Each player should have at least one PC. They should know what that PC is capable of and determine what actions that PC takes.
During character creation, you should determine your PC’s name, appearance, and personality. At the GM’s discretion, your character may gain advantage or disadvantage in interactions with others based on these qualities and following your character’s personality especially well—even to their own detriment—may gain them a Temporary Luck. These should often relate in some way to the character’s backgrounds.
Backgrounds & Turning Points
Every PC has 3 backgrounds—generally, cultural, social, and occupational—which should affect what a character knows and may provide a bonus on related actions. Each PC also has a turning point that set them on their path, from which they get their initial Luck. This needn’t be anything particularly extraordinary, just something that indicates the PC doesn’t just go through the motions; they have a vision of how the world ought to be (preferably for the better) and they’re going to make it that way. Whether the other players know a PC’s turning point or not is up to the player and the GM, though the dramatic irony of knowing is often more fun for everyone than the mystery created when keeping it a secret.
Each PC is created with a max of 3 Luck, which can be spent to set any die roll for that PC’s action or directly affecting the PC (such as an opponent’s attack) to 1 or 6, even after the GM has already announced the result of the roll. Luck is restored by 1 every sunset, up to the PC’s max Luck.
A PC may gain Temporary Luck (TL), which functions similarly to normal Luck, save for each PC may have only one at a time.
Every character has a set of things they excel at, called aptitudes. When an aptitude applies to an action the character is performing, add 1 to the die roll. If three or more aptitudes apply, add 2 to the die roll. Characters begin with 3 aptitudes.
Gifts offer characters new abilities they wouldn’t otherwise have access to or make it easier to perform certain actions apart from checks—they seldom effect die rolls. Characters begin with 1 gift, though every gift has a list of up to 2 aptitudes the character must possess first.
Every PC begins with clothing, a rucksack, a purse, and six or so pieces of gear as approved or determined by your GM; often, these should be based on the character’s backgrounds and the style of game you wish to play.
All players begin with a max luck of 3 and may increase their max luck at the GM’s discretion, generally when they have completed some personal goal or completed a task where the odds are stacked against them, without spending luck in the process. Character’s gain 1 aptitude every time their max luck increases to a multiple of 2 and 1 gift at multiples of 3.
It is generally recommended that characters be retired (either dying dramatically or becoming an NPC) around 12 max luck, but the GM and player’s may elect to continue a PC’s adventuring career beyond this point.
Below is a list of the aptitudes available to player characters and the actions they may effect.
- Bravery: Remaining calm in the face of fear.
- Brawling: Punching, kicking, grappling, etc.
- Breath: Any wherein strong lungs may help.
- Charisma: Influence by forceful personality.
- Comprehension: Understand coded, incomplete, or garbled messages or speech.
- Concentration: Maintaining focus despite distractions.
- Constitution: Resist physical ailments or stave off death.
- Coordination: Precise, whole-body movements.
- Creativity: Improvised creation of artistic mediums, including music.
- Dexterity: Fine motor movements.
- Empathy: Understanding others’ true feelings.
- Endurance: Pushing through exhaustion.
- Faith: Trusting a higher power.
- Flexibility: Contortion of the whole body.
- Hearing: Discerning quiet or garbled noises.
- Might: Physically brute forcing a problem.
- Perception: Processing sensory information.
- Reaction: Reacting (not moving) quickly.
- Sanity: Avoiding the negative effects of stress.
- Smell: Discerning faints smells or tastes.
- Speech: Speaking soundly in stressful situations.
- Speed: Moving (not reacting) quickly.
- Steadiness: Keeping hand or body steady.
- Vision: Discerning complex or distant objects.
- Willpower: Mentally brute forcing a problem.
The following are organized by general effect, listed with prerequisite Aptitudes in parentheses. Some refer to optional game rules; if your group is playing without those rules (or those rules haven’t been published yet), you should not take that gift for your character.
- Ambidextrous (Coord): When dual-wielding, the character may make two independent attacks, one with each weapon, as their main action.
- Crippling Shot (Vision & Stead): When inflicting injuries with a propelled weapon, targets not much larger than the character may be knocked down.
- Deadly Strike (GIFT: Power Strike): Unarmed attacks have +0 ITM.
- Deft (React & Speed): Maneuvers may be performed as move actions, rather than main actions.
- Missile Parry (2 of Coord, Speed, or React): Parry may be used in defense against ranged weapons.
- Momentum (2 of Coord, Speed, or Might): If the character kills a target in melee with their first attack in a round, they may attack again in the same action.
- Nimble Dodge (2 of Coord, Flex, Speed, or React): Dodge may be used without sacrificing a move action.
- Power Strike (Brawl & Might): Unarmed attacks have +2 FTM.
- Power Throw (Might): +1 to hit when over-ranging a thrown or melee weapon.
- Savage Resolve (2 of Might, Will, Faith, or Const): +1 to Injury checks.
- Specialization (Coord or Stead): May use special features of the chosen weapon type. Can be taken multiple times with different weapon types. Propelled types require Stead, all others require Coord.
- Toughened Skin (Might & Const): +2 AD when wearing no armor (artifacts in wear slots do not count as armor).
- Unbridled Fury: Determine a trigger with your GM (e.g., successfully kill an enemy, take an injury, an ally is injured, etc.). When that trigger occurs, until combat is resolved or you are incapacitated, take no penalties from damage and make all attacks with HB; if already gaining HB from another source, +1 ITM. While in this state, you may only make melee attacks and must attack or move toward the nearest hostile target. You may end the state at will, but the state automatically ends when there are no hostiles present. When the state ends, take 1 Fatigue or Stress.
- Aquarian (2 of Breath, End, Might, or Speed): The character may swim as fast as they can walk.
- Soft Fall (2 of Const, Coord, Flex, or Might): When taking fall damage, take one less injury.
- Sprint (Speed or Might): The character may walk an additional 15′ during their move action.
- Uncanny Climb (2 of Might, Speed, or Coord): The character may climb up to half their walking speed under duress without making a check.
- Wall Run (Speed & Coord): As an action, the character may run 30′ across or 15′ up a wall.
- Echolocation (Hear & Perc): The character can sense the shape of all objects within 15′, regardless of light or obscurity, provided there are no objects physically in the way.
- ESP (Perc & Will): The character’s vision cannot be obscured by smoke, fog, etc.
- Low-Light Vision (Perc & Vision): The character sees in darkness as dim light and dim light as bright light.
- Uncanny Smell (Perc & Smell): The character can taste and smell things generally flavorless or odorless.
- Addiction Resistance (Const & Will): +1 to Addiction checks.
- Heavy Sleep (Const & End): The character loses 1 fatigue on their first watch of rest for the day.
- Immunity (Const): +1 to Drug Resistance checks.
- Light Sleep (Perc): The character may make checks to perceive goings on around them while sleeping.
- Slowed Metabolism (Const): Drug resistance checks are made after twice the normal time.
- Bounty Hunter (2 of Conc, Perc, or Will): Gain advantage on efforts to track, read, and manipulate intelligent creatures.
- Champion/Menace (Brav, Char, Faith, or Will): Choose a cause. Gain advantage on actions that directly contribute to (Champion) or hinder (Menace) that cause.
- Huntsman (2 of Conc, Perc, or Will): Gain advantage on effort to track, avoid, and lure wild game and monsters.
- Pack Rat (Creat, Might, or Will): The character gains an additional 2 Rucksack slots.
- Stone Face (Char, San, or Will): Targets cannot gain a bonus from Empathy when trying to read the character.
- Wild Man (End, Perc, or San): Gain advantage on efforts to navigate through the wilderness or forage for food.