In the Storyteller System, Abilities are traits that represent a character's acquired capabilities. Typically an ability rating would be combined with an Attribute rating, representing the character's natural prowess and learned skill coming together to perform an action. Like Attributes, Abilities are rated from 0 to 5. Attempting to perform an action that requires an Ability one does not have imposes an additional penalty on that action, as a rating of zero indicates no familiarity with the given Ability.
In the Classic World of Darkness system, Abilities were grouped into three categories:
- Talents - things for which the character has discovered an intuitive knack (like performance or subterfuge);
- Skills - things the character has learned to do (like drive a car or fire a gun);
- Knowledges - areas of scholastic or mental expertise (like science or law).
Each of the main World of Darkness games had slightly different sets of Abilities, reflecting those which were most useful to the character type in question. Garou and Mages, for example, possessed the Knowledge of "Enigmas", as they frequently encountered bizarre puzzles, while Kindred did not. The lists in the core rules for each game and on the character sheet were not considered exhaustive, however, and "Secondary Abilities" were also available to characters. These were usually much more specific and of limited utility, and so often had a lower experience cost to learn. Abilities could also be severely limited as a Flaw to earn extra freebie points; however, the penalties for such were quite steep.
The historical World of Darkness games also used variant lists of Abilities: Archery, Ride and Theology were more appropriate to the Dark Ages setting than Firearms, Drive and Science, for example.
In Trinity Universe games, Abilities were grouped under the Attribute with which they were primarily associated. This combination was used for most actions, though it was certainly possible to combine an Ability with other Attributes. It was also possible to learn Abilities not listed in the rules, within reason.
In Exalted, Abilities are grouped according to the Exalt's Caste or Aspect (or equivalent), and they naturally find some Abilities easier to master. For example, Solars have clearly defined roles for each Caste, and so each Caste favours the Abilities that assist them in performing that role, while the Dragon-Blooded Aspects favour Abilities that harmonise with their natural element. There are only 25 Abilities in Exalted.
List of AbilitiesEdit
Acting (VTM) Alertness (VTM, KOE) Athletics (VTM) Brawl (VTM, KOE) Dodge (VTM, KOE) Empathy (VTM, KOE) Expression (VTM) Guile (VTM) Intimidation (VTM, KOE) Intrigue (VTM, KOE) Leadership (VTM) Painting (VTM) Primal Urge (WTA) Search (VTM) Sculpture (VTM) Streetwise (VTM) Subterfuge (VTM, KOE)
Animal Ken (VTM) Blood Preparation (DSBH) Boating (VTM) Cooking (VTM) Crafts (KOE) - Lacquer Ware, Wood Carving Drive (VTM) Etiquette (VTM, KOE) Firearms (VTM) Meditation (KOE) Melee (VTM, KOE) Music (VTM) Painting (VTM) Performance (KOE, WTA) - Poetry Piloting (VTM) Repair (VTM, KOE) Security (VTM) Stealth (VTM, KOE) Survival (VTM)
Area History (KOE) - Hong Kong Art History (VTM) Bureaucracy (VTM, KOE) Computer (VTM) Finance (VTM KOE) Geography (VTM) History (VTM) Investigation (VTM) Journalism (VTM) Law (VTM, KOE) - Building Linguistics (VTM, KOE) Lore
Medicine (VTM, KOE) - Herbal Cures Military Science (VTM) Occult (VTM, KOE) - Feng Shui Philosophy (VTM) Politics (VTM, KOE) Psychology (VTM) Rituals (WTA) Science (VTM, KOE) - Architecture Thanatology (DSBH) Theatre (VTM)