Touch (125) Pool, and a fluid-filled flask that explodes like
11 Exile (136) a fiery bomb. Jen’s sorcerer is skilled with light
11 Invisibility (155) weapons, so she chooses a dagger.
Graceful, page 46 11 Matter Cloud (161) For her descriptor, Jen chooses Graceful,
11 Mind Control (162) which adds 2 points to her Speed Pool, bringing
11 Projection (172) it to 13. That descriptor means she is trained
11 Rapid Processing (174) in balancing and anything requiring careful
11 Regeneration (175) movements, physical performing arts, and Speed
11 Reshape (176) defense tasks. Perhaps she is a dancer. In fact,
11 Wormhole (200) she begins to develop a backstory that involves
graceful, lithe movements that she incorporates
FIFTH-TIER ADEPT into her spells.
Leads, page 71 Choose two of the abilities listed below (or For her focus, she chooses Leads. This gives
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In her training in social interactions, which again
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier helps round her out—she’s good in all kinds of
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. situations. Moreover, she has the Good Advice
11 Absorb Energy (108) ability, which enables her to be a focal point of
11 Concussion (121) her group.
11 Conjuration (121) Her spells and focus abilities cost Intellect
11 Create (122) points to activate, so she’s glad to have a lot
11 Dust to Dust (133) of points in her Intellect Pool. In addition, her
11 Knowing the Unknown (156) Intellect Edge will help reduce those costs. If she
11 Master Cypher Use (160) uses her Onslaught force blast without applying
11 Teleportation (190) Effort, it costs 0 Intellect points and deals 4
11 True Senses (194) points of damage. Her Intellect Edge will allow

26
Type

her to save points to devote toward applying EXPLORER PLAYER INTRUSIONS


Effort for other purposes, perhaps to boost the When playing an Explorer, you can spend 1 XP
accuracy of Onslaught. to use one of the following player intrusions, Player intrusions, page 21
For her character arc, Jen chooses Aid a provided the situation is appropriate and the GM
Friend. She decides that when her sorcerer agrees. Aid a Friend, page 242
character was young, she had a magical mentor. Fortuitous Malfunction: A trap or a dangerous
That mentor was later taken prisoner by a device malfunctions before it can affect you.
demon, so her character is always looking for Serendipitous Landmark: Just when it seems
clues on how to find the demon and release her like the path is lost (or you are), a trail marker,
friend from bondage. a landmark, or simply the way the terrain or
corridor bends, rises, or falls away suggests to
you the best path forward, at least from this
EXPLORER point.
Fantasy/Fairy tale: Explorer, adventurer, delver, Weak Strain: The poison or disease turns
mystery seeker out not to be as debilitating or deadly as it first
Modern/Horror/Romance: athlete, explorer, seemed, and inflicts only half the damage that it
adventurer, drifter, detective, scholar, would have otherwise.
spelunker, trailblazer, investigative reporter
Science fiction: Explorer, adventurer, wanderer,
planetary specialist, xenobiologist
Superhero/Post-Apocalyptic: adventurer,
crimefighter

You are a person of action and physical ability,


fearlessly facing the unknown. You travel to
strange, exotic, and dangerous places, and
discover new things. This means you’re physical
but also probably knowledgeable.
Individual Role: Although Explorers can be
academics or well studied, they are first and
foremost interested in action. They face grave
dangers and terrible obstacles as a routine part
of life.
Group Role: Explorers sometimes work alone,
but far more often they operate in teams with
other characters. The Explorer frequently leads
the way, blazing the trail. However, they’re also
likely to stop and investigate anything intriguing
they stumble upon.
Societal Role: Not all Explorers are out
traipsing through the wilderness or poking about
an old ruin. Sometimes, an Explorer is a teacher,
a scientist, a detective, or an investigative
reporter. In any event, an Explorer bravely faces
new challenges and gathers knowledge to share
with others.
Advanced Explorers: Higher-tier Explorers
gain more skills, some combat abilities, and a
number of abilities that allow them to deal with
danger. In short, they become more and more
well-rounded, able to deal with any challenge.

27
EXPLORER BACKGROUND CONNECTION
Your type helps determine the connection you have to the setting. Roll a d20 or choose from the following list to determine a
specific fact about your background that provides a connection to the rest of the world. You can also create your own fact.

d20 Background
1 You were a star high school athlete. You’re still in great shape, but those were the glory days, man.
2 Your brother is the lead singer in a really popular band.
3 You have made a number of discoveries in your explorations, but not all opportunities to capitalize on them have
panned out yet.
4 You were a cop, but you gave it up after encountering corruption on the force.
5 Your parents were missionaries, so you spent much of your young life traveling to exotic places.
6 You served in the military with honor.
7 You received assistance from a secretive organization, which paid for your schooling. Now they seem to want a lot
more from you.
8 You went to a prestigious university on an athletic scholarship, but you excelled in class as well as on the field.
9 Your best friend from your youth is now an influential member of the government.
10 You used to be a teacher. Your students remember you fondly.
11 You worked as a small-time criminal operative until you were caught and served some time in jail, after which you
tried to go straight.
12 Your greatest discovery to date was stolen by your arch-rival.
13 You belong to an exclusive organization of Explorers whose existence is not widely known.
14 You were kidnapped as a small child under mysterious circumstances, although you were recovered safely. The case
still has some notoriety.
15 When you were young, you were addicted to narcotics, and now you are a recovering addict.
16 While exploring a remote location, you saw something strange you’ve never been able to explain.
17 You own a small bar or restaurant.
18 You published a book about some of your exploits and discoveries, and it has achieved some acclaim.
19 Your sister owns a store and gives you a hefty discount.
20 Your father is a high-ranking officer in the military with many connections.

EXPLORER STAT POOLS Weapons: You can use light and medium
Stat Pool Starting Value weapons without penalty. You have an inability
with heavy weapons; your attacks with heavy
Might 10
weapons are hindered.
Speed 9 Special Abilities: Choose four of the abilities
Intellect 9 listed below. You can’t choose the same ability
more than once unless its description says
You get 6 additional points to divide among otherwise. The full description for each listed
Chapter 9: Abilities, your stat Pools however you wish. ability can be found in chapter 9, which also has
page 95 descriptions for flavor and focus abilities in a
FIRST-TIER EXPLORER single vast catalog.
First-tier Explorers have the following abilities: 11 Block (115)
Effort: Your Effort is 1. 11 Danger Sense (124)
Physical Nature: You have a Might Edge of 1, a 11 Decipher (126)
Your character’s Speed Edge of 0, and an Intellect Edge of 0. 11 Endurance (134)
starting equipment is Cypher Use: You can bear two cyphers at a 11 Find the Way (140)
as important as their time. 11 Fleet of Foot (141)
starting skills. Learn
Starting Equipment: Appropriate clothing and 11 Improved Edge (151)
more about what you
carry and how it’s used in a weapon of your choice, plus two expensive 11 Knowledge Skills (157)

Chapter 10: Equipment. items, two moderately priced items, and up to 11 Muscles of Iron (165)
four inexpensive items. 11 No Need for Weapons (166)
11 Physical Skills (170)

28
Type

11 Practiced in Armor (171) FIFTH-TIER EXPLORER


11 Practiced With All Weapons (171) Choose three of the abilities listed below (or The small numbers
11 Surging Confidence (188) from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In you see after abilities
11 Trained Without Armor (193) addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier throughout this book
are page numbers
abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
for easy reference.
SECOND-TIER EXPLORER 11 Adroit Cypher Use (108)
Choose four of the abilities listed below (or 11 Free to Move (143)
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In 11 Group Friendship (147)
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier 11 Hard to Kill (148)
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. 11 Jump Attack (156)
11 Curious (123) 11 Mastery With Defense (161)
11 Danger Instinct (124) 11 Parry (168)
11 Enable Others (133) 11 Physically Gifted (170)
11 Escape (136) 11 Take Command (188)
11 Eye for Detail (138) 11 Vigilant (196)
11 Foil Danger (142)
11 Hand to Eye (148) SIXTH-TIER EXPLORER
11 Investigative Skills (155) Choose three of the abilities listed below (or
11 Quick Recovery (173) from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In
11 Range Increase (174) addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier
11 Skill With Defense (183) abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
11 Stand Watch (186) 11 Again and Again (109)
11 Travel Skills (193) 11 Inspire Coordinated Actions (154)
11 Wreck (200) 11 Mastery in Armor (161)
11 Mastery With Attacks (161)
THIRD-TIER EXPLORER 11 Negate Danger (165)
Choose three of the abilities listed below (or 11 Share Defense (181)
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In 11 Spin Attack (185)
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier 11 Wild Vitality (198)
abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
11 Controlled Fall (122) EXPLORER EXAMPLE
11 Experienced in Armor (136) Sam decides to create an Explorer character for
11 Expert Cypher Use (137) a science fiction campaign. This character will be
11 Ignore the Pain (150) a hardy soul who explores alien worlds. They put
11 Obstacle Running (167) 3 additional points into their Might Pool, 2 into
11 Resilience (176) their Speed Pool, and 1 into their Intellect Pool;
11 Run and Fight (179) their stat Pools are now Might 13, Speed 11, and
11 Seize the Moment (181) Intellect 10. As a first-tier character, their Effort
11 Skill With Attacks (183) is 1, their Might Edge is 1, and their Speed Edge
11 Stone Breaker (186) and Intellect Edge are 0. Their character is fairly
11 Think Your Way Out (191) well-rounded so far.
11 Trapfinder (193) Sam immediately leaps in and starts choosing
11 Wrest From Chance (200) abilities. They pick Danger Sense and Surging Danger Sense, page 124
Confidence, thinking those abilities will be Surging Confidence,
FOURTH-TIER EXPLORER generally useful. They also choose Practiced page 188
Choose two of the abilities listed below (or in Armor, reasoning that the character wears Practiced in Armor,
from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In high-tech medium armor when exploring. page 171
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier Last, they choose Knowledge Skills and select Knowledge Skills,
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. geology and biology to help during interplanetary page 157
11 Capable Warrior (118) explorations.
11 Expert Skill (137) Sam’s Explorer can bear two cyphers, which
11 Increased Effects (153) in this setting involve nanotechnology. The GM A character can’t apply
11 Read the Signs (174) decides that one is a nanite injector that grants Effort or other abilities to
11 Runner (179) a +1 bonus to Might Edge when used, and the any task they accomplish
using Expert Skill or
11 Subtle Steps (187) other is a device that can create one simple
Tough As Nails.
11 Tough As Nails (192) handheld object the user wishes.

29
Sam’s Explorer is not really geared toward go back and select something else instead of
fighting, but sometimes the universe is a Danger Sense, but they like it and decide to keep
dangerous place, so they note that they’re it. Overall, the descriptor ends up making the
carrying a medium blaster as well. character tough but a little slow.
Explores Dark Sam still needs a descriptor and a focus. For their focus, Sam chooses Explores
Places, page 68 Looking to the descriptor chapter, they choose Dark Places (in this case, weird ruins of alien
Hardy, page 47 Hardy, which increases their Might Pool to 17. civilizations). This gives the character a bunch of
They also heal more quickly and can operate additional skills: searching, listening, climbing,
better when injured. They’re trained in Might balancing, and jumping. They’re quite the
Inability, page 207 defense but have an inability with initiative; capable Explorer.
Enterprise, page 245 however, it’s effectively canceled out by their For their character arc, Sam chooses
Danger Sense (and vice versa). Sam could Enterprise. Exploring alien places sometimes
turns up strange relics, and Sam figures they
might be able to set up a service to reliably
transport these items to responsible third
parties, rather than allow them to fall into the
hands of pirates and rich private collectors. For a
small fee, of course.

SPEAKER
Fantasy/Fairy tale: bard, speaker, skald, emissary,
priest, advocate
Modern/Horror/Romance: diplomat, charmer,
face, spinner, manipulator, minister,
mediator, lawyer
Science fiction: diplomat, empath, glam, consul,
legate
Superhero/Post-Apocalyptic: charmer,
mesmerist, puppet master

You’re good with words and good with people.


You talk your way past challenges and out of
jams, and you get people to do what you want.
Individual Role: Speakers are smart and
charismatic. They like people and, more
important, they understand them. This helps
speakers get others to do what needs to be done.
Group Role: The Speaker is often the face of
the group, serving as the person who speaks
for all and negotiates with others. Combat
and action are not a Speaker’s strong suits, so
other characters sometimes have to defend the
Speaker in times of danger.
Societal Role: Speakers are frequently political
or religious leaders. Just as often, however, they
are con artists or criminals.
Advanced Speakers: Higher-tier speakers use
their abilities to control and manipulate people
as well as aid and nurture their friends. They can
talk their way out of danger and even use their
words as weapons.

30
Type

SPEAKER BACKGROUND CONNECTION


Your type helps determine the connection you have to the setting. Roll a d20 or choose from the following list to determine a
specific fact about your background that provides a connection to the rest of the world. You can also create your own fact.

d20 Background
1 One of your parents was a famous entertainer in their early years and hoped you would excel in the same medium.
2 When you were a teenager, one of your siblings went missing and is presumed dead. The shock rent your family, and
it’s something you’ve never gotten over.
3 You were inducted into a secret society that claims to hold and protect esoteric knowledge opposing the forces of evil.
4 You lost one of your parents to alcoholism. They may still be alive, but you’d be hard pressed to find forgiveness.
5 You have no memory of anything that happened to you before the age of 18.
6 Your grandparents raised you on a farm far from bustling urban centers. You like to think the instruction they gave
you prepared you for anything.
7 As an orphan, you had a difficult childhood, and your entry into adulthood was challenging.
8 You grew up in extreme poverty, among criminals. You still have some connections with the old neighborhood.
9 You served as an envoy for a powerful and influential person in the past, and they still look upon you with favor.
10 You have an annoying rival who always seems to get in your way or foil your plans.
11 You’ve worked yourself into the position of spokesperson for an organization or company of some importance.
12 Your neighbors were murdered, and the mystery remains unsolved.
13 You have traveled extensively, and during that time you accumulated quite a collection of strange souvenirs.
14 Your childhood sweetheart ended up with your best friend (now your ex-best friend).
15 You are part of a maligned minority, but you work to bring the injustice of your status to public attention.
16 You’re part owner of a local bar, where you’re something of a whiz in creating specialty cocktails.
17 You once ran a con that cheated important people out of money, and they want revenge.
18 You used to act in a traveling theater, and they remember you fondly (as do people in the places you visited).
19 You are in a close romantic relationship with someone in local politics.
20 Someone out there tries to pose as you, using your identity, often for nefarious ends. You’ve never met the culprit,
but you’d certainly like to.

SPEAKER PLAYER INTRUSIONS SPEAKER STAT POOLS


When playing a Speaker, you can spend 1 XP Stat Pool Starting Value
to use one of the following player intrusions,
Might 8
provided the situation is appropriate and the GM
agrees. Speed 9
Friendly NPC: An NPC you don’t know, Intellect 11
someone you don’t know that well, or someone
you know but who hasn’t been particularly You get 6 additional points to divide among
friendly in the past chooses to help you, though your stat Pools however you wish.
doesn’t necessarily explain why. Maybe they’ll ask
you for a favor in return afterward, depending on FIRST-TIER SPEAKER
how much trouble they go to. First-tier speakers have the following abilities:
Perfect Suggestion: A follower or other Effort: Your Effort is 1.
already-friendly NPC suggests a course of action Genius: You have an Intellect Edge of 1, a
with regard to an urgent question, problem, or Might Edge of 0, and a Speed Edge of 0.
obstacle you’re facing. Cypher Use: You can bear two cyphers at a time.
Unexpected Gift: An NPC hands you a physical Weapons: You can use light weapons without Your character’s
gift you were not expecting, one that helps put penalty. You have an inability with medium and starting equipment is
the situation at ease if things seem strained, or heavy weapons; your attacks with medium and as important as their
starting skills. Learn
provides you with a new insight for understanding heavy weapons are hindered.
more about what you
the context of the situation if there’s something Starting Equipment: Appropriate clothing and carry and how it’s used in
you’re failing to understand or grasp. a light weapon of your choice, plus two expensive Chapter 10: Equipment.

31
items, two moderately priced items, and up to FOURTH-TIER SPEAKER
four inexpensive items. Choose two of the abilities listed below (or
Special Abilities: Choose four of the abilities listed from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In
below. You can’t choose the same ability more than addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier
once unless its description says otherwise. The full abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
description for each listed ability can be found in 11 Anticipate Attack (110)
Chapter 9: Abilities, chapter 9, which also has descriptions for flavor 11 Confounding Banter (121)
page 95 and focus abilities in a single vast catalog. 11 Feint (139)
11 Anecdote (109) 11 Heightened Skills (149)
11 Babel (112) 11 Psychosis (172)
Some Speaker abilities, 11 Demeanor of Command (127) 11 Read the Signs (174)
like Mind Reading or 11 Encouragement (134) 11 Spur Effort (186)
True Senses, imply a 11 Enthrall (136) 11 Strategize (187)
supernatural element.
11 Erase Memories (136) 11 Suggestion (188)
If this is inappropriate
11 Fast Talk (138)
to the character or the
setting, these abilities 11 Inspire Aggression (154) FIFTH-TIER SPEAKER
can be replaced with 11 Interaction Skills (155) Choose three of the abilities listed below (or
something from the 11 Practiced With Medium Weapons (171) from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In
stealth flavor, or the 11 Spin Identity (185) addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier
GM can slightly modify
11 Terrifying Presence (190) abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
them so they are based
in extraordinary talents 11 Understanding (194) 11 Adroit Cypher Use (108)
and insight rather than 11 Discipline of Watchfulness (129)
the supernatural. SECOND-TIER SPEAKER 11 Experienced in Armor (136)
Choose two of the abilities listed below (or 11 Flee (141)
Stealth flavor, page 34 from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In 11 Foul Aura (143)
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier 11 Knowing the Unknown (156)
abilities with a different one from a lower tier. 11 Regeneration (175)
Followers, page 233 11 Basic Follower (112) 11 Skill With Attacks (183)
11 Calm Stranger (118) 11 Stimulate (186)
11 Disincentivize (129)
11 Gather Intelligence (144) SIXTH-TIER SPEAKER
The small numbers 11 Impart Ideal (151) Choose two of the abilities listed below (or
you see after abilities 11 Inspiring Ease (154) from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In
throughout this book 11 Interaction Skills (155) addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier
are page numbers
11 Practiced in Armor (171) abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
for easy reference.
11 Skill With Defense (183) 11 Assume Control (111)
11 Speedy Recovery (185) 11 Battle Management (112)
11 Unexpected Betrayal (195) 11 Crowd Control (123)
11 Inspiring Success (154)
The vegetative state THIRD-TIER SPEAKER 11 Recruit Deputy (175)
created by Shatter Choose three of the abilities listed below (or 11 Shatter Mind (182)
Mind can be healed from a lower tier) to add to your repertoire. In 11 True Senses (194)
by advanced magic or
addition, you can replace one of your lower-tier 11 Word of Command (199)
science, or by a condition
remover cypher that abilities with a different one from a lower tier.
cures psychosis. 11 Accelerate (108) SPEAKER EXAMPLE
11 Blend In (113) Mary wants to create a Speaker for a Lovecraftian
A Speaker with 11 Discerning Mind (129) horror campaign. She puts 3 of her additional
Discerning Mind has 11 Expert Cypher Use (137) stat points into her Intellect Pool and 3 into
practiced swaying the 11 Expert Follower (137) her Speed Pool; her stat Pools are now Might
minds of others so much
11 Grand Deception (146) 8, Speed 12, and Intellect 14. As a first-tier
that they’ve gained a
measure of protection 11 Lead by Inquiry (157) character, her Effort is 1, her Might Edge and
against others attempting 11 Mind Reading (162) Speed Edge are 0, and her Intellect Edge is 1.
the same on them. 11 Oratory (167) She’s smart and charismatic but not particularly
11 Perfect Stranger (169) tough.
Fast Talk, page 138 11 Quick Wits (174) Mary chooses Fast Talk and Spin Identity
Spin Identity, page 185 11 Telling (190) to help get into places and learn things she

32
Type

wants to know. She’s a bit of a con artist. She’s between their Pools on a one-for-one basis. For
good to her friends, however, and chooses example, they can trade 2 points of Might for 2
Encouragement as well. Mary rounds out her points of Speed. However, no starting stat Pool Encouragement, page 134
first-tier abilities with Interaction Skills (deceiving should be higher than 20. Interaction Skills,
and persuasion). Edge: A player can start with an Edge of 1 in page 155
A Speaker normally starts with two cyphers, whichever stat they wish.
but the GM rules that characters in this Cypher Use: If a character gives up the ability
campaign start with only one—something to bear one cypher, they gain an additional skill
creepy relating to their background. Mary’s of their choice.
cypher is an odd pocket watch given to her by Weapons: Some types have static first-tier
her grandfather. She doesn’t know how or why, abilities that let them use light, medium, and/
but when activated, the watch allows her to take or heavy weapons without a penalty. Warriors
twice as many actions for three rounds. can use all weapons, Explorers can use light and
Mary’s character carries a small knife hidden medium weapons, and Adepts and Speakers
in her bag in case of trouble. As a light weapon, can use light weapons. Any one of these weapon
it inflicts 2 points of damage, but attacks with it abilities can be sacrificed to gain training in a
are eased. different skill of the player’s choice.
Mary chooses Resilient for her descriptor and Resilient, page 54
decides that she can probably learn the truth DRAWBACKS AND PENALTIES
behind some of the strange things that she’s In addition to other customization options, a
heard about without feeling too much trauma if player can choose to take drawbacks or penalties
it’s horrible. Resilient increases her Might Pool to gain further advantages.
to 10 and her Intellect Pool to 16. She’s trained Weakness: A weakness is, essentially, the
in Might and Intellect defense actions and gains opposite of Edge. If you have a weakness
an extra recovery roll each day. At first, Mary is of 1 in Speed, all Speed actions that require
sad that her descriptor gives her an inability in you to spend points cost 1 additional point Inability, page 207
knowledge and puzzle tasks, but then she realizes from your Pool. At any time, a player can give
that the flaw fits her character well—she’s better their character a weakness in one stat and, in
at getting people to tell her what she needs to exchange, gain +1 to their Edge in one of the
know than at figuring out the information herself. other two stats. So a PC can take a weakness of 1
For her focus, Mary chooses Moves Like a in Speed to gain +1 to their Might Edge. Moves Like a Cat,
Cat, granting her a final Speed Pool of 18 and Normally, you can have a weakness only in a page 73
training in balance. In the end, she’s graceful stat in which you have an Edge of 0. Further, you
and quick, charismatic, and hardier than she can’t have more than one weakness, and you
initially thought thanks to her drive. She’s ready can’t have a weakness greater than 1 unless the
to investigate the weird. additional weakness comes from another source
For her character arc, Mary chooses Fall From (such as a disease or disability arising from Fall From Grace,
Grace. She decides she’s had an obsession with actions or conditions in the game). page 245
a strange tome that’s been in her family for Inabilities: Inabilities are like negative skills.
generations, and her character is drawn to its They make one type of task harder by hindering
strange languages and rituals. it. If a character chooses to take an inability, they
gain a skill of their choice. Normally, a character
can have only one inability unless the additional
FURTHER CUSTOMIZATION inability comes from another source (such as a
The rules in this section are more advanced descriptor or a disease or disability arising from
and always involve the GM. They can be used actions or conditions in the game).
by the GM to tailor a type to better fit the genre
or setting, or by a player and a GM to tweak a
character to fit a concept.

MODIFYING TYPE ASPECTS


The following aspects of the four character types
can be modified at character creation. Other
abilities should not be changed.
Stat Pools: Each character type has a starting
stat Pool value. A player can exchange points

33
Chapter 6

FLAVOR

F
lavors are groups of special abilities the In the end, flavor is mostly a tool for the
GM and players can use to alter a character GM to easily create campaign-specific types by
type to make it more to their liking or more making a few slight alterations to the four base
appropriate to the genre or setting. For example, types. Although players may wish to use flavors
if a player wants to create a magic-using thief to get the characters they want, remember that
character, she could play an Adept with stealth they can also shape their PCs with descriptors
flavoring. In a science fiction setting, a Warrior and foci very nicely.
might also have knowledge of machinery, so the The flavors available are stealth, technology,
character could be flavored with technology. magic, combat, and skills and knowledge.
At a given tier, abilities from a flavor are traded The full description for each listed ability
Chapter 9: Abilities, one for one with standard abilities from a type. So can be found in chapter 9, which also contains
page 95 to add the Danger Sense stealth flavor ability to a descriptions for type and focus abilities in a
Warrior, something else—perhaps Bash—must single vast catalog.
be sacrificed. Now that character can choose
Danger Sense as they would any other first-tier
Unless otherwise noted, warrior ability, but they can never choose Bash. STEALTH FLAVOR
you cannot choose the The GM should always be involved in flavoring Characters with the stealth flavor are good at
same ability twice, even a type. For example, they might know that for sneaking around, infiltrating places they don’t
if you get it from both
their science fiction game, they want a type belong, and deceiving others. They use these
your type and a flavor.
called a “Glam,” which is a Speaker flavored with abilities in a variety of ways, including combat.
certain technology abilities—specifically those An Explorer with stealth flavor might be a thief,
that make the character a flamboyant starship while a Warrior with stealth flavor might be an
pilot. Thus, they exchange the first-tier abilities assassin. An Explorer with stealth flavor in a
Spin Identity and Inspire Aggression for the superhero setting might be a crimefighter who
technology flavor abilities Datajack and Tech stalks the streets at night.
Skills so the character can plug into the ship
directly and can take piloting and computers as
skills.

34
Flavor

FIRST-TIER STEALTH ABILITIES TECHNOLOGY FLAVOR


11 Danger Sense (124) Characters with a flavor of technology typically The small numbers
11 Goad (145) are from science fiction or at least modern-day you see after abilities
11 Legerdemain (157) settings (although anything is possible). They throughout this book
are page numbers
11 Opportunist (167) excel at using, dealing with, and building
for easy reference.
11 Stealth Skills (186) machines. An Explorer with technology flavor
might be a starship pilot, and a Speaker flavored
SECOND-TIER STEALTH ABILITIES with technology could be a techno-priest.
11 Contortionist (121) Some of the less computer-oriented abilities Of course, you can
11 Find an Opening (139) might be appropriate for a steampunk character, “flavor” a character in
11 Get Away (145) while a modern-day character could use some the Cypher System in
many ways. To make a
11 Sense Ambush (181) of the abilities that don’t involve starships or
character more stealthy,
11 Surprise Attack (188) ultratech. for example, you can
choose the Stealthy
THIRD-TIER STEALTH ABILITIES FIRST-TIER TECHNOLOGY ABILITIES descriptor or any number
11 Evanesce (136) 11 Datajack (124) of foci, including Works
11 From the Shadows (144) 11 Hacker (147) the Back Alleys.
11 Gambler (144) 11 Machine Interface (159)
11 Inner Defense (154) 11 Scramble Machine (179) Stealthy, page 56
11 Misdirect (163) 11 Tech Skills (189)
11 Run and Fight (179) 11 Tinker (192) Works the Back Alleys,
11 Seize the Moment (181) page 79
SECOND-TIER TECHNOLOGY ABILITIES
FOURTH-TIER STEALTH ABILITIES 11 Distant Interface (130)
11 Ambusher (109) 11 Machine Efficiency (159)
11 Debilitating Strike (126) 11 Overload Machine (168)
11 Outwit (168) 11 Serv-0 (181)
11 Preternatural Senses (171) 11 Serv-0 Defender (181)
11 Tumbling Moves (194) 11 Serv-0 Repair (181)
11 Tool Mastery (192)
FIFTH-TIER STEALTH ABILITIES
11 Assassin Strike (110) THIRD-TIER TECHNOLOGY ABILITIES
11 Mask (160) 11 Mechanical Telepathy (161)
11 Return to Sender (177) 11 Serv-0 Scanner (181)
11 Uncanny Luck (194) 11 Ship Footing (182)
11 Shipspeak (183)
SIXTH-TIER STEALTH ABILITIES 11 Spray (185)
11 Exploit Advantage (137)
11 Spring Away (186) FOURTH-TIER TECHNOLOGY ABILITIES
11 Thief ’s
Luck (191) 11 Machine Bond (159)
11 Twist of Fate (194) 11 Robot Fighter (178)
11 Serv-0 Aim (181)
11 Serv-0 Brawler (181)
11 Serv-0 Spy (181)

FIFTH-TIER TECHNOLOGY ABILITIES


11 Control Machine (121)
11 Jury-Rig (156)
11 Machine Companion (159)

SIXTH-TIER TECHNOLOGY ABILITIES


11 Information Gathering (153)
11 Master Machine (160)

35
MAGIC FLAVOR SECOND-TIER MAGIC ABILITIES
You know a little about magic. You might not 11 Concussive Blast (121)
be a wizard, but you know the basics—how it 11 Fetch (139)
works, and how to accomplish a few wondrous 11 Force Field (143)
things. Of course, in your setting, “magic” might 11 Lock (159)
actually mean psychic powers, mutant abilities, 11 Repair Flesh (176)
weird alien tech, or anything else that produces
interesting and useful effects. THIRD-TIER MAGIC ABILITIES
An Explorer flavored with magic might be 11 Distance Viewing (130)
a wizard-hunter, and a Speaker with magical 11 Fire Bloom (140)
flavor might be a sorcerer-bard. Although an 11 Fling (141)
Adept flavored with magic is still an Adept, you 11 Force at Distance (142)
Giant spider, page 335 might find that swapping some of the type’s 11 Summon Giant Spider (188)
basic abilities with those given here tailors the
character in desirable ways. FOURTH-TIER MAGIC ABILITIES
11 Elemental Protection (133)
FIRST-TIER MAGIC ABILITIES 11
11 Blessing of the Gods (114) 11 Pry Open (172)
11 Closed Mind (119)
11 Entangling Force (136) FIFTH-TIER MAGIC ABILITIES
11 Hedge Magic (149) 11 Create (122)
11 Magic Training (159) 11 Divine Intervention (130)
11 Mental Link (161) 11 Dragon’s Maw (131)
11 Premonition (171) 11 Fast Travel (139)
11 True Senses (194)

SIXTH-TIER MAGIC ABILITIES


11 Relocate (176)
11 Summon Demon (188)
11 Traversethe Worlds (194)
11 Word of Death (200)

COMBAT FLAVOR
Combat flavor makes a character more martial.
A Speaker with combat flavor in a fantasy setting
would be a battle bard. An Explorer with combat
flavor in a historical game might be a pirate. An
Adept flavored with combat in a science fiction
There’s very little to setting could be a veteran of a thousand psychic
gain by flavoring a wars.
Warrior with combat.
FIRST-TIER COMBAT ABILITIES
11 Danger Sense (124)
11 Practiced in Armor (171)
11 Practiced With Medium Weapons (171)

SECOND-TIER COMBAT ABILITIES


11 Bloodlust (115)
11 Combat Prowess (120)
11 Trained Without Armor (193)

THIRD-TIER COMBAT ABILITIES


11 Practiced With All Weapons (171)
11 Skill With Attacks (183)
11 Skill With Defense (183)
11 Successive Attack (187)

36
Flavor

FOURTH-TIER COMBAT ABILITIES FOURTH-TIER SKILLS AND


11 Capable Warrior (118) KNOWLEDGE ABILITIES
11 Deadly Aim (125) 11 Multiple Skills (165) The skills and knowledge
11 Fury (144) 11 Quick Wits (174) flavor is particularly
11 Misdirect (163) 11 Task Specialization (189) useful in shaping
character types to fit
11 Spray (185)
FIFTH-TIER SKILLS AND modern and futuristic
science fiction settings,
FIFTH-TIER COMBAT ABILITIES KNOWLEDGE ABILITIES where characters are
11 Experienced Defender (136) 11 Practiced With Medium Weapons (171) more likely to be defined
11 Hard Target (148) 11 Read the Signs (174) by what they know more
11 Parry (168) than anything else. This
SIXTH-TIER SKILLS AND flavor can distinguish a
scientist and a medical
SIXTH-TIER COMBAT ABILITIES KNOWLEDGE ABILITIES doctor, for example,
11 GreaterSkill With Attacks (147) 11 Skill With Attacks (183) who both might be
11 Mastery in Armor (161) 11 Skill With Defense (183) Explorers at their core.
11 Mastery With Defense (161)

SKILLS AND
KNOWLEDGE FLAVOR
This flavor is for characters in roles that call for
more knowledge and more real-world application
of talent. It’s less flashy and dramatic than
supernatural powers or the ability to hack apart
multiple foes, but sometimes expertise or
know-how is the real solution to a problem.
A Warrior flavored with skills and knowledge
might be a military engineer. An Explorer flavored
with skills and knowledge could be a field
scientist. A Speaker with this flavor might be a
teacher.

FIRST-TIER SKILLS AND


KNOWLEDGE ABILITIES
11 Interaction Skills (155)
11 Investigative Skills (155)
11 Knowledge Skills (157)
11 Physical Skills (170)
11 Travel Skills (193)

SECOND-TIER SKILLS AND


KNOWLEDGE ABILITIES
11 Extra
Skill (138)
11 Tool
Mastery (192)
11 Understanding (194)

THIRD-TIER SKILLS AND


KNOWLEDGE ABILITIES
11 Flex Skill (141)
11 Improvise (152)

37
Chapter 7

DESCRIPTOR

Y
our descriptor defines your character—it any descriptor you wish regardless of your type.
flavors everything you do. The differences At the end of this chapter, a few options are
Charming, page 41 between a Charming Explorer and a Vicious provided for Customizing Descriptors, including
Explorer, page 27 Explorer are considerable. The descriptor making a character’s species their descriptor.
Vicious, page 58 changes the way those characters go about every
Customizing action. Your descriptor places your character in APPEALING
Descriptors, page 59 the situation (the first adventure, which starts You’re attractive to others, but perhaps more
Species as Descriptor, the campaign) and helps provide motivation. It important, you are likeable and charismatic.
page 59 is the adjective of the sentence “I am an adjective You’ve got that “special something” that draws
noun who verbs.” others to you. You often know just the right thing
Descriptors offer a one-time package of extra to say to make someone laugh, put them at ease,
abilities, skills, or modifications to your stat or spur them to action. People like you, want to
Pools. Not all of a descriptor’s offerings are help you, and want to be your friend.
positive character modifications. For example, You gain the following characteristics:
Inability, page 207 some descriptors have inabilities—tasks that Charismatic: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
a character isn’t good at. You can think of Skill: You are trained in pleasant social
inabilities as negative skills—instead of being interactions.
one step better at that kind of task, you’re one Resistant to Charms: You’re aware of how
step worse. If you become skilled at a task others can manipulate and charm people, and
that you have an inability with, they cancel out. you notice when those tactics are used on you.
Remember that characters are defined as much Because of this awareness, you are trained in
by what they’re not good at as by what they are resisting any kind of persuasion or seduction if
good at. you wish it.
Descriptors also offer a few brief suggestions Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
for how your character got involved with the rest following list of options, choose how you became
of the group on their first adventure. You can use involved in the first adventure.
these, or not, as you wish. 1. You met a total stranger (one of the other
This section details fifty descriptors. Choose PCs) and charmed them so much that they
one of them for your character. You can pick invited you along.

38
Descriptor

DESCRIPTORS
Appealing Cruel Hideous Mad Skeptical
Beneficent Dishonorable Honorable Mechanical Stealthy
Brash Doomed Impulsive Mysterious Strong
Calm Empathic Inquisitive Mystical Strong-Willed
Chaotic Exiled Intelligent Naive Swift
Charming Fast Intuitive Perceptive Tongue-Tied
Clever Foolish Jovial Resilient Tough
Clumsy Graceful Kind Risk-Taking Vicious
Craven Guarded Learned Rugged Virtuous
Creative Hardy Lucky Sharp-Eyed Weird

2. The PCs were looking for someone else, 2. You saw the PCs struggling to overcome a
but you convinced them that you were perfect problem and selflessly joined them to help.
instead. 3. You’re nearly certain the PCs will fail without
3. Pure happenstance—because you just go you.
along with the flow of things and everything 4. The choice was between your tattered life
usually works out. and helping others. You haven’t looked back
4. Your charismatic ways helped get one of since.
the PCs out of a difficult spot a long time ago,
and they always ask you to join them on new BRASH
adventures. You’re a self-assertive sort, confident in your
abilities, energetic, and perhaps a bit irreverent
BENEFICENT toward ideas that you don’t agree with. Some
Helping others is your calling. It’s why you’re people call you bold and brave, but those you’ve
here. Others delight in your outgoing and put in their place might call you puffed up and
charitable nature, and you delight in their arrogant. Whatever. It’s not in your nature to care
happiness. You’re at your best when you’re aiding what other people think about you, unless those
people, either by explaining how they can best people are your friends or family. Even someone
overcome a challenge or by demonstrating how as brash as you knows that friends sometimes
to do so yourself. have to come first.
You gain the following characteristics: You gain the following characteristics:
Generous: Allies who have spent the last day Energetic: +2 to your Speed Pool.
with you add +1 to their recovery rolls. Skill: You are trained in initiative. Initiative, page 214
Altruistic: If you’re standing next to a creature Bold: You are trained in all actions that involve
that takes damage, you can intercede and take overcoming or ignoring the effects of fear or
1 point of that damage yourself (reducing the intimidation.
damage inflicted on the creature by 1 point). If Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
you have Armor, it does not provide a benefit following list of options, choose how you became
when you use this ability. involved in the first adventure.
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks related to 1. You noticed something weird going on, and
pleasant social interaction, putting other people without much thought, you jumped in with both
at ease, and gaining trust. feet.
Helpful: Whenever you help another character, 2. You showed up when and where you did on Helping, page 226
that character gains the benefit as if you were a dare because, hey, you don’t back down from
trained even if you are not trained or specialized dares.
in the attempted task. 3. Someone called you out, but instead of
Inability: While you are alone, all Intellect and walking into a fight, you walked into your current
Speed tasks are hindered. situation.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the 4. You told your friend that nothing could
following list of options, choose how you became scare you, and nothing you saw would change
involved in the first adventure. your mind. They brought you to your current
1. Even though you didn’t know most of the point.
other PCs beforehand, you invited yourself along
on their quest.

39
CALM You can do this one time, although the ability is
Calm is a great You’ve spent most of your life in sedentary renewed each time you make a recovery roll.
descriptor for characters pursuits—books, movies, hobbies, and so Inability: You’re just not a fighter. All physical
who never intended on—rather than active ones. You’re well versed attacks are hindered.
to have adventures
in all manner of academia or other intellectual Inability: You’re not the outdoorsy type. All
but were thrust into
them, a trope that pursuits, but nothing physical. You’re not weak climbing, running, jumping, and swimming tasks
occurs often in modern or feeble, necessarily (although this is a good are hindered.
games and particularly descriptor for characters who are elderly), Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
in horror games. but you have no experience in more physical following list of options, choose how you became
activities. involved in the first adventure.
You gain the following characteristics: 1. You read about the current situation
Bookish: +2 to your Intellect Pool. somewhere and decided to check it out for
Skills: You are trained in four nonphysical skills yourself.
of your choice. 2. You were in the right (wrong?) place at the
Trivia: You can come up with a random fact right (wrong?) time.
pertinent to the current situation when you wish 3. While avoiding an entirely different
it. This is always a matter of fact, not conjecture situation, you walked into your current situation.
or supposition, and must be something you 4. One of the other PCs dragged you into it.
could have logically read or seen in the past.
CHAOTIC
Danger doesn’t mean much to you, mainly
because you don’t think much about
repercussions. In fact, you enjoy sowing
surprises, just to see what will happen. The
more unexpected the result, the happier you
are. Sometimes you are particularly manic, and
for the sake of your companions, you restrain
yourself from taking actions that you know will
lead to disaster.
You gain the following characteristics:
Tumultuous: +4 to your Speed Pool.
Skill: You are trained in Intellect defense
actions.
Chaotic: Once after each ten-hour recovery
roll, if you don’t like the first result, you can reroll
a die roll of your choice. If you do, and regardless
of the outcome, the GM presents you with a GM
intrusion.
Inability: Your body is a bit worn from
occasional excesses. Might defense tasks are
hindered.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. Another PC recruited you while you were on
your best behavior, before realizing how chaotic
you were.
2. You have reason to believe that being with
the other PCs will help you gain control over your
erratic behavior.
3. Another PC released you from captivity, and
to thank them, you volunteered to help.
4. You have no idea how you joined the PCs.
You’re just going along with it for now until
answers present themselves.

40
Descriptor

CHARMING your wit to overcome any physical or mental


You’re a smooth talker and a charmer. Whether imperfections.
through seemingly supernatural means or just You gain the following characteristics:
a way with words, you can convince others to Smart: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
do as you wish. Most likely, you’re physically Skill: You’re trained in all interactions involving
attractive or at least highly charismatic, and lies or trickery.
others enjoy listening to your voice. You probably Skill: You’re trained in defense rolls to resist
pay attention to your appearance, keeping mental effects.
yourself well groomed. You make friends easily. Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving
You play up the personality facet of your Intellect identifying or assessing danger, lies, quality,
stat; intelligence is not your strong suit. You’re importance, function, or power.
personable, but not necessarily studious or Inability: You were never good at studying or
strong-willed. retaining trivial knowledge. Any task involving
You gain the following characteristics: lore, knowledge, or understanding is hindered.
Personable: +2 to your Intellect Pool. Additional Equipment: You see through the
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving schemes of others and occasionally convince
positive or pleasant social interaction. them to believe you—even when, perhaps, they
Skill: You’re trained when using special should not. Thanks to your clever behavior, you
abilities that influence the minds of others. have an additional expensive item.
Contact: You have an important contact who is Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
in an influential position, such as a minor noble, following list of options, choose how you became
the captain of the town guard/police, or the involved in the first adventure.
head of a large gang of thieves. You and the GM 1. You convinced one of the other PCs to tell
should work out the details together. you what they were doing.
Inability: You were never good at studying 2. From afar, you observed that something
or retaining facts. Any task involving lore, interesting was going on.
knowledge, or understanding is hindered. 3. You talked your way into the situation
Inability: Your willpower is not one of your because you thought it might earn some money.
strong points. Defense actions to resist mental 4. You suspect that the other PCs won’t
attacks are hindered. succeed without you.
Additional Equipment: You’ve managed to
talk your way into some decent discounts and CLUMSY
bonuses in recent weeks. As a result, you have Graceless and awkward, you were told that you’d Some players may not
enough cash jangling in your pocket to purchase grow out of it, but you never did. You often drop want to be defined by
a moderately priced item. things, trip over your own feet, or knock things a “negative” quality
like Clumsy, but in
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the (or people) over. Some people get frustrated by
truth, even this kind of
following list of options, choose how you became this quality, but most find it funny and even a descriptor has enough
involved in the first adventure. little charming. advantages that it
1. You convinced one of the other PCs to tell You gain the following characteristics: makes for capable and
you what they were doing. Butterfingers: −2 to your Speed Pool. talented characters.
2. You instigated the whole thing and Thick-Muscled: +2 to your Might Pool. What negative descriptors
really do is make more
convinced the others to join you. Inelegant: You have a certain lovable charm. interesting and complex
3. One of the other PCs did a favor for you, You are trained in all pleasant social interactions characters that are
and now you’re repaying that obligation by when you express a lighthearted, self-deprecating often great fun to play.
helping them with the task at hand. manner.
4. There is a reward involved, and you need Dumb Luck: The GM can introduce a GM GM intrusions, page 408
the money. intrusion on you, based on your clumsiness,
without awarding you any XP (as if you had rolled
CLEVER a 1 on a d20 roll). However, if this happens,
You’re quick-witted, thinking well on your 50% of the time, your clumsiness works to your
feet. You understand people, so you can fool advantage. Rather than hurting you (much), it
them but are rarely fooled. Because you easily helps you, or it hurts your enemies. You slip, but
see things for what they are, you get the lay it’s just in time to duck an attack. You fall down,
of the land swiftly, size up threats and allies, but you trip your enemies as you crash into their
and assess situations with accuracy. Perhaps legs. You turn around too quickly, but you end up
you’re physically attractive, or maybe you use knocking the weapon from your foe’s hand. You

41
and the GM should work together to determine 1. You believe that you’re being hunted, and
the details. If the GM wishes, they can use GM you have hired one of the other PCs as your
intrusions based on your clumsiness normally protector.
(awarding XP). 2. You seek to escape your shame and take up
Skill: You’ve got a certain bull-like quality. You with capable individuals in the hopes of repairing
are trained in tasks involving breaking things. your reputation.
Inability: Any task that involves balance, grace, 3. One of the other PCs bullied you into
or hand-to-eye coordination is hindered. coming along.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the 4. The group answered your cries for help
following list of options, choose how you became when you were in trouble.
involved in the first adventure.
1. You were in the right place at the right time. CREATIVE
2. You had a piece of information that the Maybe you have a notebook where you write
other PCs needed to make their plans. down ideas so you can develop them later.
3. A sibling recommended you to the other PCs. Perhaps you email yourself ideas that strike
4. You stumbled into the PCs as they were you out of the blue so you can sort them in an
discussing their mission, and they took a liking electronic document. Or maybe you just sit
to you. down, stare at your screen and, by indomitable
force of will, produce something from nothing.
CRAVEN However your gift works, you’re creative—you
Descriptors like Craven, Courage fails you at every turn. You lack the code, write, compose, sculpt, design, direct, or
Cruel, and Dishonorable willpower and resolve to stand fast in the face of otherwise create narratives that enthrall other
might not be appropriate danger. Fear gnaws at your heart, chewing away people with your vision.
for every group. These
at your mind, driving you to distraction until You gain the following characteristics:
are villainous traits and
some people want their you cannot bear it. Most times, you back down Inventive: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
PCs to be entirely heroic. from confrontations. You flee from threats and Original: You’re always coming up with
But others don’t mind vacillate when faced with difficult decisions. something new. You’re trained in any task related
a little moral greyness Yet for all that fear dogs you and possibly to creating a narrative (such as a story, play,
thrown into the mix. shames you, your cowardly nature proves to or scenario). This includes deception, if the
Still others see things
like Craven and Cruel be a useful ally from time to time. Listening to deception involves a narrative you’re able to tell.
as traits to overcome as your fears has helped you escape danger and Skill: You are naturally inventive. You are
their characters develop avoid taking unnecessary risks. Others may have trained in one specific creative skill of your
(probably earning them suffered in your place, and you might be the first choice: writing, computer coding, composing
different descriptors). to admit this fact, but secretly you feel intense music, painting, drawing, and so on.
relief from having avoided an unthinkable and Skill: You love solving riddles and the like. You
terrible fate. are trained in puzzle-solving tasks.
You gain the following characteristics: Skill: To be creative requires that you always be
Furtive: +2 to your Speed Pool. learning. You are trained in any task that involves
Skill: You’re trained in stealth-based tasks. finding out something new, such as when you’re
Skill: You’re trained in running actions. digging through a library, data bank, news
Skill: You’re trained in any action taken to archive, or similar collection of knowledge.
escape danger, flee from a dangerous situation, Inability: You’re inventive but not charming.
or wheedle your way out of trouble. All tasks related to pleasant social interaction are
Inability: You do not willingly enter dangerous hindered.
situations. Any initiative actions (to determine Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
who goes first in combat) are hindered. following list of options, choose how you became
Inability: You fall to pieces when you have to involved in the first adventure.
undertake a potentially dangerous task alone. 1. You were doing research for a project and
Any such task (such as attacking a creature by convinced the PCs to bring you along.
yourself) is hindered. 2. You’re looking for new markets for the
Additional Equipment: You have a good luck results of your creative output.
charm or protective device to keep you out of 3. You fell in with the wrong crowd, but they
harm’s way. grew on you.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the 4. A creative life is often one beset with
following list of options, choose how you became financial hurdles. You joined the PCs because
involved in the first adventure. you hoped it would be profitable.

42
Descriptor

CRUEL 3. You hope to make another PC’s life more


Misfortune and suffering do not move you. difficult by joining the group.
When another endures hardship, you find it hard 4. Joining the PCs gives you an opportunity to
to care, and you may even enjoy the pain and escape justice for a crime you committed.
difficulty the person experiences if they’ve done
you wrong in the past. Your cruel streak may
derive from bitterness brought about by your
own struggles and disappointments. You might
be a hard pragmatist, doing what you feel you
must even if others are worse for it. Or you could
be a sadist, delighting in the pain you inflict.
Being cruel does not necessarily make you a
villain. Your cruelty may be reserved for those
who cross you or other people useful to you.
You might have become cruel as the result of an
intensely awful experience. Abuse and torture,
for example, can strip away compassion for other
living beings.
As well, you need not be cruel in every
situation. In fact, others might see you as
personable, friendly, and even helpful. But when
angered or frustrated, your dual nature reveals
itself, and those who have earned your scorn are
likely to suffer for it.
You gain the following characteristics:
Cunning: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
Cruelty: When you use force, you can choose
to maim or deliver painful injuries to draw
out your foe’s suffering. Whenever you inflict
damage, you can choose to inflict 2 fewer points
of damage to ease your next attack against that
foe.
Skill: You’re trained in tasks related to
deception, intimidation, and persuasion when
you interact with characters experiencing
physical or emotional pain.
Inability: You have a hard time connecting with
others, understanding their motives, or sharing
their feelings. Any task to ascertain another
character’s motives, feelings, or disposition is
hindered.
Additional Equipment: You have a valuable
memento from the last person you destroyed.
The memento is moderately priced, and you can
sell it or trade it for an item of equal or lesser
value.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. You suspect that you might gain a long-term
advantage from helping the other PCs and
may be able to use that advantage against your
enemies.
2. By joining the PCs, you see an opportunity
to grow your personal power and status at the
expense of others.

43
DISHONORABLE 1. You attempted to avoid it, but events
There is no honor among thieves—or betrayers, seemed to conspire to draw you to where you
backstabbers, liars, or cheats. You are all of these are.
things, and either you don’t lose any sleep over 2. Why not? It doesn’t matter. You’re doomed
it, or you deny the truth to others or to yourself. no matter what you do.
Regardless, you are willing to do whatever it 3. One of the other PCs saved your life, and
takes to get your own way. Honor, ethics, and now you’re repaying that obligation by helping
principles are merely words. In your estimation, them with the task at hand.
they have no place in the real world. 4. You suspect that the only hope you have of
You gain the following characteristics: avoiding your fate might lie on this path.
Sneaky: +4 to your Speed Pool.
Just Desserts: When the GM gives another EMPATHIC
player an experience point to award to someone Other people are open books to you. You may
for a GM intrusion, that player cannot give it to have a knack for reading a person’s tells, those
you. subtle movements that convey an individual’s
Skill: You are trained in deception. mood and disposition. Or you may receive
Skill: You are trained in stealth. information in a more direct way, feeling a
Skill: You are trained in intimidation. person’s emotions as if they were tangible
Inability: People don’t like or trust you. things, sensations that lightly brush against your
Pleasant social interactions are hindered. mind. Your gift for empathy helps you navigate
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the social situations and control them to avoid
following list of options, choose how you became misunderstandings and prevent useless conflicts
involved in the first adventure. from erupting.
1. You are interested in what the PCs are doing, The constant bombardment of emotions
so you lied to them to get into their group. from those around you likely takes a toll. You
2. While skulking about, you overheard the might move with the prevailing mood, swinging
PCs’ plans and realized that you wanted in. from giddy happiness to bitter sorrow with little
3. One of the other PCs invited you, having no warning. Or you might close yourself off and
idea of what you’re truly like. remain inscrutable to others out of a sense of
4. You bullied your way in with intimidation self-preservation or an unconscious fear that
and bluster. everyone else might learn how you truly feel.
You gain the following characteristics:
DOOMED Open Mind: +4 to your Intellect Pool.
You are quite certain that your fate is leading you, Skill: You’re trained in tasks involving sensing
inextricably, toward a terrible end. This fate might other emotions, discerning dispositions, and
be yours alone, or you might be dragging along getting a hunch about people around you.
the people closest to you. Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving social
You gain the following characteristics: interaction, pleasant or otherwise.
Jumpy: +2 to your Speed Pool. Inability: Being so receptive to others’
Skill: Always on the lookout for danger, you are thoughts and moods makes you vulnerable to
trained in perception-related tasks. anything that attacks your mind. Intellect defense
Skill: You are defense minded, so you are rolls are hindered.
trained in Speed defense tasks. Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
Skill: You are cynical and expect the worst. following list of options, choose how you became
Thus, you are resistant to mental shocks. You are involved in the first adventure.
trained in Intellect defense tasks having to do 1. You sensed the commitment to the task the
with losing your sanity or equanimity. other PCs have and felt moved to help them.
GM intrusions, page 408 Doom: Every other time the GM uses GM 2. You established a close bond with another
intrusion on your character, you cannot refuse it PC and can’t bear to be parted from them.
and do not get an XP for it (you still get an XP to 3. You sensed something strange in one of the
award to another player). This is because you are PCs and decided to join the group to see if you
doomed. The universe is a cold, uncaring place, can sense it again and uncover the truth.
and your efforts are futile at best. 4. You joined the PCs to escape an unpleasant
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the relationship or negative environment.
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.

44
Descriptor

EXILED FAST
You have walked a long and lonely road, leaving You’re fleet of foot. Because you’re quick, you can
your home and your life behind. You might have accomplish tasks more rapidly than others can.
committed a heinous crime, something so awful You’re not just quick on your feet, however—
that your people forced you out, and if you dare you’re quick with your hands, and you think and
return, you face death. You might have been react quickly. You even talk quickly.
accused of a crime you didn’t commit and now You gain the following characteristics:
must pay the price for someone else’s wicked Energetic: +2 to your Speed Pool.
deed. Your exile might be the result of a social Skill: You are trained in running.
gaffe—perhaps you shamed your family or a Fast: You can move a short distance and still
friend, or you embarrassed yourself in front of take another action in the same round, or you
your peers, an authority, or someone you respect. can move a long distance as your action without
Whatever the reason, you have left your old life needing to make any kind of roll.
behind and now strive to make a new one. Inability: You’re a sprinter, not a long-distance
You gain the following characteristics: runner. You don’t have a lot of stamina. Might
Self-Reliant: +2 to your Might Pool. defense rolls are hindered.
Loner: You gain no benefit when you get help Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the Helping, page 226
with a task from another character who is trained following list of options, choose how you became
or specialized in that task. involved in the first adventure.
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving 1. You jumped in to save one of the other PCs
sneaking. who was in dire need.
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving 2. One of the other PCs recruited you for your
foraging, hunting, and finding safe places to rest unique talents.
or hide. 3. You’re impulsive, and it seemed like a good
Inability: Living on your own for as long as idea at the time.
you have makes you slow to trust others and 4. This mission ties in with a personal goal of
awkward in social situations. Any task involving your own.
social interaction is hindered.
Additional Equipment: You have a memento
from your past—an old picture, a locket with
a few strands of hair inside, or a lighter given
to you by someone important. You keep the
object close at hand and pull it out to help you
remember better times.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. The other PCs earned your trust by helping
you when you needed it. You accompany them to
repay them.
2. While exploring on your own, you
discovered something strange. When you
traveled to a settlement, the PCs were the
only ones who believed you, and they have
accompanied you to help you deal with the
problem.
3. One of the other PCs reminds you of
someone you used to know.
4. You have grown weary of your isolation.
Joining the other PCs gives you a chance to
belong.

45
It can be liberating and FOOLISH You gain the following characteristics:
really fun to play a foolish Not everyone can be brilliant. Oh, you Unwise: –4 to your Intellect Pool.
character. In some ways, don’t think of yourself as stupid, and you’re Carefree: You succeed more on luck than
the pressure to always do
not. It’s just that others might have a bit anything. Every time you roll for a task, roll twice
the right, smart thing is
off. On the other hand, if more . . . wisdom. Insight. You prefer to barrel and take the higher result.
you play such a character along headfirst through life and let other people Intellect Weakness: Any time you spend points
as a bumbling moron worry about things. Worrying’s never helped you, from your Intellect Pool, it costs you 1 more
in every situation, that so why bother? You take things at face value and point than usual.
can become annoying don’t fret about what tomorrow might bring. Inability: Any Intellect defense task is hindered.
to everyone else at the
table. As with everything, People call you “idiot” or “numbskull,” but it Inability: Any task that involves seeing through
moderation is the key. doesn’t faze you much. a deception, an illusion, or a trap is hindered.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. Who knows? Seemed like a good idea at the
time.
2. Someone asked you to join up with the
other PCs. They told you not to ask too many
questions, and that seemed fine to you.
3. Your parent (or a parental/mentor figure)
got you involved to give you something to do
and maybe “teach you some sense.”
4. The other PCs needed some muscle who
wouldn’t overthink things.

GRACEFUL
You have a perfect sense of balance, moving
and speaking with grace and beauty. You’re
quick, lithe, flexible, and dexterous. Your body
is perfectly suited to dance, and you use that
advantage in combat to dodge blows. You
might wear garments that enhance your agile
movement and sense of style.
You gain the following characteristics:
Agile: +2 to your Speed Pool.
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving
balance and careful movement.
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving
physical performing arts.
Skill: You’re trained in all Speed defense tasks.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. Against your better judgment, you joined
the other PCs because you saw that they were in
danger.
2. One of the other PCs convinced you that
joining the group would be in your best interests.
3. You’re afraid of what might happen if the
other PCs fail.
4. There is reward involved, and you need the
money.

46
Descriptor

GUARDED You gain the following characteristics:


You conceal your true nature behind a mask and Mighty: +4 to your Might Pool.
are loath to let anyone see who you really are. Fast Healer: You halve the time it takes to
Protecting yourself, physically and emotionally, make a recovery roll (minimum one action).
is what you care about most, and you prefer to Almost Unstoppable: While you are impaired
keep everyone else at a safe distance. You may on the damage track, you function as if you were Damage track, page 218
be suspicious of everyone you meet, expecting hale. While you are debilitated, you function as
the worst from people so you won’t be surprised if you were impaired. In other words, you don’t
when they prove you right. Or you might just suffer the effects of being impaired until you
be a bit reserved, careful about letting people become debilitated, and you never suffer the
through your gruff exterior to the person you effects of being debilitated. You still die if all your
really are. stat Pools are 0.
No one can be as reserved as you are and Skill: You are trained in Might defense actions.
make many friends. Most likely, you have an Inability: Your big, strong body is slow to react.
abrasive personality and tend to be pessimistic Any task involving initiative is hindered.
in your outlook. You probably nurse an old hurt Ponderous: When you apply Effort when
and find that the only way you can cope is to making a Speed roll, you must spend 1 extra
keep it and your personality locked down. point from your Speed Pool.
You gain the following characteristics: Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
Suspicious: +2 to your Intellect Pool. following list of options, choose how you became
Skill: You are trained in all Intellect defense involved in the first adventure.
tasks. 1. The PCs recruited you after learning about
Skill: You are trained in all tasks involving your reputation as a survivor.
discerning the truth, piercing disguises, and 2. You joined the PCs because you want or
recognizing falsehoods and other deceptions. need the money.
Inability: Your suspicious nature makes you 3. The PCs offered you a challenge equal to
unlikeable. Any task involving deception or your physical power.
persuasion is hindered. 4. You believe the only way the PCs will
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the succeed is if you are along to protect them.
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. One of the PCs managed to overcome your
defenses and befriend you.
2. You want to see what the PCs are up to, so
you accompany them to catch them in the act of
some wrongdoing.
3. You have made a few enemies and take up
with the PCs for protection.
4. The PCs are the only people who will put up
with you.

HARDY
Your body was built to take abuse. Whether
you’re pounding down stiff drinks while holding
up a bar in your favorite watering hole or trading
blows with a thug in a back alley, you keep going,
shrugging off hurts and injuries that might slow
or incapacitate a lesser person. Neither hunger
nor thirst, cut flesh nor broken bone can stop
you. You just press on through the pain and
continue.
As fit and healthy as you are, the signs of wear
show in the myriad scars crisscrossing your
body, your thrice-broken nose, your cauliflower
ears, and any number of other disfigurements
you wear with pride.

47
HIDEOUS Skill: You are trained in discerning people’s
You are physically repugnant by almost any true motives or seeing through lies.
human standard. You might have had a serious Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
accident, a harmful mutation, or just poor following list of options, choose how you became
genetic luck, but you are incontrovertibly ugly. involved in the first adventure.
You’ve more than made up for your appearance 1. The PCs’ goals appear to be honorable and
in other ways, however. Because you have to hide commendable.
your appearance, you excel at sneaking about 2. You see that what the other PCs are about
unnoticed or disguising yourself. But perhaps to do is dangerous, and you’d like to help protect
most important, being ostracized while others them.
socialized, you took the time growing up to 3. One of the other PCs invited you, hearing of
develop yourself as you saw fit—you grew strong your trustworthiness.
or quick, or you honed your mind. 4. You asked politely if you could join the other
You gain the following characteristics: PCs in their mission.
Versatile: You get 4 additional points to divide
among your stat Pools. IMPULSIVE
Impulsive characters get Skill: You are trained in intimidation and any You have a hard time tamping down your
into trouble. That’s their other fear-based interactions, if you show your enthusiasm. Why wait when you can just do it
thing, and that’s fine. true face. (whatever it is) and get it done? You deal with
But if you’re constantly
Skill: You are trained in disguise and stealth problems when they arise rather than plan
dragging your fellow
PCs into trouble (or tasks. ahead. Putting out the small fires now prevents
worse, getting them Inability: All tasks relating to pleasant social them from becoming one big fire later. You are
seriously hurt or killed), interaction are hindered. the first to take risks, to jump in and lend a hand,
that will be annoying, Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the to step into dark passages, and to find danger.
to say the least. A following list of options, choose how you became Your impulsiveness likely gets you into trouble.
good rule of thumb
is that impulsiveness
involved in the first adventure. While others might take time to study the items
doesn’t always mean 1. One of the other PCs approached you they discover, you use such items without
a predilection for while you were in disguise, recruiting you while hesitation. After all, the best way to learn what
doing the wrong thing. believing you were someone else. something can do is to use it. When a cautious
Sometimes it’s the urge 2. While skulking about, you overheard the explorer might look around and check for danger
to do the right thing.
other PCs’ plans and realized you wanted in. nearby, you have to physically stop yourself from
3. One of the other PCs invited you, but you bulling on ahead. Why fuss around when the
wonder if it was out of pity. exciting thing is just ahead?
4. You bullied your way in with intimidation You gain the following characteristics:
and bluster. Reckless: +2 to your Speed Pool.
Skill: You’re trained in initiative actions (to
HONORABLE determine who goes first in combat).
You are trustworthy, fair, and forthright. You try Skill: You’re trained in Speed defense actions.
to do what is right, to help others, and to treat Inability: You’ll try anything once, but quickly
them well. Lying and cheating are no way to get grow bored after that. Any task that involves
ahead—these things are for the weak, the lazy, or patience, willpower, or discipline is hindered.
the despicable. You probably spend a lot of time Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
thinking about your personal honor, how best to following list of options, choose how you became
maintain it, and how to defend it if challenged. involved in the first adventure.
In combat, you are straightforward and offer 1. You heard what the other PCs were up to
quarter to any foe. and suddenly decided to join them.
You were likely instilled with this sense of 2. You pulled everyone together after you
honor by a parent or a mentor. Sometimes the heard rumors about something interesting you
distinction between what is and isn’t honorable want to see or do.
varies with different schools of thought, but in 3. You blew all of your money and now find
broad strokes, honorable people can agree on yourself strapped for cash.
most aspects of what honor means. 4. You’re in trouble for acting recklessly. You
You gain the following characteristics: join the other PCs because they offer a way out of
Stalwart: +2 to your Might Pool. your problem.
Skill: You are trained in pleasant social
interactions.

48
Descriptor

INQUISITIVE INTELLIGENT
The world is vast and mysterious, with wonders You’re quite smart. Your memory is sharp, and you
and secrets to keep you amazed for several easily grasp concepts that others might struggle
lifetimes. You feel the tugging on your heart, the with. This aptitude doesn’t necessarily mean that
call to explore the wreckage of past civilizations, you’ve had years of formal education, but you have
to discover new peoples, new places, and learned a great deal in your life, primarily because
whatever bizarre wonders you might find along you pick things up quickly and retain so much.
the way. However, as strongly as you feel the You gain the following characteristics:
pull to roam the world, you know there is danger Smart: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
aplenty, and you take precautions to ensure that Skill: You’re trained in an area of knowledge of
you are prepared for any eventuality. Research, your choice.
preparation, and readiness will help you live long Skill: You’re trained in all actions that involve
enough to see everything you want to see and do remembering or memorizing things you experience
everything you want to do. directly. For example, instead of being good at
You probably have a dozen books and recalling details of geography that you read about
travelogues about the world on you at any time. in a book, you can remember a path through a
When not hitting the road and looking around, set of tunnels that you’ve explored before.
you spend your time with your nose in a book, Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the Your descriptor matters
learning everything you can about the place following list of options, choose how you became most when you are a
you’re going so you know what to expect when involved in the first adventure. beginning character. The
benefits (and perhaps
you get there. 1. One of the other PCs asked your opinion of
drawbacks) that come
You gain the following characteristics: the mission, knowing that if you thought it was a from your descriptor
Smart: +4 to your Intellect Pool. good idea, it probably was. will eventually be
Skill: You are eager to learn. You are trained 2. You saw value in what the other PCs were doing. overshadowed by the
in any task that involves learning something 3. You believed that the task might lead to growing importance
new, whether you’re talking to a local to get important and interesting discoveries. of your type and
focus. However, the
information or digging through old books to find 4. A colleague requested that you take part in influence of your
lore. the mission as a favor. descriptor will remain
Skill: You have made a study of the world. You at least somewhat
are trained in any task involving geography or INTUITIVE important throughout
history. You are often tickled by a sense of knowing what your character’s life.
Inability: You tend to fixate on the details, someone will say, how they will react, or how
making you somewhat oblivious to what’s events might unfold. Maybe you have a mutant
going on around you. Any task to hear or notice sense, maybe you can see just a few moments
dangers around you is hindered. ahead through time, or maybe you’re just good
Inability: When you see something interesting, at reading people and extrapolating a situation.
you hesitate as you take in all the details. Whatever the case, many who look into your eyes
Initiative actions (to determine who goes first in immediately glance away, as if afraid of what you
combat) are hindered. might see in their expression.
Additional Equipment: You have three books You gain the following characteristics:
on whatever subjects you choose. Innate: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the Skill: You are trained in perception tasks.
following list of options, choose how you became Know What to Do: You can act immediately,
involved in the first adventure. even if it’s not your turn. Afterward, on your next
1. One of the PCs approached you to learn regular turn, any action you take is hindered.
information related to the mission, having heard You can do this one time, although the ability is
you were an expert. renewed each time you make a recovery roll.
2. You have always wanted to see the place Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
where the other PCs are going. following list of options, choose how you became
3. You were interested in what the other PCs involved in the first adventure.
were up to and decided to go along with them. 1. You just knew you had to come along.
4. One of the PCs fascinates you, perhaps due 2. You convinced one of the other PCs that
to a special or weird ability they have. your intuition is invaluable.
3. You felt that something terrible would
happen if you didn’t go.
4. You’re confident the reason you arrived at
this point will soon become clear.
49
JOVIAL 3. You decided that all fun and no work was
You’re cheerful, friendly, and outgoing. You not the best way to get through life, so you
put others at ease with a big smile and a joke, joined up with the PCs.
possibly one at your own expense, though lightly 4. It was either go with the PCs or face up to a
ribbing your companions who can take it is circumstance that was anything but jovial.
also one of your favorite pastimes. Sometimes
people say you never take anything seriously. KIND
That’s not true, of course, but you have learned It’s always been easy for you to see things from
that to dwell on the bad too long quickly robs the the point of view of other people. That ability has
world of joy. You’ve always got a new joke in your made you sympathetic to what they really want or
back pocket because you collect them like some need. From your perspective, you’re just applying
people collect bottles of wine. the old proverb that “it’s easier to catch flies with
You gain the following characteristics: honey than with vinegar,” but others simply see
Witty: +2 to your Intellect Pool. your behavior as kindness. Of course, being kind
Skill: You’re convivial and set most people at takes time, and yours is limited. You’ve learned
ease with your attitude. You are trained in all that a small fraction of people don’t deserve your
tasks related to pleasant social interaction. time or kindness—true sadists, narcissists, and
Skill: You have an advantage in figuring out the similar folk will only waste your energy. So you
punch lines of jokes you’ve never heard before. deal with them swiftly, saving your kindness for
You are trained in all tasks related to solving those who deserve it and can benefit from your
puzzles and riddles. attention.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the You gain the following characteristics:
following list of options, choose how you became Emotionally Intuitive: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
involved in the first adventure. Skill: You know what it’s like to go a mile
1. You solved a riddle before realizing in someone else’s shoes. You’re trained in all
that answering it would launch you into the tasks related to pleasant social interaction and
adventure. discerning the dispositions of others.
2. The other PCs thought you’d bring some Karma: Sometimes, strangers just help you
much-needed levity to the team. out. To gain the aid of a stranger, you must use
a one action, ten-minute, or one-hour recovery
roll (without gaining its healing benefit), and
the GM determines the nature of the aid you
gain. Usually, the act of kindness isn’t enough
to turn a bad situation completely around, but it
may moderate a bad situation and lead to new
opportunities. For example, if you are captured,
a guard loosens your bonds slightly, brings you
water, or delivers a message.
Inability: Being kind comes with a few risks.
All tasks related to detecting falsehoods are
hindered.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. A PC needed your help, and you agreed to
come along as a kindness.
2. You gave the wrong person access to your
money, and now you need to make some back.
3. You’re ready to take your benevolence on the
road and help more people than you could if you
didn’t join the PCs.
4. Your job, which seemed like it would be
personally rewarding, is the opposite. You join
the PCs to escape the drudgery.

50
Descriptor

LEARNED 2. You literally bumped into someone else on


You have studied, either on your own or with an this adventure through sheer luck.
instructor. You know many things and are an expert 3. You found a briefcase lying alongside the
on a few topics, such as history, biology, geography, road. It was battered, but inside you found a lot
mythology, nature, or any other area of study. of strange documents that led you here.
Learned characters typically carry a few books around 4. Your luck saved you when you avoided a
with them and spend their spare time reading. speeding vehicle by a fortuitous fall through
You gain the following characteristics: an opening in the ground (a manhole, if in a
Smart: +2 to your Intellect Pool. modern setting). Beneath the ground, you found
Skill: You’re trained in three areas of something you couldn’t ignore.
knowledge of your choice.
Inability: You have few social graces. Any task MAD
involving charm, persuasion, or etiquette is You have delved too deeply into subjects people
hindered. were not meant to know. You are knowledgeable
Additional Equipment: You have two additional in things beyond the scope of most, but this
books on topics of your choice. knowledge has come at a terrible price. You
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the are likely in questionable physical shape and
following list of options, choose how you became occasionally shake with nervous tics. You
involved in the first adventure. sometimes mutter to yourself without realizing it.
1. One of the other PCs asked you to come You gain the following characteristics:
along because of your knowledge. Knowledgeable: +4 to your Intellect Pool.
2. You need money to fund your studies. Fits of Insight: Whenever such knowledge
3. You believed that the task might lead to is appropriate, the GM feeds you information
important and interesting discoveries. although there is no clear explanation as to how
4. A colleague requested that you take part in you could know such a thing. This is up to the
the mission as a favor. GM’s discretion, but it should happen as often
as once each session.
LUCKY Erratic Behavior: You are prone to acting
You rely on chance and timely good luck to get erratically or irrationally. When you are in the
you through many situations. When people say presence of a major discovery or subjected to
that someone was born under a lucky star, they great stress (such as a serious physical threat),
mean you. When you try your hand at something the GM can introduce a GM intrusion that GM intrusions, page 408
new, no matter how unfamiliar the task is, as directs your next action without awarding XP.
often as not you find a measure of success. Even You can still pay 1 XP to refuse the intrusion.
when disaster strikes, it’s rarely as bad as it could The GM’s influence is the manifestation of
be. More often, small things seem to go your your madness and thus is always something
way, you win contests, and you’re often in the you would not likely do otherwise, but it is not
right place at the right time. directly, obviously harmful to you unless there
You gain the following characteristics: are extenuating circumstances. (For example,
Luck Pool: You have one additional Pool if a foe suddenly leaps out of the darkness,
called Luck that begins with 3 points, and it has you might spend the first round babbling
a maximum value of 3 points. When spending incoherently or screaming the name of your first
points from any other Pool, you can take one, true love.)
some, or all of the points from your Luck Pool Skill: You are trained in one area of knowledge
first. When you make a recovery roll to recover (probably something weird or esoteric).
points to any other Pool, your Luck Pool is also Inability: Your mind is quite fragile. Tasks to
refreshed by the same number of points. When resist mental attacks are hindered.
your Luck Pool is at 0 points, it does not count Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
against your damage track. Enabler. following list of options, choose how you became Damage track, page 218
Advantage: When you use 1 XP to reroll a d20 involved in the first adventure.
for any roll that affects only you, add 3 to the reroll. 1. Voices in your head told you to go.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the 2. You instigated the whole thing and
following list of options, choose how you became convinced the others to join you.
involved in the first adventure. 3. One of the other PCs obtained a book of
1. Knowing that lucky people notice and take knowledge for you, and now you’re repaying that
active advantage of opportunities, you became favor by helping them with the task at hand.
involved in your first adventure by choice. 4. You feel compelled by inexplicable intuition.
51
MECHANICAL MYSTERIOUS
You have a special talent with machines of all The dark figure lurking silently in the corner?
kinds, and you’re adept at understanding and, if That’s you. No one really knows where you came
need be, repairing them. Perhaps you’re a bit of from or what your motives are—you play things
an inventor, creating new machines from time close to the vest. Your manner perplexes and
to time. You get called “techie,” “tech,” “mech,” confounds others, but that doesn’t make you a
“gear-head,” “motor-head,” or any of a number poor friend or ally. You’re just good at keeping
of other nicknames. Mechanics usually wear things to yourself, moving about unseen, and
practical work clothes and carry around a lot of concealing your presence and identity.
tools. You gain the following characteristics:
You gain the following characteristics: Skill: You are trained in all stealth tasks.
Smart: +2 to your Intellect Pool. Skill: You are trained in resisting interrogation
Skill: You’re trained in all actions involving or tricks to get you to talk.
identifying or understanding machines. Confounding: You pull talents and abilities
Skill: You’re trained in all actions involving seemingly out of nowhere. You can attempt one
using, repairing, or crafting machines. task in which you have no training as if you were
Additional Equipment: You start with a variety trained, attempt a task that you are trained in as
Free level of Effort, of machine tools. if specialized, or gain a free level of Effort with
page 209 Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the a task that you are specialized in. This ability
following list of options, choose how you became refreshes every time you make a recovery roll, but
involved in the first adventure. the uses never accumulate.
1. While repairing a nearby machine, you Inability: People never know where they stand
overheard the other PCs talking. with you. Any task involving getting people to
2. You need money to buy tools and parts. believe or trust you is hindered.
3. It was clear that the mission couldn’t Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
succeed without your skills and knowledge. following list of options, choose how you became
4. Another PC asked you to join them. involved in the first adventure.
1. You just showed up one day.
2. You convinced one of the other PCs that you
had invaluable skills.

52
Descriptor

3. Some equally mysterious figure told you You gain the following characteristics:
where to be and when (but not why) to join the Fresh: You add +1 to your recovery rolls.
group. Incorruptible: You are trained in Intellect
4. Something—a feeling, a dream—told you defense tasks and all tasks that involve resisting
where to be and when to join the group. temptation.
Skill: You’re wide-eyed. You are trained in
MYSTICAL perception tasks.
You think of yourself as mystical, attuned with Inability: Any task that involves seeing through
the mysterious and the paranormal. Your true deceptions or determining someone’s secret
talents lie with the supernatural. You likely have motive is hindered.
experience with ancient lore, and you can sense Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
and wield the supernatural—though whether following list of options, choose how you became
that means “magic,” “psychic phenomena,” or involved in the first adventure.
something else is up to you (and probably up to 1. Someone told you that you should get
those around you as well). Mystical characters involved.
often wear jewelry, such as a ring or an amulet, 2. You needed money, and this seemed like a
or have tattoos or other marks that show their good way to earn some.
interests. 3. You believed that you could learn a lot by
You gain the following characteristics: joining the other PCs.
Smart: +2 to your Intellect Pool. 4. Sounded like fun. Hedge Magic, page 149
Skill: You’re trained in all actions involving
identifying or understanding the supernatural.
Sense Magic: You can sense whether the
supernatural is active in situations where its
presence is not obvious. You must study an
object or location closely for a minute to get a
feel for whether a mystical touch is at work.
Spell: You can perform Hedge Magic as a
spell when you have a free hand and can pay the
Intellect point cost.
Inability: You have a manner or an aura that
others find a bit unnerving. Any task involving
charm, persuasion, or deception is hindered.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. A dream guided you to this point.
2. You need money to fund your studies.
3. You believed the mission would be a great
way to learn more about the supernatural.
4. Various signs and portents led you here.

NAIVE
You’ve lived a sheltered life. Your childhood was
safe and secure, so you didn’t get a chance to
learn much about the world—and even less
chance to experience it. Whether you were
training for something, had your nose in a book,
or just were sequestered in a secluded place, you
haven’t done much, met many people, or seen
many interesting things so far. That’s probably
going to change soon, but as you go forward into
a larger world, you do so without some of the
understanding that others possess about how it
all works.

53
PERCEPTIVE RESILIENT
Is there really much You miss little. You pick out the small details in You can take a lot of punishment, both physically
difference between a the world around you and are skilled at making and mentally, and still come back for more. It
character who is Hardy, deductions from the information you find. takes a lot to put you down. Neither physical nor
one who is Resilient,
Your talents make you an exceptional sleuth, a mental shocks or damage have a lasting effect.
and another who is
Tough? The descriptors formidable scientist, or a talented scout. You’re tough to faze. Unflappable. Unstoppable.
are indeed close, but As adept as you are at finding clues, you You gain the following characteristics:
the differences will have no skill at picking up on social cues. You Resistant: +2 to your Might Pool, and +2 to
become apparent in play. overlook an offense that your deductions give or your Intellect Pool.
Players should choose how uncomfortable your scrutiny can make the Recover: You can make an extra recovery roll
the one they like best.
people around you. You tend to dismiss others each day. This roll is just one action. So you
as being intellectual dwarfs compared to you, can make two recovery rolls that each take one
which avails you little when you need a favor. action, one roll that takes ten minutes, a fourth
You gain the following characteristics: roll that takes one hour, and a fifth roll that
Smart: +2 to your Intellect Pool. requires ten hours of rest.
Skill: You have an eye for detail. You are trained Skill: You are trained in Might defense tasks.
in any task that involves finding or noticing small Skill: You are trained in Intellect defense tasks.
details. Inability: You’re hardy but not necessarily
Skill: You know a little about everything. You strong. Any task involving moving, bending, or
are trained in any task that involves identifying breaking things is hindered.
objects or calling to mind a minor detail or bit of Inability: You have a lot of willpower and
trivia. mental fortitude, but you’re not necessarily
Skill: Your skill at making deductions can smart. Any task involving knowledge or figuring
be imposing. You are trained in any task that out problems or puzzles is hindered.
involves intimidating another creature. Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
Inability: Your confidence comes off as following list of options, choose how you became
arrogance to people who don’t know you. Any involved in the first adventure.
task involving positive social interactions is 1. You saw that the PCs clearly need someone
hindered. like you to help them out.
Additional Equipment: You have a bag of light 2. Someone asked you to watch over one of
tools. the PCs in particular, and you agreed.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the 3. You are bored and desperately in need of a
following list of options, choose how you became challenge.
involved in the first adventure. 4. You lost a bet—unfairly, you think—and had
1. You overheard the other PCs discussing to take someone’s place on this mission.
their mission and volunteered your services.
2. One of the PCs asked you to come along, RISK-TAKING
believing that your talents would be invaluable to It’s part of your nature to question what others
the mission. think can’t or shouldn’t be done. You’re not
3. You believe that the PCs’ mission is insane, of course—you wouldn’t attempt to leap
somehow related to one of your investigations. across a mile-wide chasm just because you were
4. A third party recruited you to follow the PCs dared. There’s impossible and then there’s the
and see what they were up to. just barely possible. You like to push the latter
further than others, because it gives you a rush
of satisfaction and pleasure when you succeed.
The more you succeed, the more you find
yourself looking for that next risky challenge to
try yourself against.
You gain the following characteristics:
Nimble: +4 to your Speed Pool.
Skill: You’re adept at leveraging risk, and you
are trained in tasks that involve some element
of chance, such as playing games or choosing
between two or three apparently equal options.
Pressing Your Luck: You can choose to
automatically succeed on one task without

54
Descriptor

rolling, as long as the task’s difficulty is no SHARP-EYED


higher than 6. When you do so, however, you You’re perceptive and well aware of your
also trigger a GM intrusion as if you had rolled surroundings. You notice the little details and
a 1. The intrusion doesn’t invalidate the success, remember them. You can be difficult to surprise.
but it probably qualifies it in some fashion. You You gain the following characteristics:
can do this one time, although the ability renews Skill: You’re trained in initiative actions.
each time you make a ten-hour recovery roll. Skill: You’re trained in perception actions.
Inability: You may be nimble, but you’re not Find the Flaw: If an opponent has a
sneaky. Tasks related to sneaking and staying straightforward weakness (takes extra damage
quiet are hindered. from fire, can’t see out of their left eye, and so
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the on), the GM will tell you what it is.
following list of options, choose how you became Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
involved in the first adventure. following list of options, choose how you became
1. It seemed like there were equal odds that involved in the first adventure.
the other PCs wouldn’t succeed, which sounded 1. You heard about what was going on, saw a
good to you. flaw in the other PCs’ plan, and joined up to help
2. You think the tasks ahead will present you them out.
with unique and fulfilling challenges. 2. You noticed that the PCs have a foe (or at
3. One of your biggest risks failed to go your least a tail) they weren’t aware of.
way, and you need money to help pay that debt. 3. You saw that the other PCs were up to
4. You bragged that you never saw a risk something interesting and got involved.
you didn’t like, which is how you reached your 4. You’ve been noticing some strange things
current point. going on, and this all appears related.

RUGGED SKEPTICAL
You’re a nature lover accustomed to living You possess a questioning attitude regarding claims
rough, pitting your wits against the elements. that are often taken for granted by others. You’re not
Most likely, you’re a skilled hunter, gatherer, or necessarily a “doubting Thomas” (a skeptic who
naturalist. Years of living in the wild have left refuses to believe anything without direct personal
their mark with a worn countenance, wild hair, experience), but you’ve often benefited from
or scars. Your clothing is probably much less questioning the statements, opinions, and received
refined than the garments worn by city dwellers. knowledge presented to you by others.
You gain the following characteristics: You gain the following characteristics:
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving Insightful: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
climbing, jumping, running, and swimming. Skill: You’re trained in identifying.
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving Skill: You’re trained in all actions that involve
training, riding, or placating natural animals. seeing through a trick, an illusion, a rhetorical ruse
Skill: You’re trained in all tasks involving designed to evade the issue, or a lie. For example,
identifying or using natural plants. you’re better at keeping your eye on the cup
Inability: You have no social graces and prefer containing the hidden ball, sensing an illusion,
animals to people. Any task involving charm, or realizing if someone is lying to you (but only if
persuasion, etiquette, or deception is hindered. you specifically concentrate and use this skill).
Additional Equipment: You carry an explorer’s Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
pack with rope, two days’ rations, a bedroll, and following list of options, choose how you became
other tools needed for outdoor survival. involved in the first adventure.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the 1. You overheard other PCs holding forth on
following list of options, choose how you became a topic with an opinion you were quite skeptical
involved in the first adventure. about, so you decided to approach the group and
1. Against your better judgment, you joined the ask for proof.
other PCs because you saw that they were in danger. 2. You were following one of the other PCs
2. One of the other PCs convinced you that because you were suspicious of him, which
joining the group would be in your best interests. brought you into the action.
3. You’re afraid of what might happen if the 3. Your theory about the nonexistence of the
other PCs fail. supernatural can be invalidated only by your own
4. There is reward involved, and you need the senses, so you came along.
money. 4. You need money to fund your research.

55
STEALTHY STRONG
You’re sneaky, slippery, and fast. These talents You’re extremely strong and physically powerful,
help you hide, move quietly, and pull off tricks and you use these qualities well, whether
that require sleight of hand. Most likely, you’re through violence or feats of prowess. You likely
wiry and small. However, you’re not much of a have a brawny build and impressive muscles.
sprinter—you’re more dexterous than fleet of You gain the following characteristics:
foot. Very Powerful: +4 to your Might Pool.
You gain the following characteristics: Skill: You’re trained in all actions involving
Quick: +2 to your Speed Pool. breaking inanimate objects.
Skill: You’re trained in all stealth tasks. Skill: You’re trained in all jumping actions.
Skill: You’re trained in all interactions involving Additional Equipment: You have an extra
lies or trickery. medium weapon or heavy weapon.
Skill: You’re trained in all special abilities Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
involving illusions or trickery. following list of options, choose how you became
Inability: You’re sneaky but not fast. All involved in the first adventure.
movement-related tasks are hindered. 1. Against your better judgment, you joined
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the the other PCs because you saw that they were in
following list of options, choose how you became danger.
involved in the first adventure. 2. One of the other PCs convinced you that
1. You attempted to steal from one of the other joining the group would be in your best interests.
PCs. That character caught you and forced you to 3. You’re afraid of what might happen if the
come along with them. other PCs fail.
2. You were tailing one of the other PCs for 4. There is reward involved, and you need the
reasons of your own, which brought you into the money.
action.
3. An NPC employer secretly paid you to get STRONG-WILLED
involved. You’re tough-minded, willful, and independent.
4. You overheard the other PCs talking about No one can talk you into anything or change
a topic that interested you, so you decided to your mind when you don’t want it changed. This
approach the group. quality doesn’t necessarily make you smart, but
it does make you a bastion of willpower and
resolve. You likely dress and act with unique style
and flair, not caring what others think.
You gain the following characteristics:
Willful: +4 to your Intellect Pool.
Skill: You’re trained in resisting mental effects.
Skill: You’re trained in tasks requiring
incredible focus or concentration.
Inability: Willful doesn’t mean brilliant.
Any task that involves figuring out puzzles or
problems, memorizing things, or using lore is
hindered.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. Against your better judgment, you joined
the other PCs because you saw that they were in
danger.
2. One of the other PCs convinced you that
joining the group would be in your best interests.
3. You’re afraid of what might happen if the
other PCs fail.
4. There is reward involved, and you need the
money.

56
Descriptor

SWIFT TOUGH
You move quickly, able to sprint in short bursts You’re strong and can take a lot of physical
and work with your hands with dexterity. You’re punishment. You might have a large frame and
great at crossing distances quickly but not always a square jaw. Tough characters frequently have
smoothly. You are likely slim and muscular. visible scars.
You gain the following characteristics: You gain the following characteristics:
Fast: +4 to your Speed Pool. Resilient: +1 to Armor.
Skill: You’re trained in initiative actions (to Healthy: Add 1 to the points you regain when
determine who goes first in combat). you make a recovery roll.
Skill: You’re trained in running actions. Skill: You’re trained in Might defense actions.
Inability: You’re fast but not necessarily Additional Equipment: You have an extra light
graceful. Any task involving balance is hindered. weapon.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure. involved in the first adventure.
1. Against your better judgment, you joined the 1. You’re acting as a bodyguard for one of the
other PCs because you saw that they were in danger. other PCs.
2. One of the other PCs convinced you that 2. One of the PCs is your sibling, and you
joining the group would be in your best interests. came along to watch out for them.
3. You’re afraid of what might happen if the 3. You need money because your family is in
other PCs fail. debt.
4. There is reward involved, and you need the 4. You stepped in to defend one of the PCs
money. when that character was threatened. While
talking to them afterward, you heard about the
TONGUE-TIED group’s task.
You’ve never been much of a talker. When forced
to interact with others, you never think of the
right thing to say—words fail you entirely, or they
come out all wrong. You often end up saying
precisely the wrong thing and insult someone
unintentionally. Most of the time, you just keep
mum. This makes you a listener instead—a
careful observer. It also means that you’re better
at doing things than talking about them. You’re
quick to take action.
You gain the following characteristics:
Actions, Not Words: +2 to your Might Pool,
and +2 to your Speed Pool.
Skill: You are trained in perception.
Skill: You are trained in initiative (unless it’s a
social situation).
Inability: All tasks relating to social interaction
are hindered.
Inability: All tasks involving verbal communication
or relaying information are hindered.
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
following list of options, choose how you became
involved in the first adventure.
1. You just tagged along and no one told you
to leave.
2. You saw something important the other PCs
did not and (with some effort) managed to relate
it to them.
3. You intervened to save one of the other PCs
when they were in danger.
4. One of the other PCs recruited you for your
talents.
57
VICIOUS Skill: Your adherence to a strict moral code
A vicious ally is a You try to hide what’s inside, fold it into yourself has hardened your mind against fear, doubt, and
good thing to have, when everything inside you screams to let go, outside influence. You are trained in Intellect
until it isn’t. make them pay, make them hurt, and make them defense tasks.
bleed. Sometimes you succeed for your friends— Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the
smiling like they smile, laughing when they laugh, following list of options, choose how you became
and sometimes even having other emotions of involved in the first adventure.
your own. But it’s always there, that feeling of 1. The PCs are doing something virtuous, and
frantic glee mixed with hate that sometimes leaps you’re all about that.
out of you when you confront a foe. Violence your 2. The PCs are on the road to perdition, and
friends can tolerate, but you sometimes worry you see it as your task to set them on the proper
they will also learn that you are cruel. moral route.
You gain the following characteristics: 3. One of the other PCs invited you, hearing of
Skill: You are trained in tracking creatures. If your virtuous ways.
a creature has wronged you, the tracking task is 4. You put virtue before sense and defended
eased. someone’s honor in the face of an organization
Bloodthirsty: Once you begin fighting, you or power far greater than you. You joined the PCs
see only red. You inflict 2 additional points of because they offered aid and friendship when,
damage with any attack. out of fear of reprisals, no one else would.
Berserk: Once you begin fighting, it’s hard for
you to stop. In fact, it’s a difficulty 2 Intellect task WEIRD
to do so, even if your foe surrenders or you’ve You aren’t like anyone else, and that’s fine with
run out of foes. If the latter occurs and you fail you. People don’t seem to understand you—
to stop, you attack the nearest ally within short they even seem put off by you—but who cares?
range. You understand the world better than they do
Additional Equipment: You have a record that because you’re weird, and so is the world you
you use to list those who’ve wronged you. live in. The concept of “the weird” is well known
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the to you. Strange devices, ancient locales, bizarre
following list of options, choose how you became creatures, storms that can transform you,
involved in the first adventure. living energy fields, conspiracies, aliens, and
1. Another PC saw you take down a mean things most people can’t even name populate
drunk in a tavern, not realizing you were the one the world, and you thrive on them. You have a
who started the fight. special attachment to it all, and the more you
2. You wanted to get away from a bad discover about the weirdness in the world, the
situation, so you went with the other PCs. more you might discover about yourself.
3. You want to change, and you hope that Weird characters might be mutants or people
being with the other PCs will help you calm born with strange qualities, but sometimes they
yourself. started out “normal” and adopted the weird by
4. One of the other PCs asked you to come choice.
along, believing that your viciousness could be You gain the following characteristics:
harnessed for the benefit of the mission. Inner Light: +2 to your Intellect Pool.
Distinctive Physical Quirk: You have a unique
VIRTUOUS physical aspect that is, well, bizarre. Depending
Doing the right thing is a way of life. You live by on the setting, this can vary greatly. You might
a code, and that code is something you attend have purple hair or metal spikes on your head.
to every day. Whenever you slip, you reproach Perhaps your hands don’t connect to your arms,
yourself for your weakness and then get right although they move as if they do. Maybe a
back on track. Your code probably includes third eye stares out from the side of your head,
moderation, respect for others, cleanliness, or superfluous tendrils grow from your back.
and other characteristics that most people Whatever it is, your quirk might be a mutation, a
would agree are virtues, while you eschew their supernatural trait (a blessing or curse), a feature
opposites: sloth, greed, gluttony, and so on. with no explanation, or just a really wild tattoo
You gain the following characteristics: that draws a lot of attention.
Dauntless: +2 to your Might Pool. A Sense for the Weird: Sometimes—at the
Skill: You are trained in discerning people’s GM’s discretion—weird things relating to the
true motives or seeing through lies. supernatural or its effects on the world seem to

58
Descriptor

call out to you. You can sense them from afar, SPECIES AS DESCRIPTOR
and if you get within long range of such a thing, Sometimes, in settings that have alien or fantasy
you can sense whether it is overtly dangerous or species, players want to play a member of that
not. species rather than the default (which is usually
Skill: You are trained in supernatural “human”). Most of the time, this choice is one
knowledge. of flavor rather than game mechanics. If you’re
Inability: People find you unnerving. All a 7-foot-tall furry Rigellian with three eyes, that’s
tasks relating to pleasant social interaction are great, but it doesn’t change your stats or skills
hindered. (though it may have roleplaying challenges).
Initial Link to the Starting Adventure: From the However, sometimes being a nonhuman
following list of options, choose how you became results in more substantive changes. A PC ogre
involved in the first adventure. in a fantasy setting might have the Strong or
1. It seemed weird, so why not? Tough descriptor, or perhaps it has a descriptor
2. Whether the other PCs realize it or not, their simply called Ogre, which is similar to Strong
mission has to do with something weird that you or Tough but more pronounced (with greater
know about, so you got involved. Might but even greater drawbacks). This would
3. As an expert in the weird, you were mean that instead of being a Tough Warrior who
specifically recruited by the other PCs. Controls Beasts, the character is an Ogre Warrior
4. You felt drawn to join the other PCs, but you who Controls Beasts.
don’t know why. The genre chapters in part 3 offer a few
species descriptors, but many GMs will want to
create their own as suits their setting. It can’t be
CUSTOMIZING DESCRIPTORS stressed enough, however, that nine times out
Under the normal rules, each descriptor is of ten, in most genres, species differences aren’t
based on some modification of the following significant enough to warrant this treatment. The
guidelines: differences between a Mysterious character and
• Some descriptors offer +4 to one stat Pool a Virtuous one are probably greater than those
and either two narrow skills or one broad between an Alpha Centauran and an Earthling.
skill.
• Other descriptors offer +2 to one stat Pool
and either three narrow skills or one narrow
skill and one broad skill.
• A broad skill covers many areas (such as
all interactions). A narrow skill covers fewer
areas (such as deceptive interactions).
Combat-related skills, such as defense or
initiative, are considered broad skills in this
sense.
• Regardless, you can add an additional skill if
it is balanced by an inability.
• You can add other non-skill abilities by
eyeballing them and trying to equate them
to the value of a skill, if possible. If the
descriptor seems lacking, add a moderately
priced item as additional equipment to
balance things out.

With this general information, you can


customize a descriptor, but keep in mind that a
heavily customized descriptor isn’t a descriptor
if it no longer says one thing about a character.
It’s better to use this information to create a new
descriptor that fits exactly how the player wants
to portray the character.

59
Chapter 8

FOCUS

F
Pilots Starcraft, page 74 ocus is what makes a character unique. No lycanthropes like werewolves, and Pilots Starcraft,
two PCs in a group should have the same of course, requires starships available to pilot.
focus. A focus gives a character benefits When a focus is chosen for a character, they
when they create their character and each time get a special connection to one or more of
they ascend to the next tier. It’s the verb of the their fellow PCs, a first-tier ability, and perhaps
sentence “I am an adjective noun who verbs.” additional starting equipment: one or two pieces
This chapter contains nearly a hundred sample of equipment that might be required for the
foci, such as Bears a Halo of Fire, Would Rather character to use their ability, or that might pair
Be Reading, and Pilots Starcraft. These foci can well with the focus. For instance, a character that
be chosen and used as presented by a player, or can build things needs a set of tools. A character
by the GM who adds them to a list of available that’s constantly on fire needs a set of clothes
foci for their players in their next campaign. that are immune to flame. A character that draws
In addition, the latter half of this chapter runes to cast spells needs writing implements. A
provides tools for the GM or an enterprising character that slays monsters with a sword needs
Creating New player to create their own custom foci that a sword. And so on. That said, many foci don’t
Foci, page 80 perfectly match the needs of a given game or require additional equipment.
campaign, as presented in Creating New Foci. Each focus also offers one or more
Part 3: Genres, page 251 suggestions—GM intrusions—for possible
effects or consequences of really good or really
Commands Mental CHOOSING FOCI bad die rolls.
Powers, page 65 Not all foci are appropriate for every genre. The A couple of foci presented in this chapter
genre chapters in part 3 provide guidance, but provide a “type swap option” that allows a player
Howls at the this section offers some broad generalizations. to swap an ability that would otherwise be gained
Moon, page 69 Obviously, the GM can include whatever foci from their type for the indicated ability instead.
are available in their setting. Foci end up being A player doesn’t have to make the swap; they
Loves the Void, page 71 an important distinction in this case, because merely have the option. For instance, the focus
Commands Mental Powers, for example, makes it Loves the Void provides the option to gain the
Have Spacesuit, Will clear that psychic abilities exist in the setting, just ability Have Spacesuit, Will Travel instead of a
Travel, page 148 as Howls at the Moon implies the existence of type ability.

60
Focus

As a character progresses to a new tier, a focus 8. Pick one other PC. That character recently
grants more abilities. Each tier’s benefit is usually mocked you in some fashion that really hurt
labeled Action or Enabler. If an ability is labeled your feelings. How you deal with this (if at
Action, a character must take an action to use it. If all) is up to you.
an ability is labeled Enabler, it makes other actions 9. Pick one other PC. That character knows you
better or gives some other benefit, but it’s not an have suffered at the hands of robotic entities
action. An ability that allows a character to blast in the past. Whether you hate robots now is
foes with lasers is an action. An ability that grants up to you, which may affect your relationship
additional damage when an attack is made is an with the character if they are friendly with
enabler. An enabler is used in the same turn as robots or have robotic parts.
another action, and often as part of another action. 10. Pick one other PC. That character comes
Each tier’s benefits are independent of and from the same place you do, and you knew
cumulative with benefits from other tiers (unless each other as children.
indicated otherwise). So if a first-tier ability 11. Pick one other PC. In the past, they taught
grants +1 to Armor and a fourth-tier ability also you a few tricks to use in a fight.
grants +1 to Armor, when the character reaches 12. Pick one other PC. That character doesn’t
fourth tier, a total of +2 to Armor is granted. seem to approve of your methods.
At tier 3 and tier 6, the character is asked to 13. Pick one other PC. Long ago, the two of you
choose one ability from the two options provided. were on opposite sides of a fight. You won,
Finally, you can choose whether you want to though you “cheated” in their eyes (but from
expand the story behind the focus (though that’s your perspective, all’s fair in a fight). They Story Behind the
not mandatory). may be ready for a rematch, though that’s up Focus, page 63
to them.
FOCUS CONNECTIONS 14. Pick one other PC. You are always trying
Choose a connection that goes well with the to impress that character with your skill, wit,
focus. If you’re a GM choosing (or creating) one appearance, or bravado. Perhaps they are
or more foci for your players, choose up to four a rival, perhaps you need their respect, or
of the following connections. perhaps you’re romantically interested
in them.
1. Pick one other PC. For reasons unknown to 15. Pick one other PC. You fear that character
you, that character is completely immune to is jealous of your abilities and worry that it
your focus abilities, whether you use them for might lead to problems.
help or for harm. 16. Pick one other PC. You accidentally caught
2. Pick one other PC. You knew of that character them in a trap you set, and they had to get
years ago, but you don’t think they knew you. free on their own.
3. Pick one other PC. You’re always trying to 17. Pick one other PC. You were once hired to
impress them, but you’re not sure why. track down someone who was close to that
4. Pick one other PC. That character has a habit character.
that annoys you, but you’re otherwise quite 18. Pick two PCs (preferably ones who are likely
impressed with their abilities. to get in the way of your attacks). When you
5. Pick one other PC. That character shows miss with an attack and the GM rules that
potential in appreciating your particular you struck someone other than your target,
paradigm, fighting style, or other you hit one of these two characters.
focus-provided attribute. You would like 19. Pick one other PC. You’re not sure how or
to train them, but you’re not necessarily from where, but that character has a line on
qualified to teach (that’s up to you), and they bottles of rare alcohol and can get them for
might not be interested (that’s up to them). you for half price.
6. Pick one other PC. If they are within 20. Pick one other PC. You recently had a
immediate range when you’re in a fight, possession go missing, and you’re becoming
sometimes they provide an asset, and convinced that they took it. Whether or not
sometimes they accidentally hinder your they did is up to them.
attack rolls (50% chance either way, 21. Pick one other PC. They always seem to know
determined per fight). where you are, or at least in what direction
7. Pick one other PC. You once saved their life, you are in relation to them.
and they clearly feel indebted to you. You 22. Pick one other PC. Seeing you use your focus
wish they didn’t; it’s just part of the job. abilities seems to trigger an unpleasant

61
memory in that character. That memory is 37. Pick one other PC. You accidentally learned
up to the other PC, although they may not be something they were trying to keep a secret.
able to consciously recall it. 38. Pick one other PC. They are especially
23. Pick one other PC. Something about them sensitive to the use of your flashier focus
interferes with your abilities. When they abilities, and occasionally they become
stand next to you, your focus abilities cost 1 dazzled for a few rounds, which hinders their
additional point. actions.
24. Pick one other PC. Something about them 39. Pick one other PC. They appear to have a
complements your abilities. When they stand treasured item that was once yours, but that
next to you, the first focus ability you use in you lost in a game of chance years ago.
any 24-hour period costs 2 fewer points. 40. Pick one other PC. If it wasn’t for you, that
25. Pick one other PC. You have known that character would have failed a past test of
character for a while, and they helped you mental achievement.
gain control of your focus-related abilities. 41. Pick one other PC. Based on a couple of
26. Pick one other PC. Sometime in that comments you’ve overheard, you suspect
character’s past, they had a devastating that they don’t hold your area of training or
experience while attempting something that favorite hobby in the highest regard.
you do as a matter of course thanks to your 42. Pick one other PC whose focus intertwines
focus. Whether they choose to tell you about with yours. This odd connection affects them
it is up to them. in some way. For example, if the character
27. Pick one other PC. Their occasional uses a weapon, your focus ability sometimes
clumsiness and loud behavior irritate you. improves their attack in some fashion.
28. Pick one other PC. In the recent past, while 43. Pick one other PC. They are deathly afraid of
practicing, you accidentally hit them with an heights. You would like to teach them how to
attack, wounding them badly. It is up to them be more comfortable with their feet off the
to decide whether they resent or forgive you. ground. They must decide whether or not to
29. Pick one other PC. They owe you a significant take you up on your offer.
amount of money. 44. Pick one other PC. They are skeptical of your
30. Pick one other PC. In the recent past, while claims about something momentous that
escaping a threat, you accidentally left that happened in your past. They might even
character to fend for themselves. They attempt to discredit you or discover the
survived, but just barely. It is up to the player “secret” behind your story, though that’s up
of that character to decide whether they to them.
resent you or have decided to forgive you. 45. Pick one other PC. They have a knack for
31. Pick one other PC. Recently, they accidentally being able to recognize where your plans or
(or perhaps intentionally) put you in a schemes have a weak spot.
position of danger. You’re fine now, but you’re 46. Pick one other PC. That character’s face
wary around them. is so intriguing to you in a way you don’t
32. Pick one other PC. From your perspective, understand that you sometimes find yourself
they seem nervous around a specific idea, sketching their likeness in the dirt or using
person, or situation. You would like to teach some other medium you have access to.
them how to be more comfortable with their 47. Pick one other PC. That character has an
fears (if they will let you). extra item of regular equipment you gave
33. Pick one other PC. They called you a coward them, either something you made or an item
once. you just wanted to give them. (They choose
34. Pick one other PC. That character always the item.)
recognizes you or your handiwork, whether 48. Pick one other PC. They commissioned you
you’re in disguise or are long gone when they to do a job for them. You’ve already been
arrive on the scene. paid but haven’t yet completed the job.
35. Pick one other PC. You inadvertently caused 49. Pick one other PC. You worked together in the
an accident that put them into a sleep so past, and the job ended badly.
deep they didn’t wake for three days. Whether 50. Pick one other PC. While they stand next to
they forgive you or not is up to them. you and use their action to concentrate on
36. Pick one other PC. You are pretty sure you are helping you, one of your focus ability’s ranges
related in some fashion. is doubled.

62
Focus

STORY BEHIND THE FOCUS possible. You can find new insights and unlock
The foci in this book have been purposely odd phenomena with your experiments. Where
stripped down to basics so they have the widest others see a crackpot cornucopia, you sift the
possible application across multiple genres. A conspiracy theories for revelation. Whether
single descriptive sentence or two summarizes you conduct your enquiries as a government
each one. After you choose a focus, you have contractor, a university researcher, a corporate
the option to expand its presentation by adding scientist, or an indulger of curiosity in your own
more story and description relevant to the world garage lab following your muse, you push the
or to the character. boundaries of what’s possible.
For instance, if you choose Operates You probably care more about your work than Operates Undercover,
Undercover, the summarizing description is trivialities such as your appearance, polite or page 73
“Under the guise of someone else, you seek to proper behavior, or social norms, but then again,
find answers the powerful do not want divulged.” an eccentric like you might turn the tables on
If you choose Conducts Weird Science, the that stereotype too. Conducts Weird
summary is “Your preternatural insight and Science, page 65
ability make you a scientist capable of amazing If you want to go even further, you could
feats.” These descriptions provide what you need determine where a character’s focus abilities
to know to use the focus. come from. Depending on the genre, they
However, if you wish (and only if you wish; could derive those abilities from advanced and
there is no requirement to do so), you can add persistent training, via magical runes, through
more to those descriptions in a fashion that’s cybernetic parts, from their genetic heritage, or
relevant for your game. For example, if you because of their access to advanced technology.
choose both Operates Undercover and Conducts For instance, a character might be able to blast
Weird Science for use in a modern genre such as targets with lightning because they got zapped
horror, urban fantasy, espionage, or something by strange radiation or because they picked up
similar, you might expand the descriptions as a lightning gun. On the other hand, it might
shown in the following examples. be because their intense training allowed them
to learn lightning magic. The possibilities are
Operates Undercover: Espionage is not nearly endless, and up to you to include or forgo.
something you know anything about. At least, Because however a focus’s abilities were gained,
that’s what you want everyone to believe, it’s also enough that they just work.
because in truth, you’ve been trained as a spy or
covert agent. You might work for a government
or for yourself. You might be a police detective
or a criminal. You could even be an investigative
reporter.
Regardless, you learn information that others
attempt to keep secret. You collect rumors
and whispers, stories and hard-won evidence,
and you use that knowledge to aid your own
endeavors and, if appropriate, provide your
employers with the information they desire.
Alternatively, you might sell what you have
learned to those willing to pay a premium.
You probably wear dark colors—black,
charcoal grey, or midnight blue—to help blend
into the shadows, unless the cover you’ve
chosen requires you to look like someone else.

Conducts Weird Science: You could be a


respected scientist, having been published in
several peer-reviewed journals. Or you might
be considered a crank by your contemporaries,
pursuing fringe theories on what others consider
to be scant evidence. Truth is, you have a
particular gift for sifting the edges of what’s

63
FOCI BATTLES ROBOTS
The full description for each focus ability listed You excel in battling robots, automatons, and
Chapter 9: Abilities, in this section is found in chapter 9, which has machine entities.
page 95 descriptions for type, flavor, and focus abilities 11 Tier 1: Machine Vulnerabilities (159)
in a single vast catalog. The numbers listed after 11 Tier 1: Tech Skills (189)
the abilities are page numbers for easy reference. 11 Tier 2: Defense Against Robots (126)
11 Tier 2: Machine Hunting (159)
Some creatures are a ABIDES IN STONE 11 Tier 3: Disable Mechanisms (128) or Surprise
mixture of machine Your flesh is made of hard mineral, making you a Attack (188)
and biology. Your GM hulking, difficult-to-harm humanoid. 11 Tier 4: Robot Fighter (178)
decides whether such
11 Tier 1: Golem Body (145) 11 Tier 5: Drain Power (131)
creatures can be treated
11 Tier 1: Golem Healing (145) 11 Tier 6: Deactivate Mechanisms (125) or Lethal
as biological, machine,
or both in some cases. 11 Tier 2: Golem Grip (145) Damage (158)
Often, if a creature is 11 Tier 3: Trained Basher (193) GM Intrusions: The robot explodes upon
part machine, it qualifies. 11 Tier 3: Golem Stomp (145) or defeat. Other robots come after the character for
Weaponization (197) revenge.
11 Tier 4: Deep Reserves (126)
11 Tier 5: Specialized Basher (185) BEARS A HALO OF FIRE
For more abilities that 11 Tier 5: Still As a Statue (186) You can sheath your body in flames, which
improve your physical 11 Tier 6: Ultra Enhancement (194) or Mind Surge protects you and harms your foes.
attacks, see the attack (162) 11 Tier 1: Shroud of Flame (183)
skill and meta ability
GM Intrusions: Creatures of stone sometimes 11 Tier 2: Hurl Flame (149)
categories in chapter 9.
forget their own strength or weight. A walking 11 Tier 3: Wings of Fire (199) or Fiery Hand of
Attack Skill, page 96 statue can terrify common folk. Doom (139)
Meta, page 100 11 Tier 4: Flameblade (140)
ABSORBS ENERGY 11 Tier 5: Fire Tendrils (140)
You can harness kinetic energy and transform it 11 Tier 6: Fire Servant (140) or Inferno Trail (153)
into other kinds of energy. GM Intrusions: Fire burns flammable material.
11 Tier 1: Absorb Kinetic Energy (108) Fire spreads out of control. Primitive creatures
Bears a Halo of Fire is 11 Tier 1: Release Energy (175) fear fire and often attack what they fear.
perfect for a superhero 11 Tier 2: Energize Object (134)
setting, but in a fantasy
game, the same focus
11 Tier 3: Absorb Pure Energy (108) or Improved BLAZES WITH RADIANCE
Absorb Kinetic Energy (151) You can create light, sculpt it, bend it away from
could just as easily
11 Tier 4: Overcharge Energy (168) you, or gather it to use as a weapon.
represent a fire mage.
11 Tier 5: Energize Creature (134) 11 Tier 1: Enlightened (136)
11 Tier 6: Energize Crowd (134) or Overcharge 11 Tier 1: Illuminating Touch (150)
Device (168) 11 Tier 2: Dazzling Sunburst (125)
For more abilities GM Intrusions: Energy goes to ground in a 11 Tier 3: Burning Light (116) or Skill With Defense (183)
relating to defense and destructive way. Some predators feed directly on 11 Tier 4: Sunlight (188)
altering your body, energy. An unintended item is drained of energy. 11 Tier 5: Disappear (128)
see the protection
11 Tier 6: Living Light (158) or Defensive Field (127)
and transform ability
categories in chapter 9. AWAKENS DREAMS GM Intrusions: Allies are accidentally dazzled
You can pull images from dreams and bring or blinded. Bright flashes draw guards.
Protection, page 102 them to life in the waking world.
Transform, page 107 11 Tier 1: Dreamcraft (132) BRANDISHES AN EXOTIC SHIELD
11 Tier 1: Oneirochemy (167) You deploy an amazing shield of pure force that
11 Tier 2: Dream Thief (132) provides protection and some offensive options.
11 Tier 3: Dream Becomes Reality (132) or 11 Tier 1: Force Field Shield (143)
Enhanced Intellect (135) 11 Tier 1: Force Bash (142)
11 Tier 4: Daydream (124) 11 Tier 2: Enveloping Shield (136)
11 Tier 5: Nightmare (165) 11 Tier 3: Healing Pulse (148) or Throw Force Shield (191)
11 Tier 6: Chamber of Dreams (119) or Reactive 11 Tier 4: Energized Shield (134)
Field (174) 11 Tier 5: Force Wall (143)
GM Intrusions: An unexpected sleepwalking 11 Tier 6: Bouncing Shield (115) or Shield Burst (182)
episode puts the character into a dangerous GM Intrusions: The shield is temporarily lost.
situation. A nightmare breaks free of a dream. A foe temporarily ends up with the shield.

64
Focus

BUILDS ROBOTS CONDUCTS WEIRD SCIENCE The word “robot” is


Your robotic creations do as they are commanded. Your preternatural insight and ability make you a used globally in this
11 Tier 1: Robot Assistant (178) scientist capable of amazing feats. focus, though the robot
you create might look
11 Tier 1: Robot Builder (178) 11 Tier 1: Lab Analysis (157)
very different from one
11 Tier 2: Robot Control (178) 11 Tier 1: Knowledge Skills (157)
created by someone
11 Tier 3: Expert Follower (137) or Skill With 11 Tier 2: Modify Device (164) else, depending on
Defense (183) 11 Tier 3: Better Living Through Chemistry (113) or the genre. Steampunk
11 Tier 4: Robot Upgrade (179) Incredible Health (153) robots, organic robots,
11 Tier 5: Robot Fleet (179) 11 Tier 4: Knowledge Skills (157) or even magical golems
are all feasible “robots.”
11 Tier 6: Robot Evolution (178) or Robot Upgrade (179) 11 Tier 4: Just a Bit Mad (156)
GM Intrusions: The robot is hacked, gains a 11 Tier 5: Weird Science Breakthrough (197) For more abilities relating
mind of its own, or unexpectedly detonates. 11 Tier 6: Incredible Feat of Science (153) to crafting and repairing
11 Tier 6: Inventor (155) or Defensive Field (127) objects and structures,
CALCULATES THE INCALCULABLE GM Intrusions: Creations get out of control.
see the craft ability
category in chapter 9.
Awesome mathematical ability allows you to Side effects cannot always be predicted. Weird
model the world in real time, giving you an edge science terrifies people and can draw the media. Craft, page 97
over everyone. When a device created or modified by weird
11 Tier 1: Predictive Equation (171) science is depleted, it detonates. For more abilities relating
11 Tier 1: Higher Mathematics (149) to controlling and
11 Tier 2: Predictive Model (171) CONSORTS WITH THE DEAD influencing minds, see the
control ability category in
11 Tier 3: Subconscious Defense (187) or Enhanced The dead answer your questions, and their
chapter 9.
Intellect (135) reanimated corpses serve you.
11 Tier 4: Cognizant Offense (119) 11 Tier 1: Speaker for the Dead (184) Control, page 97
11 Tier 5: Greater Enhanced Intellect (146) 11 Tier 2: Necromancy (165)
11 Tier 5: Further Mathematics (144) 11 Tier 3: Reading the Room (175) or Repair Flesh (176) As someone who Conducts
11 Tier 6: Knowing the Unknown (156) or Greater 11 Tier 4: Greater Necromancy (147) Weird Science, a PC in
Enhanced Intellect (146) 11 Tier 5: Terrifying Gaze (190) a modern-day setting
could be given the “mad
GM Intrusions: Too many predicted results 11 Tier 6: True Necromancy (194) or Word of Death (200)
scientist” label by the
threaten to overwhelm and stun the character. A GM Intrusions: The character’s necromantic media if news of their
result points to imminent disaster. reputation precedes them. A corpse seeks exploits becomes public.
revenge for being reanimated. Whether they conduct
CHANNELS DIVINE BLESSINGS their science ethically or
A devout follower of a divine being, you channel CONTROLS BEASTS with disregard for the
safety of others (or whether
some of your deity’s power to achieve wonders. Your ability to communicate and lead beasts is they really are insane)
11 Tier 1: Blessing of the Gods (114) uncanny. is the only true measure
11 Tier 2: Enhanced Intellect (135) 11 Tier 1: Beast Companion (112) of how “mad” they are.
11 Tier 3: Divine Radiance (130) or Fire Bloom (140) 11 Tier 2: Soothe the Savage (184)
11 Tier 4: Overawe (168) 11 Tier 2: Communication (121) For more abilities
11 Tier 5: Divine Intervention (130) 11 Tier 3: Mount (164) or Stronger Together (187) relating to companions
11 Tier 6: Divine Symbol (131) or Summon Demon (188) 11 Tier 4: Beast Eyes (112) and followers, see the
companion ability
GM Intrusions: A demon investigates divine 11 Tier 4: Improved Companion (151)
category in chapter 9.
magic use. A rival cult has issues with the 11 Tier 5: Beast Call (112)
character’s teachings. 11 Tier 6: As If One Creature (110) or Control the Companion, page 96
Savage (122)
COMMANDS MENTAL POWERS GM Intrusions: The community is reluctant A creature’s level
You can pull images from dreams and bring to welcome dangerous animals. Out-of-control determines its target
them to life in the waking world. beasts become a real hazard. number, health, and
damage, unless otherwise
11 Tier 1: Telepathic (189)
stated. So a level 2 beast
11 Tier 2: Mind Reading (162)
companion has a target
11 Tier 3: Psychic Burst (172) or Psychic Suggestion (172) number of 6 and a
11 Tier 4: Use Senses of Others (195) health of 6, and it inflicts
11 Tier 5: Precognition (171) 2 points of damage. A
11 Tier 6: Mind Control (162) or Telepathic Network (190) level 4 beast companion
has a target number of
GM Intrusions: Something glimpsed in the 12 and a health of 12,
target’s mind is horrifying. A feedback loop and it inflicts 4 points
allows the target to read the character’s mind. of damage. And so on.

65
CONTROLS GRAVITY CRAFTS UNIQUE OBJECTS
Cyphersmith works only You can sway the attraction of gravity itself. You’re an inventor of strange and useful objects.
in a setting where the 11 Type Swap Option: Weighty (197) 11 Tier 1: Crafter (122)
cyphers are physical 11 Tier 1: Hover (149) 11 Tier 1: Master Identifier (160)
objects. If this isn’t the
11 Tier 2: Enhanced Speed Edge (135) 11 Tier 2: Artifact Tinkerer (110)
case, this ability should
11 Tier 3: Define Down (127) or Gravity Cleave (146) 11 Tier 2: Quick Work (174)
probably be replaced with
something akin to Weird 11 Tier 4: Field of Gravity (139) 11 Tier 3: Master Crafter (160) or Built-In Weaponry (116)
Science Breakthrough 11 Tier 5: Flight (141) 11 Tier 4: Cyphersmith (124)
from the Conducts 11 Tier 6: Improved Gravity Cleave (151) or Weight 11 Tier 5: Innovator (154)
Weird Science focus. of the World (197) 11 Tier 6: Inventor (155) or Fusion Armor (144)
GM Intrusions: Onlookers react with GM Intrusions: The object malfunctions,
For more abilities relating unreasoning fear. A weird interaction sends an breaks, or suffers catastrophic or unexpected
to crafting objects, see ally or object careening into the sky. failure.
the craft ability category
in chapter 9.
CRAFTS ILLUSIONS DANCES WITH DARK MATTER
Craft, page 97 You fashion images from light that are so perfect You can manipulate shadow and “dark” matter.
they seem real. 11 Tier 1: Ribbons of Dark Matter (178)
11 Tier 1: Minor Illusion (162) 11 Tier 2: Void Wings (196)
For more abilities 11 Tier 2: Illusory Disguise (150) 11 Tier 3: Dark Matter Shroud (124) or Dark Matter
relating to defense, see 11 Tier 3: Cast Illusion (118) or Major Illusion (160) Strike (124)
the protection ability 11 Tier 4: Illusory Selves (150) 11 Tier 4: Dark Matter Shell (124)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 5: Terrifying Image (190) 11 Tier 5: Windwracked Traveler (199)
Protection, page 102 11 Tier 6: Grandiose Illusion (146) or Permanent 11 Tier 6: Dark Matter Structure (124) or Embrace
Illusion (169) the Night (133)
GM Intrusions: The illusion isn’t believable. GM Intrusions: Dark matter skulks away as if
The illusion is pierced at just the wrong moment. possessed by a mind of its own.

DEFENDS THE GATE


Everyone wants you on their side when it comes
to a fight because nothing gets by you.
11 Tier 1: Fortified Position (143)
11 Tier 1: Rally to Me (174)
11 Tier 2: Mind for Might (162)
11 Tier 3: Fortification Builder (143) or Divert
Attacks (130)
11 Tier 4: Greater Enhanced Might (146)
11 Tier 5: Reinforcing Field (175)
11 Tier 6: Generate Force Field (145) or Stun Attack (187)
GM Intrusions: A strategically important
structure collapses. The enemy attacks from an
unexpected direction.

DEFENDS THE WEAK


You stand up for the helpless, the weak, and the
unprotected.
11 Tier 1: Courageous (122)
11 Tier 1: Warding Shield (196)
11 Tier 2: Devoted Defender (128)
11 Tier 2: Insight (154)
11 Tier 3: Dual Wards (132) or True Guardian (194)
11 Tier 4: Combat Challenge (120)
11 Tier 5: Willing Sacrifice (199)
11 Tier 6: Resuscitate (177) or True Defender (194)
GM Intrusions: A character focused on
protecting others may periodically leave
themselves vulnerable to attacks.

66
Focus

DESCENDS FROM NOBILITY EMERGED FROM THE OBELISK


A descendent of wealth and power, you carry Your body, hard as crystal, gives you a suite of
a noble title and the abilities granted by a unique abilities, gained after an interaction with
privileged upbringing. a floating crystalline obelisk.
11 Type Swap Option: Retinue (177) 11 Tier 1: Crystalline Body (123) For more abilities
11 Tier 1: Privileged Nobility (172) 11 Tier 2: Hover (149) relating to general social
11 Tier 2: Trained Interlocutor (193) 11 Tier 3: Inhabit Crystal (154) or Immovable (150) activities and interacting
with NPCs, see the
11 Tier 3: Advanced Command (108) or Noble’s 11 Tier 4: Crystal Lens (123)
social ability category in
Courage (166) 11 Tier 5: Resonant Frequency (177)
chapter 9.
11 Tier 4: Expert Follower (137) 11 Tier 6: Resonant Quake (177) or Return to the
11 Tier 5: Asserting Your Privilege (110) Obelisk (177) Social, page 103
11 Tier 6: Able Assistance (108) or Mind of a Leader (162) GM Intrusions: Cyphers and artifacts react
GM Intrusions: Debts incurred by a family unexpectedly in the character’s hands. Weird creatures are
are owed by the character. A long-lost sibling something that explorers
seeks to disinherit rivals. An assassin finds the EMPLOYS MAGNETISM might expect to see
on a regular basis,
character. You command metal and the power of
and someone who has
magnetism. emerged from an obelisk
DOESN’T DO MUCH 11 Tier 1: Move Metal (164) qualifies. However,
You’re a slacker, but you know a little about a lot 11 Tier 2: Repel Metal (176) normal people are likely
of things. 11 Tier 3: Destroy Metal (127) or Guide Bolt (147) to be highly suspicious
11 Tier 1: Life Lessons (158) 11 Tier 4: Magnetic Field (159) and perhaps even afraid
of such a character,
11 Tier 2: Totally Chill (192) 11 Tier 5: Command Metal (120)
at least initially.
11 Tier 3: Skill With Attacks (183) or Improvise (152) 11 Tier 6: Diamagnetism (128) or Iron Punch (155)
11 Tier 4: Life Lessons (158) GM Intrusions: The metal twists, bends, or
11 Tier 4: Greater Skill With Defense (147) produces shrapnel. A lapse in concentration For more abilities
11 Tier 5: Greater Enhanced Potential (146) might cause something to slip or drop at just the relating to manipulating
11 Tier 6 Drawing on Life’s Experiences (131) or wrong time. the environment or
things in it, see the
Quick Wits (174)
environment ability
GM Intrusions: New situations are ENTERTAINS category in chapter 9.
confounding and stressful. Past actions (or You perform, mostly for the benefit of others.
inactions) come back to haunt the character. 11 Tier 1: Levity (158) Environment, page 99
11 Tier 2: Inspiration (154)
DRIVES LIKE A MANIAC 11 Tier 3: Knowledge Skills (157) or Greater As is true for other foci in
Whether balancing on two wheels, jumping Enhanced Potential (146) this chapter, Entertains
another vehicle, or driving head-on toward an 11 Tier 4: Calm (118) and Helps Their Friends
are examples of foci
oncoming enemy car, you don’t think about the 11 Tier 5: Able Assistance (108)
suitable for non-fantastic
risks when you’re behind the wheel. 11 Tier 6: Master Entertainer (160) or Vindictive
campaigns.
11 Tier 1: Driver (132) Performance (196)
11 Tier 1: Driving on the Edge (132) GM Intrusions: The audience is annoyed or
11 Tier 2: Car Surfer (118) offended. Musical instruments break. Paints dry Someone who Drives Like
11 Tier 2: Stare Them Down (186) in their pots. The words to a poem or song are a Maniac needs access
11 Tier 3: Expert Driver (137) or Enhanced Speed forgotten. to a car or motorcycle.
Edge (135)
11 Tier 4: Sharp-Eyed (182) EXISTS IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE For more abilities
11 Tier 4: Enhanced Speed (135) You exist in two places at once. relating to movement,
11 Tier 5: Something in the Road (184) 11 Tier 1: Duplicate (132) see the movement ability
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 6: Trick Driver (194) or Lethal Damage (158) 11 Tier 2: Share Senses (182)
GM Intrusions: The engine develops a knock. 11 Tier 3: Superior Duplicate (188) or Resilient Movement, page 101
The bridge on the road ahead is out. The Duplicate (176)
windshield shatters. Someone unexpectedly runs 11 Tier 4: Damage Transference (124)
in front of the vehicle. 11 Tier 5: Coordinated Effort (122)
11 Tier 6: Multiplicity (165) or Resilient Duplicate (176)
GM Intrusions: Perceiving the world from two
different places disorients the character, causing
momentary vertigo, nausea, or confusion.

67
EXISTS PARTIALLY OUT OF PHASE FLIES FASTER THAN A BULLET
A bit translucent, you’re slightly out of phase and You can fly, and you’re superstrong, hard to hurt,
can move through solid objects. and fast too. Is there anything you can’t do?
11 Tier 1: Walk Through Walls (196) 11 Tier 1: Hover (149)
11 Tier 2: Defensive Phasing (127) 11 Tier 2: Greater Enhanced Potential (146)
11 Tier 3: Phased Attack (170) or Phase Door (170) 11 Tier 3: Hidden Reserves (149) or See Through
11 Tier 4: Ghost (145) Matter (180)
11 Tier 5: Untouchable (195) 11 Tier 4: Blink of an Eye (115)
11 Tier 6: Enhanced Phased Attack (135) or Phase Foe (170) 11 Tier 4: Up to Speed (195)
GM Intrusions: The character is sent phasing 11 Tier 5: Not Dead Yet (166)
into an unexpected dimension. The character 11 Tier 6: Burning Light (116) or Ignore Affliction (150)
becomes lost in a large solid. GM Intrusions: A nemesis finds the character.
A strange material is found to nullify the
EXPLORES DARK PLACES character’s abilities.
You’re the archetypal treasure hunter, scavenger,
and finder of lost things. FOCUSES MIND OVER MATTER
11 Tier 1: Superb Explorer (188) You can telekinetically move objects with your
11 Tier 2: Superb Infiltrator (188) mind without physically touching them.
Psychokinesis doesn’t 11 Tier 2: Eyes Adjusted (138) 11 Tier 1: Divert Attacks (130)
necessarily mean “mental 11 Tier 3: Nightstrike (166) or Slippery Customer (183) 11 Tier 2: Telekinesis (189)
powers.” Someone 11 Tier 4: Hard-Won Resilience (148) 11 Tier 3: Cloak of Opportunity (119) or Enhance
who uses it might be
11 Tier 5: Dark Explorer (124) Strength (134)
accessing a mechanical
11 Tier 6: Blinding Attack (115) or Embraced by 11 Tier 4: Apportation (110)
or bioengineered portion
of their brain to direct Darkness (133) 11 Tier 5: Psychokinetic Attack (172)
nanites that move GM Intrusions: Possessions fall out of pockets 11 Tier 6: Improved Apportation (151) or Reshape (176)
or change matter. or bags in the dark; maps get lost; information GM Intrusions: One mental slip, and moving
gained fails to include an important detail. objects drop or fragile objects break. Sometimes
For more abilities the wrong item moves, falls, or breaks.
relating to manipulating FIGHTS DIRTY
the environment or You’ll do anything to win a fight: bite, scratch,
things in it, see the
kick, trick, and worse.
environment ability
11 Tier 1: Tracker (193)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 1: Stalker (186)
Environment, page 99
11 Tier 2: Sneak (183)
11 Tier 2: Quarry (173)
For more abilities that 11 Tier 3: Betrayal (113) or Surprise Attack (188)
improve your physical 11 Tier 4: Mind Games (162)
attacks, see the attack 11 Tier 4: Capable Warrior (118)
skill and meta ability
11 Tier 5: Using the Environment (195)
categories in chapter 9.
11 Tier 6: Twisting the Knife (194) or Murderer (165)
Attack Skill, page 96 GM Intrusions: People look poorly upon those
Meta, page 100 who cheat or fight without honor. Sometimes a
dirty trick backfires.

FIGHTS WITH PANACHE


You’re a swashbuckling daredevil who fights with
flamboyant style that’s entertaining to watch.
11 Tier 1: Attack Flourish (111)
11 Tier 2: Quick Block (173)
11 Tier 3: Acrobatic Attack (108) or Flamboyant
Boast (140)
11 Tier 4: Block for Another (115)
11 Tier 4: Fast Kill (138)
11 Tier 5: Using the Environment (195)
11 Tier 6: Agile Wit (109) or Return to Sender (177)
GM Intrusions: The display comes off looking
silly, clumsy, or unattractive.
68
Focus

“A friend is someone that you’d do anything for. You lend them your cool
stuff, like comic books and trading cards. And they never break a promise.”
~Stranger Things

FUSES FLESH AND STEEL HELPS THEIR FRIENDS


Your body is part machine. You love your friends and help them out of any
11 Tier 1: Enhanced Body (134) difficulty, no matter what. For more abilities
11 Tier 2: Interface (155) 11 Type Swap Option: Advice From a Friend (109) relating to altering or
11 Tier 3: Sensing Package (181) or Weaponization (197) 11 Tier 1: Friendly Help (143) improving your body,
see the transform ability
11 Tier 4: Fusion (144) 11 Tier 1: Courageous (122)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 5: Deep Reserves (126) 11 Tier 2: Weather the Vicissitudes (197)
11 Tier 6: Mind Surge (162) or Ultra Enhancement (194) 11 Tier 3: Buddy System (116) or Skill With Attacks (183) Transform, page 107
GM Intrusions: People in most societies 11 Tier 4: In Harm’s Way (152)
are afraid of someone who is revealed to have 11 Tier 4: Enhanced Physique (135) For more abilities relating
mechanical parts. 11 Tier 5: Inspire Action (154) to assisting your allies,
11 Tier 6: Deep Consideration (126) or Skill With see the support ability
FUSES MIND AND MACHINE Defense (183)
category in chapter 9.

Electronic aids implanted in your brain make you GM Intrusions: Others sometimes have Support, page 105
a mental powerhouse. ulterior motives. The law takes an undue interest.
11 Tier 1: Enhanced Intellect (135) Even when everything goes right, repercussions
11 Tier 1: Knowledge Skills (157) follow.
11 Tier 2: Network Tap (165)
11 Tier 3: Action Processor (108) or Machine HOWLS AT THE MOON
Telepathy (159) For brief periods, you become a fearsome and
11 Tier 4: Greater Enhanced Intellect (146) powerful creature with control issues.
11 Tier 4: Knowledge Skills (157) 11 Tier 1: Beast Form (112)
11 Tier 5: See the Future (180) 11 Tier 2: Controlled Change (122)
11 Tier 6: Machine Enhancement (159) or Mind 11 Tier 3: Bigger Beast Form (113) or Greater Beast
Surge (162) Form (146)
GM Intrusions: Machines malfunction and 11 Tier 4: Greater Controlled Change (146)
shut down. Powerful machine intelligences 11 Tier 5: Enhanced Beast Form (134)
can take control of lesser thinking machines. 11 Tier 6: Lethal Damage (158) or Perfect Control (169)
Some people don’t trust a person who isn’t fully GM Intrusions: The change happens in an
organic. uncontrolled fashion. People are terrified of
monsters.
GROWS TO TOWERING HEIGHTS
For brief periods, you can grow larger and, with HUNTS
enough experience, to towering heights. You are a stalking hunter who excels at bringing For more abilities relating
11 Tier 1: Enlarge (135) down your selected quarry. to common skills such
11 Tier 1: Freakishly Large (143) 11 Tier 1: Attack Flourish (111) as stealth and tracking,
see the task ability
11 Tier 2: Bigger (113) 11 Tier 1: Tracker (193)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 2: Advantages of Being Big (109) 11 Tier 2: Quarry (173)
11 Tier 3: Huge (149) or Throw (191) 11 Tier 2: Sneak (183) Task, page 106
11 Tier 4: Grab (146) 11 Tier 3: Horde Fighting (149) or Sprint and Grab (186)
11 Tier 5: Gargantuan (144) 11 Tier 4: Surprise Attack (188)
11 Tier 6: Colossal (120) or Lethal Damage (158) 11 Tier 5: Hunter’s Drive (149)
GM Intrusions: Rapid growth knocks over 11 Tier 6: Greater Skill With Attacks (147) or
furnishings or smashes through ceilings or Multiple Quarry (164)
hanging lights. An enlarged character breaks GM Intrusions: The quarry notices the
through the floor. character. The quarry isn’t as vulnerable as it
seemed.

69
INFILTRATES IS IDOLIZED BY MILLIONS
For more abilities Subtlety, guile, and stealth allow you to get in You’re a celebrity and most people adore you.
relating to general social where others can’t. 11 Tier 1: Entourage (136)
activities and interacting 11 Tier 1: Stealth Skills (186) 11 Tier 1: Celebrity Talent (119)
with NPCs, see the
11 Tier 1: Sense Attitudes (181) 11 Tier 2: Perks of Stardom (169)
social ability category in
11 Tier 2: Impersonate (151) 11 Tier 3: Incredible Health (153) or Skill With
chapter 9.
11 Tier 2: Flight Not Fight (141) Attacks (183)
Social, page 103 11 Tier 3: Awareness (111) or Skill With Attacks (183) 11 Tier 4: Captivate With Starshine (118)
11 Tier 4: Invisibility (155) 11 Tier 4: Expert Follower (137)
11 Tier 5: Evasion (136) 11 Tier 5: Do You Know Who I Am? (131)
11 Tier 6: Brainwashing (116) or Spring Away (186) 11 Tier 6: Transcend the Script (193) or Improved
GM Intrusions: Spies are treated harshly Companion (151)
when caught. Allies disavow infiltrators who get GM Intrusions: Fans are endangered or hurt
caught. Some secrets are better left unknown. on your behalf. Someone in your entourage
betrays you. Your show, tour, contract, or other
INTERPRETS THE LAW event is canceled. The media posts photos of you
You excel at winning others over to your views. in an embarrassing situation.
11 Tier 1: Opening Statement (167)
11 Tier 1: Knowledge of the Law (156) IS LICENSED TO CARRY
11 Tier 2: Debate (126) You carry a gun and you know how to use it in a
Although Is Licensed 11 Tier 3: Able Assistance (108) or Enhanced fight.
to Carry is designed Intellect Edge (135) 11 Tier 1: Gunner (147)
with modern firearms 11 Tier 4: Castigate (118) 11 Tier 1: Practiced With Guns (171)
in mind, it could apply
11 Tier 5: No One Knows Better (166) 11 Tier 2: Careful Shot (118)
to flintlock weapons,
11 Tier 6: Greater Enhanced Potential (146) or Legal 11 Tier 3: Trained Gunner (193) or Damage Dealer (124)
futuristic laser blasters, or
other ranged weapons. Intern (157) 11 Tier 4: Snap Shot (183)
GM Intrusions: Onlookers react badly to a 11 Tier 5: Arc Spray (110)
know-it-all. A distraction or interruption throws 11 Tier 6: Special Shot (184) or Lethal Damage (158)
the character’s argument off the rails. GM Intrusions: Misfire or jam! The attack fails
For more abilities that and the action is lost, plus an additional action is
improve your physical needed to fix the problem.
attacks, see the attack
skill and meta ability
categories in chapter 9.
IS WANTED BY THE LAW
“WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE” posters (or
Attack Skill, page 96 their equivalent) have appeared featuring your
Meta, page 100 face. It’s up to you whether it’s a mistake that
snowballed out of control or you actually would
kill someone just for looking at you.
11 Tier 1: Enhanced Speed (135)
11 Tier 1: Danger Sense (124)
11 Tier 2: Surprise Attack (188)
11 Tier 3: Outlaw Reputation (168) or Successive
Attack (187)
11 Tier 4: Fast Kill (138)
11 Tier 5: Band of Desperados (112)
11 Tier 6: Not Dead Yet (166) or Lethal Damage (158)
GM Intrusions: Most people do not take well
to discovering a wanted outlaw in their midst.

70
Focus

KEEPS A MAGIC ALLY LIVES IN THE WILDERNESS


An allied magic creature bound to an object You can survive in badlands where others perish.
(such as a minor djinn in a lamp, or a ghost in a 11 Tier 1: Wilderness Life (199)
pipe) is your friend, protector, and weapon. 11 Tier 1: Enhanced Might (135)
11 Tier 1: Bound Magic Creature (115) 11 Tier 2: Living Off the Land (158) A bound magic creature
11 Tier 2: Object Bond (167) 11 Tier 2: Wilderness Explorer (199) requires a fair bit of
11 Tier 2: Hidden Closet (149) 11 Tier 3: Animal Senses and Sensibilities (109) or attention and energy to
keep happy and satisfied,
11 Tier 3: Minor Wish (162) or Mount (164) Wilderness Encouragement (198)
but it’s usually worth it.
11 Tier 4: Improved Object Bond (152) 11 Tier 4: Wilderness Awareness (198)
11 Tier 5: Moderate Wish (163) 11 Tier 5: The Wild Is on Your Side (198)
11 Tier 6: Object Bond Mastery (167) or Trust to 11 Tier 6: One With the Wild (167) or Wild For more abilities relating
Luck (194) Camouflage (198) to common skills like
GM Intrusions: The creature unexpectedly GM Intrusions: People in cities and towns hunting and searching,
see the task ability
disappears into its bound object. The bound sometimes disparage those who look (and
category in chapter 9.
object cracks. The creature disagrees and doesn’t smell) like they live in the wilds, as if they were
do as asked. The creature says it’s leaving unless ignorant or barbaric. Task, page 106
a task is performed for it.
LOOKS FOR TROUBLE
LEADS You’re a scrapper and love a good fight. For more abilities
Your natural leadership capability allows you 11 Tier 1: Fists of Fury (140) relating to followers, see
to command others, including a loyal band of 11 Tier 1: Wound Tender (200) the companion ability
category in chapter 9.
followers. 11 Tier 2: Protector (172)
11 Tier 1: Natural Charisma (165) 11 Tier 2: Straightforward (187) Companion, page 96
11 Tier 1: Good Advice (145) 11 Tier 3: Skill With Attacks (183) or Greater
11 Tier 2: Enhanced Potential (135) Enhanced Potential (146)
11 Tier 2: Basic Follower (112) 11 Tier 4: Knock Out (156)
11 Tier 3: Advanced Command (108) or Expert 11 Tier 5: Mastery With Attacks (161)
Follower (137) 11 Tier 6: Greater Enhanced Might (146) or Lethal
11 Tier 4: Captivate or Inspire (118) Damage (158)
11 Tier 5: Greater Enhanced Potential (146) GM Intrusions: Weapons break or fly from
11 Tier 6: Band of Followers (112) or Mind of a even the strongest grip. Brawlers trip and fall.
Leader (162) Even the battlefield can work against you with
GM Intrusions: Followers fail, betray, lie, things falling or collapsing.
become corrupted, get kidnapped, or die.
LOVES THE VOID
LEARNS QUICKLY When it’s just you, your spacesuit, and the For more abilities
You deal with bad situations as they arise, panorama of stars wheeling out forever and relating to learning
learning new lessons each time. always, you are at peace. information, see the
information ability
11 Tier 1: Enhanced Intellect (135) 11 Type Swap Option: Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (148)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 1: There’s Your Problem (190) 11 Tier 1: Vacuum Skilled (196)
11 Tier 2: Quick Study (174) 11 Tier 1: Microgravity Adept (162) Information, page 99
11 Tier 3: Hard to Distract (148) 11 Tier 2: Enhanced Speed Edge (135)
11 Tier 3: Enhanced Intellect Edge (135) or Flex Skill (141) 11 Tier 2: Enhanced Physique (135)
11 Tier 4: Pay It Forward (168) 11 Tier 3: Space Fighting (184) or Fusion Armor (144)
11 Tier 5: Enhanced Intellect (135) 11 Tier 4: Silent As Space (183)
11 Tier 5: Learned a Few Things (157) 11 Tier 4: Push Off and Throw (173)
11 Tier 6: Two Things at Once (194) or Skill With 11 Tier 5: Microgravity Avoidance (162)
Defense (183) 11 Tier 6: Weightless Shot (197) or Reactive Field (174)
GM Intrusions: Accidents and mistakes are GM Intrusions: Spacesuits develop glitches.
great teachers. Air refill cartridges sometimes misreport
capacity. Micrometeorites are common in space.

71
MASTERS DEFENSE METES OUT JUSTICE
For more abilities You use protective equipment and practiced You right wrongs, protect the innocent, and
relating to defense, see techniques to avoid becoming hurt in a fight. punish the guilty.
the protection ability 11 Tier 1: Shield Master (182) 11 Tier 1: Make Judgment (160)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 2: Sturdy (187) 11 Tier 1: Designation (127)
Protection, page 102 11 Tier 2: Practiced in Armor (171) 11 Tier 2: Defend the Innocent (126)
11 Tier 3: Dodge and Resist (131) or Dodge and 11 Tier 2: Improved Designation (151)
Respond (131) 11 Tier 3: Defend All the Innocent (126) or Punish
11 Tier 4: Tower of Will (193) the Guilty (173)
11 Tier 4: Experienced in Armor (136) 11 Tier 4: Find the Guilty (139)
11 Tier 5: Nothing but Defend (166) 11 Tier 4: Greater Designation (146)
11 Tier 6: Defense Master (127) or Wear It Well (197) 11 Tier 5: Punish All the Guilty (173)
GM Intrusions: Shields break when hit, as do 11 Tier 6: Damn the Guilty (124) or Inspire the
weapons used to parry. Armor straps break. Innocent (154)
GM Intrusions: Guilt or innocence can
MASTERS SPELLS be complicated. Some people resent the
Spellcasting, page 259 By specializing in spellcasting and keeping a presumption of a self-appointed judge. Passing
spellbook, you can quickly cast spells of arcing judgment makes enemies.
Those who specialize lightning, rolling fire, creeping shadow, and
in spellcasting carry a summoning.
spellbook or some other 11 Tier 1: Arcane Flare (110)
aid such as pouches
11 Tier 2: Ray of Confusion (174)
filled with a variety
11 Tier 3: Fire Bloom (140) or Summon Giant Spider ( 188)
of odd dusts, scales of
strange beasts, oils of 11 Tier 4: Soul Interrogation (184)
suspicious origin, and 11 Tier 5: Granite Wall (146)
related materials that 11 Tier 6: Summon Demon (188) or Word of Death (200)
allow them to cast GM Intrusions: The spell goes wrong. The
spells quickly or without
an extreme effort of summoned creature turns on the caster. A rival
will. Others can learn spellcaster is drawn to the magic use.
basic spellcasting, and
they get by without MASTERS THE SWARM
these trappings, but Insects. Rats. Bats. Even birds. You master one
their spells require
type of small creature that obeys you.
more effort to cast.
11 Tier 1: Influence Swarm (153)
11 Tier 2: Control Swarm (122)
11 Tier 3: Living Armor (158) or Skill With Attacks (183)
For more abilities relating 11 Tier 4: Call Swarm (118)
to companion creatures, 11 Tier 5: Gain Unusual Companion (144)
see the companion ability 11 Tier 6: Deadly Swarm (125) or Skill With Defense (183)
category in chapter 9.
GM Intrusions: A command is misunderstood.
Companion, page 96 Control is erratic or is lost. Bites and stings are
not uncommon for masters of the swarm.

Someone who Masters MASTERS WEAPONRY


Weaponry might have You are a master user of a particular type of
additional equipment, weapon, be it a sword, whip, dagger, gun, or
including a high-
something else.
quality weapon.
11 Tier 1: Weapon Master (197)
11 Tier 1: Weapon Crafter (197)
For more abilities that 11 Tier 2: Weapon Defense (197)
improve your physical 11 Tier 3: Rapid Attack (174) or Disarming Strike (129)
attacks, see the attack 11 Tier 4: Never Fumble (165)
skill and meta ability
11 Tier 5: Extreme Mastery (138)
categories in chapter 9.
11 Tier 6: Murderer (165) or Deadly Strike (125)
Attack Skill, page 96 GM Intrusions: Weapons break. Weapons can
Meta, page 100 be stolen. Weapons can be dropped or forced out
of your hand.
72
Focus

MOVES LIKE A CAT NEEDS NO WEAPON


Lithe, flexible, and graceful, you move quickly Powerful punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and full For more abilities
and smoothly, and never seem to be where body movements are all the weapons you need. relating to movement,
danger is. 11 Tier 1: Fists of Fury (140) see the movement ability
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 1: Greater Enhanced Speed (146) 11 Tier 1: Flesh of Stone (141)
11 Tier 1: Balance (112) 11 Tier 2: Advantage to Disadvantage (109) Movement, page 101
11 Tier 2: Movement Skills (164) 11 Tier 2: Unarmed Fighting Style (194)
11 Tier 2: Safe Fall (179) 11 Tier 3: Moving Like Water (164) or Greater For more abilities relating
11 Tier 3: Hard to Hit (148) Enhanced Potential (146) to common skills like
11 Tier 3: Enhanced Speed Edge (135) or Greater 11 Tier 4: Divert Attacks (130) climbing and sneaking,
see the task ability
Enhanced Speed (146) 11 Tier 5: Stun Attack (187)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 4: Quick Strike (174) 11 Tier 6: Master of Unarmed Fighting Style (160)
11 Tier 5: Slippery (183) or Lethal Damage (158) Task, page 106
11 Tier 6: Perfect Speed Burst (169) or Greater GM Intrusions: Striking certain foes hurts
Enhanced Speed (146) you as much as it hurts them. Opponents
GM Intrusions: Even a cat can be clumsy. A with weapons have greater reach. Complicated
jump isn’t quite as easy as it looks. An escape martial arts moves can knock you off balance.
move is so overzealous that it sends the
character right into harm’s way. NEVER SAYS DIE
You never quit, can shrug off a beating, and
MOVES LIKE THE WIND always come back for more.
You can move so fast that you become a blur. 11 Tier 1: Improved Recovery (152)
11 Tier 1: Greater Enhanced Speed (146) 11 Tier 1: Push on Through (173)
11 Tier 1: Fleet of Foot (141) 11 Tier 2: Ignore the Pain (150)
11 Tier 2: Hard to Hit (148) 11 Tier 3: Blood Fever (115) or Hidden Reserves (149)
11 Tier 3: Speed Burst (185) or Greater Enhanced 11 Tier 4: Increasing Determination (153) or Outlast
Speed (146) the Foe (167)
11 Tier 4: Blink of an Eye (115) 11 Tier 5: Not Dead Yet (166)
11 Tier 5: Hard to See (148) 11 Tier 6: Final Defiance (139) or Ignore Affliction (150)
11 Tier 6: Perfect Speed Burst (169) or Incredible GM Intrusions: Sometimes, it’s equipment or
Running Speed (153) weapons that give out.
GM Intrusions: Surfaces can be slick or
offer hidden obstacles. The movement of other OPERATES UNDERCOVER
creatures can be unpredictable, and the character Under the guise of someone else, you seek to Someone who
might run into them. find answers the powerful do not want divulged. Operates Undercover
11 Tier 1: Investigate (155) might have additional
MURDERS 11 Tier 2: Disguise (129)
equipment that includes
a disguise kit.
You’re an assassin, whether by trade, by 11 Tier 3: Agent Provocateur (109) or Run and Fight (179)
inclination, or because it was that or be killed 11 Tier 4: Pull a Fast One (173) Disguise kit, page 265
yourself. 11 Tier 5: Using What’s Available (195)
11 Tier 1: Surprise Attack (188) 11 Tier 6: Trust to Luck (194) or Deadly Strike (125)
11 Tier 1: Assassin Skills (110) GM Intrusions: Bad luck can ruin the best plans. Someone who Murders
11 Tier 2: Quick Death (173) Disguises fail. Allies are revealed to be agents, too. might have additional
11 Tier 2: Infiltrator (153) equipment, including
11 Tier 3: Awareness (111) or Poison Crafter (170) PERFORMS FEATS OF STRENGTH three doses of a level 2
blade poison that inflicts
11 Tier 4: Better Surprise Attack (113) A muscled prodigy, you can haul incredible 5 points of damage.
11 Tier 5: Damage Dealer (124) weight, hurl your body through the air, and
11 Tier 6: Escape Plan (136) or Murderer (165) punch through doors.
GM Intrusions: Most people do not react well 11 Tier 1: Athlete (111) For more abilities that
to a professional killer. 11 Tier 1: Enhanced Might Edge (135) make you better at
11 Tier 2: Feat of Strength (139) doing the things you
do, see the meta ability
11 Tier 3: Iron Fist (155) or Throw (191)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 4: Greater Enhanced Might (146)
11 Tier 5: Brute Strike (116) Meta, page 100
11 Tier 6: Greater Enhanced Might (146) or Jump Attack (156)
GM Intrusions: It’s easy to break delicate
things or hurt someone accidentally.
73
PILOTS STARCRAFT RIDES THE LIGHTNING
You’re a crack starship pilot. You create and discharge electrical power.
11 Tier 1: Pilot (170) 11 Tier 1: Shock (183)
11 Tier 1: Flex Lore (141) 11 Tier 1: Charge (119)
11 Tier 2: Salvage and Comfort (179) 11 Tier 2: Bolt Rider (115)
11 Tier 2: Mentally Tough (162) 11 Tier 3: Electric Armor (133) or Drain Charge (131)
11 Tier 3: Expert Pilot (137) 11 Tier 4: Bolts of Power (115)
11 Tier 3: Ship Footing (182) or Machine Companion (159) 11 Tier 5: Electrical Flight (133)
11 Tier 4: Sensor Array (181) 11 Tier 6: Flash Across the Miles (141) or Wall of
11 Tier 4: Enhanced Speed (135) Lightning (196)
11 Tier 5: Like the Back of Your Hand (158) GM Intrusions: Targets other than those
11 Tier 6: Incomparable Pilot (152) intended are shocked. Objects explode.
11 Tier 6: Remote Control (176) or Skill With Attacks (183)
GM Intrusions: Starcraft get lost, break down, RUNS AWAY
For more abilities relating and are attacked in space. An alien stowaway is Your first instinct is to run from danger, and
to getting away safely, found. you’ve gotten very good at it.
see the movement ability 11 Tier 1: Go Defensive (145)
category in chapter 9.
PLAYS TOO MANY GAMES 11 Tier 2: Enhanced Speed (135)
Movement, page 101 Lessons, reflexes, and strategies you’ve learned 11 Tier 2: Quick to Flee (174)
by playing too many games have applications 11 Tier 3: Incredible Running Speed (153) or Greater
in the real world, where people who don’t play Enhanced Speed (146)
enough toil and live their dreary lives. 11 Tier 4: Increasing Determination (153)
11 Tier 1: Game Lessons (144) 11 Tier 4: Quick Wits (174)
11 Tier 1: Gamer (144) 11 Tier 5: Go to Ground (145)
11 Tier 2: Zero Dark Eyes (200) 11 Tier 6: Burst of Escape (116) or Skill With Defense (183)
11 Tier 2: Resist Tricks (176) GM Intrusions: Quick movements sometimes
11 Tier 3: Sniper’s Aim (184) or Enhanced Speed lead to dropped items, slipping on uneven
Edge (135) ground, or going the wrong way by accident.
11 Tier 4: Mind Games (162)
11 Tier 4: Enhanced Intellect (135) SAILED BENEATH THE JOLLY ROGER
Characters who are 11 Tier 5: Gamer’s Fortitude (144) You sailed with a crew of dread pirates, but
still pirates, rather than 11 Tier 6: Mind Surge (162) or Gaming God (144) you’ve decided to end your days as a pirate and
former pirates, have GM Intrusions: Missed attacks strike the join some other cause. The question is, will your
a slightly renamed
wrong target. Equipment breaks. Sometimes past let you go so easily?
focus: Sails Beneath
the Jolly Roger. people react negatively to someone who has 11 Tier 1: Ignore the Pain (150)
lived most of their life in imaginary game worlds. 11 Tier 1: Sailor (179)
11 Tier 2: Taking Advantage (188)
RAGES 11 Tier 2: Fearsome Reputation (139)
For more abilities that When you go berserk, everyone fears you. 11 Tier 3: Skill With Attacks (183) or Skill With
improve your physical 11 Tier 1: Frenzy (143) Defense (183)
attacks, see the attack 11 Tier 2: Greater Enhanced Might (146) 11 Tier 4: Sea Legs (180)
skill and meta ability
11 Tier 2: Movement Skills (164) 11 Tier 4: Movement Skills (164)
categories in chapter 9.
11 Tier 3: Power Strike (171) or Unarmored Fighter (194) 11 Tier 5: Lost in the Chaos (159)
Attack Skill, page 96 11 Tier 4: Greater Frenzy (146) 11 Tier 6: Duel to the Death (132) or Successive
Meta, page 100 11 Tier 5: Attack and Attack Again (111) Attack (187)
11 Tier 6: Greater Enhanced Potential (146) or GM Intrusions: The dangers of the high seas
Lethal Damage (158) are many, including severe storms and disease.
GM Intrusions: It’s easy for a berserker to lose Other pirates sometimes get ahead through
control and attack friend as well as foe. betrayal. A pirate tracks down former sailing
mates to find hidden treasure.

Before a player chooses Pilots Starcraft, they should work with the GM to be
sure that they’ll have the opportunity to access a starcraft.

74
Focus

Scavenging, page 296


Characters who See Beyond or Separate Mind From Body know that there’s
Crafting, Building, and
far more to the world than the obvious material universe around them. Repairing, page 227
Either or both could be seen as visionaries. Perhaps coincidentally, they would
make extremely good spies. For more abilities relating
to crafting and repairing
objects, or survival in
general, see the craft
and protection ability
SCAVENGES SHEPHERDS THE COMMUNITY categories in chapter 9.
When not running and hiding, you sift the ruins You keep the place where you live safe from all
of civilization for useful remnants to ensure your danger. Craft, page 97
survival. 11 Tier 1: Community Knowledge (121) Protection, page 102
11 Tier 1: Post-Apocalyptic Survivor (170) 11 Tier 1: Community Activist (121)
11 Tier 1: Ruin Lore (179) 11 Tier 2: Skill With Attacks (183) For more abilities
11 Tier 2: Junkmonger (156) 11 Tier 3: Shepherd’s Fury (182) or Skill With relating to general
11 Tier 3: Taking Advantage (188) or Incredible Defense (183) social activities and
interacting with NPCs,
Health (153) 11 Tier 4: Greater Enhanced Potential (146)
see the social ability
11 Tier 4: Know Where to Look (156) 11 Tier 5: Evasion (136)
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 5: Recycled Cyphers (175) 11 Tier 6: Greater Skill With Attacks (147) or
11 Tier 6: Artifact Scavenger (110) or Reactive Field (174) Protective Wall (172) Social, page 103
GM Intrusions: An item made with recycled GM Intrusions: People in the community
junk breaks. Someone shows up claiming that misunderstand the character’s motives. Rivals try For more abilities relating
the useful item or piece of junk scavenged to oust the character. to enhancing your senses,
belongs to them. A recycled cypher explodes. see the senses ability
category in chapter 9.

SEES BEYOND Senses, page 103


You have a psychic sense that allows you to see
what others cannot.
11 Tier 1: See the Unseen (180)
11 Tier 2: See Through Matter (180)
11 Tier 3: Find the Hidden (140) or Sensor (181)
11 Tier 4: Remote Viewing (176)
11 Tier 5: See Through Time (181)
11 Tier 6: Mental Projection (161) or Total
Awareness (192)
GM Intrusions: Some secrets are too terrible
to know.

SEPARATES MIND FROM BODY


You can project your mind out of your body
to see faraway places and learn secrets that
would otherwise remain hidden.
11 Tier 1: Third Eye (191)
11 Tier 2: Open Mind (167)
11 Tier 2: Sharp Senses (182)
11 Tier 3: Roaming Third Eye (178) or Find the
Hidden (140)
11 Tier 4: Sensor (181)
11 Tier 5: Psychic Passenger (172)
11 Tier 6: Mental Projection (161) or Improved
Sensor (152)
GM Intrusions: Reuniting mind and body can
sometimes be disorienting and require a character
to spend a few moments to get their bearings.

75
In some settings, the SHEPHERDS SPIRITS SIPHONS POWER
Shepherds Spirits focus Wandering souls, nature spirits, and elemental You suck power out of machines and creatures
applies to only one kind beings aid and support you. alike in order to empower yourself.
of spirit, such as spirits
11 Tier 1: Question the Spirits (173) 11 Tier 1: Drain Machine (131)
of the deceased, nature
11 Tier 2: Spirit Accomplice (185) 11 Tier 2: Drain Creature (131)
spirits, and so on.
11 Tier 3: Command Spirit (121) or Preternatural 11 Tier 3: Drain at a Distance (131) or Unraveling
Robots and other living Senses (171) Consumption (195)
machines should be 11 Tier 4: Wraith Cloak (200) 11 Tier 4: Store Energy (186)
treated as creatures, 11 Tier 5: Call Dead Spirit (117) 11 Tier 5: Share the Power (182)
not machines, for the
11 Tier 6: Call Otherworldly Spirit (117) or Infuse 11 Tier 6: Explosive Release (138) or Sun Siphon (188)
purposes of siphoning
power from them. Spirit (153) GM Intrusions: Drained power also transmits
GM Intrusions: Some people don’t trust those something unwanted—compulsions, afflictions,
Although wielding a who deal with spirits. The dead sometimes don’t or alien thoughts. Siphoned power can overload
sword in a setting where want shepherding. the character, causing feedback.
people usually do not
carry such weapons is
fine, you can change the
SHREDS THE WALLS OF THE WORLD SLAYS MONSTERS
Slays Monsters Speed plus phasing gives you a unique ability to You kill monsters.
sword-related abilities to evade danger and simultaneously inflict damage. 11 Tier 1: Practiced With Swords (171)
use a different weapon, 11 Tier 1: Phase Sprint (170) 11 Tier 1: Monster Bane (164)
such as a gun with silver 11 Tier 1: Disrupting Touch (129) 11 Tier 1: Monster Lore (164)
bullets. 11 Tier 2: Scratch Existence (180) 11 Tier 2: Will of Legend (199)
For more abilities that 11 Tier 3: Invisible Phasing (155) or Walk Through 11 Tier 3: Trained Slayer (193)
improve your physical Walls (196) 11 Tier 3: Improved Monster Bane (152) or Misdirect (163)
attacks, or make you 11 Tier 4: Phase Detonation (169) 11 Tier 4: Fight On (139)
better at what you
11 Tier 5: Very Long Sprinting (196) 11 Tier 5: Greater Skill With Attacks (swords) (147)
already can do, see
11 Tier 6: Shred Existence (183) or Untouchable 11 Tier 6: Murderer (165) or Heroic Monster Bane (149)
the attack skill and
meta ability categories While Moving (195) GM Intrusions: The monster laid a trap or
in chapter 9. GM Intrusions: Moving so quickly while set an ambush. The monster has previously
Attack Skill, page 96 sprinting sometimes leads to stumbles on undisclosed abilities. The monster’s mother
Meta, page 100 unexpected, exotic obstacles. vows revenge.

76
Focus

SOLVES MYSTERIES TALKS TO MACHINES For more abilities


You’re a master of deduction, using evidence to You use your organic brain like a computer, relating to acquiring
find the answer. interfacing “wirelessly” with any electronic information or common
skills like interrogation
11 Tier 1: Investigator (155) device. You can control and influence them in
and searching, see
11 Tier 1: Sleuth (183) ways that others can’t. the information and
11 Tier 2: Out of Harm’s Way (167) 11 Tier 1: Machine Affinity (159) task ability categories
11 Tier 3: You Studied (200) or Skill With Attacks (183) 11 Tier 1: Distant Interface (130) in chapter 9.
11 Tier 4: Draw Conclusion (131) 11 Tier 2: Coaxing Power (119)
11 Tier 5: Defuse Situation (127) 11 Tier 2: Charm Machine (119) Information, page 99
11 Tier 6: Seize the Initiative (181) or Greater Skill 11 Tier 3: Intelligent Interface (155) or Command Task, page 106
With Defense (147) Machine (120)
GM Intrusions: Evidence disappears, red 11 Tier 4: Machine Companion (159) For more abilities
herrings confuse, and witnesses lie. Initial 11 Tier 4: Robot Fighter (178) relating to manipulating
research can be faulty. 11 Tier 5: Information Gathering (153) the environment or
things in it, see the
11 Tier 6: Control Machine (121) or Improved
environment ability
SPEAKS FOR THE LAND Machine Companion (152) category in chapter 9.
Your spiritual connection to nature and the GM Intrusions: The machine malfunctions or
environment grants you mystical abilities. acts unpredictably. Environment, page 99
11 Tier 1: Seeds of Fury (181)
11 Tier 1: Wilderness Lore (199) THROWS WITH DEADLY ACCURACY
11 Tier 2: Grasping Foliage (146) Everything that leaves your hand goes exactly For more abilities that
11 Tier 3: Soothe the Savage (184) or where you’d like it to go and at the range and improve your physical
Communication (121) speed to make the perfect impact. attacks, see the attack
skill and meta ability
11 Tier 4: Moon Shape (164) 11 Tier 1: Precision (171)
categories in chapter 9.
11 Tier 5: Insect Eruption (154) 11 Tier 2: Careful Aim (118)
11 Tier 6: Call the Storm (117) or Earthquake (133) 11 Tier 3: Quick Throw (174) or Skill With Defense (183) Attack Skill, page 96
GM Intrusions: An injured natural (but 11 Tier 4: Everything Is a Weapon (136) Meta, page 100
dangerous) creature is discovered. Someone’s 11 Tier 4: Specialized Throwing (185)
poaching wildlife for their skins, leaving the 11 Tier 5: Whirlwind of Throws (198)
carcasses to rot. A tree falls in the forest, one of 11 Tier 6: Lethal Damage (158) or Mastery With Defense (161)
the last elder trees. GM Intrusions: Missed attacks strike the Some characters who
wrong target. Ricochets can be dangerous. Stand Like a Bastion
STANDS LIKE A BASTION Improvised weapons break. might already be
experts in armor. They
Your armor, along with your size, strength,
can choose a different
incredible training, or machine enhancement, THUNDERS tier 1 ability instead of
makes you difficult to move or hurt. You emit destructive sound and manipulate Practiced in Armor.
11 Tier 1: Practiced in Armor (171) soundscapes.
11 Tier 1: Experienced Defender (136) 11 Tier 1: Thunder Beam (191) For more abilities
11 Tier 2: Resist the Elements (176) 11 Tier 2: Sound Conversion Barrier (184) relating to defense, see
11 Tier 3: Unmovable (195) 11 Tier 3: Nullify Sound (166) or Echolocation (133) the protection ability
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 3: Greater Enhanced Might (146) or 11 Tier 4: Shattering Shout (182)
Practiced With All Weapons (171) 11 Tier 5: Subsonic Rumble (187) Protection, page 102
11 Tier 4: Living Wall (158) 11 Tier 5: Amplify Sounds (109)
11 Tier 5: Hardiness (148) 11 Tier 6: Earthquake (133) or Lethal Vibration (158) Although all character
11 Tier 5: Mastery in Armor (161) GM Intrusions: Loud noises attract attention. choices are subject to
11 Tier 6: Lethal Damage (158) or Shield Training (182) GM approval, Travels
GM Intrusions: Armor is damaged. Small foes TRAVELS THROUGH TIME Through Time is a focus
that the GM and player
conspire in ingenious ways. You can see through time, try to reach through it, should probably have a
and eventually even travel through it. long conversation about
11 Tier 1: Anticipation (110) ahead of time, so the
11 Tier 2: See History (180) player knows the rules
11 Tier 3: Temporal Acceleration (190) or Time Loop (192) of time travel (if any)
that exist in the GM’s
11 Tier 4: Temporal Dislocation (190)
setting. A character with
11 Tier 5: Time Doppelganger (191) this focus can drastically
11 Tier 6: Call Through Time (118) or Time Travel (192) alter a setting, if the rules
GM Intrusions: Paradoxes are created. Others of time travel allow it.
remember past events differently.
77
WAS FORETOLD WIELDS TWO WEAPONS AT ONCE
For more abilities relating You are the “chosen one,” and prophecy, You bear steel with both hands, ready to take on
to influencing people and prediction, prognostication, or some other any foe.
interacting with NPCs, method of determination expects great things of 11 Tier 1: Dual Light Wield (132)
see the control and social
you one day. 11 Tier 2: Double Strike (131)
ability categories in
11 Tier 1: Interaction Skills (155) 11 Tier 2: Infiltrator (153)
chapter 9.
11 Tier 1: Knowing (156) 11 Tier 3: Dual Medium Wield (132) or Precise Cut (171)
Control, page 97 11 Tier 2: Destined for Greatness (127) 11 Tier 4: Dual Defense (132)
Social, page 103 11 Tier 3: Overcome All Obstacles (168) or 11 Tier 5: Dual Distraction (132)
Hard-Won Resilience (148) 11 Tier 6: Disarming Attack (129) or Spin Attack (185)
For more abilities that 11 Tier 4: Center of Attention (119) GM Intrusions: A blade snaps in two or a
improve your physical 11 Tier 5: Show Them the Way (183) weapon flies loose from its bearer’s grip.
attacks, see the attack 11 Tier 6: As Foretold in Prophecy (110) or Greater
skill and meta ability
categories in chapter 9.
Enhanced Potential (146) WORKS FOR A LIVING
GM Intrusions: An enemy described in You take great satisfaction in a job well done,
Attack Skill, page 96 prophecy appears. Unbelievers threaten to ruin whether it’s coding, building houses, or mining
Meta, page 100 the moment. The character gains a reputation in asteroids.
outside circles as a fraud. 11 Tier 1: Handy (148)
For more abilities relating 11 Tier 2: Muscles of Iron (165)
to crafting and common WEARS A SHEEN OF ICE 11 Tier 3: Eye for Detail (138) or Improvise (152)
skills like fixing things, see You command the wintery power of cold and ice. 11 Tier 4: Enhanced Might (135)
the craft and task ability
11 Tier 1: Ice Armor (150) 11 Tier 4: Tough It Out (193)
categories in chapter 9.
11 Tier 2: Frost Touch (144) 11 Tier 5: Expert Skill (137)
Craft, page 97 11 Tier 3: Freezing Touch (143) or Ice Creation (150) 11 Tier 6: Greater Enhanced Potential (146) or
Task, page 106 11 Tier 4: Resilient Ice Armor (176) Hard-Won Resilience (148)
11 Tier 5: Cold Burst (119) GM Intrusions: Repairs sometimes fail.
11 Tier 6: Ice Storm (150) or Winter Gauntlets (199) Wiring can be tricky to decipher and still carry an
GM Intrusions: Ice makes surfaces slippery. electrical charge. Some people are rude to those
Extreme cold causes objects to crack and break. who work for a living.

WEARS POWER ARMOR


11 Tier 1: Powered Armor (171)
11 Tier 1: Enhanced Might (135)
11 Tier 2: Heads-Up Display (148)
11 Tier 3: Fusion Armor (144) or Incredible
Health (153)
11 Tier 4: Force Blast (142)
11 Tier 5: Field-Reinforced Armor (139)
11 Tier 6: Masterful Armor Modification (Jet
Assisted Flight) (160) or Masterful Armor
Modification (Cypher Pod) (160)
GM Intrusions: The armor won’t come off.
The armor acts under its own power. The armor
suffers a momentary power loss. NPCs are
scared by the power armor.

78
Focus

A character in a setting without magic or gods who Works Miracles might—


knowingly or unknowingly—be using nanites to heal, directing and speeding
up the cells’ mitotic phase or even the migration of cells in the system.

WORKS MIRACLES WOULD RATHER BE READING


You can heal others with a touch, alter time Books are your friends. What’s more important For more abilities
to help others, and are generally beloved by than knowledge? Nothing. relating to healing,
everyone. 11 Tier 1: Knowledge Is Power (156) see the cure ability
category in chapter 9.
11 Tier 1: Healing Touch (149) 11 Tier 2: Greater Enhanced Intellect (146)
11 Tier 2: Alleviate (109) 11 Tier 3: Applying Your Knowledge (110) or Flex Cure, page 98
11 Tier 3: Font of Healing (142) or Miraculous Health (163) Skill (141)
11 Tier 4: Inspire Action (154) 11 Tier 4: Knowledge Is Power (156) For more abilities
11 Tier 5: Undo (195) 11 Tier 4: Knowing the Unknown (156) relating to learning
11 Tier 6: Greater Healing Touch (147) or Restore 11 Tier 5: Greater Enhanced Intellect (146) information, see the
information ability
Life (177) 11 Tier 6: Knowledge Is Power (156)
category in chapter 9.
GM Intrusions: Attempts to heal might cause 11 Tier 6: Tower of Intellect (193) or Read the Signs (174)
harm instead. A community or individual needs a GM Intrusions: Books burn, get wet, or get Information, page 99
healer so desperately that they hold one against lost. Computers break or lose power. Glasses
their will. break.

WORKS THE BACK ALLEYS


You make your way unseen, stealing from the For more abilities relating
wealthy to achieve your ends. to combat and common
11 Tier 1: Stealth Skills (186) skills like sneaking and
lying, see the attack
11 Tier 2: Underworld Contacts (195)
skill and task ability
11 Tier 3: Pull a Fast One (173) or Guild Training (147)
categories in chapter 9.
11 Tier 4: Master Thief (160)
11 Tier 5: Dirty Fighter (128) Attack Skill, page 96
11 Tier 6: Alley Rat (109) or All-Out Con (109) Task, page 106
GM Intrusions: Thieves are thrown in jail.
Powerful enemies are made.

WORKS THE SYSTEM


You can exploit flaws in artificial systems,
including but not limited to computer code.
11 Tier 1: Hack the Impossible (147)
11 Tier 1: Computer Programming (121)
11 Tier 2: Connected (121)
11 Tier 3: Confidence Artist (121) or Skill With
Attacks (183)
11 Tier 4: Confuse Enemy (121)
11 Tier 5: Work the Friendship (200)
11 Tier 6: Call in Favor (117) or Greater Enhanced
Potential (146)
GM Intrusions: Contacts sometimes have
ulterior motives. Devices sometimes have
failsafes or even traps.

79
FOCUS CATEGORIES CREATING NEW FOCI to grant a low-power ability along with a regular
• Ally use This section provides everything you need to ability at a given tier, depending on the needs of
• Basic create your own foci. the focus. A “low-power ability” is deliberately
• Energy manipulation Every focus has an overarching style, whether open for GM interpretation, but generally
• Environment manipulation that’s exploration, energy manipulation, or speaking, should be no more potent than a
• Exploration simply dealing a lot of damage in combat. These low-tier ability (that is, an ability that is normally
• Influence broad classifications are called focus categories. available at tier 1 or 2).
• Irregular Each focus category has an overarching For instance, someone who uses cold
• Movement expertise
theme, followed by selection guidelines that might be able to create small snow sculptures
• Striker combat
describe how to choose abilities from chapter 9 in addition to emitting a cold ray. Someone
• Support
at each tier, from tier 1 to tier 6. who uses electricity might be able to charge a
• Tank combat
The newly created focus should be named depleted artifact or have an asset for dealing with
in the form of a verb, like Controls Beasts or electrical systems. And so on.
Abides in Stone. For instance, a fire-using focus Often, the focus guidelines note this as a
Chapter 9: Abilities, created by following the guidelines in the energy possibility. However, you have great leeway in
page 95 manipulation focus category might be called deciding if a focus needs an additional ability,
Bears a Halo of Fire (one of the sample foci even if the guidelines for that tier don’t indicate
Bears a Halo of in this chapter). Alternatively, a new fire-using one. If you do add an ability, or there is a
Fire, page 64 focus should get an all-new name like Stokes the higher-power ability at a tier that normally
Flames of the Apocalypse or Lights Fires With a shouldn’t have it, it might mean that the choice
Feel free to build Thought. given at the next tier, or the previous tier, isn’t
Stokes the Flames of quite as good. Balancing a focus is a bit of an art.
the Apocalypse and CHOOSING ABILITIES BY Resist the urge to overpower the focus, but don’t
Lights Fires With a
Thought for your own
RELATIVE POWER underpower it, either.
use, or as an exercise The ability selection guidelines invite you to
in using this chapter. choose an ability from one of three ranges: ABILITY GUIDELINES ARE
low tier, mid tier, and high tier. These ranges NOT PRESCRIPTIVE
correspond with the power “grades” given for Each focus category provides a guideline for
every ability. These abilities are further sorted what kind of ability you should select at every tier.
into ability categories based on the kinds of But don’t regard the guidelines as something
things they do—abilities that improve physical that you can’t vary. They’re not prescriptive;
attacks are in the attack skill category, abilities they’re just a place to start. You might want to
that assist allies are in the support category, and vary the kind of ability at a particular tier that
so on. Look for the grades and categories in the isn’t indicated in the guidelines. As long as the
Ability Categories and Ability Categories and Relative Power section of chosen ability falls within the expected power
Relative Power, page 95 chapter 9. curve for that tier, it’s fine. The guideline isn’t
Low-tier abilities are best suited for focus meant to be a straitjacket.
options at tiers 1 and 2. Mid-tier abilities are best For example, if you’re building a cold-using
suited for focus options at tiers 3 and 4. High-tier focus for a game set in a fantasy genre, you may
abilities are best suited for focus options at tiers decide that an ability that calls up a demon is a
5 and 6. better choice at a particular tier than an ability
That said, sometimes you’ll find it appropriate that does damage in an area, which is what the
to assign a low-tier ability at tier 3 or 4, or maybe tier 5 guideline for energy manipulation calls for.
a mid-tier ability at tier 1 or 2. Do so sparingly, Making the change is probably especially valid if
but don’t rule it out. It might be the only way to you call your new focus something like Channels
get all the abilities you want for the focus you’re the Ninth Circle.
building. Higher-tier abilities usually cost more
Pool points to use. So if a mid-tier ability is made ABILITY SWAP
available at tier 1 or 2, or a high-tier ability is If you’re creating a focus and you think it should
made available at tier 3 or 4, the higher cost will provide a suite of abilities at first tier that would
be a balancing factor. mechanically overload it, you have the option
to add one as a “swap” ability. Doing so is as
BALANCING ABILITIES easy as allowing a character to swap out one of
The guidelines within each category go a long their type abilities for an indicated low-tier focus
way toward ensuring that the focus you build will ability. The ability is gained instead of one of the
be balanced. Sometimes it might be appropriate abilities normally granted by the character’s type.

80
Focus

CONCEPT AND CATEGORY MODIFYING ABILITIES


Choosing to create a focus that uses a TO FIT A CONCEPT
particular concept—say, creating illusions— If you’re looking for an ability and can’t seem
doesn’t lock you into creating a focus within a to find the right one in the vast catalog in
particular category—in this case, environment chapter 9, consider reskinning one to make it
manipulation. A focus can be constructed in a seem new (and to accomplish what you need).
variety of ways using a particular energy, tool, or Reskinning means that you use the underlying
concept, each ultimately leading to a focus that mechanics of an ability as written but change
provides different results. It all depends on your the flavor in some fashion. For instance, maybe
ends. In this case, creating illusions might be you’re creating a new earth-moving focus but
used to sway others, which argues for a focus can’t find enough earth-related abilities to meet
built using the influence category guidelines. your need. It’s easy enough to change up other
In the same way, if a focus grants a abilities so they use earth instead of fire, cold, or
character the ability to call some kind of magnetism. For instance, Wings of Fire might Wings of Fire, page 199
force or energy, that doesn’t mean the focus become Wings of Earth, Ice Armor could become Ice Armor, page 150
should automatically be built using the energy Earth Armor, and so on. These alterations change
manipulation category guidelines (though nothing except the type of damage and any
of course it could, if attacking and protecting knock-on effects (for instance, Wings of Earth
yourself with that energy is the point). But a might generate clouds of dust in their wake).
focus could be built that grants abilities to
call energy or force that is primarily focused CREATING BRAND-NEW ABILITIES
on durability, suggesting a tank combat focus You can go further than reskinning and create one
(someone who can take a lot of punishment in a or more brand-new abilities. When doing this,
fight); or blasting away with a main concern for try to find something as close as possible to the
maximizing damage, thus suggesting a striker effect you want, then use it as a template. In any
combat focus; or creating a follower composed case, deciding how much an ability should cost
of that energy or force, suggesting an ally use when it comes to a character’s Pool is one of the
focus (that is, someone who uses helping most important aspects of getting an ability right.
creatures, NPCs, or even duplicate versions of You may notice that higher-tier abilities are
themselves to give them a leg up). more expensive. This is partly because they do
Here’s another example: the focus Controls more, but it’s also because higher-tier characters Controls Gravity, page 66
Gravity could conceivably be an environment have more Edge than lower-tier characters, Edge, page 15
manipulation focus or an energy manipulation which means they pay fewer points from their
focus. It depends on whether the focus is more relevant Pools. A third-tier character with 3 Edge
concerned with crushing and holding things in in a relevant Pool pays no cost for abilities that
place (environment manipulation) or on blasting cost 3 or fewer points. That’s great for lower-tier
things and protecting yourself with gravity abilities, but you’ll usually want a character to
(energy manipulation). think a little bit about how often to use their
The same malleability of concept holds true in most powerful abilities. That means they should
other realms. For instance, if someone is able to cost at least 1 point more than the Edge the
call up and mold raw earth, they might use it to character is likely to have at that tier. (Often, a
transform themselves into a being of stone (tank character will have an Edge in their relevant Pool
combat), to batter foes (striker combat), or to equal to their tier.)
create walls, barricades, and shields to protect As a good rule of thumb, a typical ability
their allies (support). should cost points equal to its tier.

CHOOSE GM INTRUSIONS
ABILITIES THAT REFERENCE Think about the kinds of things that might
OTHER ABILITIES surprise, alarm, or go catastrophically wrong for
someone with the new focus being created, and
Some abilities in chapter 9 reference other
assign it as a GM intrusion for that focus. Of GM intrusions, page 408
abilities. If you select an ability for your
course, this often is done on the fly during the
focus or type that refers to or modifies a
game. But giving the topic some thought while
lower-tier ability, also include that lower-tier
the focus is being constructed and the ideas
ability in your type or focus as a selection a
are fresh in your head is likely to yield some
PC can make at a lower tier.
particularly devilish options.

81
ALLY USE FOCI FOCUS CATEGORIES One option should be a mid-tier ability that
The following are examples improves the NPC follower previously provided
and not meant to provide a ALLY USE (usually from level 2 to level 3) or grants an
complete list of all possible Foci that prioritize providing NPC followers to additional follower.
foci in this category. the character are ally use foci. The followers give The other option should be something that
• Builds Robots aid to the PC in a variety of ways, but at base benefits the character—perhaps an offensive or
• Consorts With the Dead they usually provide an asset to the character’s defensive ability, or something that broadens
• Controls Beasts actions. their influence over their followers (or potential
• Exists in Two Places at
Multiple potential themes exist within the ally followers).
Once
use category, from abilities that allow a character
• Leads
to summon or craft allies to those that allow Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that gives the
• Masters the Swarm
• Shepherds Spirits them to attract allies through fame, magic, or character an offensive or defensive capability if
essential authority or charisma. they haven’t previously gained one, preferably
Connection: Choose four relevant connections within the theme of the focus. For instance, if
Focus connections, from the Focus Connections list. the character gains followers because of their
page 61 Additional Equipment: Any object necessary charisma, this ability might let them command
for the character to keep an ally. For instance, foes for brief periods. If the character gains
someone with a focus that uses super-science to followers by building or calling them, this ability
create robot allies would require tools to build and might let them affect entities of the same type
repair those allies. Some foci in this category don’t that are not already their followers.
require anything to gain or retain their benefits. Alternatively, this ability might further improve
Minor Effect Suggestions: The NPC ally’s tasks a previously gained follower from level 3 to level
are eased on its next turn. 4, or grant an additional follower.
Major Effect Suggestions: The NPC ally gains
an immediate extra action. Tier 5: Choose an ability that improves the
character by providing a defense, an improved
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES stat Pool, or another kind of protection.
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that grants a Alternatively, this ability could open a new
Follower, page 233 level 2 NPC follower to the character, or gives a front in influencing and calling NPC allies related
similar benefit provided by an NPC. Alternatively, to the focus’s theme. For instance, someone who
lay the groundwork for gaining such NPC allies keeps beast allies might gain an ability to call
at higher tiers by choosing an ability that gives a horde of lesser beasts. Someone who builds
the character influence over others. robots might gain an ability to build several
Sometimes an additional low-power ability is lesser robot helpers. And so on.
appropriate, depending on the focus. Often, this Finally, this ability might improve a previously
is an ability that grants skill training in a related gained follower to level 5.
area of knowledge or a related skill. For instance,
training in a skill related to the kind of NPC Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
follower the character gains would be appropriate. both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
choose one or the other.
Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that grants One of the abilities should improve a
influence over similar kinds of NPCs as the previously gained follower to level 5, if that
follower gained at the previous tier. If no follower wasn’t already provided at tier 5. If that’s the
was gained at the previous tier, this ability should case, this ability might be provided in addition to
provide that benefit now. two other related abilities.
Sometimes a secondary ability might be Another high-tier option could provide a
appropriate in addition to the ability provided handful of level 3 followers to the character.
above, perhaps a low-power ability that grants 2 The last high-tier ability could open a new
or 3 points to a Pool. front in influencing and calling NPC allies related
to the focus’s theme. For instance, someone
Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of who gains followers through high charisma and
them as options for the focus; a PC will choose training might gain an ability to learn otherwise
one or the other. impossible-to-glean information.

82
Focus

BASIC Tier 4: Choose another ability that grants BASIC FOCI


Foci that rely mostly on providing skill training, additional training or an asset to skills The following are examples
assets to tasks, and bumps to stat Pools and associated with the focus’s theme, or that grants and not meant to provide a
Edge in order to improve a character fall within 5 or 6 points to a particular Pool best suited to complete list of all possible
the basic category. An overarching theme is also the focus. Or choose two abilities that provide foci in this category.
included, as with most of the other categories, only 2 or 3 points plus another tier 4 ability that • Doesn’t Do Much
that makes sense of the various basic abilities improves a single task or skill. • Interprets the Law
provided. Alternatively, provide a branch-out ability • Learns Quickly
• Works for a Living
In addition, because the benefits provided suggested at tier 5.
• Would Rather Be Reading
by such foci are mostly straightforward (usually Finally, if the focus has yet to grant some kind
with a few exceptions), most basic foci would of defense, a defensive ability could be provided
also be appropriate for non-fantastic campaigns here.
where magic, super-science, or psychic abilities
normally don’t come into play. That said, just Tier 5: Choose an ability that allows the character
because the abilities granted by basic foci are to branch out slightly—perhaps one like Expert Expert Skill, page 137
straightforward doesn’t mean they are not potent Skill that allows them to automatically succeed
when combined with the abilities granted by on a task they’re trained in.
type, descriptor, cyphers, and other character Alternatively, if a nonstandard benefit was
aspects. provided at tier 4, provide the benefits suggested
Connection: Choose four relevant connections at tier 4 here.
from the Focus Connections list.
Additional Equipment: Any object necessary Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
to fulfill the overarching theme of the focus. For both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
instance, a focus called Would Rather Be Reading choose one or the other.
should grant a handful of books to the character. One option should be an ability that provides
A focus called Works for a Living should provide another 5 or 6 points to a particular Pool best
a set of tools. suited to the focus, or that the character can
Minor Effect Suggestions: Next action is eased. divide up as they wish. Alternatively, training in
Major Effect Suggestions: Make a free, offense or defense would also be appropriate.
no-action recovery roll that doesn’t count against The other tier 6 option should give the
daily recovery rolls. character a brand-new ability within their theme,
but not one that strays into the realm of the
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES fantastic. For instance, an ability that allows
Tier 1: Choose an ability that grants training or an a character to take two actions instead of one
asset to skills associated with the focus’s theme, would be reasonable. Granting additional
or that grants 5 or 6 points to a particular Pool. training, assets, or Edge would also be fine.
Alternatively, choose an ability that grants only 2
or 3 points to a particular Pool and an ability that
provides training or an asset to just one task.

Tier 2: Choose whichever kind of ability wasn’t


chosen at tier 1.

Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of


them as options for the focus; a PC will choose
one or the other.
One option should be a non-fantastic ability
that improves the character’s abilities within
the focus’s theme. For instance, if the theme
involves paying attention in some fashion,
an information-gathering ability might be
appropriate.
The other option should be something that
either improves the character’s Edge in an
appropriate stat or provides the character with
some kind of defense.

83
ENERGY ENERGY MANIPULATION ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES
MANIPULATION FOCI Energy manipulation foci offer abilities that Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that either
The following are examples can call fire, electricity, force, magnetism, or inflicts damage or provides protection using the
and not meant to provide a nonstandard forms of energy such as cold, appropriate energy type in some fashion.
complete list of all possible stone, or something stranger like “void” or Sometimes an additional low-power ability is
foci in this category. “shadow.” These abilities usually give a character appropriate, depending on the energy type. For
• Absorbs Energy a way to achieve something of a balance between instance, a focus that manipulates cold might
• Bears a Halo of Fire
attacking enemies and granting themselves or grant an ability to create snow sculptures. A
• Dances With Dark Matter
allies additional protection. The focus usually focus that manipulates electricity might grant an
• Rides the Lightning
• Thunders
also offers abilities that provide other ways to ability to charge a depleted artifact or have an
• Wears a Sheen of Ice use specific energy for things like transportation, asset for dealing with electrical systems. A focus
creating large concentrations of energy that can that absorbs energy might grant an ability to
affect multiple targets, or creating a temporary release it as a basic attack. And so on.
object or barrier of energy.
Connection: Choose four relevant connections Tier 2: Choose whichever kind of ability wasn’t
Focus connections, from the Focus Connections list. chosen at tier 1.
page 61 Additional Equipment: One or more pieces of
equipment immune to the energy manipulated, Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of
which might be a set of clothes. Alternatively, them as options for the focus; a PC will choose
something related to the energy being generated. one or the other.
Some foci in this category don’t require One option should be an ability that inflicts
additional equipment. damage using the appropriate energy type (and
Energy Abilities: If a character type grants possibly a related effect).
special abilities that normally use some other kind The other should grant enhanced movement
of energy, they now produce the kind used by this by use of the appropriate energy type, give
focus. For example, if a character uses this focus additional protection provided by the preferred
to manipulate electricity, their force blasts become energy, or use the energy in a completely new
blasts of electricity. These alterations change way, such as by draining the energy from a
nothing except the type of damage and any machine (if using electricity), entombing a victim
knock-on effects (for instance, electricity might in a layer of ice (if using cold), creating perfect
temporarily short out electronic systems). silence (if using sound), creating a dazzling blast
Minor Effect Suggestions: The target or of illumination (if using light), and so on.
something near the target is hindered because of
residual energy. Tier 4: Choose whichever kind of ability wasn’t
Major Effect Suggestions: An important item chosen at tier 3.
on the target’s person is destroyed.
Tier 5: Choose a high-tier ability that inflicts
damage (and possibly a related effect) that can
affect more than one target using the appropriate
energy type, or an ability that uses the energy in
some fashion not previously used, as described
in tiers 3 and 6.

Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give


both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
choose one or the other.
One of the high-tier abilities should use the
preferred energy to inflict a lot of damage to a
single target or to several.
The other option should use the appropriate
energy type to accomplish a task not
previously provided by lower-tier abilities,
Follower, page 233 such as fashioning a fiery follower (if using
fire), teleporting a great distance as a blast of
lightning (if using electricity), creating solid
objects out of the energy, and so on.

84
Focus

ENVIRONMENT MANIPULATION is an ability that grants skill training in a related ENVIRONMENT


Foci that allow a character to move objects, affect area of knowledge. MANIPULATION FOCI
gravity, create objects (or illusions of objects), and The following are examples
so on are environment manipulation foci. Given Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that provides a and not meant to provide a
that, in many cases, energy is used as part of this new defensive or offensive capability related to complete list of all possible
process, this category and energy manipulation the focus’s theme. foci in this category.
overlap to some extent. Environment Alternatively, this ability might provide an • Awakens Dreams
• Blazes With Radiance
manipulation foci prioritize abilities that indirectly additional or brand-new capability to manipulate
• Calculates the Incalculable
affect enemies and allies via objects, forces, the environment related to the focus’s theme.
• Controls Gravity
and alterations of the surroundings; energy • Crafts Illusions
manipulation foci prioritize directly damaging Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of • Crafts Unique Objects
targets with the chosen energy or force. them as options for the focus; a PC will choose • Employs Magnetism
For example, rather than blasting a foe with one or the other. • Focuses Mind Over Matter
a gravity pulse that does damage, a character One option should be a mid-tier ability
using an environment manipulation focus related to the focus’s theme that provides an
based on gravity is more likely to have abilities additional environment manipulation capacity
that hold a target in place, use gravity to throw or further improves the basic environment
heavy objects as an attack, or lower gravity in a manipulation ability previously granted. This
particular area or even on a particular object. ability isn’t directly offensive or defensive, but
Connection: Choose four relevant connections provides either an all-new ability related to the
from the Focus Connections list. basic ability, or one that increases the strength,
Additional Equipment: Any object necessary range, or some other extension of the previously
to manipulate the surrounding environment. For unlocked basic ability.
instance, someone with a focus that grants the The other mid-tier option should provide an
ability to craft objects would require basic tools. offensive or defensive ability related to the specific
Some foci in this category don’t require anything form of movement the focus provides, if possible.
to gain or retain their benefits.
Environment Manipulation Abilities: Foci Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that is either
themes that involve imagery or visible energies an offensive or a defensive use of the ability,
can affect the look of your type abilities. Such whichever one wasn’t chosen as an option in the
alterations, if any, do nothing but change the previous tier.
appearance of effects. If gravity is manipulated,
perhaps a telltale bluish glow permeates all Tier 5: Choose a high-tier penultimate use of the
ability uses, including type abilities. If illusion environment-manipulation ability. For instance,
is generated, perhaps flamboyant visual and if the focus-granted manipulation is illusory,
auditory qualities accompany type abilities, such this ability might haunt a target with terrifying
as the appearance of a tentacled beast holding a images. If the focus is gravity based, it might
target in place when Stasis is used. And so on. unlock flight. If magnetic, it might allow the user Stasis, page 186
Minor Effect Suggestions: The target gets to reshape metal. If the focus grants telekinetic
turned around, and its next attack is hindered. powers, this ability could allow a character to
Major Effect Suggestions: The character is hurl massive objects at foes. And so on.
refreshed and recovers 4 points to one Pool.
Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that grants a basic choose one or the other.
use of an ability that alters the environment (or One of the abilities should provide either an
predicts it) using the focus’s theme. For instance, offensive or a defensive ability, opposite the
a gravity-affecting focus might provide an ability ability provided at tier 4 (though high tier rather
that makes a target lighter or heavier. An than mid tier).
illusion-crafting focus might grant an ability that The other option should be something that
allows the creation of an image. An object-making further explores the use of the basic environment
focus might grant a basic proficiency in creating a manipulation capability. If the tier 5 choice was
particular kind of object. A predictive focus might the penultimate ability, this might be an even
calculate outcomes and provide the character with better ultimate ability related to the kind of
the benefits of that foreknowledge. And so on. manipulation offered, or a different way of using
Sometimes an additional low-power ability is that ability to unlock an as-yet-unexplored facet
appropriate, depending on the focus. Often, this of the ability.
85
EXPLORATION FOCI EXPLORATION Tier 2: Choose another low-tier ability that grants
The following are examples Foci that allow a character to gather information, an additional capability related to exploration,
and not meant to provide a survive in unfamiliar environments, and find survival, or information gathering.
complete list of all possible their way to new locations or track down For instance, a focus dedicated to surviving
foci in this category. particular creatures and foes are exploration foci. savage conditions might offer an ability (or two)
• Explores Dark Places Surviving in unfamiliar environments requires that makes it easier to avoid natural hazards,
• Infiltrates a reasonable selection of defensive options; poisons, difficult terrain, and so on. A focus
• Operates Undercover however, abilities that allow a character to find dedicated to exploration of a particular area
• Pilots Starcraft
and learn are prioritized. might grant abilities to gain access to that area,
• Sees Beyond
Exploration foci rely on a variety of methods, or a capability that others normally lack (like the
• Separates Mind From Body
though training and expertise are the mainstays. ability to see in the dark).
Some methods require specific tools (such as
a vehicle) to grant the benefits provided, while Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of
others might rely on the supernatural or them as options for the focus; a PC will choose
super-science to learn new things and explore one or the other.
strange places from afar. One option should further improve the
Connection: Choose four relevant connections basic exploration ability granted, or give a new
Focus connections, from the Focus Connections list. exploratory, survival, or information-gathering
page 61 Additional Equipment: Any object necessary to ability.
explore. For instance, starting maps and/or The other option should be something that
a compass would be basic equipment, while benefits the character, either an offensive or
someone who uses psychic abilities might defensive ability (especially if this focus hasn’t
require a mirror or crystal sphere to gaze into. already granted that) or something that further
Equipment might also include access to a vehicle broadens the character’s ability to explore in the
required for exploration, as previously noted. focus’s chosen realm.
Minor Effect Suggestions: You have an asset
on any action that involves using your senses, Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier offensive or defensive
such as perceiving or attacking, until the end of ability (whichever wasn’t offered at tier 3)
the next round. that benefits the character. Alternatively, if
Major Effect Suggestions: Your Intellect Edge offensive and defensive abilities are already well
increases by 1 until the end of the next round. represented, choose a different mid-tier ability
that broadens the character’s ability to explore,
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES survive, or gather information.
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that grants
the character basic exploratory, survival, or Tier 5: Choose a high-tier ability that alleviates
information-gathering capabilities within the some of the penalties for exploring, surviving, or
focus’s theme. gathering information in a normally inhospitable
Sometimes an additional low-power ability is place.
appropriate, depending on the focus. Often, this
is an ability that grants skill training in a related Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
area of knowledge or a related skill (though this both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
may already be covered in the main ability). choose one or the other.
Alternatively, it might offer a simple bonus of 2 One option should further improve the basic
or 3 points to the Might Pool. exploration-themed ability previously granted,
or give a brand-new exploratory, survival, or
information-gathering ability.
The other option should be something that
benefits the character, either an offensive or
defensive ability, or yet another ability that
further broadens their capacity to explore in the
focus’s chosen realm.

86
Focus

INFLUENCE One option should provide an offensive or INFLUENCE FOCI


Foci that prioritize authority and influence— defensive capability related to the focus’s specific The following are examples
whether that’s to make people or machines do as kind of influence, if possible. For instance, an and not meant to provide a
commanded, to help others, or to rise to some inventor might create a serum that gives them complete list of all possible
other prestigious and significant position—fall increased abilities (which could be used for foci in this category.
within the influence category. offense or defense), a telepath might have some • Commands Mental Powers
These foci grant influence through training method of blasting foes with mental energy, and • Conducts Weird Science
and persuasion, by direct mental manipulation, someone with only the basic skills of debate and • Fuses Mind and Machine
• Is Idolized by Millions
by using fame to get people’s attention and influence through fame might have to rely on
• Solves Mysteries
influence their actions, or simply by knowing and weapon training or their entourage.
• Talks to Machines
learning things that affect later decisions. In this The other mid-tier option should provide an
• Works the System
sense, the concept of influence is broad. additional ability to influence in the theme of
Connection: Choose four relevant connections the focus, or further improve the basic influence
from the Focus Connections list. ability previously granted. This option isn’t
Additional Equipment: Any object necessary directly offensive or defensive, but provides
to achieve the influence suggested should be either an all-new ability related to the basic
granted as additional equipment. Some influence ability, or increases the strength, range, or some
foci don’t require anything to gain or retain their other extension of the previously unlocked basic
benefits. ability. For instance, a telepath might have a
Minor Effect Suggestions: The range or psychic suggestion ability.
duration of the influencing ability is doubled.
Major Effect Suggestions: An ally or indicated Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that is either
target can take an additional action. an offensive or a defensive use of the influence
ability, whichever one wasn’t chosen as an option
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES in the previous tier.
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that allows the Alternatively, this ability could grant an
character to learn something significant enough additional capability related to the kind of
that they can choose a smart course of action (or influence the focus provides.
use that knowledge to persuade or intimidate).
How the character learns the information varies Tier 5: Choose a high-tier penultimate use of the
by the specifics of the focus. One character specific influence ability granted at lower tiers.
might do experiments to learn answers, another Alternatively, choose an ability not previously
might open a telepathic link with others to trade gained at a lower tier, one that opens a new
information secretly and quickly, and still another front on the particular influence capability.
might simply be trained in interaction tasks. For instance, if the focus-granted influence
Sometimes an additional low-power ability is is telepathic, the tier 5 ability might allow a
appropriate, depending on the focus. Often, this character to see into the future to gain assets for
is an ability that grants skill training in a related dealing with enemies (and allies).
area of knowledge.
Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that improves the both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
character’s ability to apply influence. This might choose one or the other.
open an additional front on the focus’s basic One of the options should provide either an
theme or simply further enhance the basic ability offensive or a defensive ability, opposite the
already provided. For instance, this tier 2 ability ability provided at tier 4 (though high tier rather
could ease influence-related tasks by a few steps, than mid tier).
allow a telepath to read the minds of others who The other option should be something that
have secrets they’d otherwise not reveal, or grant further explores the use of the basic influence
influence over physical objects (either to improve ability provided by the focus. If the tier 5 choice
them or to learn more about them). And so on. was the penultimate ability, this might be an
even better ultimate ability related to the kind of
Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of influence used, or a different way of using that
them as options for the focus; a PC will choose ability to unlock an as-yet-unexplored facet of the
one or the other. ability.

87
IRREGULAR FOCI IRREGULAR Sometimes an additional low-power ability is
The following are examples Most foci have a basic theme, a “character story” appropriate, depending on the focus. Often, this
and not meant to provide a that logically leads to a series of related abilities. is an ability that grants skill training in a related
complete list of all possible However, certain foci themes are so wide that area of knowledge or a related skill. Alternatively,
foci in this category. they don’t fit into any other category except an it might offer a simple bonus of 2 or 3 points to
• Channels Divine Blessings irregular one of their own. a Pool.
• Descends From Nobility Irregular foci provide a basket of disparate
• Emerged From the Obelisk abilities. Usually that’s because the overarching Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that grants one
• Flies Faster Than a Bullet
theme is one that demands variability and access of the benefits the focus theme promises, one
• Masters Spells
to several different kinds of abilities. Often, these that’s presumably not immediately related to
• Speaks for the Land
foci are found in genres that suggest additional the one provided at tier 1. That said, if a defense
rule tweaks to leverage their use even further, wasn’t provided at tier 1, tier 2 is a good place to
Power shifts, page 292 such as power shifts in the superhero genre and add it.
Spellcasting, page 259 spellcasting in the fantasy genre. However, other
irregular foci are possible. Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of
Connection: Choose four relevant connections them as options for the focus; a PC will choose
Focus connections, from the Focus Connections list. one or the other.
page 61 Additional Equipment: Any object necessary to One option should provide one of the benefits
the focus’s theme. For instance, a the focus theme promises, one that may not be
superhero-themed focus might grant a immediately related to those provided at earlier
superhero costume. tiers.
Minor Effect Suggestions: The target is also The other option should include a method
dazed for one round, during which time all of its of attack if none has previously been granted.
tasks are hindered. Alternatively, if the lower-tier abilities don’t
Major Effect Suggestions: The target is quite get the character where they need to be,
stunned and loses its next turn. this option might further increase a capability
unlocked at a lower tier.
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that grants one of Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that grants one
the benefits the focus theme promises, one that of the benefits the focus theme promises, one
a first-tier character should have. that may not be immediately related to those
provided at earlier tiers.

Tier 5: Choose a high-tier ability that grants one


of the benefits the focus theme promises, one
that may not be immediately related to those
provided at earlier tiers.

Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give


both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
choose one or the other.
One option should grant one of the benefits
the focus theme promises, one that may not be
immediately related to those provided at earlier
tiers. However, this ability might also provide an
ultimate version of a lower-tier ability if a mid-tier
or low-tier option wasn’t quite sufficient.
The other option should provide an alternate
method to round out the character in a way
that doesn’t replicate the first tier 6 option.
For instance, if the first option provided some
kind of attack, this one might be an interaction,
information-gathering, or healing ability,
depending on the focus’s overarching theme.

88
Focus

MOVEMENT EXPERTISE Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of MOVEMENT
Foci that prioritize novel forms of movement—in them as options for the focus; a PC will choose EXPERTISE FOCI
order to excel in combat, escape situations most one or the other. The following are examples
others can’t, move with stealth for purposes of One option should provide an additional and not meant to provide a
theft or escape, or move into locations normally movement capacity or further improve the complete list of all possible
inaccessible—fall within the movement expertise basic movement capacity, related to the focus’s foci in this category.
category. These foci usually have methods of theme. This isn’t directly offensive or defensive, • Exists Partially Out of
Phase
granting either offense or defense through but provides the character with a new level of
• Moves Like a Cat
movement, though they may provide some ability or an all-new ability related to their basic
• Moves Like the Wind
means of doing both. movement ability. • Runs Away
The classic movement expertise focus is one The other option should provide either an • Shreds the Walls of the
that relies on speed to make more attacks and offensive or a defensive capability related to the World
avoid being hit, though general agility might specific form of movement the focus provides. • Travels Through Time
also provide the same benefit. Other foci in this • Works the Back Alleys
category might fall within the theme by granting Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that further
a character the ability to become immaterial, to enhances the advantages provided by focus’s
change their form into something like water or movement-enhancing paradigm. This could
air, or to instantly move via teleportation. provide a new or better form of defense (directly,
Connection: Choose four relevant connections or indirectly if moving to a location or time where
from the Focus Connections list. danger doesn’t threaten), or a new or better form
Additional Equipment: Any object necessary to of offense.
achieve great speeds, change state, or otherwise
gain the benefit of the focus should be granted Tier 5: Choose a high-tier penultimate use of
as additional equipment. Some foci in this the movement-related ability. For instance, if
category don’t require anything to gain or retain the focus-provided movement is temporal, this
their benefits. ability might allow actual (if brief) jaunts of time
Minor Effect Suggestions: The target is dazed, travel. If the focus enhances speed, this ability
and their next action is hindered. might allow the character to move up to a very
Major Effect Suggestions: The target is long distance with one action. And so on.
stunned and loses their next action. Alternatively, unlock an as-yet-unexplored
related ability that could derive from the basic
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES movement power provided by the focus.
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that grants
the basic benefit of the specific movement Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
style, whether that’s enhanced speed, agility, both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
immateriality, and so on. choose one or the other.
Sometimes an additional low-power ability is One of the options should provide either an
appropriate, depending on the focus. If the basic offensive or a defensive ability, opposite the
benefit of the movement demands some kind of ability provided at tier 4 (though high tier rather
additional understanding or training, this ability than mid tier).
could be that. Alternatively, if the movement The other option should be something that
provided seems like it should also unlock a basic further explores the use of the basic
offensive or defensive benefit (relying on the use movement ability. If the tier 5 choice was the
of the initial basic ability), append it as well. penultimate ability, this might be an even better
ultimate ability related to the movement.
Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that provides a
new offensive or defensive capability related to
the focus’s theme.
Alternatively, this ability might provide some
additional capability related to the form of
movement that grants useful information to the
character that would normally be inaccessible to
someone without the focus.

89
STRIKER COMBAT FOCI STRIKER COMBAT ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES
The following are examples Striker combat foci prioritize dealing damage Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that inflicts
and not meant to provide a in battle over other concerns. Foci in this additional damage when a character attacks
complete list of all possible category offer defensive abilities as well, but they using the focus’s particular fighting style, energy,
foci in this category. emphasize abilities that provide ways to spike or attitude, or when used against a chosen
• Battles Robots damage to heights that other foci normally don’t enemy.
• Fights Dirty reach. Sometimes an additional low-power ability
• Fights With Panache To achieve this end, a striker combat focus is appropriate, depending on the focus. For
• Hunts
might offer mastery of a particular style of instance, a focus that grants proficiency in a
• Is Licensed to Carry
martial combat, which could be training with a special weapon might offer training in crafting
• Looks for Trouble
particular weapon or martial art, or the use of tasks associated with that weapon. A focus that
• Masters Weaponry
• Murders a unique tool (or even a kind of energy). A style grants increased damage against a particular
• Needs No Weapon might be something as singular as being the kind of foe might offer training in skills to
• Performs Feats of Strength best at fighting a particular kind of enemy, or recognize, locate, or just have general knowledge
• Rages something much broader, such as adopting a about that foe. A fighting style that involves
• Slays Monsters particularly vicious or unsporting style. A striker fighting in a vicious or dirty manner might
• Throws With Deadly combatant might use fire, force, or magnetism provide training in intimidation. And so on.
Accuracy as their preferred method of spiking damage. If the focus is about fighting a particular
• Wields Two Weapons at Connection: Choose four relevant connections enemy, additional secondary powers (more than
Once
from the Focus Connections list. might otherwise be offered) may be appropriate.
Additional Equipment: The weapon, tool, or Those either further enhance effectiveness
Focus connections, other special item or substance (if any) required against the chosen enemy, or offer broader but
page 61 to engage in the particular style of combat. For related abilities that give the character who takes
instance, a dose of level 5 poison for Fights Dirty the focus some functionality even when not
or Murders, a trophy from a previously defeated fighting that enemy.
foe for Battles Robots, or stylish clothes for
Fights With Panache. Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that provides
Minor Effect Suggestions: The target is so some form of defense using the weapon, weapon
dazzled by your expertise that it is dazed for one style, or chosen energy. If the weapon style is
round, hindering all of its tasks. being especially good at fighting a certain kind of
Major Effect Suggestions: Make an immediate foe, the ability should be a defense against that
additional attack using an attack provided by the kind of foe. Alternatively, the focus might offer
focus as part of your turn. another method for increasing damage within
the chosen paradigm.

90
Focus

Sometimes an additional low-power ability is


appropriate at tier 2. If so, choose whichever
low-power ability wasn’t gained at tier 1.

Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of


them as options for the focus; a PC will choose
one or the other.
One option should inflict additional damage
when using the focus’s fighting style, energy, or
attitude, or when used against a chosen enemy.
That could be as simple as an ability that offers
an additional attack of that kind.
The other option should provide a method to
temporarily neutralize a foe by disarming them,
dazing or stunning them, slowing or holding
them, or otherwise discombobulating them
by using the focus’s fighting style, energy, or
attitude, or when used against a chosen enemy. Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give
both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that further choose one or the other.
enhances the advantages provided by the One of the options should use the focus
focus’s paradigm. Often, this includes training paradigm to inflict an exceptional amount of
in a particular kind of attack. Alternatively, the damage.
ability might increase the advantages provided The other option could be a different way
by achieving a certain combat status, such as of inflicting damage, either using the focus
gaining surprise. paradigm or just dealing lots of damage in
general (and relying on previous focus tier
Tier 5: Choose a high-tier ability that inflicts abilities to improve targeting). This could be
damage. Alternatively, if focused on fighting a against multiple targets if the first option was
particular kind of foe, this ability might give the for a single target, to outright kill or neutralize a
character a chance to completely neutralize, target (starting with level 4, but with guidance for
destroy, blind, or kill a singular target of up to using Effort to increase the level of the target), or
level 3 (or higher, if the focus is on a singular to select yet another foe, make another attack, or
foe). get away in order to fight another day.

91
SUPPORT FOCI SUPPORT area of knowledge or a related skill, but it might
The following are examples Foci that allow a character to help others be something that works with the initial ability
and not meant to provide a succeed, defend others, heal others who are that, by itself, wouldn’t do much.
complete list of all possible hurt, and so on are support foci. Of course, most
foci in this category. foci abilities are often used in aid of others, but Tier 2: Choose a low-tier ability that follows up
• Defends the Weak support foci (such as Siphons Power) prioritize on the support style opened in the previous tier.
• Entertains aiding, healing, and improving the character who If the previous tier’s ability provided a means
• Helps Their Friends takes the focus. of protection only for the focus taker, this tier 2
• Metes Out Justice
Support foci rely on a variety of methods to ability should specifically provide aid to another.
• Shepherds the Community
provide their help, including martial training If the previous tier specifically provided aid
• Siphons Power
used in defense, supernatural or sci-fi means of to another, this tier 2 ability could defend the
• Works Miracles
providing healing, or simply easing the cares of focus taker or provide an offensive capability
others through entertainment. grounded, if possible, in the focus’s theme.
Metes Out Justice Connection: Choose four relevant connections
straddles the line between from the Focus Connections list. Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of
a support focus and a Additional Equipment: Any object necessary them as options for the focus; a PC will choose
striker combat focus,
to provide support. For instance, someone with one or the other.
depending on the ability
options a PC chooses a focus that uses entertainment to help others One option should work within the focus’s
at tiers 3 and 6. would require an instrument or similar object in theme to aid, heal, protect, or otherwise help
aid of their craft. Some foci in this category don’t another.
Focus connections, require anything to gain or retain their benefits. The other option should be something that
page 61 Minor Effect Suggestions: You can draw an benefits the character, either an offensive or
Draw an attack, page 227 attack without having to use an action at any defensive ability, or something that broadens
point before the end of the next round. their expertise in some fashion. Alternatively, it
Major Effect Suggestions: You can take an could be another, different method of helping
extra action in aid of an ally. someone else.

ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that gives an


Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that provides ally a direct boon or provides the character with
some form of defense, aid or entertainment, a way to help another. It could also be an ability
benefit to recovery or healing, or protection. that harms or nullifies a foe, as removing foes
That defense or protection could be to the PC certainly helps allies.
and not to an ally, as one cannot protect another
without first being able to protect themselves Tier 5: Choose a high-tier ability that provides
(and sometimes protecting themselves is the an offensive or defensive option for the
entire point). character, if none have been provided yet. If
Sometimes an additional low-power ability is this need has been previously addressed or is
appropriate, depending on the focus. Often, this deemed unnecessary, choose a high-tier ability
is an ability that grants skill training in a related that provides some form of defense, aid or
entertainment, benefit to recovery or healing, or
protection to another. For example, a tier 5 ability
might grant an ally an additional free action or
allow them to repeat a failed action.

Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give


both of them as options for the focus; a PC will
choose one or the other.
One of the options should provide an ultimate
method of helping another in the theme of the
focus.
The other option could provide an alternative
ultimate method of helping another; many foci
in this category do. However, an option that
provides high-tier offense or defense is also
completely reasonable.

92
Focus

TANK COMBAT Tier 2: If the theme of the focus isn’t physical TANK COMBAT FOCI
Foci that prioritize being able to take a lot of transformation, choose a low-tier ability that The following are examples
punishment and soak up excess damage from provides an additional method of defending, and not meant to provide a
foes fall within the tank combat category. These healing damage, or avoiding attacks. complete list of all possible
foci provide offensive abilities too, as well as If the theme of the focus is physical foci in this category.
additional abilities related to the particular transformation, choose a low-tier ability • Abides in Stone
method by which improved protection is that unlocks a new capability related to the • Brandishes an Exotic
achieved, but defensive abilities are most form the character takes. That might mean Shield
• Defends the Gate
pronounced. gaining better control of the transformation,
• Fuses Flesh and Steel
Some tank combat foci involve a physical unlocking a robotic interface, or otherwise more
• Grows to Towering Heights
transformation that grants additional protection, fully unlocking that form. This ability is not
• Howls at the Moon
and others rely on specialized training, use tools necessarily defensive, though it could be. • Lives in the Wilderness
like shields or heavy armor, or provide the ability • Masters Defense
to heal incredibly fast. The kinds of physical Tier 3: Choose two mid-tier abilities. Give both of • Never Says Die
transformation that a tank focus provides, if any, them as options for the focus; a PC will choose • Stands Like a Bastion
vary widely. A focus might turn a character’s skin one or the other.
to stone, reinforce their body with metal, turn One option should provide an additional form
them into a monstrous being, make them so big of protection in keeping with the focus’s theme,
it becomes harder to hurt them, and so on. such as more defensive capabilities unlocked
Connection: Choose four relevant connections from a transformation (which might also come
from the Focus Connections list. with additional offensive capabilities) or a simple
Additional Equipment: Any object necessary physical enhancement if defense is gained by
to maintain a physical transformation (such as a skills or enhanced healing.
tool for repair if partly robotic, a shield or other The other option should provide an offensive
defensive tool used if skilled, or possibly some capability, especially if creating a non-transformation
kind of amulet or serum). Some tank combat focus that doesn’t already have offensive
foci don’t require anything to gain or retain their benefits. That capability could be an enhanced
benefits. attack or provide some other benefit useful in
Minor Effect Suggestions: +2 to Armor for a combat, such as quickly evading or (on the other
few rounds. end of the continuum) becoming immovable.
Major Effect Suggestions: Regain 2 points to
Might Pool. Tier 4: Choose a mid-tier ability that further
enhances the advantages provided by the
ABILITY SELECTION GUIDELINES focus’s damage-soaking paradigm. Often, this
Tier 1: Choose a low-tier ability that provides includes training in a particular kind of defense.
defense within the focus’s theme. If the theme Alternatively, it might increase the advantages
is simply intense training or the use of a provided by previously unlocked defensive
defensive tool, the ability might be as simple abilities, whether that means gaining greater
as a bonus to Armor. If protection comes from control over a transformation, gaining additional
physical transformation, this ability provides the chances to avoid damage or retry tasks related to
base form effects, benefits, and in some cases enhanced determination, and so on. If the focus
drawbacks for making the transformation. A is lacking in offensive options, this is a good
low-tier enhanced healing ability would also be place to include one.
appropriate at first tier.
Sometimes an additional low-power ability Tier 5: Choose a high-tier ability that provides
is appropriate, depending on the focus. If the protection, possibly in the form of shrugging off
character transforms, this ability may provide a debilitating condition (including death). If the
a knock-on effect, though in the case of some focus offers a physical transformation, this ability
transformations, it might be a description of might further unlock an additional related ability,
how someone with an abnormal physiognomy whether offensive, defensive, or something
can fully heal. Other times, the secondary power related to exploration or interaction (such as
may simply be training in a related skill, or it may flight if the form is winged, intimidation if the
unlock the ability to use a particular armor or form is fearsome, and so on).
shield without penalty.

93
Tier 6: Choose two high-tier abilities. Give CUSTOMIZING FOCI
both of them as options for the focus; a PC will Sometimes not everything about a focus is right
choose one or the other. for a character’s concept, or perhaps the GM
One option should use the focus paradigm needs additional guidelines for creating a new
to increase the defense, protection, or ability to focus. Either way, the solution lies in looking at
shrug off damage. foci abilities at their most basic default levels.
The other option could be a different way of At any tier, a player can select one of the
being defensive. In some cases, the best defense following abilities in place of the ability granted
is a good offense, so this option could provide by the tier. Many of these replacement abilities,
a high-tier offensive ability in keeping with the particularly at the higher tiers, might involve
focus’s theme, whether that’s a straight-up body modification, integration with high-tech
damage boost on attacks or better control of an devices, learning powerful magic spells,
unstable physical transformation. uncovering forbidden secrets, or something
similar appropriate to the genre.

TIER 1
11 Combat Prowess (120)
11 Enhanced Potential (135)

TIER 2
11 Lower-tier ability: choose any tier 1
replacement ability, above.
11 Skill With Defense (183)
11 Practiced With All Weapons (171)
11 Skill With Attacks (183)

TIER 3
11 Lower-tier ability: choose any tier 1 or 2
replacement ability, above.
11 Incredible Health (153)
11 Fusion Armor (144)

TIER 4
11 Lower-tier ability: choose any tier 1, 2, or 3
replacement ability, above.
11 Poison Resistance (170)
11 Built-in Weaponry (116)

TIER 5
11 Lower-tierability: choose any tier 1, 2, 3, or 4
replacement ability, above.
11 Adaptation (108)
11 Defensive Field (127)

TIER 6
11 Lower-tier ability: choose any tier 1, 2, 3, 4, or
5 replacement ability, above.
11 Reactive Field (174)

94
Abilities

Chapter 9

ABILITIES

T ABILITY CATEGORIES
his chapter presents a vast catalog of more
than a thousand abilities a character can
gain from their type, flavor (if any), and AND RELATIVE POWER It may be possible that
focus. They are sorted alphabetically by the Abilities can be divided into several categories a character gains the
ability’s name. based on the kinds of things they do—improve same ability from more
than one source (such as
A character’s type, flavor, and focus assign an your physical attacks, assist allies, provide
from their type and their
appropriate tier to each ability. However, if you’re defense, give you a special attack form, and so on. descriptor). Unless the
creating a brand-new focus or type, we provide a Under each of the following category descriptions two abilities are obviously
couple of additional tools. is a list of abilities that fit that category, sorted into additive (such as two
The first is a power grade for each ability, low-, medium-, and high-tier abilities. abilities that each add
which tells you about how potent it is in relation The categories are mainly used by GMs when 3 points to your Might
Pool, which together
to other abilities. Abilities appropriate for tiers designing new foci for a campaign, allowing would give the character
1 and 2 characters are called “low-tier” abilities. them to search a short list of abilities instead +6 Might points), the
Abilities appropriate for tiers 3 and 4 are called of trying to find something appropriate among duplicated ability might
“mid-tier” abilities. Abilities appropriate for tiers the thousand or so abilities in this chapter. For be improved in some
5 and 6 are called “high-tier” abilities. example, the GM might have a custom focus in way, such as having a
longer duration or greater
These abilities are further sorted into ability their campaign called “Is Born of the Swamp”
effect, or automatically
categories based on the kinds of things they and want a defensive ability for tier 5, so they can providing an asset. Some
do—abilities that improve physical attacks are in look at the high-tier abilities in the protection abilities give suggestions
the attack skill category, abilities that assist allies category and quickly narrow down what options on how to do this;
are in the support category, and so on. are available. otherwise, the player
and the GM should work
out whether and how
the ability is improved.

Players may find it useful to note on their character sheets the page numbers
where their ability descriptions are found.

95
The ability categories are
not intended to be rigid
ATTACK SKILL
Gives you training or specialization in a specific physical attack (like swords or unarmed combat),
or comprehensive. Some
a category of physical attacks (light bladed, heavy bashing, and so on), or another physical skill
abilities fall into more than
primarily used to inflict harm (such as breaking objects).
one category, and it could be
argued that some abilities
could be included in more LOW TIER:
categories than are listed 11 Heads-Up Display (148) 11 Practiced With Medium 11 Quarry (173)
here. 11 Practiced With Guns (171) Weapons (171) 11 Unarmed Fighting Style (194)
These categories have 11 Practiced With Swords(171)
some overlap with the focus
categories in chapter 8. For MID TIER:
example, there is a support 11 Blood Fever (115) 11 Robot Fighter (178) 11 Sniper’s Aim (184)
category here and a support 11 Cognizant Offense (119) 11 Serv-0 Aim (181) 11 Specialized Throwing (185)
category in the Focus chapter.
11 Greater Skill With Defense (147) 11 Serv-0 Brawler (181)
They aren’t intended to be
11 Practiced With All Weapons (171) 11 Skill With Attacks (183)
exact parallels and they don’t
mean exactly the same thing.
That said, if you’re creating a HIGH TIER:
support-centric focus, many 11 As Foretold in Prophecy (110) 11 Hunter’s Drive (149) 11 Mastery With Attacks (161)
of the abilities in the support 11 Duel to the Death (132) 11 Master of Unarmed Fighting 11 Specialized Basher (185)
ability category would be 11 Greater Skill With Attacks (147) Style (160)
appropriate choices.

COMPANION
Focus categories, page 82 Gives you a follower, modifies a follower, or gives you an additional benefit when interacting with or
near your follower. This category includes humanoid followers, beast companions, and temporary
Follower, page 233 companions like summoned swarms, conjured spirits, and so on.

LOW TIER:
11 Basic Follower (112) 11 Duplicate (132) 11 Robot Assistant (178)
11 Beast Companion (112) 11 Entourage (136) 11 Serv-0 (181)
11 Bound Magic Creature (115) 11 Influence Swarm (153) 11 Spirit Accomplice (185)
11 Control Swarm (122) 11 Necromancy (165)
11 Critter Companion (123) 11 Resilient Duplicate (176)

MID TIER:
11 Beast Eyes (112) 11 Greater Necromancy (147) 11 Shipspeak (183)
11 Call Swarm (118) 11 Improved Object Bond (152) 11 Stronger Together (187)
11 Expert Follower (137) 11 Living Armor (158) 11 Summon Giant Spider (188)
11 Fellow Explorer (139) 11 Machine Companion (159) 11 SuperiorDuplicate (188)
11 Fiery Hand of Doom (139) 11 Mount (164) 11 Time Doppelganger (191)
11 Gain Unusual Companion (144) 11 Retinue (177) 11 Time Loop (192)

HIGH TIER:
11 As If One Creature (110) 11 Deadly Swarm (125) 11 Masterful Armor
11 Band of Desperados (112) 11 Dragon’s Maw (131) Modification (160)
11 Band of Followers (112) 11 Fire Servant (140) 11 Multiplicity (165)
11 Beast Call (112) 11 Improved Apportation (151) 11 Object Bond Mastery (167)
11 Call Dead Spirit (117) 11 Improved Companion (151) 11 RecruitDeputy (175)
11 Call in Favor (117) 11 Improved Machine 11 Robot Fleet (179)
11 Call Otherworldly Spirit (117) Companion (152) 11 Summon Demon (188)
11 Call Through Time (118) 11 Insect Eruption (154) 11 Time Doppelganger (191)
11 Conjuration (121) 11 Legal Intern (157) 11 True Necromancy (194)

96
Abilities

CONTROL
Controls or influences minds in ways outside of what could be done with conventional intimidation
and persuasion, such as using psychic mind control, fear gas, and so on.

LOW TIER: The small numbers


11 Calm Stranger (118) 11 Fast Talk (138) 11 Soothe the Savage (184) you see after abilities
11 Charm Machine (119) 11 Goad (145) 11 Terrifying Presence (190) throughout this book
are page numbers
11 Cloud Personal Memories (119) 11 Hack the Impossible (147)
for easy reference.
11 Community Activist (121) 11 Robot Control (178)

MID TIER:
11 Calm (118) 11 Command Machine (120) 11 Grand Deception (146)
11 Captivate or Inspire (118) 11 Command Spirit (121) 11 Interruption (155)
11 Captivate With Starshine (118) 11 Crowd Control (123) 11 Mind Control (162)
11 Command (120) 11 Daydream (124) 11 Psychic Suggestion (172)

HIGH TIER:
11 Advanced Command (108) 11 Control Machine (121) 11 PsychicPassenger (172)
11 Assume Control (111) 11 Control the Savage (122) 11 Show Them the Way (183)
11 Brainwashing (116) 11 Defuse Situation (127) 11 Suggestion (188)
11 Change the Paradigm (119) 11 Flee (141) 11 Word of Command (199)

CRAFT
Creates useful physical things, such as mundane tools (hammers,
crowbars), limited-use devices (manifest cyphers, artifacts), or
independent beings (robots, elementals, zombies). Includes
blueprints, plans, and effects that aid or speed crafting.

LOW TIER:
11 CreateDeadly Poison (123) 11 Natural Crafter (165)
11 Fortification
Builder (143) 11 Quick Work (174)
11 Junkmonger (156) 11 Robot Builder (178)
11 Machine Efficiency (159) 11 Trapster (193)
11 Modify Device (164) 11 Weapon Crafter (197)

MID TIER:
11 Dream Becomes Reality (132) 11 Poison Crafter (170)
11 Expert Crafter (137) 11 Robot Upgrade (179)
11 Ice Creation (150) 11 Sculpt Light (180)

HIGH TIER:
11 Create (122) 11 Jury-Rig (156)
11 Dark Matter Structure (124) 11 Modify Artifact Power (163)
11 Improved Sculpt Light (152) 11 Reshape (176)
11 Innovator (154)

97
CURE
Cures damage, adds or improves recovery rolls, or negates, cures, suspends, or otherwise gives
immunity to a harmful effect or condition, such as poison, disease, mental attacks, moving down on
the damage track, or dying.

LOW TIER:
11 Alleviate (109) 11 Extra Recovery (138) 11 Repair Flesh (176)
11 Crystalline Body (123) 11 Foil Danger (142) 11 Restful Presence (177)
11 Destined for Greatness (127) 11 Healing Touch (149) 11 Speedy Recovery (185)
11 Diver (130) 11 Ignore the Pain (150) 11 Surging Confidence (188)
11 Drain Creature (131) 11 Improved Recovery (152) 11 Totally Chill (192)
11 Drain Machine (131) 11 Living Off the Land (158) 11 Water Adaptation (196)
The small numbers 11 Endurance (134) 11 Push on Through (173) 11 Will of Legend (199)
you see after abilities 11 Escape (136) 11 Quick Recovery (173)
throughout this book
are page numbers
for easy reference.
MID TIER:
11 Aquatic Combatant (110) 11 Immovable (150) 11 Store Energy (186)
11 Biomorphic Healing (113) 11 IncredibleHealth (153) 11 Thinking Ahead (191)
11 Damage Transference (124) 11 Miraculous Health (163) 11 Tough As Nails (192)
11 Drain Charge (131) 11 Noble’s Courage (166) 11 Unmovable (195)
11 Fight On (139) 11 One With the Wild (167) 11 Unraveling Consumption (195)
11 Font of Healing (142) 11 Poison Resistance (170) 11 Wilderness Encouragement (198)
11 Healing Pulse (148) 11 Preternatural Senses (171) 11 Willing Sacrifice (199)
11 Ignore Affliction (150) 11 Regeneration (175)

HIGH TIER:
11 Deep Reserves (126) 11 Infuse Spirit (153) 11 Regenerate (175)
11 Final Defiance (139) 11 Inspiration (154) 11 Restore Life (177)
11 Free to Move (143) 11 Inspirethe Innocent (154) 11 Resuscitate (177)
11 Gamer’s Fortitude (144) 11 Mind Surge (162) 11 Share the Power (182)
11 Gaming God (144) 11 Negate Danger (165) 11 Stay the Course (186)
11 Greater Healing Touch (147) 11 Not Dead Yet (166) 11 Trick Driver (194)
11 Incredible Recovery (153) 11 Rapid Recovery (174) 11 Vigilant (196)

98
Abilities

ENVIRONMENT
Manipulates the environment or things in the environment, such as with telekinesis, weather control,
gravity control, illusions, and so on.

LOW TIER:
11 Create Water (123) 11 Illuminating Touch (150) 11 Move Metal (164)
11 Dreamcraft (132) 11 Illusory Duplicate (150) 11 SlipInto Shadow (183)
11 Fetch (139) 11 Impetus (151) 11 Telekinesis (189)
11 GraspingFoliage (146) 11 Legerdemain (157) 11 Wilderness Explorer (199)
11 Hedge Magic (149) 11 Lock (159)
11 Hidden Closet (149) 11 Minor Illusion (162)

MID TIER:
11 Daydream (124) 11 Force to Reckon With (143) 11 Nullify Sound (166)
11 Define Down (127) 11 IllusorySelves (150) 11 Projection (172)
11 Field of Gravity (139) 11 Living Wall (158) 11 Storm Seed (187)
11 Force Field Barrier (143) 11 Major Illusion (160) 11 Sunlight (188)

HIGH TIER:
11 Adaptation (108) 11 Grandiose Illusion (146) 11 Relocate (176)
11 Control Weather (122) 11 Granite Wall (146) 11 TerrifyingImage (190)
11 Diamagnetism (128) 11 Inferno Trail (153) 11 Wallof Lightning (196)
11 Force Wall (143) 11 Move Mountains (164) 11 The Wild Is on Your Side (198)
11 Generate Force Field (145) 11 Permanent Illusion (169)

INFORMATION
Gives the ability to learn information about something, whether chosen by the GM like Scan, by
asking a question and the GM giving the answer, or by learning a language.

LOW TIER:
11 Babel (112) 11 Lab Analysis (157) 11 Retrieve Memories (177)
11 Communication (121) 11 Mind Reading (162) 11 Salvage and Comfort (179)
11 Community Knowledge (121) 11 Monster Lore (164) 11 Scan (179)
11 Decipher (126) 11 Network Tap (165) 11 See History (180)
11 Dream Thief (132) 11 Predictive Model (171) 11 Speaker for the Dead (184)
11 Eye for Detail (138) 11 Premonition (171) 11 Telepathic (189)
11 Gather Intelligence (144) 11 Question the Spirits (173)

MID TIER:
11 Creature Insight (123) 11 Know Their Faults (156) 11 Serv-0 Scanner (181)
11 Device Insight (128) 11 Machine Telepathy (159) 11 Soul Interrogation (184)
11 Draw Conclusion (131) 11 Mechanical Telepathy (161) 11 Spot Weakness (185)
11 Find the Hidden (140) 11 Reading the Room (175) 11 Wilderness Awareness (198)
11 Got a Feeling (145) 11 Sensor Array (181)

HIGH TIER:
11 Deep Consideration (126) 11 Information Gathering (153) 11 Read the Signs (174)
11 Drawing on Life’s 11 Knowing the Unknown (156) 11 Telepathic Network (190)
Experiences (131) 11 Mind of a Leader (162)

99
META
Modifies an existing ability or character trait’s effects or parameters, such as increasing range or,
damage, easing the difficulty, giving you additional noncombat actions each turn, rerolling a failed
attempt, or treating a number on the die as something different than normal.

LOW TIER:
11 A Smile and a Word (108) 11 Energize Object (134) 11 Modify Device (164)
11 Arcane Flare (110) 11 Enhanced Body (134) 11 Monster Bane (164)
11 Artifact Tinkerer (110) 11 Extra Use (138) 11 Natural Crafter (165)
11 Augment Cypher (111) 11 Find the Way (140) 11 No Need for Weapons (166)
11 Careful Shot (118) 11 Fists of Fury (140) 11 Object Bond (167)
11 Charge (119) 11 Fleet of Foot (141) 11 Overload Machine (168)
11 Coaxing Power (119) 11 Frenzy (143) 11 Precision (171)
11 Combat Prowess (120) 11 Golem Body (145) 11 Quick Death (173)
11 Crushing Blow (123) 11 Gunner (147) 11 Quick Work (174)
11 Crystalline Body (123) 11 Hacker (147) 11 Range Increase (174)
11 Curious (123) 11 Hold Breath (149) 11 Reload (176)
11 Distant Interface (130) 11 Improved Designation (151) 11 Something in the Road (184)
11 Double Strike (131) 11 Investigator (155) 11 Tinker (192)
11 Drain Creature (131) 11 Lead From the Front (157) 11 Weapon Master (197)
11 Driving on the Edge (132) 11 Machine Efficiency (159) 11 Wreck (200)
11 Elusive (133) 11 Mind for Might (162)

MID TIER:
11 Amazing Effort (109) 11 Greater Beast Form (146) 11 Outlast the Foe (167)
11 Betrayal (113) 11 Greater Designation (146) 11 Outwit (168)
11 Better Living Through 11 Greater Enhanced Intellect (146) 11 Overcharge Energy (168)
Chemistry (113) 11 Greater Enhanced Might (146) 11 Perfect Stranger (169)
11 Capable Warrior (118) 11 Greater Enhanced Physique (146) 11 Precise Cut (171)
11 Cast Illusion (118) 11 Greater Enhanced Potential (146) 11 Punish the Guilty (173)
11 Cyphersmith (124) 11 Greater Enhanced Speed (146) 11 Push Off and Throw (173)
11 Deadly Aim (125) 11 Greater Frenzy (146) 11 Quick Wits (174)
11 Deep Resources (126) 11 Guide Bolt (147) 11 Rapid Processing (174)
11 Disarming Strike (129) 11 Guild Training (147) 11 Resilient Ice Armor (176)
11 Dodge and Resist (131) 11 Heroic Monster Bane (149) 11 Roaming Third Eye (178)
11 Drain at a Distance (131) 11 Hidden Reserves (149) 11 Robot Improvement (179)
11 Energized Shield (134) 11 Huge (149) 11 Seize the Moment (181)
11 Enhanced Intellect (135) 11 Immovable (150) 11 Shepherd’s Fury (182)
11 Enhanced Intellect Edge (135) 11 Improved Absorb Kinetic 11 Slippery Customer (183)
11 Enhanced Might (135) Energy (151) 11 Space Fighting (184)
11 Enhanced Might Edge (135) 11 Improved Edge (151) 11 Speed Burst (185)
11 Enhanced Physique (135) 11 Improved Monster Bane (152) 11 Stone Breaker (186)
11 Enhanced Potential (135) 11 Improved Sensor (152) 11 Store Energy (186)
11 Enhanced Speed (135) 11 Incomparable Pilot (152) 11 Strategize (187)
11 Enhanced Speed Edge (135) 11 Increased Effects (153) 11 Think Your Way Out (191)
11 Experienced in Armor (136) 11 Iron Fist (155) 11 Tower of Will (193)
11 Expert Cypher Use (137) 11 Know Where to Look (156) 11 Trust to Luck (194)
11 Expert Skill (137) 11 Lunge (159) 11 Uncanny Luck (194)
11 Fast Kill (138) 11 Machine Bond (159) 11 Wall With Teeth (196)
11 Flameblade (140) 11 Machine Vulnerabilities (159) 11 Weaponization (197)
11 From the Shadows (144) 11 Minor Wish (162) 11 Willing Sacrifice (199)
11 Fury (144) 11 Never Fumble (165) 11 Wrest From Chance (200)
11 Fusion (144) 11 One With the Wild (167)

100
Abilities

HIGH TIER:
11 Adroit Cypher Use (108) 11 Gambler (144) 11 Perfect Speed Burst (169)
11 Again and Again (109) 11 Go to Ground (145) 11 Physically Gifted (170)
11 Agile Wit (109) 11 Hard to Kill (148) 11 Recycled Cyphers (175)
11 All-Out Con (109) 11 Horde Tactics (149) 11 Reinforcing Field ( (175)
11 Artifact Scavenger (110) 11 Impart Understanding (151) 11 Resonant Frequency (177)
11 Blurring Speed (115) 11 Improved Command Spirit (151) 11 Robot Evolution (178)
11 Burst of Escape (116) 11 Improved Gravity Cleave (151) 11 Seize the Initiative (181)
11 Charging Horde (119) 11 Improved Machine 11 Shield Burst (182)
11 Coordinated Effort (122) Companion (152) 11 Shred Existence (183)
11 Damage Dealer (124) 11 Improved Success (152) 11 Subtle Tricks (187)
11 Damn the Guilty (124) 11 Inventor (155) 11 Thief’s Luck (191)
11 Deep Reserves (126) 11 Lethal Damage (158) 11 Trick Driver (194)
11 Disarming Attack (129) 11 Machine Enhancement (159) 11 Twist of Fate (194)
11 Discipline of Watchfulness (129) 11 Maneuvering Adept (160) 11 Two Things at Once (194)
11 Divide Your Mind (130) 11 Master Cypher Use (160) 11 Ultra Enhancement (194)
11 Dual Distraction (132) 11 Master Machine (160) 11 Using What’s Available (195) The small numbers
11 Duel to the Death (132) 11 Masterful Armor Modification (160) 11 Usurp Cypher (195) you see after abilities
11 Effective Skill (133) 11 Moderate Wish (163) 11 Weightless Shot (197) throughout this book
are page numbers
11 Enhanced Beast Form (134) 11 Modify Artifact Power (163) 11 Weird Science Breakthrough (197)
for easy reference.
11 Enhanced Phased Attack (135) 11 Multiple Quarry (164) 11 Wild Vitality (198)
11 Escape Plan (136) 11 Multiplicity (165) 11 Winter Gauntlets (199)
11 Extreme Mastery (138) 11 Overcharge Device (168)
11 Force and Accuracy (142) 11 Perfect Control (169)

MOVEMENT
Increases your movement (such as increasing your basic movement speed from short to long) or
adds a new type of movement (such as flight, wallcrawling, phasing, or teleporting).

LOW TIER:
11 Bolt Rider (115) 11 Far Step (138) 11 Phase Sprint (170)
11 Contortionist (121) 11 Get Away (145) 11 Void Wings (196)
11 Danger Instinct (124) 11 Hover (149) 11 Walk Through Walls (196)

MID TIER:
11 Apportation (110) 11 Mobile Fighter (163) 11 Temporal Dislocation (190)
11 Blinkof an Eye (115) 11 Obstacle Running (167) 11 Up to Speed (195)
11 Bypass Barrier (116) 11 Phase Door (170) 11 Windrider (199)
11 Controlled Fall (122) 11 Runner (179) 11 Wings of Fire (199)
11 Ghost (145) 11 Swim (188) 11 Wormhole (200)

HIGH TIER:
11 Alley Rat (109) 11 Impossible Walk (151) 11 Return to the Obelisk (177)
11 Blurring Speed (115) 11 Incredible Running Speed (153) 11 Teleportation (190)
11 Chamber of Dreams (119) 11 Jaunt (155) 11 Time Travel (192)
11 Electrical Flight (133) 11 Juggernaut (156) 11 Traverse
the Worlds (194)
11 Embraced by Darkness (133) 11 LivingLight (158) 11 VeryLong Sprinting (196)
11 Fast Travel (139) 11 Masterful Armor 11 Wind Chariot (199)
11 Flash Across the Miles (141) Modification (160) 11 Windwracked Traveler (199)
11 Flight (141) 11 Mental Projection (161)

101
PROTECTION
Gives training or specialization in one or more types of combat defenses (Might, Speed, or Intellect),
provides or increases Armor, or otherwise helps prevent damage.

LOW TIER:
11 Absorb Kinetic Energy (108) 11 Go Defensive (145) 11 Resist Underwater Hazards (176)
11 Block (115) 11 Golem Body (145) 11 Resonance Field (176)
11 Closed Mind (119) 11 Hard to Distract (148) 11 Safe Fall (179)
11 Courageous (122) 11 Hard to Hit (148) 11 Serv-0 Defender (181)
11 Crystalline Body (123) 11 Hardiness (148) 11 Shield Master (182)
11 Defense Against Robots (126) 11 Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (148) 11 Shroud of Flame (183)
11 Defensive Phasing (127) 11 Ice Armor (150) 11 Skill With Defense (183)
11 Deflect Attacks (127) 11 Just a Bit Mad (156) 11 Sound Conversion Barrier (184)
11 Distortion (130) 11 Magic Shield (159) 11 Stare Them Down (186)
11 Enhanced Body (134) 11 Mentally Tough (162) 11 Sturdy (187)
11 Enveloping Shield (136) 11 Out of Harm’s Way (167) 11 Trained Without Armor (193)
11 Fearsome Reputation (139) 11 Phase Sprint (170) 11 Unarmored Fighter (194)
11 Field of Destruction (139) 11 Powered Armor (171) 11 Ward (196)
11 Flesh of Stone (141) 11 Practiced in Armor (171) 11 Warding Shield (196)
11 Flight Not Fight (141) 11 Quick Block (173) 11 Weapon Defense (197)
11 Force Field Shield (143) 11 Repel Metal (176) 11 Weather the Vicissitudes (197)
11 Fortified Position (143) 11 Resist the Elements (176) 11 Wind Armor (199)

MID TIER:
11 Absorb Pure Energy (108) 11 Energy Protection (134) 11 Poison Crafter (170)
11 Anticipate Attack (110) 11 Energy Resistance (134) 11 Rapid Processing (174)
11 Blood Fever (115) 11 Experienced in Armor (136) 11 Resilience (176)
11 Cloak of Opportunity (119) 11 Experienced Defender (136) 11 Resilient Ice Armor (176)
11 Confounding Banter (121) 11 Force Field Barrier (143) 11 Robot Fighter (178)
11 Confuse Enemy (121) 11 Fusion Armor (144) 11 Shield Training (182)
11 Counter Danger (122) 11 Hard-Won Resilience (148) 11 Subconscious Defense (187)
11 Countermeasures (122) 11 Horde Fighting (149) 11 Temporal Acceleration (190)
11 Dark Matter Shell (124) 11 Huge (149) 11 Tough It Out (193)
11 Dark Matter Shroud (124) 11 Illusory Evasion (150) 11 Tower of Intellect (193)
11 Discerning Mind (129) 11 Magnetic Field (159) 11 Tower of Will (193)
11 Divert Attacks (130) 11 Matter Cloud (161) 11 Tumbling Moves (194)
11 Dodge and Respond (131) 11 Minor Wish (162) 11 Versatile Mind (196)
11 Dual Defense (132) 11 Moving Like Water (164) 11 Vigilance (196)
11 Electric Armor (133) 11 Nimble Swimmer (166) 11 Wraith Cloak (200)
11 Elemental Protection (133) 11 Outlaw Reputation (168)

HIGH TIER:
11 Defense Master (127) 11 Lost in the Chaos (159) 11 Precognition (171)
11 Defensive Augmentation (127) 11 Masterful Armor 11 Reactive Field (174)
11 Defensive Field (127) Modification (160) 11 See the Future (180)
11 Energize Creature (134) 11 Mastery in Armor (161) 11 Still As a Statue (186)
11 Energize Crowd (134) 11 Mastery With Defense (161) 11 Ultra Enhancement (194)
11 Evasion (136) 11 Microgravity Avoidance (162) 11 Untouchable (195)
11 Field-Reinforced Armor (139) 11 Moderate Wish (163) 11 Untouchable While Moving (195)
11 Hard Target (148) 11 Nothing but Defend (166) 11 Wear It Well (197)
11 Hard to Kill (148) 11 Parry (168)

102
Abilities

SENSES
Enhances your senses (seeing in the dark, seeing underwater or through mist, sensing danger, finding
optimal places to stand in combat, and so on), but doesn’t provide direct answers to questions like
an information ability does.

LOW TIER:
11 Eyes Adjusted (138) 11 Link Senses (158) 11 See Through Matter (180)
11 Familiarize (138) 11 Mental Link (161) 11 Sense Ambush (181)
11 Find an Opening (139) 11 Reveal (178) 11 Share Senses (182)
11 Heads-Up Display (148) 11 See the Unseen (180) 11 Third Eye (191)

MID TIER:
11 Animal Senses and 11 Distance Viewing (130) 11 Sensor (181)
Sensibilities (109) 11 Echolocation (133) 11 Serv-0 Spy (181)
11 Awareness (111) 11 Experienced Finder (136) 11 Trapfinder (193)
11 Beast Eyes (112) 11 Inhabit Crystal (154) 11 Use Senses of Others (195)
11 Break the Line (116) 11 Remote Viewing (176)
11 Detect Life (128) 11 Sensing Package (181)

HIGH TIER:
11 Amplify Sounds (109) 11 Infer Thoughts (153) 11 True Senses (194)
11 Battlefield Tactician (112) 11 Master Machine (160)
11 Dark Explorer (124) 11 See Through Time (181)

SOCIAL
Gives you an indirect social benefit, such as providing a useful contact in a city or letting you take
advantage of your social status.

LOW TIER:
11 Connected (121) 11 Misdirect Blame (163) 11 Privileged
Nobility (172)
11 Debate (126) 11 Negotiate (165) 11 Underworld Contacts (195)
11 Demeanor of Command (127) 11 Perks of Stardom (169) 11 Unexpected Betrayal (195)
11 Impart Ideal (151) 11 Powerful Rhetoric (171)

MID TIER:
11 Betrayal (113) 11 Informer (153) 11 Perfect Stranger (169)
11 Flamboyant Boast (140) 11 Oratory (167)

HIGH TIER:
11 Group Friendship (147)

103
SPECIAL ATTACK
Gives the ability to make a special melee or ranged attack (weapon, energy blast, psychic, and so on).
The attack might do damage, have a special effect (disarm, hinder, move the target, and so on), or
both. This also includes abilities like Spray that let you attack multiple targets as your action.

LOW TIER:
11 Advantage to Disadvantage (109) 11 Erase Memories (136) 11 Ray of Confusion (174)
11 Aggression (109) 11 Eye Gouge (138) 11 Release Energy (175)
11 Arcane Flare (110) 11 Flash (140) 11 Resonance Field (176)
11 Bash (112) 11 Force Bash (142) 11 Ribbons of Dark Matter (178)
11 Bloodlust (115) 11 Frost Touch (144) 11 Scramble Machine (179)
11 Concussive Blast (121) 11 Golem Grip (145) 11 Scratch Existence (180)
11 Control the Field (121) 11 Grasping Foliage (146) 11 Seeds of Fury (181)
11 Cutting Light (123) 11 Hemorrhage (149) 11 Shatter (182)
11 Dazzling Sunburst (125) 11 Hurl Flame (149) 11 Shock (183)
11 Disincentivize (129) 11 Misdirect (163) 11 Stasis (186)
11 Disrupting Touch (129) 11 Onslaught (167) 11 Successive Attack (187)
11 Drain Machine (131) 11 Opportunist (167) 11 Surprise Attack (188)
11 Dream Thief (132) 11 Overwatch (168) 11 Swipe (188)
11 Dual Light Wield (132) 11 Pierce (170) 11 Thrust (191)
The small numbers 11 Entangling Force (136) 11 Push (173) 11 Thunder Beam (191)
you see after abilities 11 Enthrall (136) 11 Quick Throw (174) 11 Weighty (197)
throughout this book
are page numbers
for easy reference.
MID TIER:
11 Acrobatic Attack (108) 11 Exile (136) 11 Power Strike (171)
11 Ambusher (109) 11 Feint (139) 11 Pry Open (172)
11 Answering Attack (110) 11 Fire and Ice (140) 11 Psychic Burst (172)
11 Better Surprise Attack (113) 11 Fire Bloom (140) 11 Psychosis (172)
11 Bolts of Power (115) 11 Fling (141) 11 Push Off and Throw (173)
11 Built-in Weaponry (116) 11 Force at Distance (142) 11 Quick Strike (174)
11 Burning Light (116) 11 Force Blast (142) 11 Rapid Attack (174)
11 Castigate (118) 11 Freezing Touch (143) 11 Reaction (174)
11 Center of Attention (119) 11 Golem Stomp (145) 11 Remote Control (176)
11 Crystal Lens (123) 11 Grab (146) 11 Run and Fight (179)
11 Dark Matter Strike (124) 11 Gravity Cleave (146) 11 Shattering Shout (182)
11 Dazing Attack (125) 11 Ignition (150) 11 Slice (183)
11 Debilitating Strike (126) 11 Improved Object Bond (152) 11 Snap Shot (183)
11 Destroy Metal (127) 11 Knock Out (156) 11 Snipe (183)
11 Disable Mechanisms (128) 11 Matter Cloud (161) 11 Spray (185)
11 Disarming Strike (129) 11 Mind Games (162) 11 Sprint and Grab (186)
11 Divine Radiance (130) 11 Momentum (164) 11 Taking Advantage (188)
11 Dodge and Respond (131) 11 Overawe (168) 11 Tall Tale (189)
11 Drain Charge (131) 11 Overcome All Obstacles (168) 11 Throw (191)
11 Dual Medium Wield (132) 11 Phase Detonation (169) 11 Throw Force Shield (191)
11 Everything Is a Weapon (136) 11 Phased Attack (170) 11 Trick Shot (194)

104
Abilities

HIGH TIER:
11 Absorb Energy (108) 11 Divine Intervention (130) 11 Punish All the Guilty (173)
11 Arc Spray (110) 11 Divine Symbol (131) 11 Resonant Quake (177)
11 Assassin Strike (110) 11 Do You Know Who I Am? (131) 11 Return to Sender (177)
11 Asserting Your Privilege (110) 11 Drain Power (131) 11 Shatter Mind (182)
11 Attack and Attack Again (111) 11 Dust to Dust (133) 11 Special Shot (184)
11 Biomorphic Detonation (113) 11 Earthquake (133) 11 Spin Attack (185)
11 Blind Machine (114) 11 Embrace the Night (133) 11 Spring Away (186)
11 Blinding Attack (115) 11 Explosive Release (138) 11 Stun Attack (187)
11 Bouncing Shield (115) 11 Finishing Blow (140) 11 Sun Siphon (188)
11 Break the Ranks (116) 11 Fire Tendrils (140) 11 Taunt Foe (189)
11 Break Their Mind (116) 11 Foul Aura (143) 11 Terrifying Gaze (190)
11 Call the Storm (117) 11 Ice Storm (150) 11 Twisting the Knife (194)
11 Cold Burst (119) 11 Iron Punch (155) 11 Undo (195)
11 Concussion (121) 11 Jump Attack (156) 11 Vindictive Performance (196)
11 Deactivate Mechanisms (125) 11 Lethal Ploy (158) 11 Weapon and Body (196)
11 Deadly Strike (125) 11 Lethal Vibration (158) 11 Weight of the World (197)
11 Death Touch (125) 11 Murderer (165) 11 Weightless Shot (197)
11 Defense Master (127) 11 Nightmare (165) 11 Whirlwind of Throws (198)
11 Destroyer (127) 11 Phase Foe (170) 11 Winter Gauntlets (199)
11 Dirty Fighter (128) 11 Protective Wall (172) 11 Word of Death (200)
11 Disarming Attack (129) 11 Psychokinetic Attack (172)

SUPPORT
Gives some sort of benefit to an ally rather than yourself, such as an extra action or an asset on their
roll.

LOW TIER:
11 Advice From a Friend (109) 11 Encouraging Presence (134) 11 Inspiring Ease (154)
11 Anecdote (109) 11 Force Field (143) 11 Protector (172)
11 AttackFlourish (111) 11 Friendly Help (143) 11 Rally to Me (174)
11 Defend the Innocent (126) 11 Good Advice (145) 11 Reveal (178)
11 Enable Others (133) 11 Inspire Action (154) 11 Sculpt Flesh (180)
11 Encouragement (134) 11 Inspire Aggression (154) 11 Teamwork (189)

MID TIER:
11 Accelerate (108) 11 Dual Wards (132) 11 Play to the Crowd (170)
11 Applying Your Knowledge (110) 11 Elemental Protection (133) 11 Spur Effort (186)
11 Buddy System (116) 11 In Harm’s Way (152) 11 Take Command (188)
11 Combat Challenge (120) 11 Lead by Inquiry (157) 11 True Guardian (194)
11 Defend All the Innocent (126) 11 Pay It Forward (168)

HIGH TIER:
11 Able Assistance (108) 11 Inspiration (154) 11 Teach Trick (189)
11 BattleManagement (112) 11 Inspire Coordinated Actions (154) 11 Transcend the Script (193)
11 Blockfor Another (115) 11 InspiringSuccess (154) 11 True Defender (194)
11 Energize Creature (134) 11 Regenerate Other (175) 11 Undo (195)
11 Energize Crowd (134) 11 Share Defense (181) 11 Will of a Leader (199)
11 Impart Understanding (151) 11 Stimulate (186) 11 Work the Friendship (200)

105
TASK
Gives training, specialization, or an asset in one or more noncombat skills (climbing, healing,
computers, initiative, and so on).

LOW TIER:
11 Advantages of Being Big (109) 11 How Others Think (149) 11 Privileged Nobility (172)
11 Anticipation (110) 11 Impersonate (151) 11 Quarry (173)
11 Assassin Skills (110) 11 Impressive Display (151) 11 Quick Study (174)
11 Athlete (111) 11 Infiltrator (153) 11 Quick to Flee (174)
11 Autodoctor (111) 11 Inner Defense (154) 11 Quicker Than Most (174)
11 Balance (112) 11 Insight (154) 11 Resist Tricks (176)
11 Bestiary Knowledge (113) 11 Inspire Aggression (154) 11 Ruin Lore (179)
11 Blameless (113) 11 Interaction Skills (155) 11 Sailor (179)
11 Breaker (116) 11 Interface (155) 11 Salvage and Comfort (179)
11 Car Surfer (118) 11 Investigate (155) 11 Sense Attitudes (181)
11 Careful Aim (118) 11 Investigative Skills (155) 11 Serv-0 Repair (181)
11 Celebrity Talent (119) 11 Knowing (156) 11 Sharp Senses (182)
11 Computer Programming (121) 11 Knowledge of the Law (156) 11 Sleuth (183)
11 Contortionist (121) 11 Knowledge Skills (157) 11 Slippery (183)
11 Courageous (122) 11 Late Inspiration (157) 11 Sneak (183)
11 Crafter (122) 11 Learning the Path (157) 11 Stalker (186)
11 Danger Sense (124) 11 Levity (158) 11 Stand Watch (186)
11 Datajack (124) 11 Life Lessons (158) 11 Stealth Skills (186)
11 Debate (126) 11 Machine Affinity (159) 11 Straightforward (187)
11 Deep Water Guide (126) 11 Machine Hunting (159) 11 Superb Explorer (188)
11 Designation (127) 11 Machine Interface (159) 11 Superb Infiltrator (188)
11 Devoted Defender (128) 11 Magic Training (159) 11 Taking Advantage (188)
11 Disguise (129) 11 Make Judgment (160) 11 Task Training (189)
11 Divine Knowledge (130) 11 Master Identifier (160) 11 Tech Skills (189)
11 Driver (132) 11 Master Thief (160) 11 There’s Your Problem (190)
11 Enlightened (136) 11 Microgravity Adept (162) 11 Tool Mastery (192)
11 Exploratory Experience (137) 11 Monster Lore (164) 11 Tracker (193)
11 Extra Skill (138) 11 Movement Skills (164) 11 Trained Excavator (193)
11 Feat of Strength (139) 11 Muscles of Iron (165) 11 Trained Interlocutor (193)
11 Flex Lore (141) 11 Natural Charisma (165) 11 Trained Swimmer (193)
11 Freakishly Large (143) 11 Oneirochemy (167) 11 Travel Skills (193)
11 Game Lessons (144) 11 Open Mind (167) 11 Understanding (194)
11 Gamer (144) 11 Opening Statement (167) 11 Vacuum Skilled (196)
11 Good Advice (145) 11 Physical Skills (170) 11 Wilderness Life (199)
11 Hand to Eye (148) 11 Pilot (170) 11 Wilderness Lore (199)
11 Handy (148) 11 Poetic License (170) 11 Wound Tender (200)
11 Hard Choices (148) 11 Post-Apocalyptic Survivor (170) 11 Zero Dark Eyes (200)
11 Heads-Up Display (148) 11 Powerful Rhetoric (171)
11 Higher Mathematics (149) 11 Predictive Equation (171)

106
Abilities

MID TIER:
11 Action Processor (108) 11 Intelligent Interface (155) 11 Serv-0 Brawler (181)
11 Agent Provocateur (109) 11 Intense Interaction (155) 11 Sharp-Eyed (182)
11 Animal Senses and 11 Knowledge Is Power (156) 11 Ship Footing (182)
Sensibilities (109) 11 Master Crafter (160) 11 Silent As Space (183)
11 Confidence Artist (121) 11 Meticulous Planner (162) 11 Skill With Attacks (183)
11 Dark Matter Shell (124) 11 Minor Wish (162) 11 Soothe Mind and Body (184)
11 Enhance Strength (134) 11 Nightstrike (166) 11 Subtle Steps (187)
11 Expert Driver (137) 11 Outlast the Foe (167) 11 Targeting Eye (189)
11 Expert Pilot (137) 11 Passing Mechanic (168) 11 Task Specialization (189)
11 Find the Guilty (139) 11 Preternatural Senses (171) 11 Telling (190)
11 Flex Skill (141) 11 Pull a Fast One (173) 11 Temporal Acceleration (190)
11 Ghost (145) 11 Rapid Processing (174) 11 Trained Basher (193)
11 Hard to See (148) 11 Rider (178) 11 Trained Gunner (193)
11 Heightened Skills (149) 11 Sea Legs (180) 11 Trained Slayer (193)
11 Improvise (152) 11 Sensing Package (181) 11 Verbal Misdirection (196) The small numbers
11 Increasing Determination (153) 11 Serv-0 Aim (181) 11 You Studied (200) you see after abilities
throughout this book
are page numbers
HIGH TIER: for easy reference.
11 Amplify Sounds (109) 11 Learned a Few Things (157) 11 See the Future (180)
11 As Foretold in Prophecy (110) 11 Likethe Back of Your Hand (158) 11 Subsonic Rumble (187)
11 Coordinated Effort (122) 11 Magnificent Moment (159) 11 Total Awareness (192)
11 Dark Explorer (124) 11 Master Entertainer (160) 11 Trick Driver (194)
11 Explains the Ineffable (137) 11 Multiple Skills (165) 11 Using the Environment (195)
11 Exploit Advantage (137) 11 No One Knows Better (166)
11 Further Mathematics (144) 11 Precognition (171)

TRANSFORM
A significant change that temporarily enhances you, such as
growing bigger, turning into a werewolf, and so on. Also includes
apparent transformations like disguises and invisibility.

LOW TIER:
11 Beast Form (112) 11 Golem Healing (145)
11 Bigger (113) 11 Illusory Disguise (150)
11 Controlled Change (122) 11 Phased Pocket (170)
11 Enlarge (135) 11 Spin Identity (185)
11 Face Morph (138) 11 Vanish (196)

MID TIER:
11 Bigger Beast Form (113) 11 Hard to See (148)
11 Blend In (113) 11 Huge (149)
11 Evanesce (136) 11 Invisible Phasing (155)
11 Greater Controlled Change (146) 11 Moon Shape (164)

HIGH TIER:
11 Colossal (120) 11 Mask (160)
11 Command Metal (120) 11 Moderate Wish (163)
11 Disappear (128) 11 Outside Reality (168)
11 Gargantuan (144) 11 PerfectControl (169)
11 Invisibility (155) 11 Wild Camouflage (198)

107
If you select an ability for ABILITIES—A 11Accelerate (4+ Intellect points): Your
your new focus or type 11A Smile and a Word: When you use Effort words imbue the spirit of a character within
that refers to or modifies on any action involving interactions—even immediate range who is able to understand
a lower-tier ability, also
those having to do with calming animals or you, accelerating them so they gain an asset
include that lower-tier
ability in your type or communicating with someone or something on initiative tasks and Speed defense rolls for
focus as a selection a PC whose language you do not speak—you gain a ten minutes. In addition to the normal options
can make at a lower tier. free level of Effort on the task. Action. for using Effort, you can choose to use Effort
to affect more targets; each level of Effort
Free level of Effort, 11Able Assistance: When you help someone with affects one additional target. You must speak to
page 209 a task and they apply a level of Effort, they get a additional targets to accelerate them, one target
free level of Effort on that task. Enabler. per round. Action per target to initiate.

11Absorb Energy (7 Intellect points): You touch 11Acrobatic Attack (1+ Speed points): You leap
an object and absorb its energy. If you touch a into the attack, twisting or flipping through the
manifest cypher, you render it useless. If you air. If you roll a natural 17 or 18, you can choose
Minor effect, page 211 touch an artifact, roll for its depletion. If you to have a minor effect rather than deal extra
touch another kind of powered machine or damage. If you apply Effort to the attack, you get
device, the GM determines whether its power a free level of Effort on the task. You can’t use
is fully drained. In any case, you absorb energy this ability if your Speed Effort costs are reduced
from the object touched and regain 1d10 Intellect from wearing armor. Enabler.
points. If this would give you more Intellect than
your Pool’s maximum, the extra points are lost, 11Action Processor (4 Intellect points): Drawing
and you must make a Might defense roll. The upon stored information and the ability to
difficulty of the roll is equal to the number of process incoming data at amazing speeds, you
points over your maximum you absorbed. If you are trained in one physical task of your choice
fail the roll, you take 5 points of damage and are for ten minutes. For example, you can choose
unable to act for one round. You can use this running, climbing, swimming, Speed defense, or
ability as a defense action when you’re the target attacks with a specific weapon. Action to initiate.
of an incoming ability. Doing so cancels the
incoming ability, and you absorb the energy as if 11Adaptation: Thanks to a latent mutation,
it were a device. Action. a device implanted in your spine, a ritual
performed with dragon’s blood, or some
11Absorb Kinetic Energy: You absorb a portion other gift, you now remain at a comfortable
of the energy of a physical attack or impact. temperature; never need to worry about
You negate 1 point of damage you would have dangerous radiation, diseases, or gases; and can
suffered and store that point as energy. Once you always breathe in any environment (even the
have absorbed 1 point of energy, you continue vacuum of space). Enabler.
to negate 1 point of damage from any incoming
blow or impact, but the residual energy bleeds 11Adroit Cypher Use: You can bear four cyphers
off with a flare of harmless light (you cannot at a time. Enabler.
store more than 1 point at a time). Enabler.
11Advanced Command (7 Intellect points): A
11Absorb Pure Energy: When you use Absorb target within short range obeys any command
Kinetic Energy, you can also absorb and store you give as long as they can hear and understand
energy from attacks made with pure energy you. Further, as long as you continue to do
(focused light, radiation, transdimensional, nothing but issue commands (taking no other
psychic, etc.) or from conduits that direct energy, action), you can give that same target a new
if you can make direct contact. This ability does command. This effect ends when you stop
not change how many points of energy you can issuing commands or they are out of short
store. If you also have Improved Absorb Kinetic range. Action to initiate.
Energy, you can absorb 2 points of damage from
other energy sources as well. Enabler.

108
Abilities–A

11Advantage to Disadvantage (3 Speed points): 11Alleviate (3 Intellect points): You attempt to


With a number of quick moves, you make an cancel or cure one malady (such as disease or
attack against an armed foe, inflicting damage poison) in one creature. Action.
and disarming them so that their weapon is
now in your hands or 10 feet (3 m) away on the 11Alley Rat (6 Intellect points): While in a city,
ground—your choice. This disarming attack is you find or create a significant shortcut, secret
hindered. Action. entrance, or emergency escape route where
it looked like none existed. Doing so requires
11Advantages of Being Big: When you use that you succeed on an Intellect action whose
Enlarge, you’re so big that you can move massive difficulty is set by the GM based on the situation. Enlarge, page 135
objects more easily, climb buildings by using You and the GM should work out the details.
hand- and footholds unavailable to regular-sized Action.
people, and jump much farther. While you enjoy
the effects of Enlarge, all climbing, lifting, and 11Amazing Effort: When you apply at least one
jumping tasks are eased. Enabler. level of Effort to a noncombat task, you get a
free level of Effort on that task. When you choose
11Advice From a Friend (1 Intellect point): You this ability, decide if it applies to Might Effort or
know your friend’s strengths and weaknesses, Speed Effort. Enabler.
and how to motivate them to succeed. When
you give an ally a suggestion involving their next 11Ambusher: When you attack a creature that
action, the character is trained in that action for has not yet acted during the first round of
one round. Action. combat, your attack is eased. Enabler.

11Again and Again (8 Speed points): You can 11Amplify Sounds (2 Might points): For one
take an additional action in a round in which you minute, you can amplify distant or small sounds
have already acted. Enabler. so that you can hear them clearly, even if it’s a
conversation or the sound of a small animal
11Agent Provocateur: Choose one of the moving through an underground burrow up
following to be trained in: attacking with a to a very long distance away. You can attempt
weapon of your choice, demolitions, or sneaking to perceive the sound even if interceding
and lockpicking (if you choose this last option, barriers block it or the sound is very slight,
you are trained in both). Enabler. though this requires a few additional rounds of
concentration. To discriminate the sound you
11Aggression (2 Might points): You focus on wish in a noisy environment might also require
making attacks to such an extent that you leave a few additional rounds of concentration as you
yourself vulnerable to your opponents. While this audibly explore the surrounding soundscape.
ability is active, you gain an asset on your melee Given enough time, you could pinpoint every
attacks, and your Speed defense rolls against conversation, every breathing creature, and
melee and ranged attacks are hindered. This every device creating noise within range. Action
effect lasts for as long as you wish, but it ends if to initiate, up to several rounds to complete,
no combat is taking place within range of your depending on the difficulty of the task.
senses. Enabler.
11Anecdote (2 Intellect points): You can lift
11Agile Wit: When attempting a Speed task, you the spirits of a group of creatures and help
instead can roll (and spend points) as if it were them bond together by entertaining them with
an Intellect action. If you apply Effort to this an uplifting or pointed anecdote. For the next
task, you can spend points from your Intellect hour, those who pay attention to your story are
Pool instead of your Speed Pool (in which case trained in a task you choose that’s related to the
you also use your Intellect Edge instead of your anecdote, as long as it’s not an attack or defense
Speed Edge). Enabler. task. Action to initiate, one minute to complete.

11All-Out Con (7 Intellect points): You put 11Animal Senses and Sensibilities: You are
everything into it. You add three free levels of trained in listening and spotting things. In
Effort to the next task you attempt. You can’t use addition, most of the time, the GM should alert
this ability again until after you’ve taken a you if you’re about to walk into an ambush or a
ten-hour recovery action. Action. trap that is lower than level 5. Enabler.

109
11Answering Attack (3 Speed points): If you are 11Artifact Scavenger (6 Intellect points + 2 XP):
struck in melee, you can make an immediate You’ve developed a sixth sense for searching
melee attack against that attacker once per round. for the most valuable items in the wasteland.
The attack is hindered, and you can still take your If you spend the time required to succeed on
Scavenging, page 296 normal action during the round. Enabler. two scavenging tasks, you can exchange all the
results you would otherwise obtain for a chance
11Anticipate Attack (4 Intellect points): You can to gain an artifact of the GM’s choosing if you
sense when and how creatures attacking you will succeed on a difficulty 6 Intellect task. You can
make their attacks. Speed defense rolls are eased use this ability at most once per day, and never
for one minute. Action. within the same general area. Action to initiate,
several hours to complete.
11Anticipation (1 Intellect point): You look ahead
to see how your actions might unfold. The first 11Artifact Tinkerer: If you spend at least one day
task you perform before the end of the next tinkering with an artifact in your possession, it
round gains an asset. Action. functions at one level higher than normal. This
applies to all artifacts in your possession, but
11Applying Your Knowledge: When you help they retain this bonus only for you. Enabler.
another character undertake any action that
you’re untrained in, you are treated as if you are 11As Foretold in Prophecy: You accomplish
trained in it. Action. something that proves you are truly the chosen
one. The next task you attempt is eased by three
11Apportation (4 Intellect points): You call a steps. You can’t use this ability again until after
physical object to you. You can choose any piece you’ve taken a one-hour or a ten-hour recovery
Equipment, page 201 of normal equipment on the standard equipment action. Action.
list, or (no more than once per day) you can
allow the GM to determine the object randomly. 11As If One Creature: When you and your beast
Beast Companion, If you call a random object, it has a 10 percent (from your Beast Companion ability) are within
page 112 chance of being a manifest cypher or artifact, a immediate distance of each other, you can share
50 percent chance of being a piece of standard damage inflicted on either of you. For instance,
equipment, and a 40 percent chance of being a if one of you is struck by a weapon for 4 points
bit of worthless junk. You can’t use this ability to of damage, divide the damage between the
take an item held by another creature. Action. two of you as you see fit. Only the Armor and
resistances of the target initially damaged come
11Aquatic Combatant: You ignore penalties for into play. So if you have 2 Armor and are struck by
Water, page 221 any action (including fighting) in underwater a force blast for 4 points of damage, your beast
environments. Enabler. can take the 2 points of damage you would suffer,
but their Armor does not come into play, nor does
11Arc Spray (3 Speed points): If a weapon has their immunity to force blasts, if any. Enabler.
the ability to fire rapid shots without reloading
(usually called a rapid-fire weapon, such as a 11Assassin Skills: You are trained in stealth and
crank crossbow), you can fire your weapon at up disguise tasks. Enabler.
to three targets (all next to one another) at once.
Make a separate attack roll against each target. 11Assassin Strike (5 Intellect points): If you
Each attack is hindered. Action. successfully attack a creature that was previously
unaware of your presence, you deal 9 additional
11Arcane Flare (1 Intellect point): You enhance points of damage. Enabler.
the damage of another attack spell with an extra
charge of energy so that it deals 1 additional 11Asserting Your Privilege (3 Intellect points):
point of damage. Alternatively, you attack a target Acting as only a privileged person can, you
within long range by projecting a flare of raw verbally harangue a foe who can hear and
magic that inflicts 4 points of damage. Enabler understand you so forcefully that they are unable
for enhancement; action for long-range attack. to take any action, including attacks, for one
round. Whether you succeed or fail, the next
action the target takes is hindered. Action.

110
Abilities–A

11Assume Control (6+ Intellect points): You 11Attack Flourish: With your attack, you add
control the actions of another creature you stylish moves, entertaining quips, or a certain
have interacted with or studied for at least a something that entertains or impresses others.
round. This effect lasts for ten minutes. The One creature you choose within short range
target must be level 2 or lower. Once you have who can see you gains an asset to its next task if
assumed control, the target acts as if it wants to taken within a round or two. Enabler.
accomplish your desire to the best of its ability,
freely using its own best judgment unless you 11Augment Cypher (2+ Intellect points): When
use an action to give it a specific instruction you activate a cypher, add +1 to its level. In
on an issue-by-issue basis. In addition to the addition to the normal options for using Effort,
normal options for using Effort, you can choose you can choose to use Effort to increase the level
to use Effort to increase the maximum level of of the cypher by an additional +1 (per level of
the target. Thus, to attempt to command a level Effort applied). You can’t increase the cypher’s
5 target (three levels above the normal limit), level above 10. Enabler.
you must apply three levels of Effort. When the
effect ends, the target remembers everything that 11Autodoctor: You are trained in healing,
happened and reacts according to its nature and performing surgical procedures, and
your relationship to it; assuming control might withstanding pain. You can perform surgeries on
have soured that relationship if it was previously yourself, remaining conscious while you do so.
a positive one. Action to initiate. Enabler.

11Athlete: Youare trained in carrying, climbing, 11Awareness (3 Intellect points): You become
jumping, and smashing. Enabler. hyperaware of your surroundings in order to
better locate your target. For ten minutes,
11Attack and Attack Again: Rather than granting you are aware of all living things within long
additional damage or a minor or major effect, range (including their general position), and by Minor and major
a natural 17 or higher on your attack roll allows concentrating (another action), you can attempt effects, page 211
you the option of immediately making another to learn the general health and power level of any
attack. Enabler. one of them. Action.

111
ABILITIES—B advantageous location, you might learn of a
11Babel: After hearing a language spoken for a disadvantageous location that you could use
few minutes, you can speak it and make yourself against your enemies, such as maneuvering
understood. If you continue to use the language them into an awkward corner that hinders their
to interact with native speakers, your skills melee attacks or a weak spot on the frozen
improve rapidly, to the point where you might lake that will break if they stand on it. You can
be mistaken for a native speaker after just a few apply Effort to learn one additional good or bad
hours of speaking the new language. Enabler. location within range (one location per level of
Effort), increase the range of this ability (another
11Balance: You are trained in balancing. Enabler. short distance per level of Effort), or both.
Enabler.
11Band of Desperados: Your reputation draws a
Followers, page 233 band of six level 2 desperado NPC followers who 11Beast Call (5 Intellect points): You summon a
are completely devoted to you. You and the GM horde of small animals or a single level 4 beast
A creature’s level must work out the details of these followers. If to help you temporarily. These creatures do your
determines its target a follower dies, you gain a new one after at least bidding for as long as you focus your attention,
number, health, and two weeks and proper recruitment. Enabler. but you must use your action each turn to direct
damage, unless otherwise
them. Creatures are native to the area and
stated. So a level 2 beast
11Band of Followers: You gain four level 3 arrive under their own power, so if you’re in an
companion has a target
number of 6 and a followers. They are not restricted on their unreachable place, this ability won’t work. Action.
health of 6, and it inflicts modifications. Enabler.
2 points of damage. A 11Beast Companion: A level 2 creature of your
level 4 beast companion 11Bash (1 Might point): This is a pummeling size or smaller accompanies you and follows
has a target number of
12 and a health of 12, melee attack. Your attack inflicts 1 less point your instructions. You and the GM must work
and it inflicts 4 points of damage than normal, but dazes your target out the details of your creature, and you’ll
of damage. And so on. for one round, during which time all tasks it probably make rolls for it in combat or when it
performs are hindered. Action. takes actions. The beast companion acts on your
Creatures, page 312 turn. As a level 2 creature, it has a target number
11Basic Follower: You gain a level 2 follower. One of 6 and 6 health and it inflicts 2 points of
When you use Basic of their modifications must be persuasion. You damage. Its movement is based on its creature
Follower, the GM can take this ability multiple times, each time type (avian, swimmer, and so on). If your beast
may require that you gaining another level 2 follower. Enabler. companion dies, you can hunt in the wild for 1d6
actually look for a
days to find a new one. Enabler.
suitable follower.
11Battle Management (4 Intellect points): As long
as you use your action each round giving orders 11Beast Eyes (3 Intellect points): By linking to
or advice, attack and defense actions taken by the creature from your Beast Companion ability,
your allies within short range are eased. Action. you can perceive through its senses if it is within
1 mile (1.5 km) of you. This effect lasts up to ten
11Battlefield Tactician (2+ Intellect points): You minutes. Action to establish.
scrutinize your surroundings, learning whatever
facts the GM feels are pertinent about attacking, 11Beast Form: On five consecutive nights each
defending, maneuvering, and dealing with month, you change into a monstrous beast for
environmental hazards within a short distance. up to one hour each night. In this new form,
For example, you might notice a pile of rubble you gain +8 to your Might Pool, +1 to your
you can stand on for an advantage in melee, a Might Edge, +2 to your Speed Pool, and +1 to
sheltered corner to help protect against enemy your Speed Edge. While in beast form, you can’t
attacks, a less-slippery part of a frozen lake, or spend Intellect points for any reason other than
a place where the poison gas is thinner than to try to change to your normal form before the
elsewhere. If you (or someone you tell) move one-hour duration is over (a difficulty 2 task). In
to that location, you (or they) gain an asset on addition, you attack any and every living creature
tasks related to that optimal position (such as within short range. After you revert to your
attack rolls from the high ground, Speed defense normal form, you take a –1 penalty to all rolls
rolls from the sheltered corner, balance rolls on for one hour. If you did not kill and eat at least
the frozen lake, or Might defense rolls against one substantial creature while in beast form, the
the poisonous cloud). Instead of gaining an penalty increases to –2 and affects all your rolls
for the next 24 hours. Action to change back.

112
Abilities–B

11Bestiary Knowledge: You are trained in the 11Biomorphic Detonation (7+ Might points): You
lore of flesh-eating, nonhumanoid creatures— radiate a pulse of biomorphic energy up to a short
recognizing them, knowing their weaknesses, distance away, but you tune it to disrupt life in
and knowing their habits and behaviors. Enabler. an area an immediate distance across. All within
the detonation take 5 points of damage that
11Betrayal: Any time you convince a foe that ignores Armor (unless it is Armor provided by a
you are not a threat and then suddenly attack force field effect). If you apply additional Effort to Surprise Attack, page 188
it (without provocation), the attack deals 4 increase the damage, you deal 2 additional points
additional points of damage. Enabler. of damage per level of Effort (instead of 3 points); Enlarge, page 135
targets in the area take 1 point of damage even if
11Better Living Through Chemistry (4 Intellect you fail the attack roll. Action. Although people probably
points): You’ve developed drug cocktails look upon a creature
specifically designed to work with your own 11Biomorphic Healing (4+ Might points): You transforming into another
creature as mystical
biochemistry. Depending on which one you consciously send out a pulse of your biomorphic
lycanthropy, if the genre
inject, it makes you smarter, faster, or tougher, field (a strange energy your body generates) and allows, the process might
but when it wears off, the crash is a doozy, so focus it on a living creature within short range. instead be accessing
you use it only in desperate situations. You gain The target gains a free and immediate one-action other dimensions of
2 to your Might Edge, Speed Edge, or Intellect recovery roll. You can’t use this ability again on reality. A character either
Edge for one minute, after which you can’t that creature until after its next ten-hour rest. draws mass from an
extradimensional space
gain the benefit again for one hour. During this Action. (perhaps somehow
follow-up hour, every time you spend points from warping higher-
a Pool, increase the cost by 1. Action. 11Blameless: You are trained in one of the dimensional mass into
following: deception, stealth, or disguise. Enabler. our lower dimensions)
11Better Surprise Attack: If attacking from a or switches places with
11Blend
a larger, more savage
hidden vantage, with surprise, or before an In (4 Intellect points): When you blend
ultraterrestrial creature
opponent has acted, you get an asset on the in, creatures still see you, but they attach no for a time. In this latter
attack (if you have Surprise Attack, this is in importance to your presence for about a minute. case, the character and
addition to the asset from that ability). On a While blending in, you are specialized in stealth the creature have a bond
successful hit with this surprise attack, you inflict and Speed defense tasks. This effect ends if that allows them to
2 additional points of damage (for a total of 4 you do something to reveal your presence or share general intentions.
The character, while
additional points of damage if you have Surprise position—attacking, using an ability, moving a
shunted to another
Attack). Enabler. large object, and so on. If this occurs, you can dimension, likely remains
regain the remaining period of effect by taking an in stasis, unaware of
11Bigger: When you use Enlarge, you can choose action to focus on seeming innocuous and as if anything until returning
to grow up to 12 feet (4 m) in height, and you you belong. Action to initiate or reinitiate. to the normal world.
add 3 more temporary points to your Might Pool.
Enabler.

11Bigger Beast Form: When you use Beast Form,


your beast form grows bigger than before, during
which time you achieve a height of 12 feet (4 m).
Being so large, your beast form gains the
following additional bonuses: +1 to Armor, +5
to your Might Pool, and you are trained in using
your fists as heavy weapons (if you weren’t
already). However, your Speed defense tasks are
hindered. While bigger, you also gain an asset
to tasks that are easier for a larger creature to
perform, like climbing, intimidating, wading
rivers, and so on. Enabler.

113
11Blessing of the Gods: As a servant of the gods, Nature/Animals/Plants. You are trained in
you can call up blessings in their name. This botany and handling natural animals. Enabler.
blessing depends on the god’s general demeanor Protection/Silence (3 Intellect points). You create
and area of influence. Choose two of the abilities a quiet bubble of protection around you to an
described below. immediate radius for one minute. The bubble
Authority/Law/Peace (3 Intellect points). You moves with you. All defense rolls for you and all
Blessing of the Gods is an prevent a foe that can hear and understand you creatures you designate within the bubble are
ability most commonly from attacking anyone or anything for one round. eased, and no noise, regardless of its origin,
associated with the Action. sounds louder than a normal speaking voice.
Channels Divine Blessings
Benevolence/Righteousness/Spirit (2+ Intellect Action to initiate.
focus on page 65.
points). One level 1 demon, spirit, or similar Sky/Air (2 Intellect points). A creature you touch
creature within short range is destroyed or is immune to airborne toxins or contaminants
banished. In addition to the normal options for for ten minutes. Action.
using Effort, you can choose to use Effort to Sun/Light/Fire (2 Intellect points). You cause
increase the maximum level of the target. Thus, one creature or object within short range to catch
to destroy or banish a level 5 target (four levels fire, inflicting 1 point of ambient damage each
above the normal limit), you must apply four round until the fire is extinguished (requiring an
levels of Effort. Action. action). Action.
Death/Darkness (2 Intellect points). A target you Trickery/Greed/Commerce. You are trained
choose within short range withers, suffering 3 in detecting the deceptions of other creatures.
points of damage. Action. Enabler.
Desire/Love/Health (3 Intellect points). With a War (1 Intellect point). A target you choose
touch, you restore 1d6 points to one stat Pool of within short range (potentially yourself) deals
any creature, including yourself. This ability is a 2 additional points of damage with its next
difficulty 2 Intellect task. Each time you attempt successful weapon attack. Action.
to heal the same creature, the task is hindered Water/Sea (2 Intellect points). A target you
by an additional step. The difficulty returns to 2 touch can breathe water for ten minutes. Action.
after that creature rests for ten hours. Action.
Earth/Stone. You are trained in climbing, 11Blind Machine (6 Speed points): You
stonecraft, and spelunking. Enabler. deactivate the sensory apparatus of a machine,
Knowledge/Wisdom (3 Intellect points). Choose making it effectively blind until it can be repaired.
up to three creatures (potentially including You must either touch the target or strike it with
yourself). For one minute, a particular type of a ranged attack (inflicting no damage). Action.
task (but not an attack roll or defense roll) is
eased for those creatures, but only while they
remain within immediate range of you. Action.

114
Abilities–B

11Blinding Attack (3 Speed points): If you have 11Bouncing Shield: When you use Throw Force Force Field Shield,
a source of light, you can use it to make a melee Shield, instead of dissipating after one attack page 143
attack against a target. If successful, the attack (whether it hits or misses), it will attack up to
deals no damage, but the target is blinded for two additional targets within short range. Effort
one minute. Action. or other modifiers applied to the first attack
affect all other targets as well. Whether you hit
11Blink of an Eye (4 Speed points): You move up all, some, or none of your targets, the shield
to 1,000 feet (300 m) in one round. Action. dissipates and then reforms in your grasp. (If
you choose Bouncing Shield and have previously
11Block (3 Speed points): You automatically taken the Throw Force Shield ability, you have Throw Force Shield,
block the next melee attack made against you the option to exchange that ability for Healing page 191
within the next minute. Action to initiate. Pulse.) Enabler. Healing Pulse, page 148

11Block for Another: If you use a light or medium 11Bound Magic Creature: You have a magic ally Bound magic
weapon, you can block attacks made against an ally bound to a physical object (perhaps a minor creature: level 3
near you. Choose one creature within immediate djinn bound to a lamp, a lesser demon bound to
range. You provide an asset to that creature’s Speed a coin, or a spirit bound to a mirror). The magic
defense tasks. You can’t use Quick Block while ally doesn’t yet have the full power that one of its Quick Block, page 173
using Block for Another. Enabler. kind could possess when mature. Normally, the
ally remains quiescent in its bound object. When
11Blood Fever: When you have no points in one you use an action to manifest it, it appears next
or two Pools, you gain an asset to attacks or to you as a creature that can converse with you.
defense rolls (your choice). Enabler. The creature has its own personality determined
by the GM and is a level higher than its base
11Bloodlust (3 Might points): If you take down level for one area of knowledge (such as local
a foe, you can move a short distance, but only if history). The GM determines whether the magic
you move toward another foe. You don’t need to ally has a long-term goal of its own.
spend the points until you know that the first foe Each time the magic ally becomes physically
is down. Enabler. manifest, it remains so for up to one hour. During
that period, it accompanies you and follows your
11Blurring Speed (7 Speed points): You move so instructions. The magic ally must remain an
quickly that until your next turn, you look like a immediate distance from you; if it moves farther
blur. While you are blurred, if you apply Effort to away, it is yanked back into its object at the end of
a melee attack task or Speed defense task, you your following turn and cannot return until after Free level of Effort,
get a free level of Effort on that task; you can your next ten-hour recovery roll. It doesn’t attack page 209
move a short distance as part of another action creatures, but it can use its action to serve as an
or a long distance as your entire action. Enabler. asset for any one attack you make on your turn.
Otherwise, it can take actions on its own (though
11Bolt Rider (4 Intellect points): You can move you’ll likely roll for it).
a long distance from one location to another If the creature is reduced to 0 health, it
almost instantaneously, carried by a bolt of dissipates. It reforms in its object in 1d6 + 2 days.
lightning. You must be able to see the new If you lose the bound object, you retain a
location, and there must be no intervening sense of the direction in which it lies. Action to
barriers. Action. manifest the magic creature.

11Bolts of Power (5+ Intellect points): You blast a


fan of lightning out to short range in an arc that
is approximately 50 feet (15 m) wide at the end.
This discharge inflicts 4 points of damage. If you
apply Effort to increase the damage rather than
to ease the task, you deal 2 additional points of
damage per level of Effort (instead of 3 points);
targets in the area take 1 point of damage even if
you fail the attack roll. Action.

115
OBJECT DAMAGE TRACK 11Brainwashing (6+ Intellect points): You use 11Breaker: You are trained in tasks related to
Intact: The default state for an trickery, well-spoken lies, and mind-affecting damaging objects with the goal of breaking,
object. chemicals (or other means, like magic or high piercing, or demolishing them. It is a Might
Minor damage: A slightly technology) to make others temporarily do what action to damage an object, and on a success,
damaged state. An object you want them to do. You control the actions the object moves one step down the object
with minor damage of another creature you touch. This effect lasts damage track. If the Might roll exceeds the
reduces its level by 1.
for one minute. The target must be level 3 or difficulty by two steps, the object instead moves
Major damage: A critically
lower. You can allow it to act freely or override two steps down the object damage track. If the
damaged state. An object
with major damage is
its control on a case-by-case basis as long as Might roll exceeds the difficulty by four steps,
broken and no longer you can see it. In addition to the normal options the object moves three steps down the object
functions. for using Effort, you can choose to use Effort damage track and is immediately destroyed.
Destroyed: The object is to increase the maximum level of the target or Brittle material reduces the effective level of the
ruined. It no longer increase the duration by one minute. Thus, to object, while hard material like wood or stone
functions and cannot be control the mind of a level 6 target (three levels adds 1 to the effective level or 2 for very hard
repaired. above the normal limit) or control a target for objects like those made of metal. Enabler.
four minutes (three minutes above the normal
duration), you must apply three levels of Effort. 11Brute Strike (4 Might points): You deal 4
When the duration ends, the creature doesn’t additional points of damage with all melee
remember being controlled or anything it did attacks until the end of the next round. Enabler.
while under your influence. Action to initiate.
11Buddy System (3 Intellect points): Choose one
11Break the Line (4 Intellect points): You have character standing next to you. That character
an eye for group discipline and hierarchy, even becomes your buddy for ten minutes. You are
among your foes. If a group of foes is gaining trained in all tasks involving finding, healing,
any kind of benefit from working together, you interacting with, and protecting your buddy. Also,
can attempt to disrupt that benefit by pointing while you stand next to your buddy, both of you
out the weak spot in the enemy’s line, formation, have an asset on Speed defense tasks. You can
or swarm attack. This effect lasts for up to a have only one buddy at a time. Action to initiate.
minute or until all the affected foes spend a
round assessing and resetting themselves to 11Built-in Weaponry: Biomechanical implants,
regain their normal advantage. Action to initiate. a magical jewel fused to your forehead, or
something just as wild now provides you with
11Break the Ranks (6 Speed points): You move up inherent weaponry. This allows you to fire a blast
to a short distance and attack up to four different of energy up to long range that inflicts 5 points
foes as a single action as long as they are all along of damage. There is no cost for you to use this
your path. Any modifiers that apply to one attack ability. Action.
apply to all the attacks you make. If you have
another special ability that allows you to move 11Burning Light (3 Intellect points): You send a
and take an action, when you use Break the Ranks, beam of light at a creature within long range and
you gain an asset to attacking these foes. Action. then tighten the beam until it burns, inflicting 5
points of damage. Action.
11Break Their Mind (7+ Intellect points): Using
your clever words and knowledge of others, and 11Burst of Escape (5 Speed points): You can take
given a couple of rounds of conversation to gain two separate actions this round, as long as one
a few specific pieces of context regarding your of them is to hide or to move in a direction that
target, you can utter a sentence designed to cause is not toward a foe. Enabler.
your target immediate psychological distress. If
the target can hear and understand you, it suffers 11 Bypass Barrier (6+ Intellect points): You get past
6 points of Intellect damage (ignores Armor) a door, force field, or other barrier up to 3 feet (1 m)
and forgets the last day of its life, which might thick that is blocking your way. Depending on the
mean it forgets you and how it came to be where barrier, this might involve finding a weak spot
it currently is. In addition to the normal options you can push through, pressing the right button
for using Effort, you can choose to use Effort to by luck, just breaking through, or even weirder
attempt to break the mind of one additional target explanations like touching a thin place between
who can hear and understand you. Action to dimensions or an unexpected interaction with
initiate, action to complete. your equipment. The difficulty of the task is the

116
Abilities–B-C

level of the barrier. This ability allows you alone fix (unties you, slips you a knife, leaves a cell
to pass through, not anyone else, and the way door unlocked) in a way that minimizes their
through closes at the end of your turn (which risk of revealing their divided loyalties to their
might mean you’re trapped on the far side). You employer or other allies. This ability is a difficulty
have an asset in any attempts to get through it 3 Intellect task. Each additional time you use this
again. In addition to the normal options for using ability, the task is hindered by an additional step.
Effort, you can choose to use Effort to increase The difficulty returns to 3 after you rest for ten
the maximum thickness of the barrier, each level hours. Action.
adding 3 feet (1 m). Action.
11Call Otherworldly Spirit (6 Intellect points):
You summon a spirit creature that manifests for When a dead spirit is
ABILITIES—C up to a day (or less, if it accomplishes something called, it is likely to have
a unique personality,
11Call Dead Spirit (6 Intellect points): At your important to it before then), after which it fades
a name, and perhaps
touch, the remains of a creature dead no longer away and cannot be summoned again. The spirit
even unfinished business
than seven days appears as a manifest (and is a creature of level 6 or lower, and it can be that it might relate
apparently physical) spirit, whose level is the substantial or insubstantial as it wishes (using to the character.
same as it had in life. The raised spirit persists an action to change). The spirit is not beholden
for up to a day (or less, if it accomplishes to you, and it does not need to stay near you to
something important to it before then), after remain manifest. Action to initiate.
which it fades away and cannot return again.
The raised spirit remembers everything it 11Call the Storm (7+ Intellect points): If you are
knew in life and possesses most of its previous outside or in a location that has a ceiling at least
abilities (though not necessarily its equipment). 300 feet (90 m) above the floor, you summon a
In addition, it gains the ability to become boiling layer of lightning-lit, rumbling clouds up
insubstantial as an action for up to a minute at to 1,500 feet (460 m) in diameter for ten minutes.
a time. The raised spirit is not beholden to you, During daylight hours, natural illumination
and it does not need to stay near you to remain beneath the storm is reduced to dim light. While
manifest. Action to initiate. the storm rages, you can use an action to send
a lightning bolt from the cloud to attack a target
11Call in Favor (4 Intellect points): A guard, you can see directly, inflicting 4 points of damage
doctor, technician, or hired thug in the employ (you can spend Effort normally on each individual
of or allied with a foe is secretly your ally or owes lightning bolt attack). Three actions to initiate;
you a favor. When you call in the favor, the target action to call down a lightning strike.
does what they can to help you out of a specific

117
11Call Swarm (4 Intellect points): If you’re in 11Captivate or Inspire: You can use this ability
a location where it’s possible for the creatures in one of two ways. Either your words keep the
Influence Swarm, from your Influence Swarm ability to come, you attention of all NPCs that hear them for as long
page 153 call a swarm of them for one hour. During this as you speak, or your words inspire all NPCs
hour, they do as you telepathically command that hear them to function as if they were one
as long as they are within long range. They can level higher for the next hour. In either case, you
swarm about and hinder any or all opponents’ choose which NPCs are affected. If anyone in the
tasks. While the creatures are in long range, you crowd is attacked while you’re trying to speak to
can speak to them telepathically and perceive them, you lose the crowd’s attention. Action to
through their senses. Action to initiate. initiate.

11Call Through Time (6+ Intellect points): You 11Captivate With Starshine: For as long as you
call a creature or person of up to level 3 from speak, you keep the attention of all level 2 or
the recent past, and it appears next to you. You lower NPCs who can hear you. If you also have
Enthrall, page 136 can choose a creature that you’ve previously the Enthrall ability, you can similarly captivate all
encountered (even if it is now dead), or (no level 3 NPCs. Action to initiate.
more than once per day) you can allow the GM
to determine the creature randomly. If you call 11Car Surfer: You can stand or move about
a random creature, it has a 10 percent chance on a moving vehicle (such as on the hood,
of being a creature of up to level 5. The creature on the roof, in the open door well, etc.) with a
has no memory of anything before being called reasonable expectation of not falling off. Unless
by you, though it can speak and has the general the vehicle veers sharply, stops suddenly, or
knowledge a creature of its type should possess. otherwise engages in extreme maneuvers,
The time-shifted creature does your bidding for standing or moving about on a moving vehicle
as long as you concentrate on it, but you must is a routine task for you. If the vehicle engages
use your action each turn to direct it; otherwise it in extreme maneuvers like those described, any
returns to the past. tasks to remain on the vehicle’s surface are eased.
In addition to the normal options for using Enabler.
Effort, you can choose to use Effort to call a more
powerful creature; each level of Effort used in this 11Careful Aim: Youare trained in attacks with all
way increases the creature’s level by 1. For example, weapons that you throw. Enabler.
applying one level of Effort calls a specific creature
of up to level 4 or a random creature with a 10 11Careful Shot: You can spend points from either
percent chance of being up to level 6. Action. your Speed Pool or your Intellect Pool to apply
levels of Effort to increase your gun damage.
11Calm (3 Intellect points): Through jokes, song, Each level of Effort adds 3 points of damage to a
or other art, you prevent a living foe from attacking successful attack, and if you spend a turn lining
anyone or anything for one round. Action. up your shot, each level of Effort instead adds 5
points of damage to a successful attack. Enabler.
11Calm Stranger (2+ Intellect points): You can
Calming a stranger cause one intelligent creature to remain calm as 11Cast Illusion: You can increase the range at
with words might rely you speak. The creature doesn’t need to speak which you create and maintain your
on pure training, a way your language, but it must be able to see you. immediate-range illusions (such as from Minor
with people, or, if the
It remains calm as long as you focus all your Illusion) to anywhere within short range that you
setting utilizes magic or
psionics, a more fantastic attention on it and it is not attacked or otherwise can perceive. Enabler.
manipulation of reality. threatened. In addition to the normal options
for using Effort, you can choose to use Effort to 11Castigate (4 Intellect points): You intimidate
Minor Illusion, page 162 calm additional creatures allied with your initial any opponent within long range who
target, one additional creature per level of Effort understands speech (even if it is not your
applied. Action. language) so much that they lose their next
action and all the rest of their actions are
11Capable Warrior: Yourattacks deal 1 additional hindered for one minute. Each additional time
point of damage. Enabler. you attempt this ability against the same target,
you must apply one more level of Effort than you
applied on the previous attempt. Action.

118
Abilities–C

11Celebrity Talent: You are trained in two of the with an asset to the attack. Targets that take
following areas: writing, journalism, a particular damage take an additional 3 points and are
style of art, a particular sport, chess, science knocked prone. Action.
communication, acting, news presentation, or
some related noncombat skill that led to your 11Charm Machine (2 Intellect points): You
celebrity. Enabler. convince an unintelligent machine to “like” you.
A machine that likes you is 50 percent less likely
11Center of Attention (5 Intellect points): A literal to function if said function would cause you
(or metaphorical, depending on the genre) beam harm. Thus, if a foe attempts to detonate a bomb
of pure radiance descends from on high and near you controlled by a detonator that likes
spotlights you. All creatures you choose within you, there is a 50 percent chance that it won’t
immediate range fall to their knees and lose explode. Action to initiate.
their next action. Affected targets cannot defend
themselves and are treated as helpless. Action. 11Cloak of Opportunity (5 Intellect points): You Cloak of Opportunity
set small objects from the environment (rocks, can be quite flashy and
11Chamber of Dreams (8 Intellect points): broken items, clumps of dirt, and so on) swirling intimidating to others,
especially before they
You and your allies can step into a chamber of about you for up to ten minutes, which grants
know its purpose.
dreams, decorated as you wish, that contains you +2 Armor. Action to initiate.
a number of doors. The doors correspond with
other locations that you have visited or know 11Closed Mind: You are trained in Intellect
reasonably well. Stepping through one of the defense tasks and have +2 Armor against
doors delivers you to the desired location. This damage that selectively targets your Intellect
is a difficulty 2 Intellect-based task (which could Pool (which normally ignores Armor). Enabler.
be modified upward by the GM if the location is
warded). Action to step into chamber of dreams; 11Cloud Personal Memories (3 Intellect points):
action to move through a door in the chamber. If you interact with or study a target for at least a
round, you gain a sense of how its mind works,
11Change the Paradigm (6+ Intellect points): which you can use against it in the most blunt
You sway the worldview of a creature you spend fashion possible. You can attempt to confuse it
at least one round speaking to, as long as it and make it forget what’s just happened. On a
can understand you. The creature changes success, you erase up to the last five minutes of
its mind on a significant belief, which could its memory. Action to prepare; action to initiate.
include something as straightforward as helping
you instead of trying to kill you, or it could be 11Coaxing Power (2 Intellect points): You boost
something more esoteric. This effect lasts for the power or function of a machine so that it
at least ten minutes, but it can last longer if the operates at one level higher than normal for one
creature wasn’t previously your foe. During this hour. Action to initiate.
time, the creature takes actions in accordance
with the wisdom you have imparted to it. The 11Cognizant Offense: During combat, your
target must be level 2 or lower. In addition to the brain shifts into a sort of battle mode where all
normal options for using Effort, you can choose potential attacks you could make are plotted on
to use Effort to increase the maximum level of vector graphs in your mind’s eye, which always
the target by one for each level of Effort applied. provides the best option. Your attacks are eased.
Action to initiate. Enabler.

11Charge (1+ Intellect points): You can charge an 11Cold Burst (5+ Intellect points): You emit a
artifact or other device (except a cypher) so that burst of cold in all directions, up to short range. Artifact, page 204
it can be used once. The cost is 1 Intellect point All within the burst (except you) take 5 points Cypher, page 377
plus 1 point per level of the device. Action. of damage. If you apply Effort to increase the
damage rather than to ease the task, you deal 2
11Charging Horde (7 Might points): You and two additional points of damage per level of Effort
or more of your followers next to you can act like (instead of 3 points); targets in the area take 1 Follower, page 233
a single creature to make a charge attack. When point of damage even if you fail the attack roll.
you do, all of you move up to a short distance, Action.
during which time you can attack anything that
comes within immediate range along your path

119
Enlarge, page 135 11Colossal: When you use Enlarge, you can 11Combat Challenge: All attempted tasks that
choose to grow up to a base height of 60 draw an attack to yourself (and away from
feet (18 m). When you do, you add 5 more someone else) are eased by two steps. Enabler.
temporary points to your Might Pool (plus any
Gargantuan, page 144 from Gargantuan and Bigger), and you deal an 11Combat Prowess: You add +1 damage to one
Bigger, page 113 additional 2 points of damage with melee attacks type of weapon attack of your choice: melee
Huge, page 149 (plus any from your Huge ability). For each weapon attacks or ranged weapon attacks. Enabler.
level of Effort you apply to increase your height
further, your total height increases by 10 feet 11Command (3 Intellect points): Through sheer
(3 m), and you add 1 more point to your Might force of will, you can issue a simple imperative
Pool. Thus, the first time you use Enlarge after command to a single living creature, who then
a ten-hour recovery roll, if you apply two levels attempts to carry out your command as its next
of Effort, your base height is 80 feet (24 m), and action. The creature must be within short range
you add a total of 17 temporary points to your and able to understand you. The command can’t
Destroy Metal, page 127 Might Pool. Enabler. inflict direct harm on the creature or its allies,
so “Commit suicide” won’t work, but “Flee”
might. In addition, the command can require the
creature to take only one action, so “Unlock the
door” might work, but “Unlock the door and run
through it” won’t. A commanded creature can
still defend itself normally and return an attack if
one is made on it. If you possess another ability
that allows you to command a creature, you can
target two creatures at once as your base effect if
you use either ability. Action.

11Command Machine (4 Intellect points): If


you’ve charmed an unintelligent machine or
have spoken telepathically with an intelligent
machine, you can attempt to command it to
take one action within its capabilities on its next
turn. (If you use this ability to command an
intelligent machine, it likely becomes hostile to
you afterward.) Action.

11Command Metal (5 Intellect points): You


reshape a metallic item as you desire. The item
must be within sight and within short range,
and its mass can be no greater than your own.
You can affect multiple items at once as long as
their combined mass falls within these limits.
You can fuse multiple items together. You can
use this power to destroy a metal object (as the
Destroy Metal ability), or you can craft it into
another desired shape (crudely, unless you have
the proper crafting skills). You can then move the
new object anywhere within range. For example,
you could take a few metal shields, fuse them
together, and use the resulting shape to block
a doorway. You can use this ability to make
an attack—causing a foe’s armor to constrict,
rendering a metal item into shards that you fling
across the battlefield, and so on—against one
target within short range. Regardless of the form
of the attack, it is an Intellect action that deals 7
points of damage. Action.

120
Abilities–C

11Command Spirit (3 Intellect points): You can 11Confounding Banter (4 Intellect points):
command a spirit or animated dead creature You spew a stream of nonsense to distract a
of up to level 5 within short range. If you are foe within immediate range. On a successful
successful, the target cannot attack you for one Intellect roll, your defense roll against the
minute, during which time it follows your verbal creature’s next attack before the end of the next
commands if it can hear and understand you. round is eased. Action.
Action to initiate.
11Confuse Enemy (4 Intellect points): Through a
11Communication (2 Intellect points): You clever bit of misdirection involving a flourish of
can convey a basic concept to a creature that your coat, ducking at just the right moment, or
normally can’t speak or understand speech. The a similar stratagem, you can attempt to redirect
creature can also give you a very basic answer to a physical melee attack that would otherwise hit
a simple question. Action. you. When you do, the misdirected attack hits
another creature you choose within immediate
11Community Activist: When speaking to others range of both you and the attacking foe. This
in a community you have a strong connection to, ability is a difficulty 2 Intellect task. Enabler.
you are trained in persuasion and intimidation
tasks about topics that directly relate to the 11Conjuration (7 Intellect points): You produce,
community. Enabler. as if from thin air, a level 5 creature of a kind
you have previously encountered. The creature
11Community Knowledge (2 Intellect points): remains for one minute and then returns home. Abilities that rely on
If you’ve invested yourself in a community and While present, the creature acts as you direct, the character being a
have spent at least a few months living there, but this requires no action on your part. Action. part of the community
give the GM additional
you can learn things about it through a variety
material for scenarios.
of methods. Sometimes contacts slip the 11Connected: You know people who get things For instance, even as
information to you. Other times, you’re able to done—not just respected people in positions the character gains
draw conclusions simply by what you can see of authority, but also a variety of online hackers benefits from those in the
and hear. When you use this ability, you can ask and regular street criminals. These people are community, other NPCs
the GM one question about the community and not necessarily your friends and might not be in the community might
call on the character to
get a very short answer. Action. trustworthy, but they owe you a favor. You and help them solve some
the GM should work out the details of your of their issues, too.
11Computer Programming: You are trained in contacts. Enabler.
using (and exploiting) computer software, you
know one or more computer languages well 11Contortionist (2 Speed points): You can wriggle
enough to write basic programs, and you are free from bindings or squeeze through a tight
fluent in internet protocol. Enabler. spot. You are trained in escaping. When you use
an action to escape or move through a tight area,
11Concussion (7 Intellect points): You cause a you can immediately use another action. You
pulse of concussive force to explode out from a may use this action only to move. Enabler.
point you choose within long range. The pulse
extends up to short range in all directions, 11Control the Field (1 Might point): This melee
dealing 5 points of damage to everything in the attack inflicts 1 less point of damage than
area. Even if you fail the attack roll, targets in the normal, and regardless of whether you hit the
area take 1 point of damage. Action. target, you maneuver it into a position you desire
within immediate range. Action.
11Concussive Blast (2 Intellect points): You
release a beam of pure force that smashes into 11Control Machine (6 Intellect points): You can
a creature within short range, inflicting 5 points attempt to control the functions of any machine,
of damage and moving it back an immediate intelligent or otherwise, within short range for
distance. Action. ten minutes. Action.

11Confidence Artist: When you’re hacking into


a computer system, running a con, picking a
pocket, fooling or tricking a dupe, sneaking
something by a guard, and so on, you gain an
asset on the task. Enabler.

121
11Control the Savage (6 Intellect points): You 11Controlled Fall: When you fall while you are
can control a calm nonhuman beast within 30 able to use actions and within reach of a vertical
feet (9 m). You control it for as long as you focus surface, you can attempt to slow your fall. Make
all your attention on it, using your turn each a Speed roll with a difficulty of 1 for every 20
round. The GM has final say over what counts feet (6 m) you fall. On a success, you take half
as a nonhuman beast, but unless some kind of damage from the fall. If you reduce the difficulty
deception is at work, you should know whether to 0, you take no damage. Enabler.
you can affect a creature before you attempt to
use this ability on it. Aliens, extradimensional 11Coordinated Effort (3 Intellect points): When
Duplicate, page 132 entities, very intelligent creatures, and robots you and the duplicate from your Duplicate ability
never count. Action. would attack the same creature, you can choose
to make one attack roll with an asset. If you hit,
11Control Swarm (2 Intellect points): Your you inflict damage with both attacks and treat
Influence Swarm, swarm creatures from your Influence Swarm the attacks as if they were one attack for the
page 153 ability within short range do as you telepathically purpose of subtracting Armor from the damage.
command for ten minutes. Even common Action.
insects (level 0) in large enough numbers can
Using Counter Danger is swarm about a single creature and hinder its 11Counter Danger (4 Intellect points): You
usually a matter of the tasks. Action to initiate. negate a source of potential danger related to
character applying quick one creature or object within immediate distance
thinking in the face of
11Control Weather (10 Intellect points): You for one minute (instead of one round, as with
immediate danger. The
ability doesn’t rely on change the weather in your general region. If Foil Danger). This could be a weapon or device
supernatural means, but performed indoors, this creates minor effects, held by someone, a creature’s natural ability, or
rather a practical act. such as mist, mild temperature changes, and a trap triggered by a pressure plate. You can also
so on. If performed outside, you can create rain, try to counter an action (like moving or making
Foil Danger, page 142 fog, snow, wind, or any other kind of normal (not a conventional mundane attack with a weapon, a
overly severe) weather. The change lasts for a claw, etc.). Action.
natural length of time so that a storm might last
for an hour, fog for two or three hours, and snow 11Countermeasures (4 Intellect points): You
for a few hours (or for ten minutes if it’s out of immediately end one ongoing effect (such as
season). For the first ten minutes after activating an effect created by a character ability) within
this ability, you can create more dramatic and immediate range. Alternatively, you can use this
specific effects, such as lightning strikes, giant as a defense action to cancel any incoming ability
hailstones, twisters, hurricane-force winds, and targeted at you, or you can cancel any device or
so on. These effects must occur within 1,000 feet the effect of any device for 1d6 rounds. You must
(300 m) of your location. You must spend your touch the effect or device to cancel it. Action.
turn concentrating to create an effect or maintain
it in a new round. These effects inflict 6 points 11Courageous: You are trained in Intellect
of damage each round. If you have this ability defense tasks and initiative tasks. Enabler.
from another source, the cost for the ability is
7 Intellect points instead of 10. If you already 11Crafter: You are trained in the crafting of two
Storm Seed, page 187 have the Storm Seed ability, you can immediately kinds of items. Enabler.
replace it with a new ability of the same tier.
Action to initiate. 11Create (7 Intellect points): You create
something from nothing. You can create any item
11Controlled Change: You can try to use your you choose that would ordinarily have a difficulty
Beast Form, page 112 Beast Form ability to change into your beast of 5 or lower (using the crafting rules). Once
Crafting, page 227 form on any night you wish (a difficulty 3 Intellect created, the item lasts for a number of hours
task). Any transformations you make using equal to 6 minus the difficulty to create it. Thus,
this power are in addition to the five nights per if you create a set of sturdy manacles (difficulty
month that you change involuntarily. Action to 5), it would last for one hour. Action.
change.

122
Abilities–C

11Create Deadly Poison (3+ Intellect points): that has a level 4 target (two levels above the
You create one dose of a level 2 poison that normal limit) or a group of fifteen people, you
either inflicts 5 points of damage or hinders the must apply two levels of Effort. When the Crowd
poisoned creature’s actions for ten minutes (your Control ability ends, the creatures remember
choice each time you create the poison). You can your commands but don’t remember being
apply this poison to a weapon, food, or drink as controlled—your commands seemed reasonable
part of the action of creating it. In addition to the at the time. Action to initiate.
normal options for using Effort, you can choose
to use Effort to increase the level of the poison; 11Crushing Blow (2 Might points): When you
each level of Effort used in this way increases the use a bashing or bladed weapon in both hands
poison level by 1. If unused, the poison loses its and apply Effort on the attack, you get a free level Free level of Effort,
potency after one hour. Action. of Effort on the damage. (If fighting unarmed, page 209
this attack is made with both fists or both feet
11Create Water (2 Intellect points): You cause together.) Action.
water to bubble up from a spot on the ground
you can see. The water flows from that spot for 11Crystal Lens: You can focus the inherent
one minute, creating about 1 gallon (4 liters) by energy surging through you from your Crystalline
the time it stops. Action to initiate. Body ability. This allows you to fire a blast of
energy that inflicts 5 points of damage on a
11Creature Insight (3 Intellect points): When target within very long range. Action.
examining any nonhuman creature, you can ask
the GM one question to gain an idea of its level, 11Crystalline Body: You are composed of
its capabilities, what it eats, what motivates animate, translucent crystal the color of amber.
it, what its weaknesses are (if any), how it can Work with your GM to decide your exact form,
be repaired, or any other similar query. This is though it is likely about the shape and size of
for difficult or strange creatures beyond those a humanoid. Your crystal body grants you +2
readily identified by using skills. Action. to Armor and +4 to your Might Pool. However,
you’re not quick and your Speed defense tasks
11Critter Companion: A level 1 creature are hindered. Certain conditions, like mundane A Critter Companion
accompanies you and follows your instructions. diseases and poisons, do not affect you. Your might have an interesting
This creature is no larger than a large cat (about crystalline body repairs itself more slowly than quirk, such as having a
thing for chasing bugs,
20 pounds, or 9 kg) and is normally some sort a body of living flesh would. You have only the
always wanting to be
of domesticated species. You and the GM must one-round, one-hour, and ten-hour recovery rolls petted by another NPC,
work out the details of your creature, and you’ll available each day; you do not have a ten-minute getting lost, and so on.
probably make rolls for it in combat or when it recovery roll available. Any ability you have
takes actions. The critter companion acts on your that requires a ten-minute recovery roll instead
turn. As a level 1 creature, it has a target number requires a one-hour recovery roll. Enabler.
of 3 and 3 health, and it inflicts 1 point of damage.
Its movement is based on its creature type (avian, 11Curious: You’re always curious about your
swimmer, and so on). If your critter companion surroundings, even on a subconscious level.
dies, you can search an urban or wild environment Whenever you use Effort to attempt navigation,
for 1d6 days to find a new one. Enabler. perception, or initiative tasks in an area that
you’ve only rarely or never visited before, you can
11Crowd Control (6+ Intellect points): You apply an additional free level of Effort. Enabler.
control the actions of up to five creatures in
short range. This effect lasts for one minute. All 11Cutting Light (2 Intellect points): You emit a
targets must be level 2 or lower. Your control thin beam of energized light from your hand.
is limited to simple verbal commands like This inflicts 5 points of damage to a single foe
“Stop,” “Run away,” “Follow that guard,” “Look in immediate range. The beam is even more
over there,” or “Get out of my way.” All affected effective against immobile, nonliving targets,
creatures respond to the command unless slicing up to 1 foot (30 cm) of any material that is
you specifically command them otherwise. level 6 or lower. The material can be up to 1 foot
In addition to the normal options for using thick. Action.
Effort, you can choose to use Effort to increase
the maximum level of the targets or affect an
additional five people. Thus, to control a group

123
11Cyphersmith: All manifest cyphers you use 11Dark Matter Shell (5 Intellect points): For the
function at one level higher than normal. If next minute, you cover yourself with a shell of
given a week and the right tools, chemicals, and dark matter. Your appearance becomes a dark
parts, you can tinker with one of your manifest silhouette, and you gain an asset to sneaking
cyphers, transforming it into another cypher of tasks and gain +1 to your Armor. The dark matter
the same type that you had in the past. The GM shell works seamlessly with your desires, and
and player should collaborate to ensure that if you apply a level of Effort to any physical
the transformation is logical—for example, you task while the shell persists, you can apply an
Free level of Effort, probably can’t transform a pill into a helmet. additional free level of Effort to that same task.
page 209 Enabler. Action to initiate.

11Dark Matter Shroud (4 Intellect points):


ABILITIES—D Ribbons of dark matter condense and swirl about
11Damage Dealer: You inflict an additional 3 you for up to one minute. This shroud eases your
points of damage with your chosen weapon. Speed defense tasks, inflicts 2 points of damage
Enabler. to anyone who tries to touch you or strike you
with a melee attack, and gives you +1 Armor.
11Damage Transference: When you or your Action to initiate.
Duplicate, page 132 duplicate (from the Duplicate ability) would take
damage, you can transfer 1 point of damage 11Dark Matter Strike (4 Intellect points): When
from one to the other provided that you and your you attack a foe within long range, dark matter
duplicate are within 1 mile (1.5 km) of each other. condenses around your target and entangles its
Enabler. limbs, holding it in place and easing your attack
by two steps. The ability works for whatever kind
11Damn the Guilty (3 Intellect points): You of attack you use (melee, ranged, energy, and so
speak words of revelation and judgment to on). Enabler.
everyone within close range. Those whom you
Designation, page 127 have designated as guilty with your Designation 11Dark Matter Structure (5 Intellect points):
ability take an additional 3 points of damage You can form dark matter into a large structure
from any attack they receive from anyone who consisting of up to ten 10-foot (3 m) cubes. The
heard your judgment. This judgment lasts for up structure can be somewhat complex, though
to one minute or until they move at least a long everything has the same matte black color from
distance away from you. Action. which no light shines. Otherwise, the structure
can possess different densities, textures, and
11Danger Instinct (3 Speed points): If you are capacities. This means it can include windows,
Surprise, page 220 attacked by surprise, whether by a creature, a doors with locks, furnishings, and even decor,
device, or simply an environmental hazard (a as long as it is all black as pitch. For example,
tree falling on you), you can move an immediate you could shape the dark matter into a large,
distance before the attack occurs. If moving defensible structure; a sturdy 100-foot (30 m)
prevents the attack, you are safe. If the attack bridge; or anything similar. The structure is a
can still potentially affect you—if the attacking level 6 creation and lasts for 24 hours. You can’t
creature can move to keep pace, if the attack fills keep more than one such structure solid at any
an area too big to escape, etc. —the ability offers one time. Action.
no benefit. Enabler.
11Datajack (1 Intellect point): With computer
Initiative, page 214 11Danger Sense (1 Speed point): Your initiative access, you jack in instantly and learn a bit more
task is eased. You pay the cost each time the about something you can see. You get an asset
ability is used. Enabler. on a task involving that person or object. Action.

11Dark Explorer: You ignore penalties for any 11Daydream (4 Intellect points): You pull
action (including fighting) in extremely dim light someone into a daydream, substituting a dream
Eyes Adjusted, page 138 or in cramped spaces. If you also have the Eyes of your own creation for the target’s reality for
Adjusted ability, you can act without penalty even up to one minute. You can affect a target within
in total darkness. You are trained in sneaking long range that you can see, or a target within 10
tasks while in dim or no light. Enabler. miles (16 km) that you have hair or skin clippings
from. To all outward appearances, an affected

124
Abilities–C-D

target stands (or lies) unmoving. But inside, the During this time, they do as you telepathically
substituted reality (or dream within a dream, command as long as they are within long range.
if the target was sleeping) is what the target They can swarm about and hinder any or all Swarms don’t usually
experiences. If the target is under duress, it can opponents’ tasks, or they can focus the swarm have game stats, but if
attempt another Intellect defense roll each round and attack all opponents within immediate range needed, a typical swarm
is level 2. Only attacks
to break free, though the target may not realize of each other (all within long range of you). The
that affect a large area
its state. Either the dream unfolds according to attacking swarm inflicts 4 points of damage. affect the swarm.
a script you prepared when you used this ability, While the creatures are in long range, you
or if you use your own actions (forcing you into can speak to them telepathically and perceive
a similar state as the target), you can direct the through their senses. Action to initiate.
unfolding dream from round to round. Using Damage track, page 218
this ability on a sleeping target eases the initial 11Death Touch (6 Intellect points): You gather Scramble Machine,
attack. Action to initiate; if you direct the dream, disrupting energy in your fingertip and touch a page 179
action to direct per round. creature. If the target is an NPC or a creature of Disable Mechanisms,
level 3 or lower, it dies. If the target is a PC of any page 128
11Dazing Attack (3 Might points): You hit tier, they move down one step on the damage Influence Swarm,
your foe in just the right spot, dazing them so track. Action. page 153
that tasks they attempt on their next turn are
hindered. This attack inflicts normal damage.
Action.

11Dazzling Sunburst (2 Intellect points): You


send a barrage of dazzling colors at a creature
within short range and, if successful, inflict 2
points of damage on the target. In addition, the
creature’s attacks are hindered on its next turn,
unless the target relies primarily on senses other
than sight. Action.

11Deactivate Mechanisms (5+ Speed points):


You make a melee attack that inflicts no damage
against a machine. Instead, if the attack hits,
make a second Speed-based roll. If successful,
a machine of level 3 or lower is deactivated
for one minute. For each additional level of
Effort applied, you can affect one higher level
of machine or you can extend the duration for
an additional minute. If you have the Scramble
Machine or Disable Mechanisms ability (or an
ability that works similarly), when you apply
a level of Effort to any of them, you gain an
additional free level of Effort. Action.

11Deadly Aim (3 Speed points): For the next


minute, all ranged attacks you make inflict 2
additional points of damage. Action to initiate.

11Deadly Strike (5 Might points): If you strike


a foe of level 3 or lower with a weapon you’re
practiced with, you kill the target instantly.
Action.

11Deadly Swarm (6 Intellect points): If you’re in


a location where it’s possible for your swarm of
creatures from your Influence Swarm ability to
come, you call a swarm of them for ten minutes.

125
11Debate (3 Intellect points): In any gathering 11Decipher (1 Intellect point): If you spend one
of two or more people trying to establish the minute examining a piece of writing or code in a
truth or come to a decision, you can sway the language you do not understand, you can make
verdict with masterful rhetoric. If you are given an Intellect roll of difficulty 3 (or higher, based on
one minute or more to argue your point, either the complexity of the language or code) to get
the decision goes your way or, if someone the gist of the message. Action to initiate.
else effectively argues a competing point, any
associated persuasion or deception task is eased 11Deep Consideration (6 Intellect points): When
by two steps. Action to initiate; one minute to you develop a plan that involves you and your
complete. friends working together to accomplish a goal,
you can ask the GM one very general question
11Debilitating Strike (4 Speed points): You make about what is likely to happen if you carry out
an attack to deliver a painful or debilitating the plan, and you will get a simple, brief answer.
strike. The attack is hindered. If it hits, the In addition, all of you gain an asset to one roll
creature takes 2 additional points of damage at related to enacting the plan you developed
the end of the next round, and its attacks are together, as long as you put the plan into action
hindered until the end of the next round. Action. within a few days of the plan’s creation. Action.

11Deep Reserves: When others are exhausted,


you can push through. Once each day, you can
transfer up to 5 points among your Pools in any
combination, at a rate of 1 point per round. For
example, you could transfer 3 points of Might to
Speed and 2 points of Intellect to Speed, which
would take a total of five rounds. Action.

11Deep Resources: You gain an additional 6


points to your Speed Pool. Enabler.

11Deep Water Guide: While underwater, any


creature you choose that can see you has an
asset on swimming tasks. Enabler.

11Defend All the Innocent: You protect everyone


within immediate range whom you have
designated as innocent with your Designation
ability. Speed defense rolls made by such
creatures gain an asset. Enabler.

11Defend the Innocent (2 Speed points): For the


next ten minutes, if someone you have designated
Designation, page 127 as innocent with the Designation ability stands
next to you, that creature shares any defensive
advantages that you might have, other than
mundane armor. These advantages include
the Speed defense from your shield, the Armor
offered from a force field, and so on. In addition,
Speed defense rolls made by the innocent creature
gain an asset. You can protect only one innocent
creature at a time. Action to initiate.

11Defense Against Robots: You have studied


your enemy and are trained in anticipating the
actions that a robot or machine is likely to take in
a fight. Defense tasks you attempt against these
foes are eased. Enabler.

126
Abilities–D

11Defense Master: Every time you succeed at a say. If speaking to a group that can understand
Speed defense task, you can make an immediate you, you can attempt to have them produce their
attack against your foe. (If you have Dodge and leader or ask that they take you to their leader. Dodge and Respond,
Respond, you can exchange that ability for Dodge You gain a free level of Effort that can be applied page 131
and Resist.) Your attack must be the same type to one persuasion task you attempt during this Dodge and Resist,
(melee weapon, ranged weapon, or unarmed) as period. Action to initiate. page 131
the attack you defend against. If you don’t have Free level of Effort,
an appropriate type of weapon ready, you can’t 11Designation: You assign an innocent or page 209
use this ability. Enabler. guilty label to one creature within immediate
range, based on your assessment of a given The benefits provided
11Defensive Augmentation: By upgrading your situation or a predominant feeling. In other by Designation apply
nervous and immune systems, you are trained in words, someone who is labeled innocent can be to the character using
the ability, their allies,
Might defense and Speed defense tasks. Enabler. innocent in a certain circumstance, or they can
and anyone who
be generally innocent of terrible crimes (such hears or is told of their
11Defensive Field: Thanks to subdermal as murder, major theft, and so on). Likewise, judgment and believes
implants, a permanent spell, alien modifications, you can declare that a creature is guilty of a their assessment.
or something similar, you now have a force field particular crime or of terrible deeds in general.
that radiates 1 inch (2.5 cm) from your body and The accuracy of your assessment isn’t important
provides you with +2 Armor. Enabler. as long as you believe it to be the truth; the GM
may require you to give a rationale. Henceforth,
11Defensive Phasing (2 Intellect points): You your tasks to socially interact with someone you
can change your phase so that some attacks designate as innocent gain an asset, and your
pass through you harmlessly. For the next attacks against those you designate as guilty gain
ten minutes, you gain an asset to your Speed an asset. You can change your assessment, but it
defense tasks, but during this time you lose any requires another designation action. The benefits
benefit from armor you wear. Action to initiate. of the designation last until you change it or until
you are shown proof that it is wrong. Action.
11Define Down (4 Intellect points): The natural A character could
gravity within an area a short distance across 11Destined for Greatness: You enjoy uncanny use Define Down to
that you are within immediate range of changes luck as if something was watching over you help propel allies to
a location they can’t
directions so that it flows in the direction you and keeping you from harm. When you would
otherwise climb to.
determine (up, up and to the south, west, and so otherwise descend a step on the damage
on) for a few seconds, then snaps back. Affected track, make an Intellect defense roll versus the Damage track, page 218
targets could be tossed up to 20 feet (6 m) and difficulty set by the level of the foe or effect. If
take a few points of damage. Action. you succeed, you do not descend that step. If the
step was because you fell to 0 points in a Pool,
11Deflect Attacks (1 Intellect point): Using you are still at 0 points; you just don’t suffer the
your mind, you protect yourself from incoming negative effects of being impaired or debilitated.
attacks. For the next ten minutes, you are trained If you would otherwise descend the final step on
in Speed defense tasks. Action to initiate. the damage track to death, a successful defense
roll keeps you at 1 point in one Pool, and you
11Defuse Situation: During the course of an remain debilitated. Enabler.
investigation, your questions sometimes elicit
an angry or even violent response. Through 11Destroy Metal (3 Intellect points): You instantly
dissembling, verbal distraction, or similar tear, rip, or burst a metal object that is within
evasion, you prevent a living foe from attacking sight, within short range, and no bigger than half
anyone or anything for one round. Action. your size. Attempt an Intellect task to destroy the
object; the task is eased by three steps compared
11Demeanor of Command (2 Intellect points): to breaking it with brute strength. Action.
You project confidence, knowledge, and
charisma to all who see you for the next hour. 11Destroyer (6 Might points): If you succeed
Your demeanor is such that those who see you on a Might task to damage an object, instead
automatically understand that you are someone of descending one step on the object damage Object damage
important, accomplished, and with authority. track, the object descends all three steps and is track, page 116
When you speak, strangers who are not already destroyed. Action.
attacking give you at least a round to have your

127
11Detect Life (3+ Might points): You consciously 11Dirty Fighter (2 Speed points): You distract,
send out a pulse of your your life energy. You blind, annoy, hamper, or otherwise interfere with
detect all living creatures within short range, a foe, hindering their attacks and defenses for
even if they are behind cover, though not if one minute. Action.
they’re behind a force field. When you detect
a creature, you detect its general location (to 11Disable Mechanisms (3 Speed points): With
within an immediate range). If you apply two a keen eye and quick moves, you disrupt some
additional levels of Effort, you can increase the functions of a robot or machine and inflict upon
range of detection to long. Action. it one of the following maladies:
• All its tasks are hindered for one minute.
11Device Insight (3 Intellect points): When • Its speed is halved.
examining any unknown, alien, or high-technology • It can take no action for one round.
device, you can ask the GM one question to gain an • It deals 2 fewer points of damage (minimum
idea of its capabilities, how it functions, how it can 1 point) for one minute.
be activated or deactivated, what its weaknesses You must touch the robot or machine to
are (if any), how it can be repaired, or any other disrupt it (if you are making an attack, it inflicts
similar query. This is for difficult or strange things no damage). Action.
beyond those readily identified by using the
Even though light bends appropriate knowledge or technical skill. Action. 11Disappear (4 Intellect points): You bend light
around a character with that falls on you so you seem to disappear. You
the Disappear ability, 11Devoted Defender (2 Might or Intellect are invisible to other creatures for ten minutes.
they can still sense their
points): Choose one character you can see. That While invisible, you are specialized in stealth and
surroundings. If the GM
wants to throw a bone character becomes your ward. You are trained in Speed defense tasks. This effect ends if you do
to realism, the invisible all tasks involving finding, healing, interacting something to reveal your presence or position—
character’s perception with, and protecting that character. You can have attacking, using an ability, moving a large object,
tasks are hindered. only one ward at a time. Action to initiate. and so on. If this occurs, you can regain the
remaining invisibility effect by taking an action to
11Diamagnetism: You magnetize any focus on hiding your position. Action to initiate
nonmetallic object within short range so that it or reinitiate.
can be affected by your other magnetic powers.
Move Metal, page 164 Thus, with Move Metal, you can move any
Repel Metal, page 176 object. With Repel Metal, you are trained in all
Speed defense tasks, regardless of whether the
incoming attack uses metal. And so on. Enabler.

128
Abilities–D

11Disarming Attack (5 Speed points): You company. It ends if you leave, but it resumes
attempt a Speed task to disarm a foe as part of if you return to the allies’ company within 24
your melee attack. If you succeed, your attack hours. If you leave the allies’ company for more
inflicts 3 additional points of damage and the than 24 hours, you must spend another 24 hours
target’s weapon is knocked from their grip, together to reactivate the benefit. You must
landing up to 20 feet (6 m) away. If you fail, you spend the Intellect point cost each 24 hours you
still attempt your normal attack, but you don’t wish to keep the benefit active. Enabler.
inflict the extra damage or disarm the opponent
if you hit. Action. 11Disguise: You are trained in disguise. You can
alter your posture, voice, mannerisms, and hair
11Disarming Strike (3 Speed points): Your attack to look like someone else for as long as you keep
inflicts 1 point less damage and disarms your foe up the disguise. However, it is extremely difficult
so that their weapon is now 10 feet (3 m) away to adopt the appearance of a specific individual
on the ground. (If your chosen weapon is a whip, without a disguise kit at your disposal. Enabler.
you can instead deposit the disarmed weapon
into your hands; if your chosen weapon is a 11Disincentivize (1 Intellect point): You hinder all
bow or other ranged weapon that fires physical actions attempted by any number of targets within
rounds, you can instead “nail” the disarmed short range who can understand you. You choose
weapon to a nearby object or structure. Choosing which targets are affected. Affected targets’
to do either of these hinders your attack.) Action. actions are hindered for one round. Enabler.

11Discerning Mind: You have +3 Armor against 11Disrupting Touch (1+ Might points): You can
damaging attacks and damaging effects that turn your Phase Sprint into a melee attack by Phase Sprint, page 170
target your mind and Intellect. Defense rolls you purposefully grazing another creature as you run.
make against attacks that attempt to confuse, When you do, the touch releases a violent blast
persuade, frighten, or otherwise influence you of energy that inflicts 2 points of damage to the
are eased. Enabler. target (ignores Armor). Whether you hit or miss,
your movement (and turn) ends immediately,
11Discipline of Watchfulness (7 Intellect points): which puts you within immediate distance
You keep your allies on their toes with occasional of your target. If you apply Effort to increase
questions, jokes, and even mock drills for those damage rather than to ease the task, you deal 2
who care to join in. After spending 24 hours additional points of damage per level of Effort
with you, your allies can apply a free level of (instead of 3 points); the target takes 1 point of Free level of Effort,
Effort to any initiative tasks they attempt. This damage even if you fail the attack roll. Enabler. page 209
benefit is ongoing while you remain in the allies’

129
The Distortion ability 11Distance Viewing (5 Intellect points): You 11Distortion (2 Intellect points): You modify how
grants a creature an asset know that space and distance are illusions. You a willing creature within short range reflects light
to their Speed defense. concentrate to create an invisible, immobile for one minute. The target rapidly shifts between
Defense actions are
sensor at a location you have previously visited its normal appearance and a blot of darkness.
described on page 225.
or viewed (at the GM’s discretion, you may have The target has an asset on Speed defense rolls
to succeed at an Intellect task if the location is until the effect wears off. Action to initiate.
warded). The sensor lasts for one hour. Once it
is created, you can concentrate to see, hear, and 11Diver: You can safely dive into water from
smell through the sensor. It doesn’t grant you heights of up to 100 feet (30 m), and you can
sensory capabilities beyond the norm. Action to withstand pressure when in water as deep as
create; action to check. 100 feet. Enabler.

11Distant Interface (2 Intellect points): You can 11Divert Attacks (4 Speed points): For one
activate, deactivate, or control a machine at long minute, you automatically deflect or dodge any
range as if you were next to it, even if normally ranged projectile attacks. However, on your next
you would have to touch or manually operate it. turn after you’re attacked with ranged projectiles,
If you have never interacted with the particular all your other actions are hindered. Action to
machine before, the task is hindered by two initiate.
steps. To use this ability, you must understand
the function of the machine, it must be your size 11Divide Your Mind (7 Intellect points): You
or smaller, and it can’t be connected to another split your consciousness into two parts. For one
intelligence (or be intelligent itself). Action. minute, you can take two actions on each of
Major Effect, page 212 your turns, but only one of them can be to use a
special ability. Action.

11Divine Intervention (2 Intellect points, or


2 Intellect points + 4 XP): You ask the divine
to intervene on your behalf, usually against a
creature within long range, changing the course
of its life in a small way by introducing a major
special effect upon it. The major special effect is
akin to what occurs when you roll a natural 20
on an attack. If you want to try for a larger effect,
and if the GM allows it, you can attempt a divine
intervention with a more far-reaching effect,
which is more like the kind of GM intrusion
initiated by the GM on their players. In this
case, Divine Intervention also costs 4 XP, the
effect may not work out exactly like you hope,
and you may not make another plea for divine
intervention for a week. Action.

11Divine Knowledge: You are trained in all tasks


related to knowledge of godly beings. Enabler.

11Divine Radiance (2 Intellect points): Your


prayer calls divine radiance from the heavens
to punish an unworthy target within long range,
inflicting 4 points of damage. If the target is
a demon, spirit, or something similar, it also
stands in unwilling awe of the divine energy
coursing through it and is unable to act on its
next turn. Once exposed to this blessing, the
target can’t be awed by this attack again for
several hours. Action.

130
Abilities–D

11Divine Symbol (5+ Intellect points): You invoke 11Drain Charge: You can drain the power from
divine power by scribing a glowing symbol in the an artifact or device, allowing you to regain
air with your fingers. Writhing pillars of divine 1 Intellect point per level drained. You regain
radiance spear up to five targets within long points at the rate of 1 point per round and must
range. A successful attack on a target inflicts 5 give your full concentration to the process each
points of damage. If you apply Effort to increase round. The GM determines whether the device
the damage, you deal 2 additional points of is fully drained (likely true of most handheld or
damage per level of Effort (instead of 3 points); smaller devices) or retains some power (likely
targets take 1 point of damage even if you fail the true of large machines). Action to initiate; action
attack roll. Action. each round to drain.

11Do You Know Who I Am? (3 Intellect points): 11Drain Creature (3+ Intellect points): You can
Acting only as someone who is famous and drain energy from a living creature you touch,
used to privilege can, you verbally harangue a inflicting 3 points of damage and restoring 3
living foe who can hear and understand you so points to your Might or Speed Pool. Action.
forcefully that it is unable to take any action,
including making attacks, for one round. 11Drain Machine (3+ Intellect points): You can The GM decides if a
Whether you succeed or fail, the next action drain the power from an artifact or powered target you want to drain
the target takes after your attempt is hindered. device you touch. If the target is a robot, you is protected in some
way, which hinders your
Action. inflict 3 points of damage and restore 3 points
attack, or doesn’t have
to your Might or Speed Pool. If the target is any power you can tap.
11Dodge and Resist (3 Speed points): You can an object, you restore points to your Might or
reroll any of your Might, Speed, or Intellect Speed Pool equal to the level of the target. If
defense rolls and take the better of the two the target is a manifest cypher, it is fully drained
results. Enabler. and useless. Artifacts and similar devices must
immediately check for depletion (items with
11Dodge and Respond (3 Might points): If a a depletion of “—” are either immune to this
melee attack misses you, you can immediately ability or have a depletion of 1 in 1d10 when
make a melee attack in return, but no more than attacked with this ability). Action.
once per turn. Enabler.
11Drain Power (5 Speed points): You affect the
11Double Strike (3 Might points): When you main power source of a robot or machine, inflicting
wield two weapons, you can choose to make upon it all four conditions in Disable Mechanisms Disable Mechanisms,
one attack roll against a foe. If you hit, you inflict at once. You must touch the robot to do this (if you page 128
damage with both weapons plus 2 additional are making an attack, it inflicts no damage). Action.
points of damage, and because you made a
single attack, the target’s Armor is subtracted 11Draw Conclusion (3 Intellect points):
only once. Action. After careful observation and investigation
(questioning one or more NPCs on a topic,
11Dragon’s Maw (6 Intellect points): You fashion searching an area or a file, and so on) lasting
and control a “hovering” phantasmal construct a few minutes, you can learn a pertinent fact.
of magic within long range that resembles a This ability is a difficulty 3 Intellect task. Each
dragon’s head. The construct lasts for up to additional time you use this ability, the task is
an hour, until it is destroyed, or until you cast hindered by an additional step. The difficulty
another spell. It is a level 4 construct that inflicts returns to 3 after you rest for ten hours. Action.
6 points of damage with its bite when directed.
While the construct persists, you can use it to 11Drawing on Life’s Experiences (6 Intellect When using Drawing
manipulate large objects, carry heavy items in its points): You’ve seen a lot and done a lot, and on Life’s Experiences,
mouth, or attack foes. If you use it to attack foes, that experience comes in handy. Ask the GM one the player is encouraged
to make up an
you must use your action to directly control the question, and you’ll receive a general answer.
anecdote, even if only
phantom maw for each attack. Action to initiate. The GM assigns a level to the question, so the in overview, that serves
more obscure the answer, the more difficult the as a basis for gaining
11Drain at a Distance: Your Drain Machine and task. Generally, knowledge that you could find the ability’s benefit.
Drain Creature abilities work on a target within by looking somewhere other than your current
short range. Enabler. location is level 1, and obscure knowledge of the
past is level 7. Action.

131
Free level of Effort, 11Dream Becomes Reality (4 Intellect points): attack against that same foe, you get a free level
page 209 You create a dream object of any shape you can of Effort on the task. Enabler.
imagine that is your size or smaller, which takes
on apparent substance and heft. The object is 11Dual Light Wield: You can use two light
crude and can have no moving parts, so you can weapons at the same time, making two separate
make a sword, a shield, a short ladder, and so attacks on your turn as a single action. You
on. The dream object has the approximate mass remain limited by the amount of Effort you can
of the real object, if you choose. Your dream apply on one action, but because you make
objects are as strong as iron, but if you do not separate attacks, your opponent’s Armor applies
remain within long range of them, they function to both. Anything that modifies your attack
for only one minute before fading away. Action. or damage applies to both attacks, unless it’s
specifically tied to one of the weapons. Enabler.
11Dream Thief (2 Intellect points): You steal a
previous dream from a living creature within 11Dual Medium Wield: You can use two light
short range. The creature loses 2 points weapons or medium weapons at the same time
of Intellect (ignores Armor), and you learn (or one light weapon and one medium weapon),
something the GM chooses to reveal about the making two separate attacks on your turn as a
creature—its nature, a portion of its plans, a single action. This ability otherwise works like the
memory, and so on. Action. Dual Light Wield ability. Enabler.

11Dreamcraft (1 Intellect point): You pull an 11Dual Wards: You can have two wards from
Devoted Defender, image from a dream into the waking world and Devoted Defender at a time. Choosing a second
page 128 place it somewhere within long range. The dream ward can be its own action, or you can choose
lasts for up to one minute, and it can be tiny or two wards with one action (and only pay the
fill an area an immediate distance in diameter. cost once for doing so). The wards must remain
Though it appears solid, the dream is intangible. within an immediate distance of each other.
The dream (a scene, a creature, or an object) is Benefits provided by Devoted Defender apply
static unless you use your action each round to to both your wards. If your wards separate,
animate it. As part of that animation, you could you choose which retains the benefit. If they
move the dream up to a short distance each come back together, both regain the benefit
round, as long as it remains within long range. immediately. Enabler.
If you animate the dream, it can make sound
but does not produce odor. Direct physical 11Duel to the Death (5 Speed points): Choose
interaction or sustained interaction with the a target (a single individual creature that you
dream shatters it into dispersing mist. For can see). You are trained in all tasks involving
example, attacking the dream shatters it, as does fighting that creature. When you successfully
the strain of keeping up appearances when an attack that target, you inflict +5 damage, or +7
NPC moves through a dream scene or engages damage if the creature is engaging someone else
a dream creature in conversation for more than instead of you. You can duel only one creature
a couple of rounds. Action to initiate; action to at a time. A duel lasts up to one minute, or until
animate. you break it off. Action to initiate.

Training in driving makes 11Driver: You are trained in all tasks related to 11Duplicate (2 Might points): You cause a
the character practiced driving a car, truck, or motorcycle, including duplicate of yourself to appear at any point you
in using a vehicle as a mechanical repair tasks. Enabler. can see within short range. The duplicate has
weapon. If the vehicle is
no clothing or possessions when it appears.
used to run over a victim
11Driving on the Edge: You can make an attack The duplicate is a level 2 NPC with 6 health. The
or ram an enemy vehicle,
treat a motorcycle as a with a light or medium ranged weapon and duplicate obeys your commands and does as you
medium weapon and attempt a driving task as a single action. Enabler. direct it. The duplicate remains until you dismiss
treat a car or truck as it using an action or until it is killed. When the
a heavy weapon. 11Dual Defense: When you wield two weapons, duplicate disappears, it leaves behind anything
you are trained in Speed defense tasks. Enabler. it was wearing or carrying. If the duplicate
disappears because it was killed, you take 4
11Dual Distraction (1+ Speed points): When you points of damage that ignore Armor, and you
wield two weapons, your opponent’s next attack lose your next action. Action to initiate.
is hindered, and if you apply Effort on your next

132
Abilities–D-E

11Dust to Dust (7 Intellect points): You elemental damage (such as fire, lightning,
disintegrate one object that is smaller than you shadow, or thorn) for one hour, or until you
and whose level is less than or equal to your tier. cast this spell again. Each level of Effort applied
You must touch the object to affect it. If the GM increases the elemental protection by +2. Action
feels it appropriate to the circumstances, you to initiate.
can disintegrate a portion of an object (the total
volume of which is smaller than you) rather than 11Elusive (2 Speed points): When you succeed
the entire thing. Action. on a Speed defense action, you immediately gain
an action. You can use this action only to move.
Enabler.
ABILITIES—E
11Earthquake (7 Might points): You direct your 11Embrace the Night (7+ Intellect points): You
destructive resonance into the ground and fashion a truly horrifying facade of a creature
trigger an earthquake centered on a spot you can from swirling ribbons of dark matter and launch
see within very long range. The ground within it at your foes within long range. Each round,
short range of that spot heaves and shakes for you can attack a target within long range using
five minutes, causing damage to structures and the creation as your weapon. When you attack,
terrain in the area. Buildings and terrain features the creature inserts hair-fine tendrils of shadow
shed debris and rubble. Each round, creatures into the target’s eyes and brain. The target takes
in the area take either 3 points of damage due 3 points of Intellect damage (ignores Armor) and
to the general shaking, or 6 points of damage is stunned for one round so that it loses its next
if in or adjacent to a structure or terrain feature turn. Alternatively, you can cause the creature
shedding debris. Action to initiate. to take other actions, as long as you are able to
see it and mentally control it as your action. The
11Echolocation: You are especially sensitive to creature disperses after about a minute. Action
sound and vibration, so much so that you can to initiate.
sense your environment within a short distance
regardless of your ability to see. Enabler. 11Embraced by Darkness (6 Intellect points): For
the next hour, you take on some characteristics
11Effective Skill: Choose one noncombat skill of a shadow thanks to a fundamental adaptation
when you gain this ability. You get a minor effect of your flesh or a device you’ve kept secret. Your Minor effect, page 211
with that skill when you roll a natural 14 or higher appearance is a dark silhouette. When you apply
(the d20 shows “14” or more). You get a major a level of Effort to sneaking tasks, you get a free Major effect, page 212
effect with that skill when you roll a natural 19 or level of Effort on the task. During this time, you
higher (the d20 shows “19” or higher). You can can move through the air at a rate of a short
select this ability more than once. Each time you distance per round, and you can move through
select it, you must choose a different noncombat solid barriers (even those that are sealed to
skill. Enabler. prevent the passage of light or shadow), but not
energy barriers, at a rate of 1 foot (30 cm) per
11Electric Armor (4 Intellect points): When you round. You can perceive while passing through
wish it, electricity crackles across your body a barrier or object, which allows you to peek
for ten minutes, granting you +1 Armor. While through walls. As a shadow, you can’t affect
electrified, you have an additional +2 Armor or be affected by normal matter. Likewise, you
versus electrical damage specifically, and you can’t attack, touch, or otherwise affect anything.
inflict 2 points of damage on any creature that However, attacks and effects that rely on light
touches you or attacks you with a melee weapon can affect you, and sudden bursts of light can
that conducts electricity. Enabler. potentially make you lose your next turn. Action
to initiate.
11 Electrical Flight (5 Intellect points): You exude an
aura of crackling electricity that lets you fly a long 11Enable Others: You can use the helping Helping, page 226
distance each round for ten minutes. You can’t rules to provide a benefit to another character
carry other creatures with you. Action to activate. attempting a physical task. Unlike the normal
helping rules, this doesn’t require you to use
11Elemental Protection (4+ Intellect points): You your action helping the other character with
and every target you designate within immediate the task. This requires no action on your part.
range gains +5 Armor against one type of direct Enabler.

133
11Encouragement (1 Intellect point): While you 11Energized Shield: Your force shield from
Force Field Shield, maintain this ability through ongoing inspiring your Force Field Shield ability now pulses with
page 143 oration, your allies within short range ease one dangerous energy whenever you manifest it.
of the following task types (your choice): defense Each time you use your shield as a melee or
tasks, attack tasks, or tasks related to any skill ranged weapon, it inflicts an additional 3 points
that you are trained or specialized in. Action. of damage. Enabler.

11Encouraging Presence (2 Intellect points): For 11Energy Protection (3+ Intellect points): Choose
one minute, allies within short range gain an a discrete type of energy that you have experience
asset on defense rolls. Action. with (such as heat, sonic, electricity, and so on).
You gain +10 to Armor against damage from that
11Endurance: Any duration dealing with physical type of energy for ten minutes. Alternatively, you
actions is either doubled or halved, whichever is gain +1 to Armor against damage from that energy
better for you. For example, if the typical person for 24 hours. You must be familiar with the type
can hold their breath for thirty seconds, you can of energy; for example, if you have no experience
hold it for one minute. If the typical person can with a certain kind of extradimensional energy,
march for four hours without stopping, you you can’t protect against it. In addition to the
can do so for eight hours. In terms of harmful normal options for using Effort, you can choose
effects, if a poison paralyzes its victims for one to use Effort to protect more targets; each level of
minute, you are paralyzed for thirty seconds. The Effort used in this way affects up to two additional
minimum duration is always one round. Enabler. targets. You must touch additional targets to
protect them. Action to initiate.
11Energize Creature (6+ Might points): You
Absorb Kinetic Energy, extend your Absorb Kinetic Energy ability to one 11Energy Resistance: Choose a discrete type of
page 108 creature within immediate range so that they energy that you have experience with (such as
also can absorb energy from physical attacks and heat, sonic, electricity, and so on). You gain +5 to
impacts for one hour. That creature, however, Armor against damage from that type of energy.
cannot release excess energy as a blast. For each You must be familiar with the type of energy; for
level of Effort you apply, you can increase the example, if you have no experience with a certain
number of targets you affect by one. If you have kind of extradimensional energy, you can’t
Absorb Pure Energy, Absorb Pure Energy or Improved Absorb Kinetic protect against it. You can select this ability more
page 108 Energy, those abilities are also duplicated in your than once. Each time you select it, you must
Improved Absorb Kinetic target when you use Energize Creature. Action to choose a different kind of energy. Enabler.
Energy, page 151 initiate.
11Enhance Strength (3 Intellect points): For the
11Energize Crowd (9 Might points): You extend next ten minutes, you gain an asset on tasks
your Absorb Kinetic Energy ability to up to thirty that depend on brute force, such as moving a
creatures within short range so that they also can heavy object, smashing down a door, or hitting
absorb energy from physical attacks and impacts someone with a melee weapon. Action to initiate.
for one hour. If you have Absorb Pure Energy or
Beast Form, page 112 Improved Absorb Kinetic Energy, these creatures 11Enhanced Beast Form: When you use Beast
can use those abilities as well. The creatures, Form, your beast form gains the following
however, cannot release excess energy as a blast. additional bonuses: +3 to your Might Pool, +2 to
Action to initiate. your Speed Pool, and +2 to Armor. Enabler.

11Energize Object: By focusing your Absorb 11Enhanced Body: Your machine parts grant you
“Steel can’t feel, but Kinetic Energy ability on an object (like a +1 to Armor, +3 to your Might Pool, and +3 to your
when it gets cold out, the weapon), you infuse it with your power. The Speed Pool. Traditional healing skills, medicines,
places where it joins to object holds the energy until it is touched by and techniques work only half as well for you. Each
my flesh sting and ache
anyone but you, so putting it into your melee time you start at full health, the first 5 points of
worse than anything.”
~Grandpa Iron weapon or the ammo of a ranged weapon allows damage you take can never be healed in these
the weapon to trigger the energy in combat. ways or recovered normally. Instead, you must use
The energy inflicts 3 points of damage on the repairing skills and abilities to restore those points.
creature touched in addition to any damage the For example, if you start with a full Might Pool of 10
weapon itself might do. You cannot have more and take 8 points of damage, you can use recovery
than one energized object on your person at a rolls to restore 3 points, but the remaining 5 points
time. Action to initiate. must be restored with repair tasks. Enabler.
134
Abilities–E

11Enhanced Intellect: You gain 3 points to your 11Enhanced Speed Edge: You gain +1 to your
Intellect Pool. Enabler. Speed Edge. Enabler.

11Enhanced Intellect Edge: You gain +1 to your 11Enlarge (1+ Might point): You trigger an
Intellect Edge. Enabler. enzymatic reaction that draws additional mass
from another dimension, and you (and your
11Enhanced Might: You gain 3 points to your clothing or suit) grow larger. You achieve a height
Might Pool. Enabler. of 9 feet (3 m) and stay that way for about a
minute. During that time, you add 4 points to
11Enhanced Might Edge: You gain +1 to your your Might Pool, add +1 to Armor, and add +2
Might Edge. Enabler. to your Might Edge. While you are larger than
normal, your Speed defense rolls are hindered,
11Enhanced Phased Attack (5 Intellect points): and you are practiced in using your fists as heavy
This ability works like the Phased Attack ability weapons. Phased Attack, page 170
except that your attack also disrupts the foe’s When the effects of Enlarge end, your Armor
vitals, dealing an additional 5 points of damage. and Might Edge return to normal, and you A character with an
Enabler. subtract a number of points from your Might Enhanced Physique is
Pool equal to the number you gained (if this likely to be either a bit
bulkier or somewhat
11Enhanced Physique: You gain 3 points to brings the Pool to 0, subtract the overflow first
leaner as a result.
divide among your Might and Speed Pools from your Speed Pool and then, if necessary,
however you wish. Enabler. from your Intellect Pool). Each additional time
you use Enlarge before your next ten-hour
11Enhanced Potential: You gain 3 points to recovery roll, you must apply an additional level
divide among your stat Pools however you wish. of Effort. Thus, the second time you use Enlarge,
Enabler. you must apply one level of Effort; the third time
you use Enlarge, two levels of Effort; and so on.
11Enhanced Speed: You gain 3 points to your Action to initiate.
Speed Pool. Enabler.

135
11Enlightened: You are trained in any perception 11Evanesce (3 Speed points): You step into
task that involves sight. Enabler. shadows or behind cover, and everyone who
was observing you completely loses track of you.
11Entangling Force (1+ Intellect point): A Although you’re not invisible, you can’t be seen
target within short range is subject to a snare until you reveal yourself again by moving out of
constructed of semi-tangible lines of force the shadows or from behind cover (or by making
for one minute. The force snare is a level 2 an attack). Action.
construct. A target caught in the force snare
cannot move from its position, but it can attack 11Evasion: You’re hard to affect when you don’t
Defense tasks, page 225 and defend normally. The target can also use its want to be affected. You are trained in all defense
action attempting to break free. You can increase tasks. Enabler.
the level of the force snare by 1 per level of Effort
applied. Action to initiate. 11Everything Is a Weapon: You can take any
small object—a coin, a pen, a bottle, a stone,
11Enthrall (1 Intellect point): While talking, you and so on—and throw it with such force and
grab and keep another creature’s attention, even precision that it inflicts damage as a light
if the creature can’t understand you. For as long weapon. Enabler.
as you do nothing but speak (you can’t even
move), the other creature takes no actions other 11Exile (5 Intellect points): You send a target
than to defend itself, even over multiple rounds. that you touch hurtling into another random
If the creature is attacked, the effect ends. Action. dimension or universe, where it remains for
ten minutes. You have no idea what happens to
11Entourage: You gain an entourage of five the target while it’s gone, but at the end of ten
level 1 twenty-somethings that accompanies minutes, it returns to the precise spot it left.
you wherever you go unless you purposefully Action.
disband it for a particular outing. You can ask
them to deliver things for you, run messages, 11Experienced Defender: When wearing armor,
pick up your dry cleaning—pretty much whatever you gain +1 to Armor. Enabler.
you want, within reason. They can also run
interference if you’re trying to avoid someone, 11Experienced Finder (6+ Intellect points): When
help hide you from media attention, help you you are looking for something specific, such as
muscle through a crowd, and so on. On the a particular rare component, a chemical needed
other hand, if a situation becomes physically to complete a vaccine for a disease, a spare part
violent, they retreat to safety. Enabler. required to repair a damaged device, the tracks
of a specific beast, or the sword that a thief stole
Force Field Shield, 11Enveloping Shield: Your Force Field Shield from you, this ability is of great use. For the
page 143 ability produces an envelope of force that enfolds next 24 hours, if you come within short range
you while you are holding the shield, granting of the thing and circumstances are such that
you +1 to Armor. Enabler. it is possible for you to perceive the thing (for
example, it’s not in a locked chamber for which
Erasing memories can 11Erase Memories (3 Intellect points): You reach you do not have the key), you find it. This ability
be a tricky business. into the mind of a creature within immediate assumes that you are constantly on the lookout,
On a failed attempt range and make an Intellect roll. On a success, always looking everywhere possible, peering
to erase a creature’s
you erase up to the last five minutes of its behind obstacles, and so on—if you’re running
memories, an interesting
GM intrusion might memory. Action. for your life, sleeping, or otherwise occupied, this
have the effect target an ability does not help you. You use this ability in
ally or the character. 11Escape (2 Speed points): You slip your lieu of making a roll to find the thing, but only
restraints, squeeze through the bars, break the if the difficulty for finding the object is level 6
grip of a creature holding you, pull free from or below. You can apply Effort to increase the
sucking quicksand, or otherwise get loose from maximum level of the thing you’re trying to find
whatever is holding you in place. Action. (each level of Effort used this way increases the
maximum level by 1). Action to initiate.
11Escape Plan: When you kill a foe, you can
attempt a stealth task to immediately hide from 11Experienced in Armor: The cost reduction from
Practiced in Armor, anyone around, assuming that a suitable hiding your Practiced in Armor ability improves. You
page 171 place is nearby. Enabler. now reduce the Speed cost by 2. Enabler.

136
Abilities–E

11Expert Crafter: Instead of rolling, you can trained in. The task must be difficulty 4 or lower,
choose to automatically succeed on a crafting and it can’t be an attack roll or a defense roll. Crafting, page 227
task you’re trained in. The task must be difficulty Enabler.
4 or lower. If you are able to reduce the assessed
difficulty of a crafting task to 4 or lower, this 11Explains the Ineffable: Through anecdotes,
ability also applies to each subtask, assuming historical retellings, and citing knowledge that
something doesn’t interrupt you during the few but you have previously understood, you
ensuing time to build. Enabler. enlighten your friends. After spending 24 hours
with you, once per day, each of your friends can
11Expert Cypher Use: You can bear three cyphers ease a particular task by two steps. This benefit
at a time. Enabler. is ongoing while you remain in your friends’
company. It ends if you leave, but it resumes if
11Expert Driver: You are specialized in all tasks you return to your friends’ company within 24
related to driving a car, truck, or motorcycle, hours. If you leave your friends’ company for
including mechanical repair tasks. Enabler. longer than that, you must spend another 24
hours together to reactivate the benefit. Enabler.
11Expert Follower: You gain a level 3 follower. Follower, page 233
They are not restricted on their modifications. 11Exploit Advantage: Even if you can do Modifications, page 233
You can take this ability multiple times, something well, you’ve learned that you can
each time gaining another level 3 follower. always do it even better. Whenever you have
Alternatively, you could choose to advance a level an asset for a roll, you ease the task by one
2 follower you already have to level 3 and then additional step. Enabler.
gain a new level 2 follower. Enabler.
11Exploratory Experience: You are trained in two
11Expert Pilot: You are specialized in all tasks additional skills in which you are not already
related to piloting a starcraft. Enabler. trained. Choose from the following: navigation,
perception, sensing danger, initiative, peacefully
11Expert Skill: Instead of rolling a d20, you can opening communications with strangers, and
choose to automatically succeed on a task you’re tracking. Enabler.

137
11Explosive Release (6 Intellect points): You can 11Eyes Adjusted: You can see in extremely dim
amplify the energy stored in your Siphon Pool light as though it were bright light. You can see
Store Energy, page 186 (from your Store Energy ability) and release in total darkness as if it were extremely dim light.
it in a massive blast that affects either one Enabler.
target within short range or everything within
immediate range. If you choose a single target, it
takes 2 points of damage for every point in your ABILITIES—F
Siphon Pool. If you choose an area, everything 11Face Morph (2+ Intellect points): You alter
in the area (except you) takes 1 point of damage your features and coloration for one hour, hiding
per point in your Siphon Pool (or half that if your identity or impersonating someone. This
your attack fails against them). This drains your affects only your face, not the rest of your body.
Siphon Pool to 0 points. Action. You can’t perfectly duplicate someone else’s face,
but you can be accurate enough to fool someone
11Extra Recovery: You gain an additional who knows that person casually. You have an
one-action recovery each day. Enabler. asset in all tasks involving disguise. You must
apply a level of Effort to be able to impersonate
If building a focus, 11Extra Skill: You are trained in one skill of your a different species (such as a human morphing
Extra Skill can often be choice (other than attacks or defense) in which into a humanoid alien). Action.
granted as a secondary you are not already trained. You can select this
ability in addition to
ability multiple times. Each time you select it, 11Familiarize: You can familiarize yourself with a
another more potent
ability at the same tier. you must choose a different skill. Enabler. new area if you spend at least one hour studying
a region up to a long distance across that you are
11Extra Use (3 Intellect points): You attempt able to directly access and move about in. Once
to gain an extra use from an artifact without you’ve familiarized yourself with an area, all your
triggering a depletion roll. The difficulty of the tasks related to perception, navigation, salvaging
task is equal to the level of the artifact. If you and scavenging, defense, and moving about the
crafted the artifact, you gain an asset to the task. area gain an asset. Each time you familiarize
On a failure, the depletion roll occurs normally. yourself with a new area, you lose focus on a
You could also try to use a manifest cypher previous area unless you spend 1 XP to retain the
without burning it out, but the task is hindered. familiarity permanently. Action to initiate, one
A failed attempt to gain an additional use from a hour to complete.
manifest cypher destroys it before it can produce
the desired effect. Action. 11Far Step (2 Intellect points): You leap through
the air and land some distance away. You can
11Extreme Mastery (6 Might or 6 Speed points): jump up, down, or across to anywhere you
When using your chosen weapon, you can reroll choose within long range if you have a clear and
any attack roll you wish and take the better of the unobstructed path to that location. You land
two results. Enabler. safely. Action.

11Eye for Detail (2 Intellect points): When you 11Fast Kill (2 Speed points): You know how to
spend five minutes or so thoroughly exploring an kill quickly. When you hit with a melee or ranged
area no larger than a short distance in diameter, attack, you deal 4 additional points of damage.
you can ask the GM one question about the You can’t make this attack in two consecutive
area. The GM must answer you truthfully. You rounds. Action.
cannot use this more than one time per area
When a PC uses Fast per 24 hours. Action to initiate, five minutes to 11Fast Talk (1 Intellect point): When speaking
Talk, encourage them to complete. with an intelligent creature who can understand
provide the broad gist you and isn’t hostile, you convince that creature
of how they’re trying to
11Eye Gouge (2 Speed points): You make an to take one reasonable action in the next round.
persuade their target.
attack against a creature with an eye. The A reasonable action must be agreed upon by the
attack is hindered, but if you hit, the creature GM; it should not put the creature or its allies
has trouble seeing for the next hour. During in obvious danger or be wildly out of character.
this time, the creature’s tasks that rely on sight Action.
(which is most tasks) are hindered. Action.

138
Abilities–E-F

11Fast Travel (7 Intellect points): You warp 11Field of Gravity (4 Intellect points): When you
time and space so that you and up to ten other wish it, a field of manipulated gravity around you
creatures within immediate distance travel pulls incoming ranged projectile attacks to the
overland at ten times the normal rate for up ground. You are immune to such attacks until
to eight hours. At this speed, most dangerous your turn in the next round. You must be aware
encounters or regions of rough terrain are of an attack to foil it. This ability does not work
ignored, though the GM may declare exceptions. on energy attacks. Enabler.
Outright barriers still present a problem. Action
to initiate. 11Field-Reinforced Armor: You gain +1 to Armor
while wearing the power armor from your
11Fearsome Reputation (3 Intellect points): Powered Armor ability. Enabler. Powered Armor, page 171
You and those you travel with have earned a
fearsome reputation in some parts. If your 11Fiery Hand of Doom (3 Intellect points): While
foes have heard of you, affected targets within your Shroud of Flame is active, you can reach Shroud of Flame,
earshot become afraid, and all attacks they make into your halo and produce a hand made of page 183
against you are hindered until one or more of animate flame that is twice the size of a human’s
them successfully inflicts damage on you or one hand. The hand acts as you direct, floating in the
of your allies, at which time their fear abates. air. Directing the hand is an action. Without a
Action. command, the hand does nothing. It can move
a long distance in a round, but it never moves
11Feat of Strength (1 Might point): Any task farther away from you than long range. The hand
that depends on brute force is eased. Examples can grab, move, and carry things, but anything it
include smashing down a barred door, tearing touches takes 1 point of damage per round from
open a locked container, lifting or moving a the heat. The hand can also attack. It’s a level 3
heavy object, or striking someone with a melee creature and deals 1 extra point of damage from
weapon. Enabler. fire when it attacks. Once created, the hand lasts
for ten minutes. Action to create; action to direct.
11Feint (2 Speed points): If you use one action
creating a misdirection or diversion, in the next 11Fight On: You do not suffer the normal
round you can take advantage of your opponent’s penalties for being impaired on the damage Damage track, page 218
lowered defenses. Make a melee attack roll track. If debilitated, instead of suffering the
against that opponent. You gain an asset on this normal penalty of being unable to take most
attack. If your attack is successful, it inflicts 4 actions, you can continue to act; however, all
additional points of damage. Action. tasks are hindered. Enabler.

11Fellow Explorer: You gain a level 2 follower. 11Final Defiance: When you would normally be Followers, page 233
One of their modifications must be for tasks dead, you instead remain conscious and active
related to perception. Enabler. for one more round plus one additional round
each time you succeed on a difficulty 5 Might
11Fetch (3 Intellect points): You cause an object task. During these rounds, you are debilitated.
to disappear and reappear in your hands or If you do not receive healing or otherwise gain
somewhere else nearby. Choose one object that points in a Pool during your final round(s) of
can fit inside a 5-foot (2 m) cube and that you activity, you are subject to the effects of Not Not Dead Yet, page 166
can see within long range. The object vanishes Dead Yet. Enabler.
and appears in your hands or in an open space
anywhere you choose within immediate range. 11Find an Opening (1 Intellect point): You
Action. use trickery to find an opening in your foe’s
defenses. If you succeed on a Speed roll against
11Field of Destruction (4 Might points): When one creature within immediate range, your next
you cause an object to descend one or more attack against that creature before the end of the
steps on the object damage track, you gain next round is eased. Action. Object damage
1 additional point of Armor for one minute. track, page 116
Enabler. 11Find the Guilty: If you have used Designation
on a target, you are trained in tracking them, Designation, page 127
spotting them when they are hidden or
disguised, or otherwise finding them. Enabler.

139
11Find the Hidden (4+ Intellect points): You see programmed action, such as “Wait here, and
the traceries of objects as they move through attack anyone who comes within short range
space and time. You can sense the distance and until they’re dead.” The servant lasts for ten
direction of any specific inanimate object that minutes, is a level 5 creature, and deals 1 extra
you once touched. This takes anywhere from one point of damage from fire when it attacks. Action
action to hours of concentration, depending on to create; action to direct.
what the GM feels is appropriate due to time,
distance, or other mitigating circumstances. 11Fire Tendrils (5 Intellect points): When you
Shroud of Flame, However, you don’t know in advance how long it wish it, your halo (from your Shroud of Flame
page 183 will take. If you use at least two levels of Effort, ability) sprouts three tendrils of flame that last
once you have established the distance and for up to ten minutes. As an action, you can
direction, you remain in contact with the object use the tendrils to attack, making a separate
for one hour per level of Effort used. Thus, if it attack roll for each. Each tendril inflicts 4 points
moves, you are aware of its new position. Action of damage. Ot