Alloy: Character Creation basics 3
Attributes are character traits which all characters possess to some degree. They form the basis of all skill tests and are rated from 1 to 8, although most beginning characters don’t have an attribute higher than 6. There are six attributes: Strength, Agility, Perception, Resolve, Intellect, and Charisma. Strength is used for all rolls dependent upon might or resiliency, Agility is used for all rolls involving dexterity or balance, and Intellect is used for all rolls involving mental faculties, recall or the ability to think quickly. The other attributes are fairly self-explanatory in their scope.
Each character starts with a ranking of 2 in all but 2 of these attributes, which is Average. One attribute begins the game at 1, which is poor, and one begins the game at 3, which is Good. Beyond adjustments from professions, and human backgrounds, players have to spend character points to increase Attributes to higher values at character creation. The cost for attributes below rank 6 are 3 times the new rank. Thus to raise a 1 to 2 costs 6 points, and to raise a 2 to 3 costs 9 points. It is usually best to set your base attribute levels, pick your background and profession, and make some necessary trait and skill purchases before trying to set final rankings for attributes. However, some character concepts will rely upon these attribute rankings being at specified levels, so this stage can occur before those other purchases as well.
Once the player is satisfied with the distribution of attributes, adjustments can be applied, and modifiers can be considered in figuring characteristics such as Initiative, Defense, and such.
Skills, particularly Core Skills, define a character. A character with a high attribute has quite a lot of potential to throw at a task, but a character with a high skill rank and an average attribute is more likely to succeed with a modicum of success every time. The concept of Core Skills are that they are skills for which the character has trained for years to learn. This means that he spends fewer resources in acquiring them to start with than unfamiliar skills, and that he can advance them to higher ranks for less overall cost. Specialty Skills, an optional mechanic which is included in the full codex, keys off of Core Skills of a certain rank as well.
Character professions provide them with one or more Skill Groups, which are small collections of skills which are thematically similar. A character can learn the first rank of a skill in a skill group he has mastered for the low cost of 2 character points. Otherwise he must pay double that to begin mastering the skill. To raise a skill rank costs twice the new rank number in character points. So to go from rank 1 to rank 2 costs 4 points. Later on, high-ranked skills cost twice as much, but journeymen can only have two skills at rank 3, and none at rank 4 or higher so this does not come into play in this primer. Raising a Core Skill costs 1 less as a discount, which is another reason they are important.
The effects of having a skill are two-fold, they provide a bonus to rolls between +0D and +2D, and at higher ranks they lower the Goal number of rolls which fall into the skill’s domain.
|3||6||+0D, Goal 4+|
Remember that the basic goal for most rolls is 5, at Rank 3, characters succeed on half their rolled dice most of the time. I.e. the probability you will roll 2 successes with a goal of 4 on 4 dice is very close to 100%. The goal drops to 3 at skill Rank 6, this is why the probability of success increases so much for skilled characters. A character with skill rank 6 and an attribute pool of 5 will achieve 4 successes around 46% of the time, while a character with no skill and an attribute pool of 8 will achieve the same 4 successes about 25% of the time.
Focused skills are categories rather than single areas of expertise, thus you have to decide on what you have focused on. These skills are denoted by an * by the name.