Attributes of Zero in Scarterra | World Anvil

Attributes of Zero

In order to create a character with a zero rating in any attribute, you need special storyteller permission.   In mathematical terms it's easy to figure out how a attribute + Ability combination works when an attribute is zero, that just means you roll the ability straight up, but there are implications beyond dice rolling.   A character with a 1 in an attribute has a noticeable weakness that adds a memorable quirk to a character. A character with a 0 in an attribute rating has a weakness so severe that this single character trait will probably eclipse all others.   Scarterran humans and most human-like creatures have attribute ratings between 1 and 5. Many infants and small children start out with 0s in some attribute but this eventually rise. Simply put, a character with a zero in any attribute is unlikely to survive.   Whereas most humans start with attributes of 0 or 1 and grow into them as they get older, Appearance sometimes works differently. Sometimes babies and children lose dots in Appearance as they grow older. If babies weren't cute, adults wouldn't put the effort into taking care of them that they do.   If their disability is visible in infancy, they may be left to die of exposure. Scarterrans and Scaraquans have abandoned their young for lesser reasons.  

Physical Attributes of 0

  Physical attributes of 0 are the hardest to survive. In Scarterra and Scaraqua, even rich people have to do physical tasks on a daily basis.       A human with Strength of 0 can only carry about 5-10 pounds of item without becoming encumbered and can maybe lift 25 pounds for a short time. Even in a cloistered academic or monastic environment the character is going to have lift a heavy book or something once in a while.   Such a character would be a pure burden to a agriculture family or a family of skilled craftsmen.     A character with a Samina of 0 cannot heal wounds or recover from illness without magical healing. Magical healing is not everywhere but it's possible that a child who grew up in a wealthy family or a monastic order could see a magical healer frequently enough to survive to adulthood under these conditions. Otherwise, a child like this is going to be dead by age three.   A character with a Stamina 0 will fail every fatigue check automatically meaning they have to rest a lot when doing things even moderately exerting. It's possible that a sage or other individual who works primary with their mind and not their hands could still make a living and not be an overwhelming burden tot heir friends and family with a Stamina 0 but they would be a noticeable burden.      

Mental Attributes of 0

  A character with a Perception 0 is not blind or deaf per se (it's possible to be blind or deaf and still have a high Perception rating). A character with a Perception of 0 is just very bad at processing sensory input they receive. Such a character is likely to die at a young age with a lethal accident by not noticing an obvious danger, walking off a ledge or tripping into a fire.   A character with a Wits of 0 is not stupid or dim, but is so slow to react and so self absorbed that they cannot really react instinctively to outside stimuli at all. A character like this is likely to die at a young age much like a Perception 0 person because they don't respond to danger in an appropriate manner absent mindedly walking in front of a speeding carriage or something similar.   Characters with an Intelligence of 0 are extreme simpletons and cannot reason through complex abstract thoughts, but they can at least avoid obvious danger, seek food when they are hungry, seek shelter when they are exposed, and otherwise survive. These characters can find a niche for themselves performing very simple menial tasks, but they still have to be supervised. A simpleton with a Intelligence 1 is not going to make the kinds of errors that a simpleton with Intelligence 0 might make. They might keep cleaning a stall everyday as part of their routine even after the horse that once occupied the stall died.      

Social Attributes of 0

  A character with a Charisma 0 is almost certainly doomed. They better learn to be self sufficient very quickly because they will not make friends and they will alienate their families at a young age. Survival in Scarterra is a team sport and a character that grew up this unlikeable is likely to be metaphorically or literally thrown to the wolves.   It's possible that due to a magical curse or something, a normal person could be reduced to Charisma 0 in which case they might have been socialized long enough to have survival skills, but that is highly unlikely.     A character with Manipulation 0 might be likeable or smart, but for whatever reason he cannot assert himself. Hodor from Game of Thrones would qualify. He seems to understand spoken speech perfectly, even nuance, but he can only say his own name. Despite being physically formidable he never throws his weight around and cannot persuade other people to do things he wants. He was fortunate to be surrounded by people who liked him and accepted his shortcomings so it's possible to survive like this in the right environment.     A human character with Appearance 0 is so ugly that many viewers assume he or she isn't human. Even a character with a horrible disfigurement usually is at least Appearance 1. Characters like this were usually ugly babies and babies this ugly were probably left to die of exposure.   Scarterrans are a little bit more compassionate about ugliness than real world medieval humans. It used to be assumed that an ugly exterior revealed a corrupt soul, but there is enough awareness of supernatural things in Scarterra that some Scarterrans will entertain the possibility that a monstrously ugly person did not bring it upon themselves in some manner. Compassionate understanding parents could raise a monstrously ugly child with love even if the neighbors barely tolerate said child.   Some locations have temples that allow parents to drop unwanted infants on their doorstep so they can be raised in a monastery and a lot of monstrous ugly babies wind up raised by Lanterns who have compassion for outcasts or by Masks who may view a monstrously ugly face as a sign of one-ness with Phidas. Also, it's less traumatizing to wear a mask as a child growing up if everyone around is also wearing a mask.   Assuming he or she survives to adulthood, an Appearance 0 character is probably better suited to adventuring than a character with any other attribute of 0.

Experience Cost?

  The cost to raise an attribute is "Current rating x 4" so technically raising an attribute from 0 to 1 is free!   Will no.  Raising an attribute from 0 to 1 costs 5 experience points.   You probably also need to go through some kind of story arc.  Characters don't normally randomly have the handicap of having a 0 in an attribute, so to go from 0 to 1, the character needs to do more than exercise their mind or body, they need to address the cause of their condition in some way.   Even the "cure" is entirely external like a magical curse being removed with advanced magic, the character still needs to spend some experience points to progress to their first dot.


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