Character Traits 1.5

Ability Modifiers

Ability Modifiers are bonuses to actions using attributes such as Strength or Intelligence. 

Assigning Ability Modifiers

Point Buy

Each character receives 19 points to spend on increasing basic Ability modifiers. In this method, all Ability modifiers start at a base of -2. A character can increase an individual score by spending some of their points. No score can be reduced below -2 or raised above +4 at level 1.


  • Strength (Str): This determines the amount of weight you can lift and how hard you can hit.
  • Dexterity (Dex): Your agility, quickness, and reflexes, e.g., how swiftly you can dodge a missile. 
  • Constitution (Con): Your toughness, stamina, and general health, e.g., resistance to becoming sick.
  • Intelligence (Int): A measure of your overall worldly intellect, knowledge, and learning aptitude.
  • Wisdom (Wis): A measure of your perception, judgment, and ability to discern risks and rewards.
  • Charisma (Cha): This is your general social skill, determining the outcome of personal and group interactions.
Ability ModifierDescription
-2Significantly below average
-1Below average
+1Above average
+2Significantly above average


Skills may be learned by anyone who studies or trains in them, especially if they train under a tutor or master. Skill Ranks run from 0 (unskilled) to 5 (expert ). Players get 10 skill points to spend during character creation (level 1). Skill Ranks cannot be higher than your current level plus 1 (to a max of 5). You receive one skill point per level after level 1. Some special abilities may allow you to gain more Skill Ranks than the standard progression.

A total Skill is = Skill Rank + Ability Modifier + Talents + Misc. When doing a Skill check, roll d20 + Skill.

The skill names in the following chart cover a broad range of actions a character may choose. This is, of course, an incomplete list, and it is between the player and SG to decide what skill an particular action would fall under.

Skill NameAbilityExample Actions
AcrobaticsDexBalance, escape artist, juggle, tumble
AthleticsStrClimb, jump, swim
AwarenessWisInvestigate, listen, search, spot, sense motive, etc.
EnduranceConRun, swim, hold breath, row, endure pain/torture, endure heat or cold, etc. 
KnowledgeIntAppraise, knowledge (history, legends, herbology, monster lore, etc.), detect poison, etc. 
PersuasionChaBluff, diplomacy, gather information, intimidate, etc. 
SpellcraftIntSpell Sight, focusing, ravaging, etc. 
SurvivalWisTrack, forage, hunt, start fire, fletch, skin, set snares, fish, identify edible foods & herbs, locate potable water, detect poison, etc. 
ThieveryDexSneak, hide, pick locks, find/set/disarm traps, etc. 

Determine Derived Stats

  • Armor Class (AC) = Base 10 + Dex + armor bonus + magic bonus + size bonus + natural armor
  • Hit Points = Max class hit die + Con modifier at level 1. Roll class hit die + Con modifier each level thereafter.

Savings Throws

Savings Throws are based on Skills. Acrobatics for reflex-type saves (dodging a fireball), Survival for mind-affecting saves (being under a Charm Creature spell), and Endurance for fortitude-type saves (saving versus disease).

Difficulty Class

Some checks are made against a Difficulty Class (DC). You must roll equal to or higher than the DC on a d20 in order to succeed on your Skill check. The DC is set by the SG using the Skill rules as a guideline. 

Difficulty Class (DC) Examples

Easy0Climb a knotted rope (Athletics)
Average5Hear an approaching creature (Awareness)
Tough10Set up a snare trap (Thievery or Survival)
Challenging15Swim through stormy water (Endurance)
Formidable20Open a good lock (Thievery)
Heroic25Leap across a 30’ chasm (Athletics)
Nearly Impossible30Track creatures across hard ground after a rain. (Survival)


An Expertise offers a Skill bonus for specializing in a narrow range of actions. For example, you may have +2 in Thievery, but with an Expertise in Disable Device, you would get an additional +1 to your Thievery roll when disabling a trap.

Gaining Expertise points

A character may never have an Expertise bonus higher than their level +1, with a max of 5. New players receive 2 Expertise points to spend when creating a level 1 character. At each level, characters gain 2 more points to spend. A SG may reward the players with an Expertise during play for performing specific Expertise actions or for having spent the time to learn it.

An expertise grants a bonus to a Skill roll using that specific knowledge. A Skill check, then, would be: 1d20 + Skill bonus + Expertise bonus.


Art (Awareness, Knowledge, Persuasion): An Expertise in Art can reflect an understanding of Art (Knowledge), allowing you to identify rare treasures or appraise their value. It could also be the act of making art, which could use many different Skills based on the desired outcome.

Bluff (Persuasion): You are well versed in lying, whether for good or harm.

Bureaucracy (Persuasion, Knowledge): You have knowledge of the mechanics behind ruling bodies and governments.

Business (Persuasion, Knowledge): You understand trading. You may also be good at assessing what common items are worth in the current market.

Climb (Athletics, Endurance): You excel at scaling vertical surfaces.

Dance (Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance): If there is music playing, you can find a rhythm and get moving.

Diplomacy (Persuasion, Knowledge): You know the art of making a deal, and you get it done.

Disable Device (Thievery): Disable traps, machines, and magical apparatuses. 

Disguise (Thievery): Change your appearance to look different.

Escape Artist (Acrobatics, Thievery): Free yourself when bound or trapped.

Fly (Acrobatics): You excel at moving and navigating while flying.

Gamble (Awareness, Knowledge, Persuasion): Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

Gather Information (Knowledge, Persuasion): Research information or read between the lines of conversation.

Hide (Thievery): Blend into your surroundings without moving.

Knowledge: Arcana (Knowledge): Knowledge of magic.

Knowledge: Alchemy (Knowledge): Knowledge of potions, poisons, and chemicals.

Knowledge: Geography (Knowledge): Knowledge of the geography of the world.

Knowledge: Leatherwork (Knowledge): Knowledge of leathercraft.

Knowledge: Local (Knowledge): Knowledge of local news, personalities, and places.

Knowledge: Metalwork (Knowledge): Knowledge of working a forge and metal. This also pertains to the understanding of things made of metal. Also provides a bonus to the Blacksmithing crafting requirement.

Knowledge: Nature (Knowledge): Knowledge of nature.

Knowledge: Planar (Knowledge): Knowledge of the planes and its inhabitants. This includes the In-Between and the Navirim.

Knowledge: Religion (Knowledge): Knowledge of the world’s religions.

Knowledge: Stonework (Knowledge): Knowledge of working with stone. This also pertains to the understanding of things made of stone. 

Knowledge: Tinker (Knowledge): Knowledge of crafting and making tools, kits, and more. A general knowledge of mechanical devices. Also provides a bonus to the Tinkerer crafting requirement.

Knowledge: Woodwork (Knowledge): Knowledge of working with wood. This also pertains to the understanding of things made of wood. Also provides a bonus to the Carpentry crafting requirement.

Intimidate (Persuasion): You know how to scare others. If you have a negative Persuasion skill modifier, you may treat it as positive. For example, a barbarian with a -2 in Persuasion will now have a +2 bonus to Intimidate.

Interrogation (Knowledge, Persuasion): You’re good at getting others to talk.

Pick Pocket (Thievery): Nick someone’s pouch or grab a coin purse off the tabletop with no one noticing.

Pilot Vehicle: Aquatic (Any): You are well-versed in watercraft and gain a bonus on any Skill roll involving the piloting of an aquatic vehicle.

Pilot Vehicle: Land (Varies): You know how to handle carts and other wheeled vehicles and gain a bonus on any Skill roll when piloting a land vehicle.

Read Lips (Awareness): You are very good at deciphering what someone is saying by just watching their mouth.

Ride (Acrobatics): You excel at riding animals.

Sense Motive (Persuasion): You are good at discerning what people really think when they say things.

Sneak (Thievery): While moving, you are silent as a mouse and little more than a shadow.

Swim (Athletics, Endurance): You are graceful in the water.

Tactics (Awareness, Knowledge): You are good at assessing a battlefield or situation. You can pick up clues and piece together tactics.

Wilderness (Survival, varies): The outdoors are your home. You gain a bonus to Survival while outside of civilization.


Talents are special abilities a character is either born with or gains through training. Talents are a way for players to customize their character, moving beyond the basic Classes and Paths. Players gain 2 points to spend on initial Talents when creating a character. The cost for each Talent is shown in parentheses beside each description. As characters go up in level, they gain 1 or 2 additional Talent points every few levels, depending upon their class (see leveling tables under each class description for specifics). These points can be spent right away or saved up and spent on a higher-cost talent later.

  1. Agile (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to your Acrobatics Skill and Dex-based Heroic Actions.
  2. Alertness (1): Gain a +2 bonus to your Awareness Skill and all Wis-based Heroic Actions.
  3. Animal Affinity (1): Gain a +2 bonus to all Persuasion checks with animals.
  4. Animal Companion (1): You bond with an animal follower who is loyal and understands your commands. The animal is typical of its species but can improve as the character gains experience.
  5. Animal Companion: Advanced (2): You may take a stronger animal as a companion (options are up to the player and the SG). If you already have the Animal Companion Talent, this upgrade requires only 1 point. Suggested Advanced Animal Companions: ank, dire animals, fey fox, gorgalug, griffon, and sarap. 
  6. Blind Fight (1): In melee, any time you miss because of Blindness, you may reroll your miss chance once for another chance to hit. An Invisible attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you in melee. You do not lose your Dex bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn’t get the usual +2 bonus for being Invisible. The Invisible attacker’s bonuses do still apply for ranged attacks, however.
  7. Brawler (1): Unarmed attacks do 1d6 lethal damage.
  8. Charge (1): This will allow you to move an additional 10’ and attempt a non-damaging Heroic Action during a single Move Action per round.
  9. Cleave (2): If you deal enough damage to make an enemy Disabled (typically by dropping it to below 0 HP or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5’ step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.
  10. Dazeless (1): You can not be dazed by magic and gain +2 to all saves versus mind-affecting magic.
  11. Deceitful (1): Gain a +2 Expertise bonus to all Persuasion Skill checks concerning disguise, forgery, or lying.
  12. Deflect Arrows (2): You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round, when you would normally be hit by a ranged weapon, you can deflect it so that you take no damage. You must be aware of the attack and not Flat-Footed. It is handled like a Heroic Action, but attempting to deflect a ranged weapon doesn’t count as an action. Unusually large ranged weapons and ranged attacks generated by spell effects cannot be deflected.
  13. Deft (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to all Thievery Skill checks and Dex-based Heroic Actions.
  14. Disperse Magic (2): Once per round, when you would normally be affected by magic you can negate it so that you take no damage. You must be aware of the attack and not Flat-Footed. It is handled like a Heroic Action: Survival versus Spellcraft. Attempting to Disperse Magic does not count as an action; it is a Reaction.
  15. Dodge (1): Receive a +1 bonus to your AC.
  16. Dual Wield (2): You can fight with two medium or light weapons with a penalty of -2 to hit on both attacks.
  17. Empower Spell (1): You may spend 1 mana to add 1d6 to your spell’s effect’s dice roll. You can only empower a spell once per round. The additional die affects one spell effect of the caster’s choice.
  18. Enlarge Spell (1): You may double the range of a spell by doubling the mana cost.
  19. Expanded Critical (1): Add one to your potential critical range for all weapons.
  20. Extend Spell (1): You may double the duration of a spell by doubling the mana cost.
  21. Far Shot (1): When you use a projectile weapon, such as a bow, its range is increased (multiply its range by 1.5). When you use a thrown weapon, its range is doubled.
  22. Fast Healing (1): Gain back double the normal hit points at rest and recover an additional +3 HP to all magical healing.
  23. Feint (1): You attempt to confuse an adjacent opponent. With a successful Heroic Action, your opponent loses their Dex bonus for 1 round.
  24. Focused Ravaging (1): A ravaging spellcaster can focus where a spell’s energy comes from, dealing the spell’s mana cost in damage to the target. The caster must succeed at a Heroic Action vs the target (Spellcraft skill vs Will save), otherwise the energy comes from the spellcaster. Range 30 ft.
  25. Focus spell (1): Spend 2 additional mana on a spell to add +1 to spell save DC. You may spend up to 8 mana to gain +4 on a single spell casting. 
  26. Grappler (1): Roll two d20s, choose the highest roll,  whenever you are engaged in a task that involves grappling, tripping, or feats of strength against another.
  27. Great Fortitude (1): Add +2 as a Misc. Modifier to your Endurance Skill and Con-based Heroic Actions.
  28. Healing (1): During combat, you may spend your Standard Action to bind an injury. By binding, the target heals and stabilizes at 1 HP. During rest, a healer may use this Talent to allow another character to recover HP at double their normal rate.
  29. Hidden Spell (1): You can cast a spell with just your mind so others don’t see you casting. Hidden Spells cost 1 additional mana. An enemy must succeed at a DC20 Awareness to recognize that you are casting a spell. This adds +10 to the DC of Spell Sight.
  30. Investigator (1): Gain a +2 Expertise bonus to Awareness checks while gathering information, examining a location, or sensing a person’s motives.
  31. Improved Initiative (1): Gain a +2 bonus to your initiative.
  32. Knock Down (1): Gain +3 on any attempt to knock over a foe.
  33. Linguist (1): Learn 3 languages of your choice. Gain +2 to Knowledge and Thievery checks to create or decipher secret codes.
  34. Magical Aptitude (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to your Spellcraft skill.
  35. Maximize Spell (2): By tripling the mana cost for a spell, all numeric effects of that spell are maximized. For example, if the damage of a spell is 1d6, you would automatically roll a 6.
  36. Marksman (1): Ranged attacks with a bow or crossbow add your Dexterity bonus to the damage.
  37. Multi-Shot (2): Once per round, as a Standard Action, you can fire two arrows in a single shot at a single opponent. Both arrows use the same attack roll (with a -2 penalty) to determine success and deal normal damage. Range: 60 ft.
  38. Mythic Heroic Action (1): Gain a +2 bonus to any Heroic Action.
  39. Negotiator (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to your Persuasion skill and Cha-based Heroic Actions.
  40. Nimble (1): Once per round, when leaving an area that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity, you avoid that attack of opportunity.
  41. Opportunistic (1): You may make additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to your Dex.
  42. Over-Extended Attack (1): You may add an additional 1d6 damage to a successful melee hit, but you also receive the same damage as you strain your body in the attack.
  43. Parry (2): Once per round, when you would normally be hit with a melee weapon, you can parry it and take no damage. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. The ability counts as a Reaction and is resolved through a Heroic Action.
  44. Perform (1): You are skilled in poetry and song and can play at least one musical instrument. You may use the Persuasion Skill to distract, encourage, or enchant others. Each round, you may use a Heroic Action (if Persuasion versus Awareness is resisted) to grant a +2 or -2 to one d20 roll of an affected creature.
  45. Point Blank Shot (1): You do not suffer any negatives for firing in melee range.
  46. Power Attack (1): Before rolling on attacks, you may choose to suffer a -2 melee attack roll penalty while gaining +2 to all melee damage rolls. These adjustments will be applied to all rolls for the current round.
  47. Powerful (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to your Athletics Skill and Str-based Heroic Actions.
  48. Rapid shot (2): Gain one additional attack with a ranged weapon per combat round. Both of your ranged attacks suffer a -2 to hit.
  49. Shield Bash (1): As a Free Action, you can attempt to knock an adjacent opponent prone with a shield as a Heroic Action. If successful, it knocks down the opponent and does 1d4 damage.
  50. Sidestep (1): If your opponent misses you with an attack, as a Reaction, you can move 5’. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
  51. Skilled (1): Receive two extra skill points.
  52. Spell Mastery (2): Gain a +3 bonus to all Spellcraft checks.
  53. Spell Endurance (1): Gain a +1 bonus to your touch AC versus spells.
  54. Spell Penetration (1): Gain a +2 bonus to rolls against a creature’s spell resistance. 
  55. Spell Potency (1): Gain a +1 bonus to all spell save DCs.
  56. Spell Reach (1): You may cast a touch-based buff spell on a target within 30 ft.
  57. Sprint (1): As a single Move Action per round, you may move double your normal movement speed with no disadvantage. While running, you retain your Dex bonus to AC. You may do this 3 times per combat encounter.
  58. Stealthy (1): Gain a +2 bonus to Thievery Skill checks that include hiding or moving silently.
  59. Studious (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to Knowledge Skill and Int-based Heroic Actions.
  60. Stunning Strike (1): You may choose to suffer a -5 penalty to an attack roll, but if the attack is successful, your opponent is Stunned for one round.
  61. Survivalist (1): Gain a +2 bonus as a Misc. Modifier to your Survival Skill and Wis-based Heroic Actions.
  62. Take a Hit (1): You can take a hit and suffer less damage. Damage Reduction (DR) 1.
  63. Taunt (1): As a Free Action, you may taunt your opponent, convincing them to focus on you for 1 round. You must succeed at a Persuasion Heroic Action versus a single opponent.
  64. Toughness (1): Gain a +2 bonus to Max HP for each HD you have.
  65. Weapon Dexterity (1): You may use your Dex bonus on small and medium melee weapons as your Attack bonus.
  66. Weapon Specialty (1): You may choose a weapon to specialize in, gaining a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made using that weapon. Weapon choice cannot be changed.
  67. Whirlwind Attack (2): Once per round, you can attack all those within melee range with your full base attack bonus. Dice are rolled for each target attacked, and after the first, you suffer a -1 penalty to your attack roll for the other targets.
  68. Wild Empathy (1): You can improve the attitude of an animal. During combat, with a successful Persuasion Heroic Action, you may stop a hostile animal from attacking or viewing you as a threat for 1 round. Out of combat, you may persuade an animal to follow your directions or leave you alone at SG discretion.

Choose Languages

All adventurers know a primary language, which is usually the Common tongue. They may also have rudimentary knowledge of their species or heritage language, but they do not speak it fluently unless they have the Int for it. There are many languages in Atheles, and the adventurer can know one additional language per Int bonus.


Common is spoken by almost all within the lands of Atheles. It is based on the original tongues of the first terans and has borrowed heavily from Elven.

Dworven is not connected to the other languages of Atheles. It was brought back into the world when the dworves awoke, and they claim it is the closest to the speech of the gods. It is a deep and harmonic language.

Elvish is the language of the elves, a language as old as the stars they claim. Their language closely resembles that of the ancient eldar, which is no longer spoken. It is a melodic and soothing language. 

Fey is the language of the earth, or so the fauns claim. It is soft and whispering. The cultural language of elflings and fauns is Fey.

Goblin is a corruption of the fey language, filled with growls and whines. While some goblinoid creatures can speak common, they prefer their own language.

Ishian is the language of the southern empire of Ish. It comes from the same roots as Common, but while Common was influenced by elven, Ish was not.

Navirite is the speech of the Navirim, the other universe and plane of existence. Some call it the language of demons, while others note that it shares some similarities with Elven.

Northern is the language of Vanadhus, a Northwestern island kingdom that grew in isolation until their culture turned to shipbuilding, exploration, and trade.

Tirian is the language of the kingdom of Tyr. It was heavily influenced by traders and invaders from the lands of Tuya.

Uthgardian is the language of the Northeast. It was the language of Pardalor and has been mostly unused in the 700 years since the original Kingdom of Uthgard fell. Many ancient artifacts, books, and monuments in the North require knowledge of Uthgardian. The new Uthgardian Kingdom has reinstated the language as a sign of wealth and power, with the royalty and nobility using it once again.

Zhou is the language of the most powerful nation across the Ostiana Ocean.