Abilities are the traits used to describe what you know and what you have learned to do. Whereas Attributes represent your raw potential. Abilities represent the ways you have learned to use that potential. You may not need anything but brute strength to smash through a door- but if your trying to use sheer power to force an engine part into place without breaking something, you'd better know something about mechanics. When rolling dice, you'll probably have to pair an ability with an appropriate attribute, in order to properly depict the combination of potential and know-how thats necessary for getting things done,
There are 30 Abilities: 10 Talents, 10 Skills, 10 Knowledges. Each Ability typically covers a broad range of aptitudes. For certain Abilities (Expression, Crafts, Performance, Academics, Science), It is best to pick a specialty, even if the characters rating in the ability is not yet 4 or higher. Thus a character's with the Craft skill is generally versed in handiwork of all sorts, but might be particularly adept at auto mechanics.
Talents describe what you intuitively know, what you can do without coaching or instruction. The only way to improve your Talents is through direct experience—with the exception of a very few cases (such as studying a text on Jeet Kune Do to learn a dot or so of brawl.) These things cant be learned from a book or mail order courses. If you try an action involving a talent your character doesn't possess, there is no penalty to your basic Attribute dice pool, these Abilities are so intuitive that virtually every one has some degree of capacity in each one.
This is your basic knack for noticing things that go on around you, even when you are not actively looking for them. Alertness describes the attention you pay to the outside world, whether otherwise occupied or not. This Talent is typically paired with Perception and is best when used when sensing physical stimuli (opposed to Moods or clues).
* Novice: Your are no mindless drone.
** Practiced: Habitual eavesdropper.
*** Competent: You keep a sharp eye on your surroundings.
**** Expert: Whether from paranoia or good sense, you are rarely caught off guard.
***** Master: Your senses are on par with a wild animal.
Possessed by: Hunters, Security Personnel, Journalist, Burglars.
Specialties: Noises, Eaves dropping, Ambushes, Hidden Weapons, Crowds, Forests, Animals.
This Talent represents your basic athletic ability, as well as any training you might have had in sports or other rigorous activities. Athletics concerns all forms of running, swimming jumping throwing sports and the like, however it does not cover basic motor function such as lifting weights, nor does it govern athletic feats covered by another ability (Such as Melee).
* Novice: You had an active childhood.
** Practiced: High school athlete
*** Competent: Professional Athlete
**** Expert: Top Notch in your sport.
***** Master: Olympic Athlete
Possessed by: Athletes, Enthusiast, Park Rangers, Jocks, Kids.
Specialties: Swimming, Rock climbing, Acrobatics, Dancing, Endurance Running, Specific Sports.
The Brawl Talent represents how well you fight in tooth and nail situations. This talent represents skill in unarmed combat, whether from formal martial arts training or simply from plenty of experience - Either type can make you a dangerous adversary. Effective brawlers are coordinated, resistant to pain, quick, strong and mean, The willingness to do whatever it takes to hurt your opponents win plenty of fights.
* Novice: You were picked on as a kid.
** Practiced: You have seen the occasional bar-room tussle.
*** Competent: You fought regularly and routinely, and generally walked away in better shape then your opponents.
**** Expert: You could be a serious contender on a boxing circuit.
***** Master: You can kill three men in four seconds.
Possessed by: Military, Police, Roughnecks, Thugs.
Specialties: Boxing, Wrestling, Dirty Fighting, Kicks, Karate, Judo, Muay Thai, Throws, Submission Holds.
The first rule of Self Preservation, this Talent covers your ability to avoid blows, Missile fire or even oncoming cars. Dodge entails taking cover, ducking punches or any other methods of getting out of the way.
* Novice: You can reflexively duck and cover your head.
** Practiced: You have weathered a self-defense class.
*** Competent: You can evade thrown rocks maybe even a knife.
**** Expert: It would take a skilled brawler to land a punch
***** Master: You can virtually sidestep bullets on open ground.
Possessed by: Police, Criminals, Brawlers, Boxers, People in bad neighborhoods.
Specialties: Cover, Sidestep, Footwork, Leap.
You understand the emotions of others and can sympathize with, feign sympathy for, or play on such emotions you see fit. You are an easy hand at discerning motive, and might be able to pick up on when someone is lying to you. However, you may be so in tune with others feelings that your own emotions may be effected.
* Novice: You lend the occasional shoulder to cry on.
** Practiced: You can sometimes literally feel someone else's suffering.
*** Competent: You have keen insight into other peoples motivations.
**** Expert: It is almost impossible to lie to you.
***** Master: The human soul conceals no mysteries from you.
Possessed by: Social Workers, Parents, Actors, Psychologists, Detective, Seducers, Mediums, Best Friends
Specialties: Emotions, Personalities, Motives, Gaining trust.
This is your ability to get your point across clearly, whether through conversation, poetry or even email. Characters with high Expression can phrase their opinions or beliefs in a manner that cannot be ignored (even if their opinions are misinformed or worthless). They might also be talented actors, skilled at conveying moods or feigning emotion with every gesture. Additionally, this Talent represents your ability for poetry, creative writing or other literary art forms.
* Novice: Your talent has matured past crude poetry on notebook paper.
** Practiced: You could lead a college debate team.
*** Competent: You could be a successful writer.
**** Expert: Your work is Pulitzer material.
***** Master: A visionary such as yourself comes along only once in every generation.
Intimidation takes many forms, from outright threats and physical violence to mere force of personality. You know the right method for each occasion, and can be very….persuasive.
* Novice: Crude teenage bully
** Practiced: Mugger
*** Competent: Drill sergeant
**** Expert: Your air of authority cows casual passersby.
***** Master: You can frighten off vicious animals.
You are an example to others and can inspire them to do what you want. Leadership has less to do with manipulating people's desires than it does with presenting yourself as the sort of person they want to follow. This Talent is usually paired with Charisma rather than Manipulation.
* Novice: Captain of your Little League team
** Practiced: Student body president
*** Competent: An effective CEO
**** Expert: Presidential material
***** Master: You could be the lord and master of a nation.
The streets can provide a lot of information or money to those who know the language. Streetwise allows you to blend in unobtrusively with the local scene, pick up gossip, understand slang or even dabble in criminal doings.
* Novice: You know who sells drugs.
** Practiced: You're accorded respect on the street.
*** Competent: You could head your own gang.
**** Expert: You have little to fear in even the worst neighborhoods.
***** Master: If you haven't heard it, it hasn't been said.
You know how to conceal your own motives and project what you like. Furthermore, you can root out other people's motives, then use those motives against them. This Talent defines your talent for intrigue, secrets and double dealing; mastery of Subterfuge can make you the ultimate seducer, or a brilliant spy.
* Novice: You tell the occasional little white lie.
** Practiced: Vampire
*** Competent: Criminal lawyer
**** Expert: Deep-cover agent
***** Master: You're the very last person anyone would suspect.