Create Your Hero: Ability scores

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  2. Create Your Hero
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4d6.pngOn the front of your character sheet, make a space for your charisma, intelligence, wisdom, endurance, agility, and strength. These are your six ability scores. Each score ranges from 3 to 18.

Roll 4d6 six times, throwing out the lowest die in each case, to generate six numbers from 3 to 18. For example, rolling 2, 6, 4, and 3 will result in 13: we throw out the lowest number, the ‘two’. Six, four, and three added together give us thirteen.

Once you’ve rolled your six numbers, assign the numbers as desired to each ability.

At least one ability score must be nine or higher in order to choose an archetype. Any player can, after they roll, choose to throw out all of their rolls and instead use 15, 13, 12, 10, 8, and 7 as their rolls.

Physical abilities

Physical abilities: Agility

Agility is the character’s manual dexterity and overall speed. Running, acrobatics, and musical instruments all demand high agility. The agile character can move quickly and surely.

Physical abilities: Endurance

Endurance is sort of a character’s long term strength. It is the ability to keep going, physically, as everyone else drops out of the race. It is the ability to stand against harm, disease, and discomfort. Characters with high endurance will tend to endure adversity longer and get sick less often, and be able to withstand the rigors of battle for longer periods of time.

Physical abilities: Strength

Strength is the character’s ability to lift, to bend, and to break things. The higher their strength, the more they than can lift. Characters with higher strength will be more powerful in battle, able to defeat their foes more quickly.

Mental abilities

Mental abilities: Charisma

Charisma measures leadership, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills (noticing how to act and react to others). Charisma is not physical appearance, although flaws that would cause ugliness in less charismatic individuals may add character to the charismatic individual.

Charisma is not popularity. It is a measure of a character’s facility in interacting with others. A character with a high charisma is better able to perceive social constructs and the intricacies of interpersonal situations, and can, but does not have to, use this to be liked better. A character with a high charisma doesn’t have to be popular. It’s their choice, or at least more their choice than if they have a low charisma. Any character can try to be popular, hated, respected, or feared. A character with high charisma will be more successful at the attempt. A character with a low charisma who does lots of popular things might very well be liked by most people—even though the character would prefer to strike fear in the hearts of men. And their popularity will be fickle, because their popularity is not under their control.

Like the other abilities, charisma has a lot bundled up with it, and leadership is the next biggest chunk of charisma. A character with a high charisma is not only better able to get their commands obeyed, they are more competent at being in command. Some may command through fear, others through respect, but the best commanders in the field have been highly charismatic, even to the point that some are not just respected but loved by the enemy population.


Intelligence is a character’s learning ability and ability to assimilate knowledge and remember facts. Characters with a high intelligence will tend to know more and learn new things faster. They will take all the facts at hand and rationally sift through them to find a course of action that they believe is best. A character with high intelligence is likely to be more curious than a character of low intelligence.

Mental abilities: Wisdom

Wisdom is the ability to make moral decisions—to tell good from evil. Wisdom is also the courage of one’s convictions. It not only helps your character determine the right thing to do, it also gives your character the courage to perform the right act and follow your character’s moral code.

Wisdom is also common sense, especially where common sense conflicts with learned knowledge. Wisdom might also be considered intuition. A character with a high wisdom can make good decisions without necessarily thinking logically through all the facts at hand. The wise decision will be the right thing to do, but not necessarily the most efficient or advantageous.

Ability modifiers

Often, a roll or score will use abilities to modify the number associated with the roll or score. The ability can be a “major” contributor to the number or a “minor” contributor to the number.

Ability Major Minor Special
1 -5 -3
2 -4 -2
3 -3 -2
4-5 -2 -1 1
6 -1 1
7-8 -1 2
9-10 2
11 3
12-13 +1 3
14 +1 4
15-16 +2 +1 4
17 +3 +2 4
18 +4 +2 5
19 +5 +2 5
20 +6 +3 5
21 +7 +3 6
22 +8 +3 6
+1 +1 +1/3 Score/3.5

In this table, any number with a ‘dash’ is a penalty to the action: it must always hinder. A number with a ‘+’ is a bonus to the action: it must always help. So, if Tony, playing Toromeen, needs to make a roll less than or equal to 6, modified by endurance (major) and by charisma (minor), this will be 6 with a bonus of 2 (from his endurance of 15) and a penalty of 0 (from his charisma of 8). So Tony needs to roll 8 or less for Toromeen to succeed at this particular task.

The “Special” column is used mostly for attributes which get bonuses based merely on the existence of an ability. For example, a character’s carry is modified by their endurance on the special column.

  1. Numbers
  2. Create Your Hero
  3. Character archetypes