Ability scores in d20 represent your character's fundamental strengths and weaknesses. If you are rather strong, you excel at things that require strength, and so forth. In Journey, this concept is not changed, but it is expanded. Six ability scores are simply not enough to get a feel for a character, and with plans to allow for social encounters and a more intricate crafting system, the ability scores need to represent more than just your combat ability.
It is possible that players will completely ignore a good number of ability scores, in order to maximize their abilities. This has been foreseen, and the character creation method used in Journey - a point-buy derivative - will attempt to make doing so difficult.
TABLE: ABILITY SCORES Physical Mental Spiritual Power Strength (Str) Intelligence (Int) Charisma (Cha) Skill Dexterity (Dex) Perception (Per) Luck (Luc) Endurance Constitution (Con) Wisdom (Wis) Spirit (Spr)
TABLE: ABILITY SCORES (Alternate Names) Physical Mental Spiritual Power Strength (Str) Acumen (Acu) Charisma (Cha) Skill Agility (Agi) Perception (Per) Luck (Luc) Endurance Vitality (Vit) Insight (Ins) Spirit (Spr)
- Physical: A physical ability score is something that is part of the character's physique or is otherwise considered tangible. Strength, dexterity, constitution, and appearance are all physical, in that you can look at someone and estimate their capacity in these areas.
- Strength (Str): This represents your physical strength. If you have a high Strength score, you are able to carry more weight, push folks around, and use melee weapons to more devastating effect.
- Dexterity (Dex): This represents your physical skill. If you have a high Dexterity score, you can balance on thin logs, dodge nimbly out of the way of oncoming traffic, and dance well.
- Constitution (Con): This represents your physical endurance. If you have a high Constitution score, you can run for a long time without being winded, suffer more physical pain and punishment than others, and carry on despite heinous wounds.
- Mental: A mental ability score represents the character's mind and mental life. Mental scores are not necessarily readily apparent, but often become so after engaging in conversation or studying the character's work.
- Intelligence (Int): This represents your mental strength. If you have a high Intelligence score, you can perform math in your head, solve puzzles faster, and come up with witty responses in conversation.
- Perception (Per): This represents your mental skill. If you have a high Perception score, you can spot things that others might miss, sense that someone is lying to you (due to visual or verbal cues), and find a needle in a haystack.
- Wisdom (Wis): This represents your mental endurance. If you have a high Wisdom score, you can withstand psychic trauma, have typically accurate hunches, and accurately intuit information.
- Spiritual: A spiritual ability score represents the character's soul, in a rather metaphysical sense. These are ability scores that cannot generally be directly interacted with in any way - you cannot point to the character, his work, or his habits and say, "This is the source of his ability."
- Charisma (Cha): This represents your spiritual strength. If you have a high Charisma, you have a good sense of yourself and are able to convince others to follow your lead.
- Luck (Luc): This represents your spiritual skill. If you have a high Luck score, you have a tendency to be in the right place at the right time, have a chance at succeeding when you probably shouldn't, and be able to avoid death by sheer luck.
- Spirit (Spr): This represents your spiritual endurance. If you have a high Spirit score, you cannot easily be shaken from your beliefs, you can hold yourself together in times of crisis, and you will be affected more strongly by Divine effects.
Aspects and Facets
Each ability score is a combination of an aspect and a facet. Aspects are aspects of a person: their physical body, their mind, and their "soul," if you will. There are then three facets: power, which represents the potency of that particular aspect; skill, which represents your ability to "move" in that aspect; and endurance, which represents your ability to overcome adversity related to that aspect.
It is possible for there to be more facets, but there are only three aspects.
Mechanics of Ability Scores
As with everything else in Journey, each attribute has a Rank. The default Rank for all attributes is 3 (so 1d6). Humes get no racial modifiers to these attributes, while most other races modify at least one.
You can spend your initial XP to improve your Attributes, if you so choose.
Using the Lifepath subsystem may modify Attributes... and it probably will do so.
Mechanical Ramifications of Ability Scores
Here are the mechanical ramifications of each ability score, or attribute.
- Strength: Strength affects your carrying capacity, melee attacks, and melee damage.
- Dexterity: Dexterity affects your Speed rating.
- Constitution: Constitution affects your HP.
- Intelligence: Any non-Attribute ability with a dice pool rating does not decay unless its rating is higher than your Intelligence.
- Perception: Perception affects your vision.
- Wisdom: Wisdom affects the rate of skill decay (higher Wisdom, slower decay).
- Charisma: Charisma affects your social encounter "attacks."
- Luck: You gain luck points!
- Spirit: Spirit affects your social encounter "hit points."
When you first create a character, follow the following steps to generate your initial attributes.
Set All Attributes to Rank 2 (1d4)
To begin, set all of your attributes at Rank 2.
Modify Attributes for Race
Find your attribute modifiers due to your race, and apply these modifiers to the appropriate attribute’s rank. For example, if you are a sidhe, then you would have a Strength of Rank 1, a Vitality of Rank 1, an Intellect of Rank 3, and a Wisdom of Rank 3.
Modify Attributes for Background
- Note: Ignore this step if you are not using the Lifepath subsystem.
If your background gave you attribute modifiers, apply them now. If any attribute would be reduced to less than Rank 0, it instead gains a negative modifier equal to the total attribute modifiers that would have reduced it to lower than Rank 0.
At this point, you gain three “silos” of Attribute Points (AP), which you gain only at character creation and are only usable in this step of attribute generation.
To generate your "silos," roll d4+2, d4, and d2. You then assign each silo to a given Aspect (so Physical, Mental, and Spiritual). You then can spend one AP to gain one Rank in a given Attribute.
...the journey of a thousand miles...
...begins beneath your feet...