Attributes

Chimera uses an ability score system in order to quantify how good a character might be at a given task. This system in its entirety is called an attribute. In parts, it involves four key things: scores, skills, saves, and stats--which will be gone more into depth later.   A Game Master, the game's referee (since DM is trademarked), can specify the attribute needed for ruling or narrative purposes. If the character wants to interact with the game world, say, to learn more about it, a player character might be asked to use a skill. If the world imposes upon the player character, this can call for a save, like a reflex to avoid danger. And, to quantify inherent characteristics within your character, you would use either general scores, or specific stats. Each of these work together to create a character that can measurably interact and react to the game world.  

The Parts of Attributes:

  There are four scores in Chimera, and each determine a specific aspect of your character: Speciality is your sociability, Expertise is your knowledge, Luck is your ability to twist fate, and Fitness if your ability to twist a guy's arm off (please don't). You character can grow over time and level up in the game; when this occurs, your scores will increase to reinforce this. This a huge part of the game! But you have to earn it. So, to begin, each player starts with a base of 0 in each score. As you later create your character, the kind of character you create will increase certain scores, as well as your saves.   Briefly, saves exist under specific scores, as there are four saves as well--social, mental, will, and physical. This is so that, if a save is critically failed, a player character then gains a 'condition tick' that shows how the character is otherwise affected by the save. This will be explained under the Save Section below.   Now, when you level up determined by each milestone reached and completed, you have a chance to level up; when you level up, you can increase a single score by 0. A score caps at 9, where it can no longer be added to and has reached its max capacity. A score of 9 thusly demonstrates a mastery over that score.   In addition to scores going from 0 - 9, each score is accompanied by a modifier. It is a value that is half the value of the score, rounded up. A modifier increases on every odd number: (0 = 1, 1 = 1, 2 = 1, 3 = 2 ... 9 = 5). Modifiers are used to determine a couple of mechanical features within Chimera:
1) It determines how many die are rolled for a skill check;
2) How many abilities you can have equipped in for a specific score;
3) How many condition ticks a player can accumulate.
4) How many skills you are proficient in--side note, the first proficiency always goes to Ranked Skills (explained below) first.
So, for example, if you have a Score of 9 and want to use a skill, they have five 10-sided die they can use for it.   Scores also affect your stats. Stats are a very specific characteristic of the character that determines how well they can operate in the world as it is used throughout the course of the game (ie. health, ability slots, etc.). Each score has their own particular stat, noted under the Stat Section below.  

Overview

Immediately following are all the scores, skills, saves, and stats (along with their conditions) combined for your perusal~.   Past this are individualized sections for scores, skills, saves, and stats with in depth explanations.  

Scores

For Chimera D10, everything a player can do is tied back to scores, of which there are four: Speciality, Expertise, Luck, and Fitness. This creates the acronym "SELF" as this represents what the character can do, and changes with the character as they gain experience by completing milestones and level up. Additionally, each score is meant to correlate to a particular Encounter type (Social, Travel, and Combat)-- as can be seen in the correlating Saves.   The greater the score, the better the character is at a specific aspect of the game world, in theory. It is still possible for a novice to succeed where a veteran might fail by a sleight of bad luck. This is curbed somewhat by a player's ability to use "resolve", a stat mechanic which is mentioned in the Stat Section below.   The goal of this simplified Score system (as compared to something like D&D) is to make it more accessible and lend itself to the versatility of the player's imagination. Some things needed to be grouped together, but this trims the mechanical fat and ties mechanics together to enable a character to play how they want. and it all ties in together so that no matter what direction you go, there is a reward to be had~.  

Saves

There are three main save types, with a fourth 'ghost save'; they are social, mental, physical, and will--respectively. One can think of saves as a means to avoid negative effects or a way to categorize when 'bad stuff' happens to your character. This thereby explains the naming of the saves themselves and how each is categories, except "will".   For "will", there are two cases when save is used: 1) it is used when resolve (a stat mechanic explained in the "stat" section and 2) When another save's conditions are entirely filled (ie. you have accumulated all the condition ticks you can for a physical save; if you gain another one, you can't add it onto your full physical condition, so you instead put it with the will's conditions; to note, this applies to all saves.)  

Failed Saves & Conditions

Whoo! We're finally gonna talk about conditions! But, before that we have to talk about failed saves. Here's a quick example, if you make a mental save against being gas-lighted, and you fail that save, that means you suffer the effect of being gas-lighted. In this example, failing a save means that a specific effect is suffered; some effects will be penalties to health or the like, while others may be more narrative, as noted in the example above.   When a save is critically failed, this means both the effect happens and a condition tick is taken for that save that was used. Again, if that particular save is filled, the save's condition tick then moves to the Will save. If the will's save is full, every tick after that gains the exhaustion status effect--as explained later.   Now, A score's modifier determines how many of these condition ticks a character can handle. There are specific markers (breaking points) that can be reached which impart negative effects onto the character. These breaking points are called condition effects; they are further divided into half condition and full condition effects. To determine what your character's breaking points are, please look at your score modifiers. Your maximum modifier is the maximum amount of your condition. or a full condition (ie. 9 score = 5 modifier = 5 maximum condition ticks for half condition, divide your modifier by 2 and round up-- this is your Half condition. The specific condition effects vary depending on the save they are tied to.  
Note, I am debating on removing this layer of complication Please, what would your feedback be regarding doing away with Half & Full Conditions, and simply having the condition amount reduce die rolled for skills?
— Invi 12/31/19
  Lastly, the Gm determines when a character saves--not the player. If a character does not have enough time to react, or if a character is completely unaware of the impending effect, a GM might dictate that a character cannot save, and instead suffers the effect, but does not gain a condition 'tick'. However, this tend to be the exception to the rule, as most effects will be within the player's awareness.  

Skills

Skills are ways the player and GM can quantify how one's character can interact with the world (outside of dodging danger with saves). As such, each skill is meant to be a broad category to encompass most of the interactions one can take within the game. For balance, I have given each score (except Luck) 5 total skills--4 basic skills, and 1 ranked, explained below.  

Basic Skills

Basic Skills function absolutely normally and as you, player, would expect as the rules have been written so far:   The player rolls as many die for skills as is equal to that scores modifier. Score of 9 for Speciality? Score of 9 has a modifier of 5; so, you can roll 5 die for any of those associated basic skills when performing a skill check.  

Ranked Skills

Ranked Skills use a character's score's modifier to determine how good they are with the skill; a player never need to roll for a ranked skill. Instead, your ranked skill determines what kind of objects you can craft, what weapons you can wield, what spells you can cast, and what armor you can wear, etc. Is your Speciality score a 9? The modifier for a 9 is a 5, so you have a rank of 5 for Speciality's ranked skill--crafting.  

Skill Proficiency

As one might imagine realistically, just because one has experience in one thing make them good at another. No, skills are practiced, even if there is innate talent.   For this reason, not all skills are acquired when a character is created. Instead, a player may choose what skills their character has proficiency in based on a character's chosen origins and their starting modifier values. A player may only choose skills from the basic skill list, as ranked skills work differently--a player is considered to already have proficiency in these.  

Brief Summary on Skill Checks & Tests of Skills

a Skill check is when a GM calls for a player to roll a skill or the player wants to interact with the world. A Skill Check can be called for a skill a player character is proficient in or is not proficient in. In the case they are proficient, they roll a number of die for the Skill check which is equal to their modifier. In they case they are not proficient, they must rely on their resolve die if they want to roll. The rolls here are categorized--another way of saying that any Successes are totaled, and the category with the most die in it wins.   The number of successes the player must meet to pass the check is called a Test. Tests range in value from 1 to 5 (T1 - T5), but going up to 10 (T10 this is to balance the fact while players may grow in skill, some tasks are still very difficult or absolutely impossible.   Admittedly, tests should realistically go from 1-5 for the average player, but due to mechanics like traits and resolve, a player character can actually push their successes to 10 and beyond, even if improbable. Below then are a list of Test values and some adjectives to help quantify what this would look like in game. For example, T1 is walking across concrete while it is raining and your character is trying not to slip. But a T10 is diffusing a bomb with 5 seconds left on the clock, no instructions, and managing the fact that the bomb's wires are greased and you are missing a few fingers.  
Test Value Comparable Adjective
1 Trivial
2 Common
3 Intermediate
4 Complex
5 Difficult
6 Ambitious
7 Remarkable
8 Extraordinary
9 Near Impossible
10 Inconceivable
  In fact, a test's value, in addition to the relevant score's modifier's value, determines the amount failed rolls are tolerated by the each skill check. For example, a Test of 5 and a modifier of 5 means that 10 failures are tolerated. If the successes for the test cannot be met by the end of the check, this results in the check's failure. Past that value for failures tolerated results in the check's critical failure.   Though this may seem daunting, both the player's ability to use resolve, traits, and the games usage of the "exploding criticals" mechanic allows for a player to beat the odds. This, along with a more in-depth look at checks will all be explained later (and, let the drinking games begin for how many times I will write this and have already written this)  

Skill Contests

  In the case of contesting rolls, one force against another as is ruled here--Die Rolls, Checks, and Modifications, it is important to know which skills can contest each. As a brief note, when skills are directly meant to compete--one person is trying to be better at another at the same skill, these rolls can of course be done with the same skill. This aside What follows is a list of potential contests  
  • Spine: cannot be contested; Spine does not paint a full, detailed picture, even on a Crit Pass.
  • Influence: can be contested with Empathy, Knowledge, Leadership, or Etiquette, depending on the situation.
  • Pretend: can be contested with Empathy, Knowledge, and Spine.
  • Leadership: can be contested with Empathy, Knowledge, and Spine
  • Empathy: can be contested by Pretend and Influence.
  • Knowledge: can be contested by itself and Interface, depending on the situation.
  • Interface: can be contested with Pretend or Influence.
  • Etiquette: can be contested with Empathy, Spine, and Knowledge.
  • Mercantile: can be contested with Knowledge and Interface.
  • Aid: cannot be contested with a skill. Unwilling target makes a Physical Save.
  • Perception: can be contested using Sneak.
  • Force: can only be contested with itself.
  • Agility: can only be contested with itself.
  • Sleight: contested by Perception and Spine.
  • Sneak: contested with Perception.
 

Stats

Below are a list of the four Stats and their corresponding score:  

Abilities

From Speciality, the abilities stat determines how many abilities a character can have equipped at one time. This is to limit how many abilities a character can have ready at one time. This does not determine how many abilities the character knows. This is unlocked through leveling.  

Energy

From Expertise, Energy function like fuel for abilities. If your character wants to use an ability, they must have 'fuel', or energy to do so. As such, a single ability use costs a single ability charge. This is true for all and any other actions unless otherwise specified by the GM. Charges are replenished after rests--explained later *sip*.  

Resolve

From Luck, comes resolve, the most intensive and, potentially, core stat of them all.   Resolve allows a character to turn the wheel of fate in their favor: a player can add die to a roll, heal themselves, remove conditions, and more. Resolve is included to allow for more team cooperation and to create more gripping gameplay when a player wants to force fate to bend to their will.   The amount of resolve die one has is equal to their Luck score. The uses one has for their resolve die is determined by whether they are placed in the "Player Pool" or the "Table Pool".  

Health

From Fitness, there is health! When a character is physically damaged, they lose health; when a character sleeps and when a player character is healed, they regain health. Rests play an integral part into how much health is regained, but you can bet your butt I will explain this later.  
Initially, I wanted this to be a morale system that involved stamina and health combined where every action slowly drained a character to the point where they have to take a rest. However, I think with the inclusion of Status Effects, Condition Effects, Ability Charges, and hopefully enough danger, sleep will still be imperative. Thoughts are kindly appreciated!
— Invi (12.31.19)

Table Of Contents

  1. The Parts of Attributes
  2. Overview
  3. Scores
  4. Saves
  5. Skills
  6. Stats

Related Articles:

Speciality Score
Generic article | May 17, 2020
Expertise Score
Generic article | May 17, 2020
Luck Score
Generic article | Apr 5, 2020
Fitness Score
Generic article | Apr 5, 2020

 

Disclaimer:

  Hey~! I know this is a D10 system, so before anyone asks (a valid question) "If it's D10, why do the rolls go from 0 - 9?" Well, see, the d10 die go from 0-9, so I wanted to mirror that. Since there is no 10 on a d10 (I guess because of lack of space?) I didn't want to make this system even more tedious to pick up, you get me?   So, because the die did that, I wanted to scores to do that too. I might change that bit back, but, for now, it makes sense to me. Lemme know what you think though?

Articles under Attributes



Cover image: n/a by CATHLEEN MCALLISTER

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