Before you can start role-playing your character, you have to have a character in the first place. Rather than having everyone start out with an identical character -- which would be extremely boring -- each player gets to design their own character from scratch. You have extraordinary freedom of character design, making your character totally unlike any other; your personal creation, exactly the way you want.
To allow this degree of freedom, however, the character generation process can be complicated, since it has to encompass almost every aspect of the game, but try making a few trial characters and pretty soon you'll get the hang of it. As always, if you have any trouble, check the FAQ, and feel free to contact me.
It is recommended that you read through all of the instructions before starting, so that you know more or less what you're doing. Also, you should probably make a few characters just to see how the process works before you start on the character you actually intend to use.
If you want a place to write down everything, there are printable character reference sheets included in the zip file downloadable from the main page. You should keep your character reference sheet on hand while you're playing in case you forget something.
Note that after the instructions there is a tutorial that may clarify anything that you have questions about, so if you don't understand entirely take a look.
Step 1: The Hook
This may seem superfluous -- in fact, I thought so at first -- but if you want to make a good character, the first thing you need is a hook.
A hook is the basic idea for your character; the character's personality. This defines everything else you do; if your character is a fighter, you give him or her the statistics, skills and equipment necessary to fight; if your character is a smuggler, you give him or her the statistics, skills, and equipment necessary to smuggle; et cetra.
A specialized character has an added depth that makes the role-playing experience much more interesting, and it gives you a chance to stick to what you do best. A "jack of all trades" character doesn't tend to do real well, even if he or she doesn't have any companions, and if that were the case you probably wouldn't be playing in the first place, so communicate with your companions and build your characters with a team philosophy.
The more specific the hook, the more interesting your character will be to play. However, if this is your first time building a character, don't worry too much about the hook, because you'll probably want to scrap your first character or two and start over anyway.
Step 2: Race
Once you've figured out what kind of character you want to build, you have to decide on your species. If you haven't already, you should look through the list of the 13 Races of Metharism and think about what kind of character you want to build. If you want someone smart, you might try Humans, Talcona, or Aurq. If you want a powerful fighter, you could try Hilex, Ifrenon, or Terrack. The Felix and Kesprit have the ability to fly. If you're the kind of person who always gets killed, you might want to try a Quin. The Zorr make for an interesting game, but you won't be able to use any magic. If you like to focus on the metaphysical, the Kiqui are masters. I recommend against playing as an Ethereal or Demigod unless you're sure you know what you're getting yourself in for, they're both very difficult to play.
Remember that each race (with the exception of Demigod) has a unique special ability. You may want to pick out a race with a talent that compliments your hook. The reference section of the Character Generation page, which starts with the section on Statistics, should help you make sense of some of the other things you see.
Step 3: Statistics
Now things get a little more complicated. One of the statistics listed with your race is C.F., which stands for Construction Factor. You spend this CF on pretty much everything else from here on out.
The other statistics you'll see by your race are Special, Build, Reflexes, Intelligence, Learn, Charisma, Health, Mana, and Edge. Five of these (Build, Reflexes, Intelligence, Learn, and Charisma) are called your attributes. These are your most important statistics because they determine your ability to do anything else. The following abbreviations are commonly used:
BLD = Build
REF = Reflexes
INT = Intelligence
LRN = Learn
CHA = Charisma
There are three numbers listed with each statistic. The first one is called the base value. Your statistic starts at this amount, and can never get lower. You don't have to pay a single CF to get the statistic up to this.
The second one is called the max value. This is the highest you can get that statistic by spending CF on it. You don't have to get it this high, but you can if you want to.
The third value is called the potential value. Your character will continue to improve as you play the game, even beyond your race's max values. The potential value for any stat is the highest you can ever earn it up to during the game.
So, you statistic starts at the base value when you create your character. You can spend some of your CF to raise it, but you can't get it any higher than the max value during character construction. It costs different amounts of CF to raise each attribute. To raise an attribute it costs:
+1 Build 4 CF +1 Reflexes 4 CF +1 Intelligence 8 CF +1 Learn 4 CF +1 Charisma 4 CF +5 Health (HP) 2 CF +1 Mana (MP) 1 CF +2 Special 1 CF +1 Edge 10 CF
For more information about what each statistic does, see the reference section on statistics.
Step 4: Skills
After you know how fast, strong, smart, etc. your character is, its time to give him or her some specific skills. Skills are talents at doing particular things. There is a huge selection of skills, and if there are any missing, you can add them by using the Special Interest skill.
Skills are classified two different ways. The first way is by characteristic. Characteristics are special statistics that are determined by your attributes. Your athletic characteristic is dependent upon build and reflexes, your physical upon reflexes and intellgence, your mental upon intelligence and learn, and your social upon intelligence and charisma. For more details, see characteristics under attributes in the reference section.
The second way is by their rarity. Some skills are more common than others; this affects the cost of purchasing natural aptitude for them (see advantages below). Skills are clasified as obscure, normal, combative, or magical.
All skills must be bought for your character at level 1 for 3 CF. A level one skill your character already has can be raised to level 2 for another 6 CF, for a total cost of 9 CF. A skill at level 2 can be raised to level 3 for another 9 CF, for a total cost of 18 CF. A table below shows this progression:
Skill Level Cumulative Cost 1 3 CF 2 9 CF 3 18 CF 4 30 CF 5 45 CF 6 63 CF
For obvious reasons, its a good idea to keep your skills to low levels. It quickly becomes more economical to raise your attributes rather than your skill levels.
It is important to buy all of the skills that you plan on using, because if you try to use a skill that you don't have, it is much more difficult to do successfully.
Three complete lists of all the skills in the game follow. Hold the mouse over a skill for a brief description, and click on the skill or see skills in the reference section for details.
Athletic Skills Physical Skills Mental Skills Social Skills Acrobatics O Blacksmith N Appraisal N Begging O Axe C Carpenter N Cryptology O Impersonation O Bow C Crossbow C Disguise N Interrogation O Climbing O Escape Artist O Forgery O Intimidation N Club C Evasion C Gambling O Leadership N Flying N Horseback N Herb Lore N Negotiation N Knife C Locksmith O Language* N Persuasion N Shield C Mining O Lore N Scrounge N Spear/Pole C Pick Pocket O Navigation N Seduction O Sprinting N Quickdraw C Perception* N Taming N Staff C Running N Poison O Teaching O Swimming N Stealth N Scribe M Voice O Sword C Spells* M Throwing C Tinker N Tunneling O Tracking O Unarmed Combat C Training N Whip/Flail C Special Interest* O *These skills are actually each a set of subskills that must be purchased individually.
Normal Magical Combat
In addition to these skills, there are several unusual natural talents that some people are born with. They're treated like skills when using them, but you can only have them if you start with them, and you can never improve them. These are called knacks. Each knack can be bought at one of three different skill levels for varying amounts of CF. A listing of knacks follows, for more information see knacks under skills in the reference section.
Note that you want the roll number to be as low as possible, this will make it easier to use the knack.
Knack Roll Cost Knack Roll Cost Beseeming 10+ 5 CF Doodlebug 9+ 8 CF 8+ 10 CF 6+ 16 CF 6+ 15 CF 3+ 24 CF Dowser (ally) 8+ 6 CF Spark 11+ 8 CF 6+ 10 CF 8+ 16 CF 4+ 14 CF 5+ 24 CF Dowser (enemy) 11+ 6 CF Warding 9+ 10 CF 9+ 10 CF 8+ 15 CF 7+ 14 CF 7+ 20 CF Come-Hither 11+ 6 CF Green Song 5+ 15 CF 9+ 11 CF 4+ 20 CF 7+ 17 CF 3+ 25 CF
Step 5: Advantages
Now its time to add a few special quirks to your character! Advantages give your character a special edge over other characters in various ways. You can also get disadvantages, which don't benefit your character, but they give you CF back if you take them, and you can then spend that CF on other things.
The advantages and disadvantages are listed below. Advantages and disadvantages that appear on the same line are opposites, and as such you cannot get both. Only the advantages marked by an asterik can be purchased more than once. Click on an advantage or disadvantage or see advantages in the reference section for details on each. Hold the mouse over an advantage for a brief description.
Your race may start with some advantages or disadvantages. If this is the case, you may purchase the opposite disadvantage or advantage for your character and the two will cancel out.
Cost Advantages Disadvantages CF Back 12 Ambidextrous 12 Advanced Magical Training* 10 Exceptional Attribute* 28 Exceptional Potential* Unexceptional Potential +10 45 Incredible Health Weakling +25 20 Magical Aptitude Magical Ineptitude +10 35 Mana Well Mana Lack +25 12 Natural Aptitude (obscure)* Natural Ineptitude (obscure) +8 24 Natural Aptitude (normal)* Natural Ineptitude (normal) +14 30 Natural Aptitude (magical)* Natural Ineptitude (magical) +20 36 Natural Aptitude (combat)* Natural Ineptitude (combat) +26 15 Racial Strength Racial Deaf +18 10 Remarkable Edge* 30 Sixth Sense (danger) 25 Sixth Sense (life) 25 Sixth Sense (magic) 15 Seventh Sense 25 Toughness Frailty +25 8 Well-Equipped (Level B) 15 Well-Equipped (Level C) 20 Well-Equipped (Level D) Blunt Edge +30 Magic-Deaf +75
Step 6: Equipment
Unless you want your character to run around naked, you'd better start thinking about buying them some material possessions. This is the last place you'll need to spend your CF, so if you don't use it all up here, go back and get something else from a previous step.
There are three units of currency in Metharism: gold coins (g), silver coins (s), and copper coins (c). The exchange rate between these currencies and CF is as follows:
1 CF = 1 gold coin = 100 silver coins = 10,000 copper coins
It therefore follows that, just as there are 100 cents in one dollar, there are 100 copper coins in one silver coin and 100 silver coins in one gold coin. You can convert your CF to money now, and any of the money you don't spend on starting equipment your character will start with as spending money.
You now face the difficult task of picking out what you want to buy. You can go and take a look at the equipment page for a list of things. I recommend you pick up some normal clothes, some armor and a weapon if you plan on doing any fighting, any tools appropriate to your chosen profession, and some healing potions for emergencies to start. You can add on to that list anything else you want.
You need to be careful, however, because you can't get anything on the list. In the leftmost column of the table is a letter printed next to each item. This represents the availability of the equipment. Anybody can get availability A equipment, but availability B, C, or D equipment is harder to come by. You'll have to get the Well-Equipped advantage (see above) to buy this equipment. Well-Equipped Level B lets you get availability A or B equipment, Level C lets you get A, B, or C equipment, and Level D lets you get any equipment.
If there's something you want to buy that's not on the list, contact the Gamemaster and if that item is to be had in the world of Metharism, the Gamemaster will set a price and availability for you.
Notice that you don't have to pay list price for everything if you don't want to. You can spend as much or as little on any of the equipment you get as you like, but there will be a corresponding change in quality. If you try to buy a sword for 5 copper coins, its going to turn to dust the instant you touch it, so try to be a bit realistic. If you're not paying the list price for your equipment, point this out to the Gamemaster, and also note where you'd prefer the increase or decrease in quality to be (durability, sharpness, potency, size, whatever). There may be changes other than in the area you mention, but they will be focused in that area.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Your character is now pretty much done, all that's left is to determine a few things for the sake of reference. If you haven't already, you should give your character a name. You should pick which gender your character is going to be (male or female) -- this doesn't necessarily have to be your own gender. Unless your character is ambidextrous, you should figure out whether they're right- or left-handed.
You should write a short physical description of your character for use during the game. You may want to note (but are not required to) height (this should be based on build), hair color, eye color, etc. If you feel like getting carried away, you can draw a picture of your character.
Once you've got all that done, package up all of that information and send it off to the Gamemaster so you can start playing!
I'm sure a lot of people won't have understood the above instructions for creating a character, so here's a quick tutorial to help you learn. I'm going to show you how I made my character. I should warn you, however, that I'm going to jump around a lot, which is something you can do once you're familiar with the system, but I don't recommend you do it much yourself until you get the hang of things.
For my hook, I've decided to have a mage hunter. I will travel around and hunt down magic users, getting a bounty off them when I can and earning a living by scavenging any magical items that they had when I can't. There's obviously a range advantage involved in spellcasting, so I'll counter by fighting with a bow, since I don't expect mages to have much in the way of armor or melee weapons anyway.
For mage-hunting, Zorr would be the obvious choice, but I think its a little too obvious -- magicians will never get anywhere near me even if they think I'm perfectly amiable. I want something more subtle. I can also rule out Ethereal and Demigod, because I just don't want to deal with trying to play either of those two races. It might be interesting to try being a Folex, but somehow I think mages will come up with a counter for aerial attacks, and they've got very low build. This wouldn't be the best hook for an Aurq, because I don't see why I'd be going underwater, Kesprit can't effectively use bows, and Kiquei have incredibly low build.
That leaves Human, Talcon, Hilex, Ifreno, Terrack, and Quin. After pouring over the information on each race and considering carefully, I've decided to play a Human, because I like their racial special and they've got not only high build and reflexes, which will help me with my bow, but also high intelligence and learn, which will enable me to fight magic with magic, which is an appealing prospect (that way I can also brew my own healing potions). Don't read too much into this; Humans aren't some kind of super-race just because the game designer picked them. I worked hard to make the decision of race very difficult by making all the races more or less equal. Play whatever race you'll enjoy the most.
I'm getting out of order here, but I'm going to pick my disadvantages first so that I have as much CF to work with for the rest of the character generation process as possible.
First, I don't have a particularly social character in mind, so I'll get unexceptional potential for charisma. That's an easy +10 CF right there. I'm also going to pick up all of the natural ineptitudes (one for each type of skill, which is the most you can take), so I should decide which skills I'm going to want to use the least. For combat, I've chosen spear/pole, since I don't plan on using that kind of weaponry, and its difficult to imagine how I could end up using it accidentally. For magic, I've chosen the OR subskill of the spells skill, because it doesn't look like its going to have any terribly important spells. For a normal skill, I've picked leadership, and for an obscure skill, teaching.
I have to spend 3 CF to get each of those skills before I can get natural ineptitude for them, of course.
So, after all of that, I increase the Human starting CF of 275 by a net of 66 to a whopping 341 CF! That should get me some impressive stuff.
Now its time to worry about my attributes. I want high athletic characteristic (BLD & REF) for my bow and high mental characteristic (INT & LRN) for magic, so I'm going to max out my build, reflexes, intelligence, and learn at 6, 6, 8, and 7 respectively. Since intelligence costs double, that cost me a total of 104 CF. My, my, I'm spending it fast! That sets me down to 237 CF left to spend.
However, I want to make sure I've got really good marksmanship, so I'm going to buy the exceptional attribute advantage for reflexes and then buy it up to 7. The advantage costs 10 CF and then raising the attribute costs another 4, so that sets me down to 223 CF.
I shouldn't neglect charisma entirely, but I'm not that interested in having it high either. I'll just get it up to 2 for another 8 CF. I'm now at 215 CF.
From those attributes we can now calculate my statistics as follows:
Athletic = 18 - (BLD + REF) = 18 - (6 + 7) = 18 - 13 = 5
Physical = 18 - (REF + INT) = 18 - (7 + 8) = 18 - 15 = 3
Mental = 18 - (INT + LRN) = 18 - (8 + 7) = 18 - 15 = 3
Social = 18 - (INT + CHA) = 18 - (8 + 2) = 18 - 10 = 8
That's a very good athletic characteristic, extraordinary physical and mental, and OK social. I seem to be doing fairly well so far.
Out of order again, let's make sure I don't go wild on other stuff before I get any advantages I absolutely want. I should get sixth sense (magic) to help be track down my targets, and if I want a decent bow I should get well-equipped at no less than level B. That's 25 CF for the sixth sense and 8 for well-equipped, which brings me down to 182 CF.
Now let's make sure I can get all of the skills I want to have.
First off, I want all of the rest of the spells subskills (I already got OR when I was getting disadvantages). I obviously want bow skill, and I think I'll get crossbow as well for good measure. I should get horseback so I can travel more easily. I should get a couple of languages (I'll decide which ones later). I should also obviously have evasion, quickdraw, running, and sprinting. I'm always like perception, so I'll get it for sight, sound, and my sixth sense, of course. Herb lore and navigation are also always nice to have in case the unexpected comes up.
To make sure I didn't miss anything important, and to get some additional skills that might be useful, I'm going to look over the entire skills list again and pick out everything that looks interesting.
Acrobatics could be useful, and appraisal is a must-have if I'm going to be selling my plunder. Climbing could come in useful, and negotiation will help me save money. Stealth could be extraordinarily useful under certain circumstances, and I should fill in my ranged attacks with throwing. I'll go ahead and toss in swimming and seduction as good skills to have in a jam.
If you count all of those up, that's a total of 27 skills and subskills. For starters, I'll just get them all at level 1, which costs 3 x 27 = 81 CF. I'm particularly concerned about getting things right the first time with bow and quickdraw, so I'll boost those up to level 2 for another 6 CF each. All in all, I spent 93 CF on skills, not counting the 12 I factored in when I was getting natural ineptitude. That reduces me to only 89 CF left to spend.
Time to boost the rest of my stats. Since I'll probably be fighting alone a lot, I should get my health and mana as high as possible, so I'll boost them both to the human maximum values (that's from 50 to 100 health and from 0 to 30 mana). That cost me 20 CF for the health and 30 for the mana.
My racial special, intuition, only starts at 10, so I should get that up, too. I've only got 39 CF left to spend, so I'm not going to max it out, but getting it up to 50 should be sufficient. That cost me another 20 CF, so I'm down to 19 CF. I've already got a decent edge, so I'm just going to leave that alone.
The next step would be to purchase equipment. However, the equipment list isn't done yet, so I'm going to wait and finish this tutorial after there's some equipment to pick from.
Attributes are probably your most important statistics. These determine how strong, fast, smart, and social you are. The five different attributes are:
Build (BLD) --
This attribute reflects your size and strength. It also helps determine your Athletic characteristic.
Reflexes (REF) --
This attribute reflects your speed and coordination. It also helps determine your Athletic and Physical characteristics.
Intelligence (INT) --
This attribute reflects your mental awareness and ability to think through logical causal relationships. It also helps determine your Physical, Mental, and Social characteristics. Costs twice as much to increase as other attributes.
Learn (LRN) --
This attribute reflects your ability to adapt to new situations and solve problems. It also helps determine your Mental characteristic.
Charisma (CHA) --
This attribute reflects your tactfulness and social grace. Get a dictionary for a better definition. It also helps determine your Social characteristic.
Most of the time, you don't use your attributes directly, but you do use your characteristics. It would then follow that you can't change your characteristics directly, but they're dependent upon your attributes, so the better your attributes, the better your characteristics. All characteristics are determined by subtracting the sum of two of your attributes from eighteen (note that lower numbers reflect better characteristics). All skills correspond to a certain characteristic, and the better your characeristic, the easier it is to use that skill. The four characteristics are:
Athletic [18 - (BLD + REF)]
Your athletic characteristic reflects your strength and agility, and is used in energetic, tiring, or back-breaking work.
Physical [18 - (REF + INT)]
Your physical characteristic reflects your hand-eye coordination and your ability to react physically to changing situations. Used for marksmanship and other precision work, as well as anything that requires effort but not a lot of strength.
Mental [18 - (INT + LRN)]
Your mental characteristic reflects your ability to learn from experience and think logically, as well as the accuracy of your memory. Used for tasks that require deep thought, and for magic.
Social [18 - (INT + CHA)]
Your social characteristic represents your skill with words, on and off paper, and your ability to sound like you know what you're talking about. Used in interactions with other people.
Your health represents your physical resilience and resistance to damage. The more health you have, the harder it is for other people to kill you. Every time you get hurt, you will lose some health, and will recover it when you heal. If your health is reduced to 0, you die, but you'll probably fall unconscious long before then.
Your mana statistic actually reflects your metaphysical reservoir of mana, which is the essence of magic and allows you to control and use magic. Mana is expended every time you use a spell, and you recover it slowly over time. The more mana you have, the more magic you can use without resting, and the more quickly you'll be able to recover your mana.
Edge is, in short, what makes you special. Edge is what sets you apart from "normal" people. In short, its your luck. Every time to try to do something and fail, you can expend one point of edge to rewind the clock and try again. Note that there is no guarantee that you will succeed the second time. You can recover edge, but you usually have to wait at least the better part of a day, so don't count on it reappearing when you get into a jam.
Each race (except for Demigod) has a special ability unique to them, that the other races simply do not have. Each of the racial species works slightly differently.
Intuition (Human) --
Intuition is the ability to determine a correct answer from insufficient data. The effects of intuition are subtle, and will often seem to occur as being lucky. Intuition will help you win at games of chance, predict enemy moves, and other stuff like that. Intuition significantly enhances the benefit of having the sixth sense (danger) advantage.
Psi (Talcon) --
Psi is the telepathic ability to forcefully enter another being's mind, or to keep someone out. Psi can be used to read someone's mind, implant a thought into their mind, or keep someone from using either of these techniques against you. The Talcona's natural language, which is psychic, is open on both sides and therefore does not require expenditure of significant mental energy.
Venom (Hilex) --
Venom is poison, which is stored by Hilex in a throat sac and released when they bite. Some Hilex develop the skill of shooting venom from a short distance, but this tends to be somewhat ineffective because the venom does not readily penetrate skin, so few bother. Hilex are naturally partially resistant to Hilexian venom.
Fire (Ifreno) --
Ifreno have the natural ability to spit concentrated bursts of flame from their mouths. The range is somewhat limited, because the fire disperses fairly quickly, and rapid fire is impossible because they need to breath too. Although getting hit would certainly not be pleasant, the fire isn't terribly hot and insulating against it isn't very difficult.
Water Control (Aurq) --
Aurq have the ability to manipulate water and aqueous solutions through a sort of natural telekinesis. You'd need legions of Aurq to do something as miraculous as carving a path of dry land through a giant lake, but when used intelligently this skill has multifarious uses.
Aero (Folex) --
Much like the Ifrenon, Felix have the ability to funnel a concentrated burst of air through their beaks while airborne that can travel a significant distance and still impact with great force. Some ambitious engineers are working on a practical way to apply this ability to long-range communication.
Earth Control (Terrack) --
Terrack can cause a rapid but controlled expansion or contraction in soil (and, to a more limited extent, solid rock) that can shape it to their desire. This is most often used to aid tunneling, but could also be used to raise a dirt wall out of the ground or dig quick trenches.
Anti-Magic (Zorr) --
Possibly the most noticable racial special, the Zorr are a species utterly opposed to magic, and they have developed a natural ability to drive all mana out of their immediate area. Anti-Magic creates some kind of field around the Zorr using it (the effect is not fully understood) that drives out mana and prevents the ignition of magical effects, basically rendering all spells, potions, scrolls, and other enchanted objects unusable. Mages within one of these fields will quickly find their store of mana depleted and will be unable to regenerate more.
Smoke (Kesprit) --
Although the Kesprit are no longer able to breath fire like their dragon cousins, but they can still generate a residual smoke effect. This racial special allows them to breath out a thick dark smoke which is quickly capable of filling an area to the point where you almost couldn't see your hand in front of your face.
Regeneration (Quin) --
In addition to having an amazing near-immortality, the Quin have the ability to recover their health very, very quickly. Regeneration allows you to heal wounds at an incredible speed, and you can sustain that speed of recovery until your Regeneration runs out, at which point you drop to the normal rate.
Will (Kiquei) --
Kiquei have a natural ability, sometimes mistaken for magic, that allows them to warp local reality through sheer force of will. This can drain your energy amazingly quickly, but you can do quite astonishing things with it. Eventually you get good at finding indirect ways to get certain effects that are less tiring.
Tangibility (Ethereal) --
Normally the Ethereals are intangible and more or less unable to interact with the physical world. Tangibility allows them to enter a corporeal state for a limited time and have normal interactions.
Skills are talents at particular types of tasks that allow you to perform them effectively. A listing and description of each follows:
Acrobatics -- Athletic, Obscure
Acrobatics is the ability to perform gymnastic feats requiring skillful control of the body.
Apraisal -- Mental, Normal
Apprisal is the ability to determine an item's value, including such details as purity of materials, quality of craftsmanship, and going market rates for any magical properties.
Axe -- Athletic, Combat
Axe is the ability to wield an axe, whether in battle or chopping lumber. Includes ability to perform all sorts of actions with axes, including attacking, blocking, etc. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance axes may require.
Begging -- Social, Obscure
Begging is the ability to weedle, coddle, and cajole sympathy from others, usually in the form of alms but also including other forms of sympathy.
Blacksmith -- Physical, Normal
Blacksmith is the ability to use tools such as a hammer and forge to fashion metal into various shapes for various purposes. Includes knowledge of the construction and repair of anything metal (weapons, armor, tools, etc.) as well as the properties of various metals and their applications.
Bow -- Athletic, Combat
Bow is the ability to wield a bow and includes threading arrows and marksmanship. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance bows may require.
Carpenter -- Physical, Normal
Carpenter is the ability to use tools such as saws and chisels to fashion wood into various shapes for various purposes. Includes knowledge of the construction and repair of anything wooden (weapons, furniture, dwellings, etc.) as well as the properties of various woods and different methods of treating them.
Climbing -- Athletic, Obscure
Climbing is the ability to secure yourself to a surface too steap to walk, whether by your hands and feet or by special equipment, and moving up or down along that surface. This applies to climbing trees, cliffs, walls, and similar surfaces; it does not apply to stairs or ladders.
Club -- Athletic, Combat
Club is the ability to wield a club or other blunt weapon. Includes ability to perform all sorts of actions with clubs, including attacking, blocking, etc. as well as an understanding of what properties are desirable in a club and how to use them, as well as which instruments make effective clubs. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance clubs may require.
Crossbow -- Physical, Combat
Crossbow is the ability to wield a crossbow and includes loading bolts and marksmanship. Also includes fundamental knowledge of the operation of the mechanisms used in all crossbows, and knowledge of any maintenance crossbows may require.
Cryptology -- Mental, Obscure
Cryptology is a combination of cryptography and cryptanalysis, which are, in layman's terms, making codes and breaking codes, respectively. Cryptology is used to fasion codes (ciphers) and to break them. Players should note, however, that making a good code can take as long as about half of an hour, and breaking a code can take weeks or months of intensive work. Making a code that you intend for one person to break without allowing unintended people to break it is much harder than normal cryptography and can take hours or even days.
Disguise -- Mental, Normal
Disguise is the ability to alter your appearance, often to look like another specific individual. Disguising often requires the use of appropriate clothing, masks, and possibly fake mustaches, beards, noses, etc. Disguising yourself to appear to be a different race is occasionally possible (although extremely difficult), but only if your race has a similar size and body structure compared to the race you want to disguise as, and invariably requires excellent masks and often coverings for any other exposed skin.
Escape Artist -- Physical, Obscure
Escape artist is the ability to wiggle your way out of chains and other bonds, disappear from cells, and just generally thwart the attempts of other people to make you stay put. Escaping is very difficult and usually requires mastery of the skill and significant time to work.
Evasion -- Physical, Combat
Evasion is the ability to keep from being hit by various attacks made against you, be they melee, projectile, or magical. Evasion requires space in which to move, and it helps greatly if you anticipate the attack. Evasion becomes more difficult the more attacks you attempt to evade simultaneously, and your ability to evade is reduced drastically when you are fatigued.
Flying -- Athletic, Normal
Flying is the ability for Felix or Kesprit to fly and conduct aerial maneuvers. This skill affects your flight speed, endurance, and agility. Conducting complex actions, such as fighting, while in the air is very difficult and requires high proficiency in this skill, as well as whatever skill you are using while flying.
Forgery -- Mental, Obscure
Forgery is the ability to imitate various official documents and seals. For example, forgery would allow you to construct a fake ID for yourself. You must have extensive knowledge (or an example of) the document or seal you wish to forge and a good deal of time to make the forgery. The quality of your forgery will be limtied by the materials and tools you have to work with.
Gambling -- Mental, Obscure
Gambling is knowledge of various forms of gambling, including how they work and the most effective ways to try to win. Sometimes, if the game is based purely upon luck, this skill will be ineffective in your attempts to win. Gambling also includes knowledge of various methods of cheating and the ability to use them.
Herb Lore -- Mental, Normal
Herb lore is knowledge of various naturally-occuring medicines, such as herbs, where they can be found, how to identify them, and how to use them. This skill will not allow you to find a natural medicine for a condition if none exists in your area, but will help you find it if there is one. Also includes similar knowledge of natural plant toxins.
Horseback -- Physical, Normal
Horseback is the ability to ride a horse, and will affect your control of the horse's speed, endurance, and maneuverability while you are riding. Also includes knowledge of how to care for a horse. Conducting complex actions, such as fighting, while riding a horse is difficult and requires great proficiency in both the horseback skill and whatever skill you are using while riding. Note that smaller races, like the Kiquei, generally ride ponies, larger races, like the Terrack, rarely find horses strong enough to carry them, and some races, like the Ethereals, usually prefer not to ride at all.
Impersonation -- Social, Obscure
Impersonation is the ability to mimic another person so that you appear to be that person. Requires knowledge of the person to be impersonated, and is usually used in conjunction with the disguise and voice skills for a convincing charade.
Interrogation -- Social, Obscure
Interrogation is the ability to forcefully extract information from another person and includes skills associated with that art. Of course, any brute with a pair of pliers can make someone talk, but it takes experience to be able to tell whether they're telling the truth.
Intimidation -- Social, Normal
Intimidation is the ability to scare other people. Someone who is frightened of you may allow you to bully them around or lose enough nerve to influence their own abilities.
Knife -- Athletic, Combat
Knife is the ability to wield a knife or dagger. Includes ability to perform all sorts of actions with knives or daggers including attacking, parrying, etc. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance knives or daggers may require.
Language -- Mental, Normal
Language is the ability to read, write, listen to, and speak a language. If you try to speak a language without high proficiency in the corresponding language subskill, your message may come through garbled. In addition to a the native language of each species, there is a universal sign language, employed chiefly by Ethereals and Talcona in interspecies communcation. There are also three "common tongues" developed which are speakable by any race, except of course for the Talcona. You are assumed to be fluent in your species' native tongue and do not need to purchase a skill for it. The same applies to the official language of your starting country or region, at the Gamemaster's discreation -- this is often one of the common tongues, but in areas populated almost entirely by one race, may be the tongue of that race. Note that depending upon your race, you may not be able to start with certain languages, and your species may be incapable to speaking some, but you will still be able to read, write, and listen to them. The language subskills are:
- Language: Human
- Language: Talcon
- Language: Hilex
- Language: Ifreno
- Language: Aurq
- Language: Folex
- Language: Terrack
- Language: Zorr
- Language: Kesprit
- Language: Quin
- Language: Kiquei
- Language: Ethereal
- Language: Demigod
- Language: Sign
- Language: Common One
- Language: Common Two
- Language: Common Three
NOTE: Ethereals are not capable of speaking any language but their own unless exercising their tangibility racial special. They may still sign, however.
Leadership -- Social, Normal
Leadership is the ability to command a group of people and get them to follow you.You could use leadership skills, for example, to inspire an army to die for you.
Locksmith -- Physical, Obscure
Locksmith is knowledge of how locks work, their vulnerabilities, and how to exploit them. Locksmith could be used to pick a lock, but it could also be used to design a lock that was difficult to pick (actually constructing the lock, of course, would require the blacksmith skill).
Lore -- Mental, Normal
Lore is knowledge of history and mythology. It includes details regarding legends as well as knowledge of animals and various monsters, both mythological and real. Does not include knowledge of current events or modern politics and science.
Mining -- Physical, Obscure
Mining is the ability to use tools, such as pick axes and shovels, to collect valuable ores and precious stones from the bedrock in tunnels as well as panning in streams. Includes ability to distinguish between valuable and non-valuable ores, but not their specific properties or uses.
Navigation -- Mental, Normal
Navigation is the ability to determine the direction you want to move in. For example, it would help you find north, or determine the best route to take to reach a particular destination. Maps and compasses help greatly in the use of this skill.
Negotiation -- Social, Normal
Negotiation is the ability to barter and bargain to get the best prices on supplies and other items. Someone with negotiation skill will be able to make purchases for less money than someone without the skill. This does not affect the price of equipment you purchase during character generation.
Perception -- Mental, Normal
Perception is the awareness to notice small details that others might overlook. There are several subskills to perception, which must each be purchased separately:
- Perception: Sight -- this skill is the most useful perception skill. It might allow you to pick out a familiar face in a crowd, detect a flaw in a forged document, or notice a weapon someone has concealed.
- Perception: Hearing -- this skill would help you notice very faint noises or sounds bordering on the edge of the audible range for your species. This could help you hear a twig snap or stair creak that betrays the presence of an ambusher.
- Perception: Touch -- this skill would help you notice subtle variations in texture that might indicate different materials or different qualities or purities of materials. It would also help you recognize objects by touch.
- Perception: Smell -- this skill would help you detect faint odors and recognize distinctive odors that might betray the recent presence of a particular animal or one of the 13 races. You could also use this skill to recognize various contaminants.
- Perception: Taste -- this skill would indicate a well-trained palette that would allow you to detect subtle differences in how food is prepared, and might alert you to the presence of poisons or other contaminants. This skill could also be used in conjunction with the herb lore skill to help identify various useful herbs.
- Perception: Sixth Sense -- this skill would increase your proficiency with your sixth sense advantage, if you choose to buy one. Note that you can still use your sixth sense without this skill, just as you can still see without perception for sight, but this skill will increase your ability to notice things with your sixth sense. You may not buy this subskill if you do not have a sixth sense. If you have a seventh sense, you must buy separate subskills for your two sixth senses.
Persuasion -- Social, Normal
Persuasion is the ability to argue effectively and convincingly for your point of view. You could use persuasion to convince someone to cooperate with you or to get in someone else's way. Keep in mind that there are limits to what you can do with this skill -- convincing a Human that he's a Folex and can fly, for example, would not be possible under normal conditions, no matter how good your skill is.
Pick Pocket -- Physical, Obscure
Pick pocket is the ability to steal various items from other people without their knowledge. This skill is limited by physical law -- there's no way you can grab a coin out of someone's pocket from twenty meters away, for example.
Poison -- Mental, Obscure
Poison is knowledge of various toxins and venoms including how to identify them, where to acquire them (nautrally, not at stores), their effects, and how to use them. Also includes knowledge of how to apply poisons to your weapons most effectively.
Quickdraw -- Physical, Combat
Quickdraw is the ability to quickly draw your weapon (whatever that may be), shield, or anything else you'd want to get out quickly. Useful for getting in the first attack in combat, but if you mess up while trying to quickdraw you may find your weapon skidding to a stop on the other side of the room, so try not to exceed your skill level.
Running -- Physical, Normal
Running is the ability to move quickly across the ground on foot. Includes the ability to run easily on difficult terrain and for long periods of time.
Scribe -- Mental, Magical
Scribe is the ability to imbue a scroll with a magic spell such that anyone can then use that scroll to cast the spell. This requires that you have a blank scroll and writing implement, and that you cast the spell (expending the normal amount of mana) as you scribe it. A failed attempt will ruin the scroll. Once successfully scribed, a scroll can be used to cast that spell once without expending mana or making a spells skill roll; after that the scroll is drained of all power and slowly turns to dust over a period of about an hour. Only the person casting the spell can scribe it onto a scroll.
Scrounge -- Social, Normal
Scrounge is the ability to find a place, either overt or covert, where you can purchase any supplies you like. This includes the ability to create or uncover a network of suppliers in any area you visit. The better your skill, the more likely you'll find what you're looking for, the better quality it will be, the cheaper it will be, and the faster you'll get it. Keep in mind that scrounge generally takes at least half a day (sometimes more) to arrange to purchase the item in question and can take weeks or months before you are able to actually acquire it.
Seduction -- Social, Obscure
Seduction is the ability to win the affections of someone of the same species and opposite sex and gain the ability to influence them. The personalities of different people will make them more or less susceptible to this skill.
Shield -- Athletic, Combat
Shield is the ability to use a shield to block various attacks (both melee and projectile) during combat, as well as a shield's limited use as a bashing weapon in the absence of anything better. Includes knowledge of any maintenance that shields may require.
Spear/Pole -- Athletic, Combat
Spear/pole is the ability to wield spear- and pole-type weapons in combat, including spears, javelins, and halberds. Includes the ability to perform all sorts of spear/pole techniques, including jabbing, thrusting, throwing, parrying, etc. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance spear- and pole-type weapons may require.
Special Interest -- Any Attribute, Obscure
Special interest is a special skill where you can define your own subskills to cover any abilities or interests not already covered by other skills. Your special interest subskill can be just about anything, as long as it doesn't overlap any existing skills (a fencer has sword skill, not special interest: fencing). All special interest skills must be tied to the appropriate characteristic and are subject to gamemaster approval, so banish all thoughts of skills like "special interest: everything else" from your mind. Here are some examples of possible special interest skills:
- Special Interest: Spell Construction -- Tired to guessing randomly to try to make your own spells? Use this and you'll get a generic idea for a syllable combination you can start with when trying to perfect new spells!
- Special Interest: Alchemy -- Want to use all of those new innovative alloys in your blacksmith shop? This is just what you need!
- Special Interest: Local Geography -- Keep track of how to get everywhere in the area and where all the local hotspots are!
Spells -- Mental, Magical
Spells is the ability to cast a spell by chanting a series of magical syllables. Using this skill requires mana. There are six different magic subskills, which correspond to the six different alignment syllables. See the page on magic for more information. Subskills:
- Spells: KAR
- Spells: ZAR
- Spells: RAL
- Spells: COS
- Spells: OR
- Spells: KAS
Sprinting -- Athletic, Normal
Sprinting is the ability to run very, very fast. Sprinting for any length of time requires incredibly high endurance, and sprinting for a very long time is totally impossible.
Staff -- Athletic, Combat
Staff is the ability to wield a staff, either in combat or just as a crutch. Includes the ability to perform all sorts of actions with staves, including attacking, parrying, etc. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance that staves may require.
Stealth -- Physical, Normal
Stealth is the ability to move quickly but silently and without being noticed.
Swimming -- Athletic, Normal
Swimming is the ability to move through the water or other liquids. Because of the viscous nature of most liquids, there is much more resistance than there is in air, and swimming tends to be more tiring than walking or running, except for the Aurq, who are native to the seas. This skill influences your speed, endurance, and mobility when swimming.
Sword -- Athletic, Combat
Sword is the ability to wield a sword. Includes the ability to perform all sorts of actions with a sword, including attacking, parrying, etc. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance that swords may require.
Taming -- Social, Normal
Taming is the ability to make wild animals more docile, and allows you to gain influence over them. Taming an animal, depending on the animal, the circumstances, and your ability, can take from hours to years. Once you have domesticated an animal, you must make sure that it has ample opportunities to hunt (or feed it yourself), drink, go to the bathroom, etc. Training an animal to obey commands requires the training skill.
Teaching -- Social, Obscure
Teaching is the ability to transfer your acquired knowledge and abilities to others. Basically, the teaching skill allows you to help others learn skills that you already have. Time you spend teaching others counts as time practicing the teaching skill. You must have the skill you wish to teach someone else at a level no less than the level they are learning it at or improving it to. Most skills can be self-taught, but you can learn much faster if you have a good teacher.
Throwing -- Athletic, Combat
Throwing is the ability to cause objects to fly towards a target. This skill affects your marksmanship when throwing as well as the distance you can throw an object. Throwing can be used in combat (e.g. throwing knives), but also for a variety of other purposes.
Tinker -- Mental, Normal
Tinker is the ability to alter various items to suit your needs. For example, you might be able to tinker a knife to make it a more effective chisel (or vice versa). Tinkering requires time and is easier if you have tools with which to make the changes. Note that tinkering will often benefit one of an object's properties but decrease its effectiveness in other areas, and continuous tinkering will often wear an object out and drastically shorten its lifespan.
Tracking -- Mental, Obscure
Tracking is the ability to follow the trail of an animal or person, using signs such as footprints and other disturbed surroundings. Tracking is made easier or harder by the terrain, the type of creature being tracked, and how much care the quarry took to cover their tracks.
Training -- Mental, Normal
Training is the ability to teach a domesticated animal to respond to certain commands (like teaching a dog to "sit"). To domesticate the animal in the first place requires the taming skill.
Tunneling -- Athletic, Obscure
Tunneling is the ability to use tools (or sometimes your bare hands, species permitting) to tunnel through dirt or bedrock. Includes knowledge of how to tunnel efficiently and safely, and how to use various props and braces to help prevent cave-ins, as well as methods for coordinating multiple tunnels to get them in the correct places relative to each other.
Unarmed Combat -- Athletic, Combat
Unarmed combat is the ability to fight hand-to-hand, without weapons. Includes the ability to perform all sorts of martial arts techniques, including punching, kicking, blocking blows, etc.
Voice -- Social, Obscure
Voice is the ability to alter your voice to sound differently. Simply disguising your voice so it is unrecognizable does not require high proficiency, but duplicating someone else's voice or radically altering your own does.
Whip/Flail -- Athletic, Combat
Whip/flail is the ability to wield whip- and flail- type weapons (whips, maces, etc.). Includes the ability to perform all sorts of actions with whip- and flail-type weapons, including attacking and various tricks, such as tripping someone. Also includes knowledge of any associated maintenance that whips or flails might require.
Knacks are special abilities that are used like skills, but they come naturally rather than being learned. You can only possess a knack if you are born with it, and you can never improve your knack. Your proficiency in your knack is not dependent upon any of your characteristics. A listing and description of the knacks follows:
Beseeming -- 5 CF (10+), or 10 CF (8+), or 15 CF (6+)
Beseeming is the knack for making something seem different than it really is; you don't actually change the thing, you alter other peoples' perceptions of it. Beseeming only works at close range, and is only effective at altering someone's opinion of something, not how it actually appears (for example, you could make someone think that an iron chain was sturdy when it really wasn't, but you couldn't make them think it was made of steel).
Dowser -- 6 CF (8+) ally (11+) enemy, or 10 CF (6+) ally (9+) enemy, or 14 CF (4+) ally (7+) enemy
Dowser is the knack for using a dowsing rod (any good Y-shaped stick will do) to detect underground bodies of water. Dowsers find employment identifying good locations to dig wells. There are two types of dowsing: dowsing with an elemental affinity to water, and dowsing with an elemental animosity towards water. Aurq can only do the former and Infrenon can only do the latter. Having this elemental relationship to water may affect your character in subtle, unpredictable ways throughout your life.
Come-Hither -- 6 CF (11+), or 11 CF (9+), or 17 CF (7+)
Come-hither is the knack to make a particular person or animal come towards you without their consciously noticing that they're being drawn to you. Come-hither only works at relatively close range, and you have to know who or what you're luring and their approximate position relative to you, so possession of the sixth sense (life) advantage makes using this knack much easier.
Doodlebug -- 8 CF (9+), or 16 CF (6+), or 24 CF (3+)
Doodlebug is the knack for inducing a sort of trance where you can send your consciousness through space. While in this state, you can move your consciousness through objects as if they were intangible and observe things that you normally couldn't get to and without physically being there. If a distracting event happens to your physical body, the trance is broken and your consciousness returns to your body. While using your doodlebug, your consciousness is not capable of interpreting sounds or shapes as being words, so you will be unable to understand speech or to read.
Spark -- 8 CF (11+), or 16 CF (8+), or 24 CF (5+)
Spark is the knack for starting a fire remotely through sheer concentration. Using this knack, you could start a fire in any suitable location by simply concentrating on it. You can also generate heat without actually producing enough to cause ignition. You have to know approximately where relative to yourself you want to start the fire. Using this knack requires your full concentration for several seconds for each attempt.
Warding -- 10 CF (9+), or 15 CF (8+), or 20 CF (7+)
Warding is the knack for keeping a specific person or animal -- or people and animals in general -- away from you. People will make decisions that put them farther from you than they might do otherwise. Warding has very little effect over people who know where you are and are looking for you, but works OK against people who aren't looking for you or don't know where you are. Those of strong mental discipline, however, may notice that they are being warded and manage to trace you through your knack.
Green Song -- 15 CF (5+), or 20 CF (4+), or 25 CF (3+)
Green song is a knack that puts you in tune with nature and allows you to sink into a trance while running that enables you to move over great distances quickly and easily. Only functions in undeveloped areas rich with life, like forests, and is disrupted by towns and other settlements. You are only half-conscious of your movement while using the green song. Also, green song is very difficult and uncomfortable to use unless you are barefoot.
Advantages are special abilities you can get for your character that give him or her a distinct edge over other people. A listing and description of each advantage follows.
Ambidextrous -- 12 CF
A character who is ambidextrous is able to use both hands equally well. This does not mean that they can use both hands at once as well as they could use one hand at a time, but it means that it doesn't matter whether they're holding a sword in their right hand or their left.
Advanced Magical Training* -- 12 CF
A character with advanced magical training knows how to use one of the six advanced magical syllables (JI, CAL, NAN, ZO, HI, or IX) starting at the beginning of the game and can begin using spells that require that syllable immediately. Players may choose which syllable they know. This advantage may be purchased up to six times to start with more of the advanced magical syllables.
Exceptional Attribute* -- 10 CF
A character with exceptional attribute has one attribute above what is normally possible for their race. If your normal maximum build is 6 and you purchase exceptional attribute for build, your maximum build becomes 7. You must still raise your build up to 7 through normal means (see Character Generation Step 3: Statistics). You may purchase this advantages multiple times for whatever attributes you wish, but you cannot raise an attribute's maximum value beyond its potential value, and you may not purchase this advantage for any statistic other than attributes.
Exceptional Potential* -- 28 CF
A character with exceptional potential has the potential to rise further than his race normally can. If your normal potential build is 6 and you purchase exceptional potential for build, your potential build becomes 7. You must still raise your build up to 7 through normal means (see potential in this reference section). You may purchase this advantage as many times as you wish for whatever attributes you wish, but you may only purchase this advantage for attributes. Because this advantage raises your potential value for an attribute, it also increases by one the maximum number of times you can buy the exceptional attribute advantage for that attribute. You may not purchase both this advantage and the unexceptional potential disadvantage for the same attribute.
Incredible Health -- 45 CF
A character with incredible health has twice the normal base, maximum, and potential values of his or her race for his or her health (HP) statistic. You may not purchase both this advantage and the weakling disadvantage.
Magical Aptitude -- 20 CF
A character with magical aptitude is more in tune with the forces of magic, and all magic has a greater effect on him or her, be it positive or negative. This applies to spells, potions, and enchanted artifacts. This advantage also increases the sensitivity of the sixth sense (magic) advantage if the same character has both. You may not purchase both this advantage and the magical ineptitude disadvatnage.
Mana Well -- 35 CF
A character with mana well has twice the normal base, maximum and potential values of his or her race for his or her mana (MP) statistic. You may not purchase both this advantage and the mana lack or magic-deaf disadvantages.
Natural Aptitude* -- 12, 24, 30, or 36 CF
A character with natural aptitude for a particular skill will get lucky when using that particular skill and succeed more often. He or she will also increase the level of that skill faster during the game than he or she would otherwise. This advantage costs 12 CF if it is purchased for an obscure skill, 24 CF if it is purchased for a normal skill, 30 CF if it is purchased for a magical skill, or 36 CF it it is purchased for a combat skill. You may purchse this advantage as many times as you like, but never twice for the same skill. You may not purchase both this advantage and the natural ineptitude disadvantage for the same skill. You may only purchase this advantage for a skill that you possess.
Racial Strength -- 15 CF
A character with racial strength will be able to use their race's special ability more effectively and efficiently than he or she could otherwise. Demigods may not purchase this advantage. You may not purchase both this advantage and the racial deaf disadvantage.
Remarkable Edge* -- 10 CF
A character with remarkable edge has his or her normal maximum edge increased by one. In effect, this advantage allows you to purchase edge beyond your race's maximum value at twice the normal cost. You may not increase your maximum edge beyond your potential edge.
Sixth Sense (danger) -- 30 CF
A character with this advantage has a sixth sense that allows him or her to sense imminent danger. This sense is generally very vague, and isn't totally reliable. You may not purchase more than one sixth sense advantage without the seventh sense advantage.
Sixth Sense (life) -- 25 CF
A character with this advantage has a sixth sense that allows him or her to sense the presence of life. The distinction can usually be made between plants, animals, and one of the thirteen races, but further details can rarely be determined with this sense. You may not purchase more than one sixth sense advantage without the seventh sense advantage.
Sixth Sense (magic) -- 25 CF
A character with this advantage has a sixth sense that allows him or her to sense the presence of magical influences, whether the direct use of magic or a residual enchantment left on an artifact. Most people with this sense can determine the alignment of the spell, but further details are rarely forthcoming. You may not purchase more than one sixth sense advantage without the seventh sense advantage.
Seventh Sense -- 15 CF
A character with this advantage may purchase a second sixth sense advantage. No character may ever purchase an eighth sense. You must still pay the full cost of the seventh sense after you purchase this advantage.
Toughness -- 25 CF
A character with toughness is more likely to resist the effects of wounds, such as weakness or unconsciousness, and is also more resistant to disease, poison, and torture. You may not purchase both this advantage and the frailty disadvantage.
Well-Equipped -- 8, 15, or 20 CF
A character who is well-equipped may purchase equipment during character generation that isn't available to all characters. All characters may purchase availability A equipment. A character who spends 8 CF on this advantage may purchase availability A or B equipment. A character who spends 15 CF on this advantage may purchase availability A, B, or C equipment. A character who spends 20 CF on this advantage may purchase any equipment that is to be had in the world of Metharism (availability A, B, C, or D).
Disadvantages are the opposite of advantages -- they give your character weaknesses that your enemies might exploit, but they give you back CF for each one you take, which you can then spend on other things. A listing and description of each disadvantage follows:
Unexceptional Potential +10 CF
A character with unexceptional potential has a potential value for one of his or her attributes one point lower than is normal for his or her race. He or she will not be able to earn that attribute up to as high a level as he or she could otherwise. You may choose which attribute is affected by this disadvantage. You may not have both this disadvantage and the exceptional potential advantage for the same attribute.
Weakling +25 CF
A weakling has 1/2 (rounded up) the normal base, maximum, and potential values for his or her race for his or her health (HP) statistic. You may not have both this disadvantage and the incredible health advantage.
Magical Ineptitude +10 CF
A character with magical ineptitude is out of tune with the forces of magic, and all forms of magic have a reduced effect on him or her, whether that effect is good or bad. This applies to spells, potions, and enchanted artifacts. This also lessens the sensitivity of the sixth sense (magic) advantage if the same character has both. You may not have both this disadvantage and the magical aptitude advantage.
Mana Lack +25 CF
A character with mana lack has 1/2 (rounded up) the normal base, maximum, and potential values for his or her race for his or her mana (MP) statistic. You may not have both this disadvantage and the mana well advantage or the magic-deaf disadvantage.
Natural Ineptitude +8, 14, 20, or 26 CF
A character with natural ineptitude for a skill will get unlucky when trying to use that skill and succeed less often than he or she would otherwise. Surprisingly, because you learn what not to do more quickly, the level of a skill for which you have natural ineptitude will rise faster during gameplay than it would otherwise. This disadvantage gives you back 8 CF if you take it for an obscure skill, 14 for a normal skill, 20 for a magical skill, or 26 for a combat skill. You may take this disadvantage once for each of those four types of skills. You may not have this disadvantage and the natural aptitude advantage for the same skill. You may not have natural ineptitude for a magical skill if you have the magic-deaf disadvantage.
Racial Deaf +18 CF
A character who is racial deaf cannot use his or her race's special ability at all. You may not have this disadvantage and the racial strength advantage.
Frailty +25 CF
A character with toughness is more less to resist the effects of wounds, such as weakness or unconsciousness, and is also less resistant to disease, poison, and torture. You may not have both this disadvantage and the toughness advantage.
Blunt Edge +30 CF
A character with blunt edge has 1/2 (rounded up) the normal base, maximum, and potential values for his or her race for his or her edge statistic.
Magic-Deaf +75 CF
A character who is magic-deaf has base, maximum, and potential values for his or her mana (MP) statistic set to zero. He or she may never use magic or possess any magical skills. You may not have this disadvantage if you have the sixth sense (magic) advantage, the mana lack disadvantage, or the natural ineptitude disadvantage for a magical skill (NOTE: The Zorr start with both magic-deaf and sixth sense (magic), so they obviously can have both, but no other exceptions to the above rule).
With all of that said, I should point out that your character will also get better during the game. You will learn new skills, improve old ones, expand your mana reservoir, increase your edge, raise your attributes, improve your health, and obviously get new equipment. The following is an overview of how charcters improve in Metharism.
Much like the "experience points" earned in some RPGs, there are two different kinds of points your character amasses as he or she goes through the game. The first are called skill points (SP). Skill points you get for each skill individually, and represent practice in that skill. The second are called adventure points (AP). Adventure points you get when you complete a particular task or accomplish something significant. Adventure points represent the improvement that comes from pushing yourself to your limits.
Sometimes, if you get lucky (or unlucky) when using a skill, you'll gain new insight into that skill and recieve SP. This happens more often if you have natural aptitude or natural ineptitude for that skill. You also get SP if you use your skill in a particularly creative way (the Gamemaster is the final judge of how creative you were). You can also collect SP by practicing a skill. Each day you practice, you get a number of SP equal to your Learn attribute. You gain more SP per day if you're under the instruction of a teacher. You don't need to have a skill to earn SP for it, but you'll earn SP more quickly once you know what you're doing.
Adventure points are a bit trickier. There's nothing specific you do to earn AP, but the Gamemaster will give them to you when he or she decides you've accomplished something significant. You do NOT have the right to complain if you're not getting any AP -- get out there and DO something if you want more!
Once you've accumulated some SP and AP, there's several different ways to improve your character. Once you use SP and AP to improve your character, you lose them until you can find a way to earn more.
To purchase a new skill for your character at level 1, you must have one of the following:
- 10 Skill Points for the new skill and 1 Adventure Point.
To raise the level of a skill you already have by 1, you must have one of the fllowing:
- 10 Skill Points for the skill and a number of Adventure Points equal to the level you are raising the skill to.
- A number of Adventure Points equal to twice the level you are raising the skill to.
- A number of Skill Points equal to ten times the level you are raising the skill to. You cannot raise your skill level higher than your Learn attribute using this method.
To raise your build by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have one of the following:
- A total of 50 Skill Points in skills that use the Athletic characteristic and a number of Adventure Points equal to twice the value you are raising your build to.
- A number of Adventure Points equal to ten times the value you are raising your build to.
To raise your reflexes by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have one of the following:
- A total of 50 Skill Points in skills that use the Physical characteristic and a number of Adventure Points equal to twice the value you are raising your reflexes to.
- A number of Adventure Points equal to ten times the value you are raising your reflexes to.
To raise your intelligence by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have one of the following:
- A total of 100 Skill Points in any skills and a number of Adventure Points equal to twice the value you are raising your intelligence to.
- A number of Adventure Points equal to twenty times the value you are raising your intelligence to.
To raise your learn by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have one of the following:
- A total of 50 Skill Points in skills that use the Mental characteristic and a number of Adventure Points equal to twice the value you are raising your learn to.
- A number of Adventure Points equal to ten times the value you are raising your learn to.
To raise your charisma by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have one of the following:
- A total of 50 Skill Points in skills that use the Social characteristic and a number of Adventure Points equal to twice the value you are raising your charisma to.
- A number of Adventure Points equal to ten times the value you are raising your charisma to.
To raise your health by two points, not exceeding your potential value, you must have:
- One Adventure Point
To raise your health by five points, not exceeding your potential value, you must have:
- Two Adventure Points
To raise your mana by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have:
- A total of 7 Skill Points in subskills of the spells skill.
To raise your mana by two points, not exceeding your potential value, you must have:
- Three Adventure Points
To raise your racial special by two points, not exceeding your potential value, you must have:
- One Adventure Point
To raise your edge by one point, not exceeding your potential value, you must have:
- Ten Adventure Points
To sum up:
Improvement Cost New Skill (L1) 10 SP + 1 AP Skill Level +1 10 SP + [new level] AP or [new level x2] AP or [new level x10] SP (not above LRN) BLD +1 50 Athletic SP + [new value x2] AP or [new value x10] AP