07 - Abilities

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        Ability Sets are the Perks, Talents, Skills, and Powers that enhance a character's capabilities. Each ability is associated with one of five categories that best describe how the ability might be used. Additionally, abilities within a category are grouped by ability type (i.e., Perk, Talent, Skill, or Power).

         General abilities are appropriate for any character type.

         Specific Skills are those skills ideal for specific character types.

         Talents reinforce a character Archetype with abilities beyond the capability of most characters.

         Choose 30 points worth of Abilities.

Campaign Guidelines

         The HERO System doesnt establish any restrictions on how you spend Character Points. However, it is important to have a fun character that is appropriate for the campaign so it is often necessary to guide your decision-making when designing your character.

         The guidelines below help ensure that no one is going to create a character that upsets the balance of the adventure or campaign. Through the course of play you may choose actions that exceed these limits, but your character, by design, should not exceed them. It is not specifically relevant how you reach these limits, whether by Characteristic, Power, or Equipment. For example, a character with the Melee Master +3 (Talent providing +3 Damage Classes) should not use a Greatsword (Weapon with a base 2d6 damage, equaling 6 Damage Classes) since this character would end up with 9 DC, even though part of that total comes from points spent on Talents and part comes from Equipment.

Character Creation Steps

1. Grab a blank Character Sheet

2. Choose a Racial Template (20 points)

3. Choose Characteristic Sets (5 Sets; 50 points)

4. Choose an Archetype (25 points)

5. Choose a Disposition (15 points)

6. Choose a Background (10 points)

7. Choose Abilities (Skills, Talents, or Powers; 30 points)

8. Choose 50 points of Matching Complications

9. Purchase Equipment with 250 SP

Power Descriptions

You will notice that many Powers have additional text in the description beyond the basic effect description. This text follows long established conventions for describing Powers in order to include all of the essential rule elements for play, reducing how frequently you will need to reference the rules. For more information on building Powers, see BR 34 or 6E1 118.

Character Sheet Notes

Skills, Perks, and Talents should be recorded in the Skills, Perks, & Talents section on the second page of the Character Sheet. All Powers should be recorded in the Powers section. Some Powers cost Endurance (END) – this value should be recorded in the END column of the Powers section.

         Campaign Guidelines should evolve as the characters earn experience. When players spend experience on new abilities it is helpful to understand when they have spent too much on one thing, however the pace of experience awards can often keep this in check without much issue. When you earn 3-5 Character Points each adventure that will generally keep the characters from growing in one direction too quickly.

         Use the following Campaign Guidelines as a starting point for your Narosia Quick Start adventures.

Characteristics: 8-20**
SPD: 2-4
CV: 3-7**
DC: 8d6N or 2 1/2d6 (roughly 40 Active Points)
Skill Roll: 8 to 14-
Normal PD/ED: 2-8***
Resistant PD/ED: 1-6 

*          Not including Racial Templates
**        Not including Far Shot and Precise Shot
***      Not including Resistant PD/ED

Skill Rolls

         By now you have selected multiple Templates for your character: Archetype, Disposition, and Background. These Templates included many different skills from any of five categories: Agility Skills, Background Skills, Combat Skills, Intellect Skills, and Interaction Skills. The only Skill that doesnt fall into one of those categories is Skill Levels, which lets you improve your Skill Roll with several Skills. Characters may have Skills from any or all categories.

         Most Skills are rated with a number that indicates how well a character knows them the higher the number, the better he is at the Skill. In general, a character with an 11- is fairly good at a Skill, while any Skill over 14- is remarkable.  

         Agility Skills, Intellect Skills, and Interaction Skills are all based on a Characteristic Roll (DEX, INT, and PRE respectively). This means that when the skill is first acquired the roll for success with the skill is equal to the base Characteristic Roll (see Chapter 6 Characteristics). The skill can be improved from that point on at 2 Character Points per +1 to the skill roll.

         Background Skills are learned at a base roll of 11-. 

         Combat Skills are often unique and may or may not have a base roll.


        General Abilities are common to all types of characters.

Additional Characteristics

Cost   Characteristic

1-5      Strong:  +1-5 STR

1-5      Healthy:  +1-5 CON

2-6      Dexterous:  +1-3 DEX

1-5      Smart:  +1-5 INT

1-5      Disciplined:  +1-5 EGO

1-5      Charismatic:  +1-5 PRE

5          Aggressive:  +1 OCV

5          Defensive:  +1 DCV

10        Quick: +1 SPD

1-3      Tough:  +1-3 PD or ED

1-3      Resilient:  +1-3 REC

1-3      Magically Resilient:  +1-3 EREC

1-5      Fit:  +5-25 END

1-5      Strong Essence:  +1-5 ESS

1-5      Big:  +1-5 BODY

1-10   Stout:  +2-20 STUN

1-6      Fleet:  +1-6m Running

1-2      Strong Leap:  +1-2m Leaping


Language Table

Common: atlan, cheebat, drothmal, elori, single alphabet, newardin, scythaa, tsaal, tsverg

Uncommon: gigan, gral, illiya, skratta

Rare: droggax (common tongue of chaos giants), drakan, meriax (seaspeech, water chaos tongue), sylvax (treespeech, forest chaos tongue), trogogax (lizardspeech, lizard chaos tongue)

Secret: ranger signs, rogue signs

Elevated: arcan (magic), elementan (each element is a dialect), enooric (sunspeech, voice of the holy, gods, titans, and avatars), voldax (voidspeech, voice of the dire, demons, and demonspawn), endrornic (darkspeech, voice of abomonae and Endroren)

General Skills

Cost   Skill

6          Agile:  +1 with Agility Skills

4          Brilliant:  +1 with Intellect Skills

4          Charismatic:  +1 with Interaction Skills

2          Educated: Any one Background Skill 11-

1          Language: Basic Conversation

2          Language: Fluent Conversation

3          Language: Complete Fluent, with accent

4          Language: Idiomatic, native accent

1          Language: Literate

3          Language: Fully Literate (all known languages)

2          Skill Focus:  +1 to any Agility, Intellect, or Interaction Skill

1          Well Rounded:  +1 to any Background Skill (i.e. AK, CuK, CK, KS, PS, SS)


General Perks

Cost   Skill

Var     Animal Companion: Character has a loyal animal companion such as a faithful hound or a trusted mount. The Animal Companion is a Follower (6E1 102, BR 31) but is limited in its capabilities since it is an animal. Animal Companions can generally understand and communicate with their owners (only), but complex ideas require supernatural means.

             Dog, Small/Medium (pet): 2 points

             Dog, Hunting: 7 points

             Monkey: 7 points

             Cat, Domestic: 10 points

             Dog, Guard: 12 points

             Wolf: 14 points

             Horse, Riding: 17 points

             Eagle: 17 points

             Horse, Heavy War: 23 points

5+       Follower: Character has a loyal companion of 25 Total Points (6E1 102, BR 31). Each level increases the point value of the Follower by +25 points.

6          Knight: Must be Social Status 2+. A knight has Right to Shelter and the Right to Mete out Justice (3 points). Additionally, all knights are assumed to have Organizational Reciprocity with foreign hosts and most armies.

1          Military Rank: Rank Soldier/Militia. Must have PS: Soldier 8-, WF: Polearms and Spears, OCV 4. Starting Wealth +25sp.

2          Military Rank: Sergeant/Militia Leader. Must have PS: Soldier 11-, Tactics 8-, OCV 5. Starting Wealth +50sp.

3          Military Rank: Lieutenant/Militia Captain. Must have PS: Soldier 13-, Tactics 11-, SS: Military Strategy 8-, OCV 6. Starting Wealth +75sp.

1+       Positive Reputation: Character is well known for something on an 11- by everyone in a city, region, or profession. He receives +1 to all Interaction skills when recognized, or +1d6 to Presence Attacks per level.

2+       Positive Reputation: Character is well known for something on an 11- by everyone in an entire nation, all ports on the Sea of Tears, or an entire culture. He receives +1 to all Interaction skills when recognized, or +1d6 to Presence Attacks per level.

1          Silver Savvy I: 1d6 Luck, Only When Handling Money. Each point of Luck modifies a transaction by 20% or adds a +2 bonus to the skill roll (never both) when using Gambling, Trading, and other skills involving money. Starting Wealth +75sp.

2          Silver Savvy II: 2d6 Luck, Only When Handling Money. Starting Wealth +150sp.

3          Silver Savvy III: 3d6 Luck, Only When Handling Money. Starting Wealth +300sp.

3          Silver Savvy IV: 4d6 Luck, Only When Handling Money. Starting Wealth +600sp.

1          Social Status 1: Starting Wealth +100sp; Aetaltis = Aristocrat; Elori = Named; Icewalker = Painbringer; Malador = Clansman/woman;

2          Social Status 2: Starting Wealth +200sp; Aetaltis = Laylord/lady; Elori = Honored; Icewalker = Bloodrender; Malador = Clanlord/lady; Must have High Society 8-.

General Talents

Cost   Talent

2          Acute Vision:  +2 PER with Normal Sight

3          Alertness:  +1 PER with all Sense Groups

3          Ambidexterity:  Character doesnt suffer Off Hand penalties

3          Perceptive:  +1 with Tracking, Concealment (searching), and active Perception Rolls

3          Absolute Range Sense:  Character can gauge distances accurately

3          Absolute Time Sense:  Character can gauge the passage of time accurately

3          Bump of Direction:  Character has an innate sense of direction

4          Double Jointed:  Characters flexible joints make some Skills easier to use

5          Eidetic Memory:  Character has a photographic memory

5          Fearsome:  +10 PRE, Only For Fear/Intimidation (-1)

5          Fearless:  +15 PRE, Only To Resist Fear/Intimidation (-2)

4          Forest Runner:  Environmental Movement (no penalties in undergrowth)

4          Forest Runner:  Environmental Movement (no penalties for Intoxication 6E2 47)

2          Intimidating Presence:  +5 PRE, Only For Fear/Intimidation (-1)

3          Lightning Calculator:  Character can perform mathematical calculations rapidly

1+       Lightning Reflexes:  Character has increased Initiative (+1 DEX to Act First with all actions)

3          Lightsleep:  Character is +0 PER to wake up instead of -6 PER.

5          Master Climber:  Environmental Movement (No DCV penalty when climbing)

2          Pack Mule: Environmental Movement (reduce DEX/DCV penalty from Encumbrance by -1)

3          Perfect Pitch:  Character can identify musical pitch exactly

5          Rapid Healer:  Recover +5 STUN per Recovery and +1 BODY per week

1+       Resistance:  Character can withstand interrogation better than normal (+1 to EGO roll per +1 Character Point)

3          Sleep Anywhere: Character is not penalized for sleeping in armor or uncomfortable positions.

4+       Speed Reading:  Character can read much faster than normal

3+       Striking Appearance:  Character is +1 with Interaction Skill Rolls and +1d6 with Presence Attacks versus all characters due to appearance.

4          Supreme Balance:  Environmental Movement (no penalties on narrow surfaces)


Channeler Skills

Cost   Skill

10        Channeling +1

1          Magic CSL: +1 OCV with a single orison.

3          Magic CSL: +1 Combat Skill Level with all spells of a single Enaros.

6          Magic CSL: +1 Combat Skill Level with all orisons.

1          Orison Familiarity: Learn one orison (Chapter 9 Codex)

5          Piety: +1 with a specific Enaros


Combat Skills

Cost   Skill

2          Attack Focus:  +1 OCV with single attack (e.g., Dagger, Mace).

5          Combat Expert:  +1 with Large Group of attacks (e.g., Common Melee Weapons, Common Missile Weapons, One-Handed Weapons).

8          Combat Master:  +1 with Ranged or HTH Combat.

3          Combat Specialist:  +1 with Small Group of attacks (e.g., Blades, Axes, Bows, a single Martial Art, or Any three Maneuvers).

2/4/6  Far Shot:  +2 Ranged Skill Levels with a single attack (2 points), a tight group of attacks (4 points), or all attacks (6 points). These levels offset the Range Modifier made with these attacks.

10        Champion:  +1 with All Combat.

2/4/6  Precise Shot:  Character is +2 to offset To Hit Modifiers for Called and Placed Shots with a single attack (2 points), a tight group of attacks (4 points), or all attacks (6 points).

10/5    Rapid Attack:  Character can perform Multiple Attacks as a Half Phase Action, which normally require a Full Phase Action  (10 points for all attacks or 5 points for HTH or Ranged attacks only).

5          Two-Weapon Fighting (HTH):  Character can make two attacks with HTH weapons at no penalty as a Full Phase Action at 1/2  DCV. Additional attacks are still at a cumulative -2 OCV.

1          Weapons Training:  Choose any single weapon subcategory as a Weapon Familiarity.

Weapon Familiarities

        Only individual subcategories are available to learn at the cost of 1 point each, with the exception of Everyman Weapon Familiarities, which all characters get for free.

Everyman (0 points)

         Clubs & Maces


         Thrown Rocks

         Unarmed Combat


Melee Weapons (1 point each)

         Axes, Hammers, and Picks


         Chain & Rope Weapons





         Polearms and Spears

         Three-Section Staff



Ranged Weapons (1 point each)




         Greypowder Grenades

         Greypowder Handgonnes

         Greypowder Rifles


         Staff Sling

         Thrown Axes, Hammers, & Clubs

         Thrown Chain & Rope Weapons

         Thrown Knives & Darts

         Thrown Javelins & Spears

         Thrown Swords 

Note: The staff is considered a club in Narosia, usable by anyone. They may also be used as a Polearm or Spear, or as a Greatsword, meaning Combat Skill Levels with those weapon categories can be applied.


Shaper Skills

Cost   Skill

5          Essence Shaping +1

1          Magic CSL: +1 OMCV with a single spell.

3          Magic CSL: +1 Combat Skill Level with all spells of a single Arcana.

6          Magic CSL: +1 Combat Skill Level with all spells.

5          Spellshaping: +1 with a specific Arcana

2          Spellshaping: +1 with a specific spell

1          Spell Familiarity: Learn one spell (Chapter 8 Grimoire)



        Many Talents listed below are listed with a plus “+” sign after the Cost and can be purchased multiple times. However, it is important to determine your total damage and ensure that you do not exceed the campaign limits (8 DC for Narosia Quick Start). Chapter 7 has more detail on determining damage.


Channeler Talents

Cost   Skill

5          Sanctified: This talent reflects the deeper rapport a channeler has with the Enaros. All Sanctified channelers receive +1 to all Interaction Skill rolls.


Fighting Talents

Cost   Talent

1          Archers Strength: +3 STR for wielding bows.

3          Armor Expert: Reduce the effective weight of worn armor by 50% mass.

3          Armor Master: +1 rPD/rED while wearing armor. Must be Armor Expert.

4+       Darkbane: Characters attacks do +1 DC damage against Endrori.

2+       Defensive Luck: If unencumbered (i.e. no Encumbrance Penalty) the character is +1 rPD/rED, Hardened (x2), Impenetrable (x2). The character must also be aware of the attack and not trying to be hit by it. These defenses are Non-Persistent.

1+       Heroic Constitution: +3 CON to resist being Stunned. Maximum bonus: +9 CON.

1          Heroic Stun: +5 STUN that recovers once per hour (REC per Hour). This STUN is lost last.

5          Heroic Toughness: +1 rPD/rED, Hardened (x2), Impenetrable (x2). This talent is visible to Essence Sight.

5+       Hunter:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage against animals and beasts.

8          Melee Master:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage with all HTH attacks.

2          Off-Hand Defense:  Character is +1 DCV and +1 OCV to Block vs. HTH attacks with a weapon in the off hand.

8          Range Master:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage with all Ranged attacks.

3/1      Simulate Death:  Character can feign death with an EGO roll, +1 to roll for +1 points.

6+       Slayer of Demons:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage against demons, Voidspawn, and Qliphotic foes.

5+       Slayer of Undead:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage against the undead.

5+       Sneak Attack:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage against targets that are unaware of the attacker.

             Note: If limited to Ranged or HTH attacks only, the damage bonus is +2 DC

6          Weapon Group Master I:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage with any WF Subcategory (e.g. Blades, Bows, Thrown Knives & Darts etc.)

13        Weapon Group Master II:  Characters attacks do +2 DC damage with any WF Subcategory (e.g. Blades, Bows, Thrown Knives & Darts etc.)

4+       Weapon Master:  Characters attacks do +1 DC damage with a specific weapon (e.g., Bow, Dagger, Sword).


Rogue Talents

Cost   Talent                                                              

3          Airwalk:  Character can sneak under any conditions. Using focused concentration (1/2 DCV) and applying his Stealth Skill (penalty -1) a character can be perfectly silent those listening for the rogue will not get a Hearing PER to sense the rogue if he succeeds unless they are right next to him. This Invisibilty to Hearing Group power costs END.            2

4          Scale Surface:  The character can use his Climbing Skill (penalty -1) to climb any surface, even if it is perfectly smooth, as long as he maintains two points of contact. This Clinging (normal STR) power costs END.            1 END

6          Search Sweep: The character can perform an average search (+0) of a single room or area as a full phase action. This would normally take a full minute, but the character is so skilled at noticing minute details that he can be confident a complete search was made.

5          Shadowwalk: The character can sense when observers are distracted or looking in a different direction and can time their moves between points of concealment. Using focused concentration (1/2 DCV) and applying his Stealth Skill (penalty -2) a character can be practically invisible if adequate concealment or shadows are present. However, any power that can objectively record the rogue for review at a later time will show the rogue darting between concealment. This Invisibility to Sight Group power costs END.                 4

5          The Slip:  Luck 3d6; Only To Create An Opportunity To Be Covert (-2)

7          Trap Feel: With a successful passive PER roll, the character has an intuition about any trap he could normally perceive in or out of combat, provided he would activate it on his next action. He is unsure of the details, just that if he continues his course of action a trap will be activated.


Shaper Talents

Cost   Skill

5          Essence Sight:  The natural flow of essence is visible. Additionally, spirits and other invisible creatures can be perceived normally, although their forms will be significantly blurred. Such creatures can be targeted at no penalty with a successful PER roll each phase as a zero-phase action. Essence Sight is blocked by normal objects and although affected as Sight it does not include the Discriminatory or Analyze sense modifiers. Thaumaturgy can be used to understand the essence as an Analyze Skill.

7          Essence Touch: Characters with this talent can fully interact with the essential plane. They can exert their Strength on any target in the essential plane including spirits and magically desolidified characters. This can be extended to held items by expending 2 ESS per phase.

             Additionally, the character gains +1 on Essence Shaping when choosing the Deliberate or Prepared shaping modifiers, and +1 to Thaumaturgy and Attunement if he can touch the item throughout study.

1+       Mystic Defense: +1 Power Defense, Mystic Defense (+0). This power also acts as Mental Defense, Only Versus Arcane and Divine Power. It has no effect against poisons or diseases unless they are magical in nature. It has no effect against Psionic powers.