CHAPTER 2: ABILITIES
As with all D20 type games your character has the basic core ability scores, these determine how uniquely your character fits in this world.
With all basic abilities, they represent how good you are at things. On Earth the typical Human has a 100 IQ, in gaming terms this is a intelligence score of 10, where as the Smartest people are lucky to be near 175/180 IQ which would be an Int score of 18, in this game you can have a character who starts out with an Int 20 score, this represents a 200 IQ, to put this in perspective not even Einstein was a 200. So you can have the intelligence of a Demi-God, also with each ability you can think of it as a score of 10 is equal to a healthy normal human on Earth, a score of 8 which is the lowest starting stat, is slightly lower than normal, and a 20 is legendary status.
Hercules had 20 strength, Spiderman has Dexterity of 20, Batman had Constitution of 20, Lex Luther had Intelligence 20, Gandalf had a 20 Wisdom, and Napoleon Bonaparte or Adolf Hitler had a 20 Charisma.
These people real or fictional were able to use their talents to change the world for better or worse, this is what your character represents in this game, you are someone of exceptional ability who is better than an average person of their race, and most defiantly better than the typical human on earth.
When I look at myself, at 42 years old I see strength 8, dexterity 8, Constitution 12, Intelligence 14, wisdom 8, Charisma 12.
My Dwarf Dillingr Had 18 Strength, 12 Dexterity, 14 Constitution, 10 Intelligence, 18 wisdom, and a 8 Charisma. He was stronger and wiser than I ever was or could have been. He was a spectacular warrior with a thing for rustic down to earth life and cooking. He was a bit of a Red Neck Paladin.
As you as a normal person my stats wouldn’t make a good adventure, however my Character is an amazing adventurer.
The ability score is used to figure out your ability modifier which is used as the practical method of testing to see if you can do something. The ability modifier is used to figure out your hit points, to hit bonuses, and amount of damage you can do. This number ranges from a minimum score of -5 to as high as you can go DM willing. Although for practical discussions the maximum score you can have is +7 (with a 25 ability score) at level 20 which at this moment is the maximum level in the game.
You can easily figure out the score by using some math (Ability– 10)/2 =Modifier.
Ability Score Modifier Ability Score Modifier Ability Score Modifier Ability Score Modifier
1 -5 10-11 0 20-21 5 30-31 10
2-3 -4 12-13 1 22-23 6 32-33 11
4-5 -3 14-15 2 24-25 7 34-35 12
6-7 -2 16-17 3 26-27 8
8-9 -1 18-19 4 28-29 9
Now when looking at the individual abilities, we have 6 basic abilities in Most D20 style games.
This is how physically strong your character is, a low strength of 8 is the equivalent to a guy who works in an office all day, whereas the record setting Zydrunas Savickas who did a one time World Record Deadlift of 1117 pounds would probably be a 18 strength. He may be able to lift a heavy object once, but walking 100miles his load capacity would be closer to 100lbs. Granted if asked to walk with 100lbs a normal person would have trouble dead lifting it.
The mechanics of strength apply your character’s Strength modifier to:
Melee attack rolls.
Damage rolls when using a melee weapon.
Climb, Jump, and Swim checks. These are the skills that have Strength as their key ability.
Strength checks (for breaking down doors and the like).
Carrying capacity (encumbrance)
Dexterity measures hand-eye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for rogues, but it’s also high on the list for characters who typically wear light or medium armor (rangers and barbarians) or no armor at all (monks, wizards, and sorcerers), and for anyone who wants to be a skilled archer.
You apply your character’s Dexterity modifier to:
• Ranged attack rolls, including those for attacks made with bows, crossbows, throwing axes, and other ranged weapons.
• Armor Class (AC), provided that the character can react to the attack.
• Reflex saving throws, for avoiding fireballs and other attacks that you can escape by moving quickly.
• Balance, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Tumble, and Use Rope checks. These are the skills that have Dexterity as their key ability.
Constitution represents your character’s health and stamina. A Constitution bonus increases a character’s hit points, so the ability is important for all classes.
You apply your character’s Constitution modifier to:
• Each roll of a Hit Die (though a penalty can never drop a result below 1—that is, a character always gains at least 1 hit point each time he or she advances in level).
• Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison and similar threats.
• Concentration checks. Concentration is a skill, important to spellcasters, that has Constitution as its key ability.
If a character’s Constitution score changes enough to alter his or her Constitution modifier, the character’s hit points also increase or decrease accordingly.
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects how many spells they can cast, how hard their spells are to resist, and how powerful their spells can be. It’s also important for any character who wants to have a wide assortment of skills.
You apply your character’s Intelligence modifier to:
• The number of languages your character knows at the start of the game.
• The number of skill points gained each level. (But your character always gets at least 1 skill point per level.)
• Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Forgery, Knowledge, Search, and Spellcraft checks. These are the skills that have Intelligence as their key ability.
A wizard gains bonus spells based on her Intelligence score. The minimum Intelligence score needed to cast a wizard spell is 10 + the spell’s level.
An animal has an Intelligence score of 1 or 2. A creature of humanlike intelligence has a score of at least 3.
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics and druids, and it is also important for paladins and rangers. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score.
You apply your character’s Wisdom modifier to:
• Will saving throws (for negating the effect of charm person and other spells).
• Heal, Listen, Profession, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks. These are the skills that have Wisdom as their key ability.
Clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers get bonus spells based on their Wisdom scores. The minimum Wisdom score needed to cast a cleric, druid, paladin, or ranger spell is 10 + the spell’s level.
Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Charisma is most important for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to turn undead. Every creature has a Charisma score.
You apply your character’s Charisma modifier to:
• Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device checks. These are the skills that have Charisma as their key ability.
• Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
• Turning checks for clerics and paladins attempting to turn zombies, vampires, and other undead.
Sorcerers and bards get bonus spells based on their Charisma scores. The minimum Charisma score needed to cast a sorcerer or bard spell is 10 + the spell’s level.
As an Option for DMs using this game system I should point out two useful game stats
Getting your Ability scores, there are two basic methods used in D20 systems, there is a ‘dice roll method’ and a ‘point buy system’. I will describe both which work well with this game system, and let the DM of your game decide which is the best to use.
POINT BUY SYSTEM
Player characters start with 20 points to spend on their ability scores. You cannot purchase a score higher than 20 in this way. Of course, your DM may change these values to reflect the campaign’s particular tone and focus. Tougher campaigns have lower point values, while heroic ones offer more points to spend and allow one to purchase scores above 20. Villains, important enemies, and other foes that characters might face also have 20 points to spend.
You will start with an 10 in each ability score, which are then modified by racial adjustments, then spend the 20 points as you want without going over 20 points. You cannot put more than 10 points in any one stat.
Example of how it works.
Points left stat name racial Start add New Stat value
20 one 14 14 2 16
18 two 14 14 2 16
16 three n/a 10 4 14
12 four n/a 10 4 14
8 five n/a 10 4 14
4 six 8 8 4 12
So now you have basic Stats. This character would be good at most things and really good at some other things.
16,16, 14, 14, 14, 12
Of course you can be a powerhouse as well
Points left stat name racial Start add New Stat value
20 one 14 14 6 20
14 two 14 14 6 20
8 three n/a 10 4 14
4 four n/a 10 4 14
0 five n/a 10 0 10
0 six 8 8 0 8
20, 20, 14, 14, 10, 8
This person would be amazing at something and average at most things and a bit weak at something else.
This system allows the player to have two abilities at 20, which makes for really strong characters. One adjustment is a 10pt buy system which makes only one possible 20 stat, it makes for a more challenging game when you use less points, it also focuses more on the racial bonuses.
DICE ROLL METHOD
By far the most classic method of finding a players ability score is the classic d6 roll method. This involves making a series of 6 4d6 rolls, once you roll 4d6 you pick the 3 highest dice rolls, and that becomes the ability score, once you are done with all six 4d6 rolls, you can then put the abilities scores where you want them, and then take in account the racial modifiers, which become 10-racial stat, this means a stat that is 14 becomes a 4 and a stat that is 8 becomes a minus 2. Humans get a plus 6 points to spend, they may still do so, also everyone can remove 2 pts from a stat and bring up another stat by two points.
Ability Score roll # Dice 1 dice 2 Dice 3 Dice 3 Total Score
Roll 1 6 5 2 3 14
Roll 2 4 3 4 5 13
Roll 3 6 5 4 5 16
Roll 4 1 3 2 4 9
Roll 5 6 6 6 5 18
Roll 6 1 1 2 3 6
In this example: the player character is a human warrior, so he has six points he can place and 2 points minus to add 2 points.
If you look at the chart below you see he raised and lowered the stats much like the point buy system.
Strength 18+2 20
Dexterity 9 9
Constitution 16+4 20
Intelligence 14 14
Wisdom 13-2 11
Charisma 6+2 8
It is important to note a warrior doesn’t always have to have a low dexterity and Charisma, but this player decided to put everything into strength and Constitution because they decided to play the role of a tank in heavy armor and a shield. It is also valid to play a warrior with a weapon bond using Dexterity or Charisma as the other 20 stat.
ABILITY SCORE BONUSES AND DAMAGE
First off: When an ability score changes, all attributes associated with that score change accordingly. A character does not retroactively get additional skill points for previous levels if she increases her intelligence.
This means the associated skills and abilities change, but any gains made while leveling remain unaffected. Adding to Con, does not alter your hit points gained during leveling, but it does effect the current level by adding damage to the hit points, an effect has reduced the Con score by 3 this does not remove hit points but applies damage to both wound and vitality which is not able to be healed until the ability damage is repaired, also if a character is reduced by +3points of intelligence, they do not have to remove ranks in skills, they only apply the damaged score to the Skill checks using Intelligence.
Some damage to abilities can change how your character acts and behaves as the score comes closer to 0, with an effective loss of player character status at a score of 0.
A person with strength zero counts as paralyzed from the neck down, Dexterity zero means a complete lack of ability to move or handle objects, and they would literally trip and fall if they tried to stand. Constitution 0 is dead. Intelligence 0 is mentally gone, or comatose. Wisdom 0 is someone who has lost all grasp of reality, they are insane to the point of uncontrollable, and with a 0 Charisma the player is gross and scary to anyone that sees them, Even the character is scared of their own flesh and voice.