Abilities

Abilities represent the things that your character can do, either through natural aptitude or through training. FS3 has several different types of abilities:

  • Attributes represent your natural talents.
  • Action Skills are those relevant to the game's central "action".
  • Background Skills flesh out your hobbies and interests.
  • Language Skills are hopefully self-explanatory.
  • Quirks are little things that make your character unique.

Attributes and Action Skills are limited, so you can only select those from fixed lists. Background Skills, Language Skills, and Quirks are free-form, meaning you can pick anything that suits your character.

Attributes

Attributes reflect a character’s natural talents. Attributes influence related Skills, giving an advantage (or disadvantage) compared to someone with equivalent training. They also come into play when no particular Skill applies to a given situation.

Barring some major life event, Attributes never change; they are set in stone when you are born. For example, you may overcome an academic challenge through hard work and study, but you will not change your underlying academic aptitude. The attributes are:

  • Body - Physical fitness - Strength, Constitution, and Agility.
  • Mind - Mental fitness - Intelligence and Creativity.
  • Presence - Personality - Charisma and Will.
  • Reaction - Reflexes - Dexterity, Hand-Eye Coordination, and Wits.

But I want to be agile yet weak!
The attributes are deliberately broad for simplicity, and do not allow the sort of fine-tuning that you might find in other systems. Take a rating that corresponds to what you're best at, and leave the rest to RP.

Attributes are rated on a 1-4 scale. All characters will have a rating in every attribute.

Rating Description
1 Poor
2 Average
3 Good
4 Exceptional

Skills

Skills reflect a character’s knowledge and training. Skills are fluid, changing over time. You choose an initial set of skills during character creation, and may improve them or learn new skills during the course of the game.

Skills are further broken down into three categories: Action, Background, and Language.

Action Skills and Background Skills are both rated on a 0-12 scale. Characters only have ratings in skills they have taken the time to learn and practice. All other skills are considered to be at rating 0.

Rating Description
0 Untrained
1-3 Novice (student/hobbyist/beginner)
4-6 Proficient (thoroughly competent/typical professional)
7-9 Veteran (considerable experience/talent)
10-12 Master (expert/master)

Action Skills

Action Skills are those relevant to the game's central "action".

  • Alertness - Noticing things and being aware of your surroundings.
  • Athletics - Physical abilities - running, jumping, climbing, etc. If you don't have Melee Combat, this can be used to dodge melee attacks.
  • Computers - Using computers, programming, hacking, etc.
  • Etiquette - Reading social cues; understanding and following the 'rules' of polite society.
  • Firearms - Shooting guns.
  • Mechanics - General mechanics/electronics and fixing things.
  • Medicine - Treating injuries or illnesses (first aid, doctoring).
  • Melee Combat - Combat skill with handheld weapons (but not swords) or unarmed.
  • Persuasion - Talking someone into (or out of) doing something.
  • Piloting - Flying ships and any other airborne or space vehicles.
  • Stealth - Being sneaky.
  • Willpower - Resisting coercion or forcing yourself to do something.

Background Skills

Background Skills flesh out your hobbies and interests. There is no fixed list for Background Skills; you can have anything from Underwater Basket Weaving to Soap Opera Trivia. Here are some ideas, though:

  • A profession or trade: cooking, bartending, politics, thieving (not to be confused with politics), nursing, surgery, carpentry, farming, teaching, etc.
  • A form of expression/art: oration, acting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, writing, sculpting, painting, etc.
  • A science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, etc.
  • A humanity: history, literature, psychology, philosophy, poetry, Christianity, Buddhism, etc.
  • A sport: soccer, cricket, rugby, gymnastics, etc.
  • Other useful skills: bargaining, bluffing, horseback riding, tea ceremony, seduction, fencing, streetwise.

It is rare for someone to have higher than a '3' in hobbies/interests unless they are a really serious hobbyist.

Language Skills

You may take any real-world language as a Language Skill. Everyone starts with English.

Chinese is a common second choice, but note: all characters know a basic set of Chinese words and swears, without having to learn the whole language.

Language Skills don’t have a rating. If you have a language skill, it is assumed you are proficient in speaking, reading and writing. If you want to RP a lesser degree of proficiency, feel free.

Quirks

Quirks are little things that make your character unique. Quirks have no coded effects; all effects are at the discretion of the judge (or other players in a consent-based scene).

Quirks just reflect notable qualities of your character. What's notable for one character may not be notable for another, so just because someone picks "Honest" as a quirk does not mean you have to have that quirk to be honest.

Quirks can be positive or negative, or neither. Why would you want to pick negative quirks? Mainly because it's interesting and fun to play flawed characters! You can get a lot of RP mileage out of them. Some quirks even work both ways… something like "Stubborn" can work both for you (in the sense of not giving up when the chips are down) or against you (in the sense of not giving up when you really should).

Here are some ideas for possible quirks:
Addiction: ___, Allergy: ___, Phobia: ___, Color Blind, Faints at Sight of Blood, Vivid Dreams, Frequent Nightmares, Sleep Walker, Pacifist, Bloodthirsty, Kleptomaniac, Honest to a Fault, Conspiracy Theorist

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