Characters

The Character is the lens through which a player interacts with the world and shapes it. With this in mind, crafting them into the kind of person (or creature) they want to play is important. Here you will find extensive rules that allow you to create and customize your character.

This page goes through all parts that make up your Character. You can find character sheets under Character Sheets. See the Character Creation Guide for a guide that helps you create a character. For information on what you have to keep in mind while Leveling up, see the Leveling Guide.

Remember that there are alternative rules for character creation should your game have different needs than the classical protagonist that greatly grows in power over time.

Flavor

Unlike most TTRPGs, Ishanekon: World Shapers does not enforce any form of flavor with most of its character features and Abilities. It is up to you to design the story behind your character, and the rules are only there to help you represent the Image that you have in your head. Just because you are playing a War Berserker, it does not mean that you need to play an ax-wielding rage machine. Maybe your character instead is a swordmaster that falls into a battle trance or a superhero that can increase their power for a short burst.

YOU decide the flavor, not the rules. Feel free to break stereotypes that you associate with the Archetype, feature, or Ability names and play what you want to play (as long as it fits the setting that your group is playing).

Level and Tier

Your Character (and every other creature) has two metrics that mostly define their progress. Those are their Level and their Tier.

Levels are the more basic measurement. A creature can have a Level as low as 0. There are no real limits on how high a Level can get, but I recommend that characters should not level much past Level 12 since the game balance can get a bit wonky if you push it too far, and the complexity of most characters starts to exceed what most players can handle. Level 1 is a good starting Level for most campaigns, but you can feel free to choose another starting level to fit the needs of your story and group. A character gains a level when the GM finds it appropriate for the story.

A character gains all kinds of benefits when they gain a new Level. You can see an overview of everything that you gain per Level (except for Vitality, Willpower, and general Archetype proficiencies and Stats) in the following table. For more details, see the rest of the Character rules. You continue gaining Talents, Stat Points, Skill Points, Tiers, and Abilities at the same rate should you level beyond Level 12.

LevelArchetypePathSub-ArchetypeTierLesser TalentGreater TalentStat PointsSkill PointsAbilities*Abilities Total*
01 Feature1 Path1 Feature1272, 2, 22, 2, 2
11110, 1, 22, 3, 4
21111, 1, 23, 4, 6
31 Feature21120, 1, 23, 5, 8
41111, 1, 24, 6, 10
51110, 1, 24, 7, 12
61 Feature31121, 1, 25, 8, 14
71110, 1, 25, 9, 16
81111, 1, 26, 10, 18
91 Feature41120, 1, 26, 11, 20
101111, 1, 27, 12, 22
111110, 1, 27, 13, 24
121 Feature51111, 1, 28, 14, 26
Level Progression
*Depending on Archetype (2 WP per level, 3 WP per level, 4 WP per level)

Your Character also has a Tier. The Tier represents a rough category of power and is somewhat of a milestone. The Tier limits how high your Stats and Skills can get, what Abilities you can learn, how much Willpower you can use in one turn, and to what extent you can craft and upgrade items. Other things are also influenced by your Tier. Your Tier increases by one after every three Levels. You start with Tier 1 at Level 0. For more details, see the rest of the Character rules.

Archetype

You get to choose one Archetype when you create your character. Your Archetype is the foundation of your character on which you build their identity. There are 10 Archetypes total, each with its strengths and weaknesses. You can see the different options under Archetypes. Your Archetype defines the following features:

  • What your Primary and Secondary Stat is (You must choose one if there are multiple options).
  • How much your Vitality and Willpower increase per Level (7 and 2, 5 and 3, or 3 and 4).
  • The number of Skill Points that you start with.
  • In what armors and weapons you are proficient in.
  • What your Evasion Stat is (You must choose one if there are multiple options).
  • How many Abilities you can learn per Level.
  • One Archetype feature.
  • Which Sub-Archetypes you can choose.

After you gain an Archetype, you must choose a Sub-Archetype. A Sub-Archetype gives you a new feature for each Tier that you gain up to Tier 5 (Level 12) and helps you define what kind of character you want to play.

Stats

Your Stats represent your Physical and Mental Attributes and form the core of your Character. There are seven Stats:

  1. Strength: Your general physical fitness and power. Your carry capacity is equal to twice your Strength Stat.
  2. Dexterity: Your flexibility, precision, and speed. Your base Evasion equals your Dexterity.
  3. Constitution: Your general physical toughness. Your base Vitality equals your Constitution, and it increases your max Temporary Vitality by the same amount.
  4. Intelligence: Your logical thinking capabilities and your memory. You gain Skill Points equal to your Intelligence stat.
  5. Charisma: Your general charm and good looks, as well as your luck and artistic creativity. Your max Narrative Momentum is equal to your Charisma Stat.
  6. Instinct: Your ability to act without thinking. Your basic Initiative equals twice your Instinct Stat.
  7. Will: Your determination. Your base Willpower is equal to your Will Stat, and it increases your max Temporary Vitality by the same amount.

At Level 0, you have 7 in each Stat, and you can spend 27 Stat Points as you see fit in each Stat. Alternatively, you can roll 5+3d4, dropping the lowest d4 seven times, and use the results for your Stats if you prefer it to be random. The maximum value that a Stat can have equals 12 + your Tier.

Tier (Level Range)Max Stat Limit
1 (0-2)13
2 (3-5)14
3 (6-8)15
4 (9-11))16
5 (12-14)17
The maximum value a Stat can have at each Tier and Level

You also have a Stat Bonus for each Stat that results out of the Stat value. Your Stat Bonus equals your Stat – 10. Somebody with 13 Strength and 9 Dexterity would have a Strength Bonus of +3 and a Dexterity Bonus of -1.

Stat7891011121314151617
Stat Bonus-3-2-10+1+2+3+4+5+6+7
Stat bonus corresponding to each Stat value

When you gain your Archetype, you also gain your Primary and Secondary Stat (which are each one of the seven stats). Both Stats influence your Ability hit bonus. The Primary Stat also forms the basis for your Defense Roll Power, and many features are also affected by it. For more information, see below under Abilities and in the chapter Combat.

Resources

Your Character has four Resources that they can use. These are Vitality, Temporary Vitality, Willpower, and Narrative Momentum.

Vitality

The Vitality of your Character represents their overall health. It is reduced whenever they receive damage, but it can also be replenished by Healing Abilities. Your maximum Vitality equals your Constitution plus the Vitality you gain each Level through your Archetype (and sometimes some features, Talents, and upgrades).

You do not immediately die when your Vitality drops below 1. Instead, you keep track of your negative Vitality, and you are restrained. This cannot be prevented unless a feature says explicitly otherwise. You also gain the Bleeding Status Effect. The DR Power of the bleeding is 10. You stabilize and stop bleeding if you roll at least a 20 on your DR against bleeding. If somebody heals you or uses the Stabilize action (3 AP) while next to you, you also remove the bleeding. You stay restrained until you have at least 1 Vitality.

You die if your Vitality drops below the negative value of your maximum Vitality. You would die with -31 Vitality, for example, should you have a maximum Vitality of 30 but still be alive with -30. A dead creature cannot be healed by any normal Healing Ability or feature.

Temporary Vitality

Your Temporary Vitality works as a buffer for your Vitality and is an abstraction for additional replenishable defenses like an energy shield or determination that allows you to endure more pain. Any damage that you receive is first subtracted from your Temporary Vitality. Only once you run out of Temporary Vitality does damage actually affect your Vitality.

Your maximum Temporary Vitality is equal to your Constitution plus your Will plus your twice your Level. It starts at 0 and is reduced to 0 after each rest you take.

Willpower

Your Willpower (WP) is an abstraction for your energy reserves, resources, physical endurance, and other things that limit your actions. You use your WP as fuel for your Abilities. You can only use a number of WP equal to your Tier times two plus two on one Ability and during one turn.

Tier12356
WP Limit4681012
WP Limit for each Tier

Your maximum WP equals your Will plus the WP you gain each Level through your Archetype (and sometimes some features, Talents, and upgrades). It is harder to replenish WP compared to Vitality. You usually regain it by taking a rest or using stimulants.

Narrative Momentum

Sometimes, a protagonist can push themselves beyond their normal limits for the sake of the story, leading to clutch moments that barely get resolved. The Narrative Momentum mechanic allows player characters to achieve just that.

Each Character has a maximum Narrative Momentum equal to their Charisma plus their Luck Skill Level. A Character can use their Narrative Momentum at any time to reroll any rolled dice and choose one of the two results. How much Narrative Momentum has to be used depends on the die that is rerolled. 1 for d4, 2 for d6 and d8, 3 for d10 and d12 and 7 for d20. You can also use 3 Narrative Momentum for a Cinematic Action or Reaction.

A character regains half of their Narrative Momentum after a full rest. A character can also gain one level of Exhaustion to gain an amount of Narrative Momentum equal to 1 plus their Luck Skill Level at the moment they need it. The effects of the exhaustion are applied after rerolls have taken effect if the Narrative Momentum is used immediately. The GM can award Narrative Momentum for good role-play and interacting with the story and environment in interesting and inventive ways.

Paths

Paths determine the core mechanic that your character revolves around. You choose one Path when you create your character. You cannot gain a second Path in any way.

Different Paths are more or less essential for specific playstyles. For example, a character that mainly relies on weapon attacks should take Path of Attack to gain more attacks for their attack action whenever they reach a new Tier.

You can find a list of all Paths here.

Skills

Skills are a list of 33 areas in which your character can be trained. Each Skill has one Stat with which it is connected and has a Skill Level. The maximum Skill Level a character can have equals 2 + their Tier.

A character can often use different Skills to attempt to solve problems during their adventure, such as sneaking by some enemies, repairing a machine, or convincing a merchant to give them a discount. The GM decides if a player has to make a Skill Check to determine if they apply their Skill successfully, but players can suggest Skills Checks combined with the action they are trying to perform.

To make a Skill Check, the Player rolls a d10 and adds their Skill Level in that Skill and half of their corresponding Stat Bonus to it. (Example: Stealth Check with Dexterity Bonus +2 and Skill Level 0, rolled a 4 on the d10, the result is 4+1+0 = 5.  History Check with Intelligence Bonus -1 and Skill Level 3, rolled a 7 on the d10, the result is 7-1+3=9). They succeed if they roll at least as high as a number determined by the GM. The number should correlate with the difficulty of the task. You can choose to fail your own Skill Check.

DifficultyExample Number
Very Easy1
Easy4
Medium7
Difficult10
Very Difficult13
Extremely Difficult16
Nearly Impossible19
Example numbers for Skill Check difficulties

The GM does not need to tell the players the exact number, but if they ask, the GM can, depending on the situation, imply how difficult or easy a task is. For example, the GM could say that it seems very dangerous to climb a cliff without climbing gear implying a very difficult Athletics or Nimbleness Check.

You have a critical failure that guarantees you fail the Skill Check if you roll a natural 1 on the d10. You cannot have a critical failure if you have a Skill Level of at least 5 in that Skill.

You have a critical success, which guarantees that you succeed on the Skill Check if you roll a natural 10. A critical success cannot help you with an impossible task. A normal human, for example, will not be able to jump to the moon just because they had a critical success on an Athletics Check. You cannot have a critical success with a Skill that has a Skill Level that is lower than 3.

Sometimes two creatures have to compete with their Skills. For example, a character that wants to sneak past a guard would need to roll higher on their Stealth Skill Check than the guard on their Perception Skill Check to pull it off successfully. Another example would be two people that play a game of chess. In that case, both would need to compete against each other with an Analysis Skill Check.

Sometimes a group works together on one Skill Check, like trying to break through a gate. There are two scenarios when that happens:

1. The whole group succeeds if only one creature in that group succeeds (examples are seeing if anybody knows something about a subject or trying to find a hidden door when everybody is looking). In this case, only the creature with the highest value in that Skill makes a Skill Check and gains advantage on it.

2. The whole group fails if only one creature in that group fails (examples are trying to sneak by a creature or trying to avoid triggering a trap that would hit everybody). In this case, only the creature with the lowest value makes a Skill Check. They have disadvantage on that Skill Check if at least one creature in that group would have disadvantage on it for any reason.

You gain a number of Skill Points determent by your Archetype (3, 6, or 9) plus an amount equal to your Intelligence Stat at Level 0. You can use them to gain Skill Levels in any Skill you want. You can also use your Skill Points to learn a language, but only at character creation. You start with two languages of your choice as a default.

Some Skills can also be used to craft and upgrade items. For more information, see the Items Rules page.

Here is an Overview of all Skills and what they are used for:

Strength Skills

  1. Athletics: This represents how well your body is trained for all sorts of physical activities and sports. Examples of activities that use Athletics are running, jumping, climbing, swimming, and participating in sports. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
  2. Menace: How physically intimidating you are, be it because of your muscles or more unnatural body parts like horns, sharp teeth, or unnatural eyes. This Skill is mostly used to intimidate other people and creatures.
  3. Raw Force: Your ability to apply raw physical force. It is used, for example, to move heavy objects, break doors, and carry something. Your Skill Level in it is added to Strength Defense Rolls.

Dexterity Skills

  1. Lockpicking: Your ability to open mechanical Locks and disable traps.
  2. Nimbleness: How quick you are on your feet and your general acrobatic abilities. It can be used to climb and jump, just like Athletics, but it is also useful to keep your balance and dodge things. Your Skill Level in it is added to Dexterity Defense Rolls.
  3. Quick Fingers: How well you can use your fingers and hands in a quick and precise way. It is the go-to Skill when it comes to pick-pocketing somebody, but it can also be used for magic tricks, precision work, and hiding things without being noticed. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
  4. Stealth: Your ability to move silently and without being seen. It is mostly used to sneak by other creatures or to hide.

Constitution Skills

  1. Endurance: The ability of your body to endure pain and hardship. Examples of its use are withstanding the negative effects of doing a physically tasking action for a long duration of time, enduring pain, and surviving critical wounds. Your Skill Level in it is added to Constitution Defense Rolls.

Intelligence Skills

  1. Analysis: Your ability to find clues and your general skill at reasoning and logical thinking. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
  2. Computers: Your knowledge of hard- and software and your general computational affinity. It is also the go-to Skill to hack into digital devices. It can be used to upgrade technology-based items.
  3. Engineering: Your knowledge of machines and how adept you are at building and using mechanical devices. It is used if you want to build, repair or understand different kinds of machines. It also represents different forms of more complex handicrafts like blacksmithing or carpentering. It can be used to craft and upgrade various technology and technique-based items.
  4. History: Your knowledge of history, customs, and culture and your ability to remember information and general knowledge. It also allows you to craft and upgrade some historical items.
  5. Medicine: Your medical knowledge and your ability to treat somebody over longer periods of time. This Skill can be used to diagnose a disease, treat poison, or conduct surgery. You can use it to craft biology and technology-based Ability items and consumables.
  6. Natural Science: Your general knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and other similar sciences. You can upgrade and craft all kinds of biology, technique, or technology-based items with it.
  7. Psychology: Your knowledge about the minds of others and yourself. It can be used to read people, play into their weaknesses, or treat psychological illnesses. It also helps you to find your own biases and mental weaknesses. Your Skill Level in it is added to Intelligence Defense Rolls.
  8. Supernatural: Your knowledge of magic, deities, and paranormal phenomena. It also represents how good you are at interacting with magical objects and devices and how to craft and upgrade them.

Charisma Skills

  1. Art: Your knowledge about paintings, music, theater, and other forms of artistic expression. It also shows how good you are at creating and performing art. Examples of activities that require an Art Check are painting a picture, performing in front of a crowd, or recognizing which artist made a sculpture. You can also craft and upgrade a few supernatural and technique-based items with it.
  2. Deception: Your ability to convincingly lie and manipulate other people. You use it when you want to trick somebody or convince them of a lie.
  3. Disguising: Your ability to don disguises and mimic other people’s behavior and voices. You can use it if you want to pretend to be someone or something else, when you mimic a noise or voice, or when you are making and wearing a disguise to fool somebody.
  4. Grace: Your looks, charm, how elegant you move, and ability to seduce people with a corresponding sexual orientation. You use this skill if you try to flirt with someone or to impress somebody with your beauty and elegance. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
  5. Luck: How lucky you are. This Skill is used in mostly or purely luck-based activities, like gambling, stumbling upon positive coincidences, or avoiding unlucky events. Your Luck Level is added to your max Narrative Momentum.
  6. Persuasion: Your ability to convince other people with your words. You can use it to barter for a better price, convince somebody to help you or try to make a good first impression.
  7. Presence: How much authority you emanate, how inspiring you are, and the power of your personality. You can use this Skill to intimidate somebody, inspire a crowd with a speech, or convince somebody that they should follow your orders. Your Skill Level in it is added to Charisma Defense Rolls.

Instinct Skills

  1. Animal Handling: Your ability to communicate and manipulate animals. Examples of Skill checks that require Animal Handling are trying to tame an animal, trying to calm it down, or trying to ride one.
  2. First Aid: Your ability to treat wounds. It is mostly used to stabilize creatures that are bleeding out.
  3. Improvisation: Your ability to act quickly and react to unexpected situations. It also represents simpler crafting capabilities like cooking, knitting, and woodcarving. You can also craft (but not upgrade) some simple tools and weapons with it. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
  4. Intuition: Your ability to sense if something is about to happen and recognize what is truly going on. It also helps you to recognize the true motives of another creature. Your Skill Level in it is added to Instinct Defense Rolls.
  5. Meta: To which degree your character is aware that it is fictional and their skill to access knowledge that they could not know. They may be able to recognize story tropes or even interact with the narrative flow directly. It is also useful to see the future and other oracle-like abilities.
  6. Perception: How good your senses are and how well you can spot hidden things. You can use it to detect a creature trying to sneak or hide and find hidden objects and mechanisms.
  7. Street Smarts: Your ability to handle yourself in cities and civilization. It helps you to get your ways with laws, recognize what kind of neighborhood you are in, or find the kind of people that have the information or items that you need.
  8. Survival: Your ability to handle yourself in nature. You can use it to find food, track other creatures, and not get lost in nature.
  9. Vehicle Handling: Your ability to use vehicles. Your Vehicle Handling Skill has a direct influence on the Stats of vehicles that you use. For more information, see Vehicles.

Will Skills

  1. Perseverance: The ability of your mind to endure pain and hardship. Examples of its use are withstanding madness, fear or torture. It can also represent Faith. Your Skill Level in it is added to Will Defense Rolls.

Power Source

Every character, creature, and item has some form of power source (or sources) that they use for their features and Abilities. There are four types of power sources:

  1. Supernatural: Abilities and features based on supernatural powers, like magic, miracles, or curses.
  2. Technology: Abilities and features based on technology, like gadgets, chemical concoctions, electronics, or machines.
  3. Biology: Abilities and features based on biological abilities, like superpowers, mutations, or natural weapons.
  4. Technique: Abilities and features based on training, talent, and skill, like a sword technique or a psychological trick.

The flavor of your character (which you choose freely) determines their power source. A character can have a mix of power sources for different Abilities and features. For example, a soldier could use technique to make a precision shot with their assault rifle but use technology to throw an explosive with the Grenade Ability.

A feature or Ability can have a flavor that puts it in multiple power source categories, like a techno-magical device or a super-powered punch that uses martial arts techniques. Each feature and Ability has only one power source relevant to the rules if it falls into two or more categories. The power sources have a hierarchy that determents which one of them is the relevant one if combined. The hierarchy is Supernatural -> Technology -> Biology -> Technique. Therefore, the techno-magical device would fall under supernatural, and the super-powered punch that uses martial arts techniques would fall under biology.

Greater and Lesser Talents

Talents are features you choose whenever you gain a Level that gives your character different benefits. You can further customize your character with Talents and specialize. There are two kinds of Talents, Greater and Lesser.

You gain one Greater Talent whenever you gain an even Level other than 0. Greater Talents grant more powerful benefits and define and expand the core strengths of your character. You can, among other things, gain access to the features of other Sub-Archetypes, specialize in a specific weapon or damage type, or gain great boons associated with mastered Skills.

You gain one Lesser Talent whenever you gain an uneven Level. Lesser Talents give smaller benefits, which can be helpful nonetheless. They allow you to customize your character in ways that help you gain a specific flavor.

You can find a list of all Lesser Talents here and all Greater Talents here.

Abilities

Your Character can learn Abilities from a pool of over 700 Abilities. Abilities allow you to achieve all kinds of powerful and useful feats, like hurling a ball of fire towards your enemies, healing your allies, detecting the lifeforce of creatures, and much much more.

You need Willpower (WP) to use Abilities. The more powerful an Ability is, the more Willpower you will need to use it. You can also use more Willpower than required to increase the power of the Ability with most of them. This is called upcasting, and an Ability will tell you what options you have to upcast it. Upcast effects can be, for example, that the Ability deals more damage, that it affects a bigger area or more targets, or that it lasts longer.

The Poison Grenade Ability, for example, costs 2 WP to use, but you can upcast it by 1 WP for a total of 3 WP to apply an additional stack of Poison if you hit your target. You can further increase the number of Poison stacks for each additional WP that you use while using this Ability. You can also use 2 WP to increase the area of effect of the Poison Grenade by 1 m. You can mix and match the different upcast options.

There is a limit to how much you can upcast an Ability. This is called your WP upcast limit, and it is equal to your Tier times two plus two. You cannot upcast an Ability beyond your WP upcast limit even if a feature or other effect reduces the amount of WP you have to spend on the Ability. For example, you would not be able to upcast the Poison Grenade Ability by 3 WP to a total of 5 WP if you are only Level 1 and therefore have a Tier of 1. Even if you have the Greater Talent Intuition Master that reduces the WP cost of all of your Abilities by 1, you can only upcast by 2 WP for a total WP Cost of 3 since, effectively, it is a 4 WP Ability. Features that allow you to upcast Abilities for free ignore your WP upcast limit unless stated otherwise.

Abilities also have a Tier associated with them. You cannot learn Abilities that are of a higher Tier than you. The Tier of an Ability depends on how much WP it costs to use. The limit is two times the Tier plus two before the Ability reaches a new Tier. The Tier of an Ability increases beyond their normal Tier if you upcast it to an extent that its new WP costs are within a new Tier. The Ability Tier depends on how much WP it would cost to use it without taking into account any WP cost reduction or free upcasting that you would get from features. For example, a Level 3 character with the Path of Damage might be able to use a Damage Ability for 1 WP, but since it is upcast to their upcast limit, it is still a Tier 2 Ability even if its effective WP cost is 1.

Ability Tier12345
WP Cost1,2,3,45,67,89,1011,12
Ability Tier depending on WP Cost

You learn two Abilities at Level 0. You then learn Abilities while leveling up. How many new Abilities you learn depends on which Archetype you have chosen. Archetypes that gain 2 WP per Level (Bulwark, War) learn one Ability every second Level (even). Those that gain 3 WP per Level learn an Ability each Level (Cunning, Demolition, Nature, Technology, Unarmed). Finally, Archetypes that gain 4 WP per Level learn two Abilities per Level (Creative, Mental, Reality).

Not every Archetype can learn every Ability. Each Archetype has its own pool of Abilities that it can learn. There are however ways to tap into the Ability pools of other Archetypes through Talents.

Some Abilities have instantaneous effects like causing an explosion, but other Abilities cause effects that last longer, like Buffs and Summons. The creature that used that Ability can cancel its effect at any time.

You only have to work 10 hours a day for any Ability that takes longer than 24 hours to use.

You can find a list of all Abilities here.

Ability Types

There are different types of Abilities. The Ability types do not only roughly describe what an Ability does, but they are also important for the rules. Many features affect only a specific type of Ability or do not work if the Ability is of a specific type. There are the following Ability types:

Buff

Buff Abilities grant benefits to one or more targets for a certain time. There are many varieties, like Stat boosts, defensive or offensive bonuses, or access to new actions.

You can only have one Buff Ability active at a time. Your first Buff Ability stops working should you use another Buff Ability while it is still active.

Control

Control Abilities change the battlefield and disrupt the enemy. Abilities that improve your and your allies’ defenses are also Control Abilities.

Damage

Any Ability that can directly deal damage is a Damage Ability. An Ability is also a Damage Ability if you can only directly deal damage with it if you upcast it.

Debuff

Debuff Abilities greatly weaken one or more targets. The effects usually go beyond normal Status Effects and can severely cripple your enemies.

You can only have one Debuff Ability active at a time. Your first Debuff Ability stops working should you use another Debuff Ability while it is still active.

Healing

Any Ability that heals a target or removes negative effects is a Healing Ability. Healing a target includes anything that restores or gives Vitality or Temporary Vitality to said target.

The WP cost of a Healing Ability cannot be reduced below 1 unless a feature specifically says so.

Maneuver

Abilities that require physical movement or are part of a weapon attack count as a Maneuver.

You can only use one Maneuver Ability with a weapon attack. You have to declare that you want to use a Maneuver Ability on a weapon attack (including any upcasts you want to make) before making that attack. Maneuver Abilities cannot be used with the attacks of area-of-effect weapons. You cannot combine weapon attacks gained through Abilities with other Maneuvers. Features and effects that increase the damage of weapon attacks and Abilities (like the Retaliator feature Payback) or grant them additional benefits (like the Enforcer feature Enforcing Attacks) do not stack when you use a Maneuver Ability with a weapon attack and only grant their additional damage once.

You cannot turn Maneuver Abilities into Ability items.

Summon

Summon Abilities manifest objects or creatures. You can only have one Summon Ability active at a time. Whatever you summoned disappears should you use another Summon Ability.

Speak with the GM to determent what kind of creatures you summon when you use these Abilities. Together you can decide what fits best into the narrative and how many types of different creatures you can summon. You can find potential summon creatures here.

Creatures that you summon act on their own accord unless you use a Command action (1 AP) to give them orders, which allows you to take direct control over them until your next turn. You automatically use the Command action when using a Summon Ability.

Creatures you summon only have half as much WP as normal, and their healing is reduced by half (this includes any healing they enable other creatures to do, like with the Ability Healing Flow). Their weapons, armor, and equipment are of the same Tier as they are, but you can integrate items you crafted or found into the summons.

Creatures that you summon can use Summon Abilities, but creatures that were summoned by summons cannot, and they only have 1 Vitality.

Transform

Transform Abilities allow you to transform yourself or other targets into different objects and creatures. You can only have one Transform Ability active at a time. Speak with the GM to determent what kind of creatures you can transform into when you use these Abilities. Together you can determent what fits best into the narrative and how many types of different forms your Ability can take. You can find creatures that you can potentially transform into here. Most transformations of creatures into other creatures follow these rules:

Their creature type changes to that of the new form. The target’s Vitality, Temporary Vitality, Willpower, and Narrative Momentum do not change when they transform. They gain the Primary, Secondary, and Evasion Stat of the new form. You replace their Stats with those of the new form. They gain all of the new forms Abilities, Skills, and features, but they lose their own.

When you transform into a new form, you gain Temporary Vitality equal to twice the Tier of the new form if you transformed into a Hybrid creature and four times the Tier of the new form if you transformed into a Fighter creature. Any feature that increases or decreases the max Vitality per Level of the creature that you transform into increases or decreases the received Temporary Vitality by 1 per Tier per Vitality they gain per Level. You instead receive an equal amount of damage should the value of gained Temporary Vitality drop into the negative.

Any features that increase (or decrease) the amount of WP the creature gains that you transform into decrease (or increase) the WP cost of the Transformation by 1 WP for each WP that the creature form gains per Level through those features. This cannot reduce the WP cost of the Transform Ability below 1.

You can choose if they keep their weapons, armor, and equipment during the transformation (which adapts to potential new sizes) or if they exchange them with those of the new form. The weapons, armor, and equipment of the transformation have the same Tier as the creature that they transformed into if they do not keep their own items. The items change back when the transformation stops.

They transform back as soon as their Vitality drops below 1.

Some Transform Abilities have unique rules, which you can find in the corresponding Abilities.

Utility

Utility Abilities encompass many different Abilities that are usually most useful outside of combat. Many Abilities that do not fit in other categories are of this type by default.

If a player uses a Utility Ability in combat, its effects should not be more effective than another Ability with the same WP cost, especially if it can be repeated easily. The GM should also provide the target a way to defend themselves against it, be it through forcing the user to make an Ability attack or by allowing the defender to make a DR. For example, should somebody try to use Manipulate Water to suck the water out of a creature to damage them, the target gets to make an Instinct DR to mitigate the full damage. It would deal at most 2d8 Physical damage like the Ability Physical Surge, which has the same WP cost.

Basic Movement

Every Character has a Basic Movement that determines how much they can move during their turn. The Basic Movement is 3 m if there are no modifiers.

Many features and Abilities can increase or decrease the Basic Movement of your character, allies, and enemies.

Basic Movement should not be confused with movement. Movement refers to what distance a creature can still move during a turn without taking any additional action into account. A creature with a Basic Movement of 3 m starts with 3 m of movement at the start of the turn. Should they take the Move action once and not move during their turn, they would have a movement of 6 m, for example. They have a movement of 5 m if they move 1 m.

Traits

Traits are an optional rule that allows you to customize your character further if a normal humanoid is not quite what you are looking for. They allow you to greatly change the type of character you can play. This allows you to play as a robot with four arms, a vampire that does not need food but blood, a giant dragon, an eldritch horror, or just as a dog.

When you make your character, you can choose from a list of different Traits. Each Trait has a value assigned to them. You can take as many Traits as you like, but the sum of the value of all the chosen Traits cannot be higher than 0. Your GM may allow a higher limit if it suits the story that you want to tell.

There are two reasons why these rules are optional. The first reason is that it adds another layer of complexity that might not be needed since most TTRPGs are just played with relatively normal humanoids.

The second reason is more important, though. The incredible freedom that Traits give you also leads to the problem that they are easily exploitable for power gamers by taking negative Traits irrelevant to their character. GMs, be very careful when allowing Traits if you know that you have one or more players that are more interested in optimizing their build than in creating an interesting character. I would recommend that you take a look at the Traits of their characters should you still want to allow the use of Traits to ensure that they are not misused.

You can find a list of all Traits here.

Next Chapter: Combat