Aberrant 2.0 Abilities
Certain abilities are now field skills-that is to say, they are actually more than one Ability, with some correlation. For example, Science and Engineering are both field skills, as are Arts and Performance. Field skills are bought up individually, but there is a XP/chargen discount for having multiple related field skills. If a character has at least 3 individual field skills at 3+, it costs half cost (round down) to buy any additional field skills up, as long as the field skill with the highest dot rating was paid for in full.
For example, a multitalented musician has Performance (Singing), Performance (String Instruments), and Performance (Wind Instruments), all at 3. If he wished to buy Performance (Standup Comedy), he would only have to pay 1 XP for it, but he would have to pay the full XP cost to raise Performance (Singing) to 4 (6 XP). If he had Performance (String Instruments) at 5, he would merely have to pay 3 XP to raise Singing to 4 instead.
Certain characters may have ability ratings beyond 5. There are a handful of methods to achieve this:
- Inhuman Experience: A character who has lived for significantly longer than a human lifespan may accumulate an ability rating higher than 5. A character may raise an ability up to 6 in this fashion.
- (Ability) Prodigy: A new Merit, see the Aberrant 2.0 Character Generation page for details.
- Ability Masteries: Paramorphs are capable of superhuman feats of skill and have the ability to gain automatic successes on abilities.
Instruction is used to teach people abilities. The difficulty for an Instruction roll is, by default, 6 - (average of the student's mental attributes) for 1 week's worth of instruction. For this, 1 Mega-Attribute dot counts as 2 dots of the relevant attribute. Reducing the difficulty of the roll below 0 adds bonus successes instead. A student gains 1xp for a successful roll + 1xp for every 2 additional successes rolled.
Linguistics allows a character to speak 1/2/4/8/12 additional languages from Linguistics 1-5. However, there are a few notes.
- Formal academic mastery of a language (which includes literature, historical, and cultural aspects) requires 1 additional language slot. An English professor who speaks no other language has Linguistics 1 (English; Formal English), for example.
- Alien languages require more than 1 language slot. Most alien languages require 2+ language slots, and most of them require technological aids to communicate with.
- Learning alternate expressions of languages also takes 1 slot even if they share common systems like systems of writing or speech. A character uses 2 language slots to speak both Mandarin and Cantonese fluently, and a character who understands English needs to pay 1 language slot to learn sign language and another to learn braille.
- Brawl: The most straightforward combat ability, a character skilled in Brawl is skilled in punching people. Brawl without Martial Arts is a straightforward skill, with brutality but little grace or efficiency.
- Melee: A character skilled in melee is skilled in the use of swords, knives, clubs, batons, shields, and other weapons as implements to cause harm.
- Might: The Might skill improves a character's ability to lift and throw objects.
- Athletics: The athletics skill governs movement, evasion, swimming, and accurate throwing, and most other feats of raw physical prowess.
- Drive: The Drive skill covers driving all sorts of vehicles, from motorcycles to main battle tanks.
- Firearms: Firearms covers the use of light man-portable kinetic and energy weapons, from pistols to light machine guns.
- Heavy Weapons: Practical use of heavier weapons than standard firearms is a similar, though unrelated, skill to Firearms. Heavy Weapons covers aiming and maintaining larger and bulkier weapons than Firearms does, such as rocket propelled grenades, grenade launchers, semi-portable support autocannon, and heavy machine guns.
- Legerdemain: The Legederdemain skill covers pickpocketing, planting evidence or bugs, magic tricks, and other actions which require a light touch and sleight of hand.
- Martial Arts: The Martial Arts ability improves the mechanics of unarmed (and occasionally armed melee) combat. More details are on the Aberrant 2.0 main page.
- Pilot: Pilot covers the piloting of more exotic craft, from aircraft to giant robots.
- Stealth: Stealth is simply the art of not being seen, whether it involves camouflage or keeping out of lines of sight or blending into crowds.
- Endurance: Endurance governs a character's ability to endure fatigue, exertion, and pain.
- Resistance: Resistance (along with Stamina) governs a character's ability to resist poison, harsh environments, and disease.
- Awareness: The Awareness ability covers a character's awareness of his surroundings. A character with high Awareness can easily see if he's walking into an ambush, spot even small or faraway objects, and finds other such feats of sensory prowess easy.
- Investigation: Investigation covers a character's ability to find clues, put together pieces of disparate evidence, fill in holes via reading between the lines, and otherwise find the facts in a muddled situation. Unlike Awareness, Investigation takes more time-someone could find a hiding assassin via Investigation, but that implies combing every nook and cranny of a building over time, rather than just seeing the glint of steel before the ninja climbing on the ceiling strikes.
- Gunnery: The Gunnery ability determines a character's ability to use large, vehicle-mounted or crew-served weapons which are more complex to operate and manage than man-portable equipment. Gunnery is used to fire vehicle weaponry, call in artillery strikes, and even launch ICBMs.
- Academics (Field): Academics covers social fields of formal study, such as sociology, psychology, economics, history, and the like. Each Academics field is a separate skill, but if a character has 3 or more separate Academics disciplines at 3 or above, any further acquisition of Academics skills is half cost, rounded down.
- Bureaucracy: A combination of political know-how, the understanding of how to write forms and fill in reports, and how governmental and business systems work, bureaucracy covers a character's ability to manage, manipulate, or destroy a large organization of bureaucrats for whatever purpose.
- Computer: The Computers ability covers computer hacking, computer programming, and computers usage. Someone with Computer 0 may be able to use a computer, but without any skill in the area they will be completely lost when it inevitably fails.
- Engineering (Field): Engineering covers applied sciences, such as aerospace engineering, bioengineering, metallurgy, environmental engineering, or so on. Each Engineering field is a separate skill but characters with multiple separate Engineering fields (3 or more at 3+) acquire further Engineering fields at half cost.
- Linguistics: Linguistics covers the speaking of languages, their analysis, and overlaps slightly with Academics in that it covers literature and history if one takes formal language study as an option.
- Medicine: Medicine covers diagnosing and treating ailments. Medicine is primarily focused on physical treatment, and when it dips into psychology it tends to be when psychological ailments have physical causes that can be treated via surgical or chemical means, or mitigated by lifestyle choices. For counseling and psychoanalysis, a character should acquire Academics (Psychology).
- Science (Field): Science covers pure and theoretical sciences, such as mathematics, physics, biology, geology, computer science (versus Computers), so on and so forth. Each Science field is a separate skill, but if a character has 3 or more separate Science disciplines at 3 or above, any further acquisition of Science skills is half cost, rounded down.
- Strategy: Where tactics governs the small stuff, strategy governs the big picture. Although primarily military, strategy is not entirely useless out of it-plenty of businessmen and CEOs have at least a dot or two of strategy, as it covers a host of concepts such as utility, operations planning, and game theory.
- Survival: The ability to live off the land, navigate with nothing more than a compass and the stars, and identify poisonous plants and animals, survival covers the character's ability to live without the assistance of modern technology.
- Art (Field): The Art skill generally covers one of several forms of non-performance art. Examples of valid fields are Painting, Drawing, 3D Art, Calligraphy, and so on.
- Biz: Applied economics and finance, the Biz skill is more practical than economics, involving a knowledge of advertisement, marketing, branding, and practical law.
- Intrusion: Whether it involves low-tech locks or high-tech security systems, Intrusion covers the identification, subversion, and disabling of the system in question, to access whatever a person may own.
- Rapport: Rapport is the skill used to understand another person's motivations and desires, and connect to them on a personal level. This knowledge can be used for mutual benefit, or for one's own selfish advantage.
- Tactics: Tactics is the smaller-scale brother to strategy. Where strategy focuses on winning wars, Tactics focuses on winning battles. Tactics involves battlefield maneuvering, an understanding of proper tactical positioning, and planning on the fly, moreso than Strategy.
- Intimidation: The intimidation ability covers looking imposing, threats (overt or veiled), staredowns, ass-beatings, threatening the target's children, and so on. Although under Appearance, Intimidation often is used with Strength for more overt threats, or Charisma/Manipulation for indirect threats.
- Style: Style covers a character's ability to look good with the materials on hand, whether at an informal gathering or a formal ball, as well as first impressions. A character with a high rating in Style is also skilled at disguise, and engendering the response he or she wishes to engender via dress alone.
- Interrogation: Interrogation is a character's ability to get uncomfortable or incriminating confessions from people, via various means. A character with a high Interrogation score is good at filtering truth from lies, understands the proper use of interrogation equipment, and may, if so inclined, also understand the proper methodology and usage of torture, whether physical or psychological. A character with high Interrogation also understands how to use being interrogated to one's own advantage, telling the interrogator what they want to hear rather than the truth and selling it as fact, among other things.
- Streetwise: Streetwise is an overall understanding of the seedy underbelly of society and covers "street smarts" as opposed to "book smarts", covering the acquisition of illegal goods, an understanding of good hidey-holes or where one can find an informant, gang culture, and other miscellany.
- Subterfuge: How to win friends and influence people (by lying your ass off), Subterfuge is the character's ability at trickery, deception, and other less-savory methods of personal interaction.
- Command: Command is used to inspire and lead personnel. By default, it does not come with the ability to make intelligent command decisions-to do so, a character should have additional abilities instead.
- Etiquette: Etiquette is used for polite discourse-convincing people of the truth of your views via argument and rhetoric, or just being likable.
- Performance (Field): Performance covers performing arts. Examples of valid fields are Singing, Dance, String Instruments, Standup Comedy, and so on.
- Instruction: Instruction is used to teach people abilities. The difficulty for an Instruction roll is, by default, 6 - (average of the student's mental attributes) for 1 week's worth of instruction. For this, 1 Mega-Attribute dot counts as 2 dots of the relevant attribute. Reducing the difficulty of the roll below 0 adds bonus successes instead. A student gains 1xp for a successful roll + 1xp for every 2 additional successes rolled.