Character Creation

Character Creation Summary

Character Creation is point based. First level characters begin with 35 Character Points (CP) to spend. You spend Character Points on race, attributes, backgrounds, paths, skills, traits and qualities as you wish, according to the following rules.

  1. Receive 35 Character Points
  2. Receive basic Attributes
  3. Choose one race (for free)
  4. Choose one background (for free)
  5. Choose one caste (paying CP)
  6. Choose any number of Paths (paying CP)
  7. Choose any number of Qualities (paying, or gaining CP as appropriate)
  8. Spend remaining CP on Traits and Skills

Each of these steps is summarised on the following pages. You can generate a character above first level by adding 13CP per extra level.


Sun Keld uses eight basic Attributes, each of which has a free starting value (listed below).

Attack (10)
Used to make attacks with weapons or targeted spells.
Defence (10)
Used to defend against physical attacks or dangers.
Agility (10)
Used to measure manual dexterity and nimbleness.
Intelligence (10)
Used to measure mental skills and knowledge.
Physical (10)
Used to measure strength and robustness.
Presence (10)
Used to measure force of personality and persuasiveness.
Spirit (10)
Used to measure strength of will, resistance to magic and ability to stay conscious and alive.
Health (15)
Used to measure resistance to physical damage and exhaustion.

You can vary these attributes during character creation to a small degree. You have two free attribute points (AP) to spend, and can reduce up to three attributes by one to get an additional AP for each reduced attribute. Raising an attribute by one level costs one AP. Raising an attribute by two costs three AP. If this is not enough you can also spend Character Points (CP) on attributes. Raising an attribute costs CP equal to the new level. This is not a great choice during character creation.

There are a number of further special attributes which cannot be purchased or raised in this way, such as Insanity, Status and Wealth. These cannot be raised by spending CP during character creation, and are derived from your choice of Backgrounds, Paths and Qualities as explained below.

Attribute Summary

Attack Defence Agility Intelligence Physical Presence Spirit Health Status Wealth
Score 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 15 0 0
Abbreviation A D Ag Int Phys Pre Sp H S W


All civilised beings on Sun-Keld are members of the same Race, the Keldians, but there are three recognised breeds spread across the inhabited realms: the common Keldian, desert living Lix'xiti, and cold adapted Steet. You must pick one race (and only one) and the choice is free.


The Common Keldian is medium sized, with short fur ranging in color from tawny yellow through to brown and reddish brown. Some Common Keldians have fighting spurs on their forearms of various lengths, crests of short spines, or black markings in their fur but none of these traits is universal. This race has no particular bonuses or penalties.


The Lix'xiti are more adapted to the bright desert than the twilight river. They are taller than average, and much thinner of limb, with dark fur. They retain water better than common Keldians, and have a desiccated sort of look even in well-watered lands. They see in the dark a little less well than other Keldians. While generally strong and tough they have a reputation for being a little stupider than other Keldians.


The Steet are the least common breed, native to the hills Darkwards of the one-river. They are shorter than average, with distinctive thick grey fur. They are better adapted for the cold than common Keldians, and see a little better in the dark. They are reputed to be smarter than the average, and more interested in magic. A higher proportion of Steet are Magi. At the same time they are physically weaker than most.


Your character's background summarises which part of the world they were raised in. Sun-Keld is a harsh land, and any Keldian who survives childhood will be left with a basic set of survival skills related to the landscape and culture of their birth. Your free Background skills represent the survival traits gained in childhood, without which you would never have made it to adult age. You must pick one background (and only one) and the choice is free.

You can easily design other backgrounds than the ones listed here. Each Background should sum to 11CP of Traits and Skills. It should provide your native language at 3, and a score of 2 in a Survival or Culture Skill representing the basic skills needed to survive your early childhood. Add two further Skills at level 1 or 2 representing the core cultural trades or faith if the area your were born in.


You were raised in the Burning Lands, the least hospitable of all the Keldian realms, sustained by the city of Nagash and it's ethos of fierce independence and personal responsibility. You gain the following starting Traits / Skills.


You were raised in the exposed rocks, canyons and deserts of the Deadlands. You came from a small and isolated community; there is nothing else in this land. You gain the following starting Traits / Skills.


You were raised in the razor grass plains of the Drylands, amongst the farms, Crdlu herds and oasis towns. You gain the following starting Traits / Skills.


Like the majority of Keldians you were raised in the cities, villages and farms of the Twilight lands, on the banks of the One-River and in the depths of the Poison Jungles. You gain the following starting Traits / Skills.


A small minority of Keldians make their homes on the edge of the Nightlands, up in the hills where the snow falls and the sun only grazes the horizon. This is a hard place to live. You gain the following starting Traits / Skills.

Birth Caste

The Eternal Empire of Sun Keld operates under a strict hierarchy of social castes based on both birth and profession. Mages are superior to Bonded Ones, Bonded Ones to Clerks, Clerks to Freemen and Freemen to Slaves. Within these bands, however, Noble Family lines, notable gifts, famous ancestors and the disgrace of one's parents create finer distinctions. A slave child who becomes a Mage is still superior in legal status to any Bonded One, but may find herself treated as an inferior by Mages raised from the Clerks or Bonded Ones. Members of the nomadic Tribes are rich in cattle, but struggle to find a place in the hierarchy of settled towns.

You should pick one Birth Caste for your character, which will provide a base Wealth and Status. The Freeman Caste is free, and should be taken as the default if none of the others interest you. The other Castes offer various penalties or benefits in return for Chatacter Points. See the status rules for more information about Castes.

Slaveborn (Gain 2CP)

Your family were slaves, taken in war, indentured by poverty, or punished for a crime. Although you are born a Freeman the lowly status of your family is hard to escape.

Freeman (0CP)

Your family are freemen of the Eternal Empire, working the fields, gathering small properties and renting land from their superiors.

Tribesman (0CP)

Your relations are one of the many nomadic tribes that exist on the edge of Empire society, following the Crdlu herds across the Drylands. While you are wealthy in cattle you bear the stigma of an outsider.

Noble (2CP)

Your family holds a position amongst the ruling classes of the Empire. They are likely Clerks, Bonded-Ones or even Magi. If your parents are not one of these then close relations surely are, and your family name is known to be above the common Freemen.


There are many paths in life which your character can choose to follow. You might be a mighty Mage, a soldier, an administrator, or all of the above. You may pick any number of Paths at the listed cost in CP. Paths give one or more bonuses as follows:

As a rule most characters will want to take at least one of Warrior (for combat oriented characters), Mage / Earth Cleric / Wizard (for magic oriented characters), Clerk (for wealth oriented characters) or Criminal / Bonded One (for social oriented characters). This is not necessarily the case with Non-player characters. For example a General might take the Captain path, but not the Warrior one, indicating a skill with command, but not one with arms.

Paths marked advanced have modified rules for acquiring during play, as described in the Levelling Rules.

Bonded One (5CP)

As a Bonded One you are amongst the most trusted members of the hierarchy, entrusted with overseeing the work of Clerks and lesser Magi. A Bonded One is beholden to someone of higher level in the Order Hierarchy (a Mage or more senior Bonded One), and their status is a mark of exceptional trust. You may actually be magically bonded to a Mage superior (this is unusual at level 1), in which case you may be unable to lie or act against your Master, or you may be accorded the same status and expected to follow such rules anyway. Although you have a Master it is assumed that they are generally uninterested in your day to day actions, and leave you alone as long as you do your job, which might be magical, soldiering, artistic, or anything else. See the Favoured and Cruel Master Qualities if you want this to be different for your character.

See also : Blending In, Cruel Master, Secret Files

Captain (8CP - Advanced)

As a Captain you hold (or used to hold) a significant position in the military of one of the Orders or Cities, commanding other soldiers. Your exact rank depends on your Status, but you are an officer of some sort, used to giving orders and planning military actions. This is a generally respected and well paid position. You may or may not be a warrior as well. Possible ranks might include Lushar (commander of 3,600), Ugulagu (commander of 600), Ugulagesh (commander of 60).

Clerk (4CP)

As a Clerk you are a part of the Bureaucracy that maintains Keldian civilisation. You might be a scribe, tax collector, merchant, accountant, judge, administrator or any of a thousand similar jobs. You are an important (though likely minor) cog in the great machine, and you can easily use your position to accumulate wealth and power (if you want wealth and status you can be a Bonded One as well).

See also : Secret Files

Criminal (4CP)

As a Criminal you live on the edge of legitimate society, exploiting the cracks and flaws of the vast and unwieldy hierarchies that dominate the Empire. Not for you obeying orders, following laws or tilling the land. You see past the hardships of Sun-Keld to the opportunities. You may be a sneak thief, bandit, conman or fence, or any of a dozen other sorts of malcontent. Taking this Path assumes that you are not currently being pursued by the local authorities, see the Wanted Quality if you want this to be the case for your character.

See also : Blending In, Secret Files

Earth Cleric (4CP)

As an Earth Cleric you are one of the leaders of the Satvani, the spiritual lodges that are found in almost every Drylands and Deadlands town, or an Ancestor Cleric of the Tribesmen. Your main duties are marriages, funerals, and leading the ceremonies in which the common men beg the ancestors for rain, food and aid. In return for your constant attention the ancestors and earth spirits grant you minor magical powers. This, however, puts you at odds with the Magi of the Red and Black Orders, who distain such lesser powers. You cannot take this path and Mage.

See also : Forebearance, Spirit Tongue, Totem

Gifted (1CP)

There are many Gifts that appear in Keldians. Some are passed through the family line, while others appear to manifest without explanation when a Kit reaches maturity. The most potent of these Gifts is that of the Mage, which has its own path, but other Gifts are well respected. If you take this path choose a Gift from the Qualities list and pay for it. The cost of the path is the cost of the Gift + 1.

Gladiator (3CP)

As a Gladiator you fight in one of the many Gladiator arenas and pits in the cities of the Eternal Empire. You may be a Slave or Criminal (in which case your life expectancy is poor) or contracted to a Gladiator Stable, with fans, riches, and many pleasures as your reward. In time you may even hope to own your own stable. Alternatively you are between jobs, seeking work as a mercenary, adventurer or murderer.

Mage (12CP)

As a Mage you are at the pinnacle of Keldian society. It is only by the magic of your Order (whether Red or Black) that crops grow, water flows, beasts are held at bay, storms are pacified and more. Of course there are many Mages and you are likely subject to the whims and intrigues of dozens of superiors and scores of colleagues. As long as you remain on good terms with your Order you will have continuing access to powerful spells, though channelling the energies of magic may warp and scar you over time. As a Mage your ability to Channel is your Gift, you may not have another Gift.

See also : Familiar, Fighting Magic, Fire Word, Forebearance, Matrix, Shadow Word, Spirit Tongue, Totem

Mystic (3CP)

As a Mystic you are an academic, specialising in knowledge, research and information. You spend your days searching through ancient scrolls and tablets, conversing with other Mystics and selling your knowledge to those that seek you out for wisdom. You may be employed in the archives or libraries of some city or Order. There are a number of Mystic only Qualities on offer.

See also : Mastery, Sage, Spirit Tongue

Slave (Gain 4CP)

As a Slave you are on the very bottom of Keldian society. Likely as not you have some onerous duty: rowing One-River galleys; labouring in the iron or obsidian mines; tilling the harsh Jungle soils; fighting in the Gladiator pits or simply serving a Freemen family or Bonded One. You may have been taken prisoner in battle, been condemned for some crime, or forced to accept Slavery out of poverty. You may not own property, engage in business, or demand a trial if accused of a crime. Despite your status it is assumed that your Master is relatively reasonable, and you are not in imminent danger of execution, beating and the like, rather having a trusted status. See the Cruel Master Quality if you wish this to be otherwise for your character.

See also : Cruel Master

Swordmaster (3CP)

As a Swordmaster you have dedicated yourself to the mastery of some weapon (not always the sword). You practice constantly, and travel to learn new techniques and face worthy opponents. This is a respected (if slightly indulgent) Path, taken by both Warriors and Mages.

Wastelander (3CP)

While most Keldians cling close to a stable source of water, food, or protection, such as a town, city, or herd, some few choose to set themselves against the raw fury of the world alone, making what living they can as solitary hunters, trappers, miners and the like. It is a dangerous choice, and many who flee into the wastes to escape justice or enemies will never be seen again.

See also : Tribal Image

Warrior (5CP)

As a Warrior you are dedicated to fighting, soldiering and physical prowess. You may be a soldier, a caravan guard, a hunter, a mercenary, a bodyguard, or even a murderer for hire. You may work for an Order, Bonded One, City or Captain, or be free of such restrictions, living by your wits and blade alone. Most Gladiators, Captains, Swordmasters and many Bonded Ones will want to be a Warrior as well.

See also : Blade Wall, Power Blow, War Cry

Wizard (4CP)

As a Wizard you are a Keldian who once trained with the Red or Black Order, but lacked the skill to become a full Mage. Perhaps your magic was flawed (or you had a magical accident), or you made the wrong sort of friends or enemies and fell afoul of the Orders' constant infighting. You live on the edge of Mage society, sharing some of their powers but none of their status or wealth. On the other hand you are unencumbered by the responsibilities of the Hierarchy and possess valuable and unique skills. You cannot take this Path and Mage. As a Wizard your ability to Channel is your Gift, you may not have another Gift.

See also : Familiar, Fighting Magic, Forebearance, Matrix, Spirit Tongue

White Mage (0CP - Advanced)

If this path exists in your game, then so does the White Order. A Keldian who takes this path has accepted the White Gift, turning their body into a conduit for the power of the outer gods who covet the soils of the world. You are gifted with the mastery of White Order magic, and cursed by the corruption that it brings. If your path is found out you will be hunted and destroyed by everyone without remorse.


Qualities are special advantages, disadvantages, flaws and talents that your character possesses. Some Qualities are positive, and cost CP, some are negative, and give you extra CP (which you can spend on Paths, Attributes, Skills and other Qualities). Qualities help to distinguish one character from another, spelling the difference between one Warrior and the next, for example. Some Qualities require you to have a specific Path or other Quality to purchase. In this case the requisites are listed to the right of the Quality name. Some Qualities can be a source of Determination, and all characters will have at least one Flaw.

Some Qualities are marked Gift, a natural magical talent. You may only have one Gift. You cannot be both a Stonetalker and a Beastmaster for example.

Most Qualities are unique, you may have them once only. Exceptions are marked with a • to the left of the Quality name.

Most Qualities can only be purchased at character creation. Exceptions are marked with a ◊ to the left of the Quality name.

Note that the Qualities Edge and Flaw can be used as generic personality traits.

Accumen1CPMerchant 2+

You know how to make money talk, and how to make your resources count. Once per session you have a +3 Wealth bonus when making a financial transaction.


You have a close friend or ally, of similar power to yourself (they should be within 1 Level of you, though they may have quite different status or skills), who is willing and able to come to your aid now and again. For 3CP you gain an Ally who will aid you in normal situations, occasionally going out on a limb for you, and appearing once every few adventures. For 6CP you gain a more dedicated Ally, either one willing to go to extraordinary lengths, or capable of appearing in practically any adventure. Note that your Ally should be another player character, or an NPC, not one of your own characters. For that see Underling.

You may gain this in play to reflect a particularly close or significant relationship that you have formed with another character.


You have a deep store of self confidence, enough that those around you can sense it. Your Health Pool in Social Combat (Status) is 4 higher. Damage comes from your real Status first, but you don't lose the combat until your Assurance points are also depleted. Assurance recovers first, followed by real Health.


You are unusually attractive. You find it easy to get positive attention when you want it. You gain +3 on rolls to Charm, Seduce or influence people who find you attractive.


Gain Battle 1 after your first battle, or by paying the listed cost above. Each further battle you are in gives 1CP towards improving Battle. Add Battle to your Survival, Manoeuvre and Strategy rolls in battle. You may spend CP to raise Battle at character creation (the same cost as a Trait) if you wish to play a veteran soldier.

Beastheart3CPGift, Bonded Animal, Lvl 3+

Sometimes a Beastmaster grows so close to a Bonded Animal that their psyches merge and the Beastmaster becomes a Beastheart. This Quality replaces the Beastmaster Gift. A Beastheart is one with their Bonded Animal. The Beastheart shares the Animal's senses (they can percieve what it percieves if they concentrate, and gain +2 Observation when the animal is present), and can instinctively know it's position and physical state. If the Animal has any special attacks or abilities the Beastheart also gains those abilities. For each attribute in which the animal has a score 5 or more in excess of the Beastheart's, the Beastheart gains 1 in that attribute. For each attribute in which the animal has a lower score than the Beastheart, the Beastheart loses 1 in that attribute. A Beastheart also alters to resemble their Bonded Animal, losing 2 Status. If a Beastheart's Bonded Animal dies they are striken. As well as the normal penalties under the Bonded Animal Quality they instantly take 10 Weakening Damage, and lose the Beastheart Quality and Bonded Animal Quality, gaining Beastmaster instead.


A Beastmaster has an instinctual connection with animals. They have an empathic understanding of an animal's feelings and needs, based on observation and supernatural instinct, and find them easy to calm, handle and train. A Beastmaster gains +3 to Herding, Riding and other sorts of animal control rolls. A Beastmaster can attempt to train animals that others cannot (see Animal Training). When a Beastmaster is attacked by an animal they can try and face it down. On a successful roll of Presence vs. Spirit + Ferocity the animal will stop attacking the Beastmaster and choose another target. This requires the Beastmaster to be able to sense what is attacking them.

Blade Wall2CPWarrior

You are skilled in defending yourself in combat. You have +1 Defence. When you Guard you gain an additional +2 Defence.

Blending In2CPCriminal or Bonded One

You always appear at home in any social situation. You can breeze into a party, attract no notice in a crowd, march at the back of a column of soldiers without being noticed and so forth. Gain +3 Stealth, Carousing, or Graces when avoiding attracting attention like this.


You are blind. You suffer:

Bonded Animal3CPBeastmaster

A wild Animal has bonded to you, as a result of careful care and your Beastmaster Gift. This Bond goes both ways, and allows you and your Bonded Animal to sense each other's emotions even when you cannot see each other. When you are in close proximity you can communicate even more effectively, treat your Bonded Animal as having +4 Intelligence for the purposes of communicating with you, or for learning abilities (see Animal Training). Your Animal will always fight to defend you, and can act intelligently to fetch you help or sustenance. You have +2 Survival with your animal's help. Your Animal has +2 Health, and will follow you willingly into danger. If your Bonded Animal dies it is a severe blow. You immediately take a Flaw (heartbroken), and cannot take a new Bonded Animal until the Flaw is removed. If you take this Quality at character creation you may only be bonded to a normal beast (one trainable without Beastmaster). If you train an exotic beast in play you can then buy this Quality to bond with it.


You have a natural talent for manipulating bone and horn. You can roll Agility / Craft (Bone) to coax bone and horn into complex shapes, such as parchment-thin, bent and knotted, or sharpened to points. When working with Bone and Horn you can achieve effects that others cannot achieve (though your efforts are still make of Bone and Horn). You may also attempt to use your Gift to substitute for another Craft Skill (such as Craft (Wood)) at +2 Difficulty. You gain Culture / Craft (Bone) 1

Connoisseur2CPCulture 2+

You have a deep appreciation for the valuable and rare. You know the provenance of every treasure and can recognise value where others might miss it. Whenever you trade in a Treasure 2 or higher for CP in Wealth you can CP equal to the Treasure's value, rather than value -1.


You are significantly crippled. Perhaps you are missing an arm, or a leg, an ear, a tail or have been injured all over by magic or fire. Whenever your disability is relevant (which should be most of the time) you suffer the following:

Cruel Master-3CPSlave / Bonded One

Your Master constantly demands your time, controls your actions, and may cruelly punish you for the slightest fault (real or imagined). You are frequently mistreated or humiliated and are far from free to act as you wish.

Cutting Words2CP

You know how to devestate a foe with your words. When you make an attack in social combat you may choose to take a -5 Attack penalty. If you hit with the attack you deal additional Social Damage equal to twice your Presence Bonus.


You have trained in the art of defending others from attack. You may be a shield bearer, bodyguard, or simply someone who cares deeply for others. When you defend someone else in combat you may give from 5 to Level + 5 Defence instead of 5. When you do this you gain +1 Defence. In addition if you interpose yourself against multiple attacks in a round while defending someone you suffer only the normal penalties for doing so, rather than double the penalty.


You have a deep and significant responsibility to care for (or depend) another character who is of significantly lower ability than you. This might be a child, an elderly parent, a sick lover, a crippled Mage and so forth. Your responsibility might be an emotional one (you love the dependant and want to protect them), or an official one (you are bodyguard to an incapable noble) or both. For 2CP your dependant is only a little less capable than you, or is rarely in danger. For 4CP you get a dependant incapable of defending themselves (like an infant) or one who faces constant threats, or both. This Quality gives the GM permission to put your Dependant into danger and drag you into stories.


When you roll to avoid falling unconscious from Fatigue you gain +2 on the roll.


You are out of favour with your Order, City, Tribe or Village.


You have earned respect and a good reputation.

Dull Sense-2CP

You have a very poor sense (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch). When making Observation rolls with that sense you have -3 on the roll. You cannot take this Quality more than once for the same sense, but you can for multiple senses. You cannot have both Dull Sight and Blind.


You have a certain Edge over the average Keldian. Perhaps you are unusually brave, keen, persistant, nimble, alert or suspicious. When your Edge might be relevant to a roll you are making you can claim a +2 bonus to the roll. Generally the GM and other players should get the chance to tell you that it isn't relevant after all.


You have grown old. This is both a curse and achievement in such a harsh land.

If your character becomes old while in play you do not have to suffer these effects, but may choose to do so. If you do choose to gain the quality in play you get the bonus points as well.


A powerful enemy or rival dogs you, and probably has done for years. They conceive plans against you, send people to kill you, and try and embarrass you in public. They are at least the same level and Status as you, and cannot be defeated without buying off this Quality (otherwise their Master, Son, Cousin, Twin etc. takes over). In general your enemy will make an appearance at least once per adventure in some fashion.

Faceless Assistants2CPRequires Property 4+

One or more of your business interests (Property Qualities of 4+) are managed for you by faceless assistants. Instead of managing the business yourself and then rolling Administration these businesses simply provide a treasure equal to the Quality / 2 (round down) each month. If you have multiple businesses you need multiple Faceless Assistants.

Familiar3+CPMage or Wizard

Your magic has attracted a spirit creature from the Passing (Black Order) or Brilliance (Red Order). This indistinct creature has attached itself to you for reasons unknown, and seldom leaves your side. If it dies you lose 2 Health, 1 Physical, 1 Agility and 1 Intelligence permanently. Your familiar generally doesn't interact with anyone other than you, and normally only provides +1 Channelling Total, and perhaps occasional odd advice. However you can buy more powers for your familiar with CP, either on character creation or later, as follows.


You have a patron from 1-5 Status above you in the hierarchy who favours you. Sometimes you can use their Status instead of your own (though they may ask for occasional favours in return, usually profitable for you). If you are a Bonded One this patron is probably your Master.

Fighting Magic1CPMage or Wizard

You have practiced casting magic with a weapon in your hand. When casting spells you count as Guarding as well.

Fighting Retreat1CP

You are good at running away. You suffer only -1A / -1D while retreating.

Fighting Style1CP

You are skilled in a specific fighting style (sword and shield, unarmed kicking, chokes and holds etc.). When using that style of fighting you have +1D and +1 Damage. You can have multiple different mastered styles, but no more than one can ever apply at once.

Fire Word2CPRed Order Mage

You have been gifted a mystical Fire Word to enhance your magic. Gain +1 Channelling Total and +1 Damage when casting Red Order spells.


You have some glaring physical or personality flaw, probably one that everyone but you finds obvious (or maybe you are painfully aware of your flaw). Perhaps you are overconfident, judgemental, hasty, profligate, mean, oblivious or greedy. Alternatively perhaps you are ugly, lame, unlucky, or cannot resist a deal when offered. When your flaw might hinder a roll you are making you have -2 on the roll. If you are trying to resist the impulse to follow a Flaw then a Spirit roll at -2 might be appropriate. If you choose to act according to your flaw even when you don't have to, then you get a Determination.

Merklun the Clerk has the Flaw "Hasty". If Merklun runs quickly ahead of other to win a race, or be the first to get a prize, then the flaw isn't relevant. Although she was Hasty it wasn't a detriment. If Merklun must roll to get her armour on properly before an attack then she may get -2 on the roll, because she does it Hastily, even if she tries not to (if she passes the roll anyway then she wasn't too Hasty). If Merklun chooses to run into a room before learning what is inside, or rushes to tell the Mages information that she hasn't confirmed, because she is "Hasty" then she gets a Determination, because she chose to act according to the Flaw, even when it was bad for her.

Borlun has the Flat 'Bad Patient' because he never takes the time to rest up and heal. If Borlun merely doesn't rest as much as ordered, or is sneaking around when he ought to be resting, the Flaw has no effect. If Borlun needs to roll to get a Healer to treat him, or to recover from an illness then he may get -2 on the roll, because he simply can't follow his treatment. Alternatively he might have a -2 applied to his Physical score before determining the rate at which he recovers from Lethal damage. If Borlun exerts himself so hard that he doesn't get to heal for the day then he should get a Determination.

Forebearance4CPMage, Wizard, Earth Cleric

Your Spirit clings tightly to your body, protecting you from the impact of out of control magic. When you fail a Channelling roll the margin of failure is reduced by 4 (to a minimum of 1) before working out the backlash effects that the magic has on you. Apply this bonus after any other reduction or increase.

Frenzy2CP / -2CP

When you see blood a fury rises in you, sending you into a frenzy. While frenzied you gain Attack equal to your level, and lose Defence equal to your level. You also add your level to the Damage you inflict. This Quality costs 2CP if you must make a Spirit roll to activate your Frenzy, but it costs -2CP if you have to make a Spirit roll to not enter a Frenzy in a fight. In either case you must roll Spirit to end the Frenzy, or to avoid hurting allies or prisoners if there is no one else left to fight.


Long experience of hardship and danger has increased your capacity to handle damage. Your Health is increased by 2. You cannot take this Quality more than once per level, and you cannot take it at level 1.


Your Health is increased by 4.

Heavy Sleeper-1CP

You are lethargic compared to most Keldians, needing many more hours of sleep every day. If forced to keep to a normal sleep schedule you have 1 fatigue at all times. If forced to stay awake longer than normal (for example on sentry duty) you must roll Spirit resistd by 12 to avoid dosing off at some points. If you choose to have dozed off at some vital moment you may gain a Determination. You cannot have Light Sleeper and Heavy Sleeper.

Ill Fated-2CP

When bad luck comes calling, it always seems to happen to you first. Whenever the GM would randomly choose a character for bad fortune to strike, it happens to you instead. If more that one person has Ill Fated then the GM should randomly choose between them when choosing a subject for poor fortune. Examples might include the person who gets pickpocketed in the streets of Ur, the person who gets targeted by a hidden archer, or the one who picks the tree full of poison snakes to hide in. If you choose to have some unfortunate event happen to you when the GM was not selecting a character in this way, then you may gain a Determination.

Keen Sense1CP

You have a very keen sense (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch). When making Observation rolls with that sense you have +3 on the roll. You cannot take this Quality more than once for the same sense, but you can for multiple senses. You cannot have both Keen Sight and Blind.

Light Sleeper1CP

You need even less sleep than the average Keldian, taking only short naps or light dozes to see you through the day. You have no trouble staying up for extended periods. You can travel 10% further long distance, and don't need to roll to stay awake if you are on sentry duty or similar. You cannot have Light Sleeper and Heavy Sleeper.

Magic Scar-4CPMage, Cleric, Wizard

You have suffered some terrible injury to your Magical Ability, perhaps as a result of a Channeling Backlash, an unwise magical experiment or some other horrible event. Your Channelling Total (see magic rules) is reduced by 1. You may gain new levels of Magic Scar in play from backlashes when casting spells. Each level reduces your Channelling Total by another 1.


You are a Master of a single field of knowledge (such as the history of Ur, the biology of lizards, the royal line of Nistray), to which you have dedicated your life. Add your level to any Skill when it is used for this area (e.g. when using Research to learn about it, or History to recall details about it). You have -2 when using information skills on any other topic, they simply don't interest you enough.

Matrix1CP/2CPMage or Wizard

You possess a magical matrix, a mystical construct into which spells, or energy, can be placed. Each Matrix can hold a spell of up to 2 Energy Levels, or 4 Fatigue. A spell of more than two Energy Levels cannot be held in a matrix. A Matrix is a physical magical object, and can be perceived by anyone capable of seeing something immaterial (for example with the Passing Gift). Anyone who can see a Matrix can tell if it contains a spell or energy, but not how much or what. Placing a spell in a matrix takes the same time as casting it. Placing Fatigue into a matrix is instant, but drains a like amount of Fatigue from you in the process.

For 2CP you may purchase a perfected Matrix, a matrix which is bound more closely to your psyche. A perfected matrix has no chance of losing it's contents if you are knocked out, and recovers 1 Fatigue a day on it's own. A character with the Mage Path may pay 1CP to upgrade their free starting Matrix to a perfected one if they wish.

Ogre Blood3CP

Once upon a time there was another race of Keldians, known now as Ogres. Now and again a Keldian will be born fat and strong, and people will claim they must have Ogre Blood.

Passing Gift2CPGift

When you look at another person you can see a faint aura, brightest in the Dark Lands, which allows you a small insight into their character and magical power. You can roll Spirit to estimate the level, magical save, or a personality trait of someone you can study. You cannot do this during the Brilliance.


You are poor for your class. You have -2 Wealth. This cannot take you below 0 Wealth (if it would you cannot buy the Quality).

Power Blow2CPWarrior

You have learnt to deal mighty blows with your weapons. When you make an attack with a melee weapon in physical combat you may choose to take a -5 Attack penalty. If you hit with the attack you deal additional Lethal Damage equal to twice your Physical Bonus.


You own some piece of property of significant value, something that might be beyond your ability to buy with Wealth (Property 1 items are expensive for the poor, Property 6 items are expensive for the wealthy). You can obtain individual items with this Quality, but it is generally intended for buildings, herds and merchant ventures, of the type that don't appear on the equipment lists. The following list suggests appropriate types of property for 1-6CP.

  1. A flock of Braga, a small cart, a rowing boat, a shack, a bronze knife
  2. A pack of hunting Frians, a farm plot, a Krakath, a pair of Curdlu, a rented room, a village hut, a rented house, a bronze weapon
  3. A share in a Curdlu herd, a small house, a bronze weapon, a trained Krakath, an iron weapon
  4. A small Curdlu herd, a city house, a fishing boat, a caravan cart, shares in a gladiator stable, an obsidian weapon
  5. A Curdlu herd, a trading boat, a large house, a farm, a small village, a created magical item, shares in a merchant house
  6. A large Curdlu herd, a mansion, a gladiator stable, a minor magical item, a village, a star iron weapon, significant merchant resources

If the item you seek to own is especially rare where you live (perhaps it comes from the other side of the world) then increase the Property cost by 1 (don't apply this to iron items). The total of all your Property Qualities cannot exceed your Status. Commercial properties of value 4+ (such as shares in a gladiator stable) can produce income over time (see Wealth rules).

At character creation you can use this Quality to buy individual items such as weapons or vehicles, as well as commercial ventures. After character creation you should take this Quality only when you gain the opportunity to acquire a building, investment or business. If you do not take the Quality then your financial venture somehow does not make money, or your building is not actually available or habitable.

Rapid Healing2CPPhys 11+

You are Physically robust and resistant to injury. All of your injuries heal at a better rate. Count your attribute bonus as 1 higher when calculating wound recovery rates (see healing). When rolling to recover Wounds gain +2 Spirit.


You are much richer than normal for your caste and path. For 1CP you have +2 Wealth. For 2CP you have +3 Wealth and for 4CP you have +4 Wealth.


You are a master of all fields of knowledge. When making a skill check to gain or recall information add 1/2 your level (round up) to the roll. This is pretty much the opposite of the Mastery Quality.

Secret Files3CPBonded, Clerk, Criminal

Your position of power as a Bonded Clerk has given you the opportunity to gather many secrets on many people, secrets which can be used to blackmail, aid or shame them. When your files are appropriate you can gain +2 on any such roll. A Criminal can gain similar information on others through Blackmail, extortion or trickery.

Shadow Gift3CPGift

You are born with a natural affinity for shadows. When in deep shadow you gain +4 Stealth (this can be hard on the Light Side), and can hide even within a few Legats of someone else. On the Dark Side you gain +5 Stealth all the time. By spending 1 Health while hiding in this way you merge with the shadow and can roll Stealth to hide even from touch, so long as you remain motionless.

Shadowheart3CPGift, Shadow Gift, Lvl 3+

It is said that darkness creeps into the hearts of those with the Shadow Gift over the years. Sometimes this transforms them, and they become Shadowhearts. This Quality replaces the Shadow Gift. A Shadowheart grows apart from other Keldians, as silent as the wastes of the Dark Side, and as cold to others. A Shadowheart has a -3 penalty on all social rolls other than Intimidation (Command). At the same time they gain +4 to resist fear and Insanity (stacks with Stoic) because of their emotional distance. A Shadowheart is not just emotionally affected, the shadows literally fill their body, cut one open and only darkness flows within. A Shadowheart takes no extra damage when struck in a vital organ, and gains +2 Health and +2 Physical. Anyone who looks at a Shadowheart can see how their gift has changed them: their eyes are featureless black, and their fur becomes equally sable. A Shadowheart has +2 Stealth at all times, and +5 Stealth when in shadow. They may still spend Health to hide as a Shadow Gifted.

Shadow Word2CPBlack Order Mage

You have been gifted a mystical Shadow Word to enhance your magic. Gain +1 Channelling Total and -1 Fatigue when casting Black Order spells.

Spell Mastery2CPEarth Cleric, Mage, Wizard

You have mastered a specific spell, rehearsing its mental gestures and power flows until they are second nature. Choose a single spell that you know. When you cast the spell its Difficulty is reduced by 2, and the fatigue cost is reduced by one quarter (rounding up).


You have an almost pathological aversion to spending money. You live well below your expected standard of living, with threadbare clothing, unheated rooms and hand-me-down accessories, all in the interests of stashing away coinage. Your meanness is impossible for others to miss, and has a negative impact on your Status. Each game month you save money you gain 1CP to spend towards increasing your Wealth, but your Status is reduced by 2. You can make a Spirit roll to try not to be Spendthrift for a month and live at your expected level, but if you fail you just can't bear to do it and have your Status reduced by 3 for that month. You may never stretch your finances (see rules on Wealth) when purchasing items, you just can't part with the coins.


You have unusually sharp or long fighting spines. You gain +2 unarmed damage.

Spirit Tongue2CPWizard, Mage, Mystic, Earth Cleric

When you speak, the spirits listen, even the dead who do not normally acknowledge the living. This does not necessarily make hostile spirits friendly, but it gives a chance to persuade them. If the spirits choose to communicate with you then they can do so with language, instead of visions, though no one else will be able to hear them.


You are especially stable in your personality, and resistant to the cummulative effects of maddness and fear. Your Intelligence counts as 4 higher when testing to control Insanity. You do not go properly mad until your Insanity exceeds Intelligence +4, rather than Intelligence.


You are oblivious (or stern) in the face of danger and terror. You gain +4 Spirit when rolling to resist fear.


Stonetalking is one of the rarest and most respected Gifts. A Stonetalker can speak to stones and unlock powers within them. Only certain stones (such as those found in the One-River or the Nagash Plateau) are generally useful. By touching such a stone to a wound and taking 4 Fatigue the Stonetalker can heal D6+Level Lethal, Fatigue or Stun Damage.

Finding the basic healing stones, or other more rare stones (such as Bloodstones, Iron Hearts and so forth) is difficult. Each attempt requires at least two days of search (some stones require different times), followed by an Intelligence + Healing / Stones roll (resisted by a value that varies by stone, 18 for a basic healing stone). If they fail, use the extra time rules to determine how long the actual search takes (i.e. add 1 interval for each margin of failure). There are only so many stones of a given type in an area. Repeated searches raise the difficulty by 5 for each attempt.

A Stonetalker can also use the mud of the One River to seal a fresh wound. The mud must be spread on the wound before it seals itself. The Stonetalker then rolls Spirit to heal D3+Level Lethal. The maximum damage that such mud can heal is reduced by 2 for every day that the mud has not been washed by the One River. Each injury can only be treated once in this way.

Finally a Stonetalker may destroy a Healing Stone to attempt to heal a person's wounds. The Stonetalker takes Weakening damage equal to the target's wound penalty, and the target may make a wound recovery room. The Stonetalker may roll their Intelligence + Healing / Stones skill, reducing the Weakening damage by 1 per success.

See : list of magic stones


You have practiced a combination of two or more actions, so that you are used to using them in sequence. For example a Jump followed by a Sword strike. When executing your Stunt you gain +1 on each roll involved. More than one additional action can be added to the chain by spending more than 1 CP. If any of the rolls is failed then the while sequence stops at that point (so it's wise to save opposed or resisted rolls till the end).


Your hide is as tough as a Crdlu's. You have 1 point of Armour, which is cumulative with any Armour that you wear.

Totem3CPMage, Wizard or Earth Cleric

You have been entrusted with a valuable Totem by your Order. This Totem is made of Star Iron (Red Order), Sacred Obsidian (Black Order), or Ancestral Remains (Earth Cleric). While you are touching the Totem your Channelling Total is increased by 1 for every 5 levels.

Tribal Image3CPTribesman

You have been entrusted with a hereditary tribal image, which brings the favour of a tribal spirit. While in the Light Side you may, once per session, re-roll any dice roll made by any character when you are present. If you lose the image you can make another one with a few days of work.


You have some terrible personality trait that makes you almost unbearable to others. Perhaps you are rude, arrogant, nosy, overconfident, or won't shut up. Although people don't mention it to your face you have -5 Status whenever you are not present. This means that someone borrowing your authority to perform a task (or in a Social Combat) suffers a penalty as well.

Underling5CPStatus 3+

A Slave, Talite, servant, or bonded one works for you, and can be played as a subsidiary character by you. Although the GM may take them over when your orders are unreasonable, you can otherwise choose roughly what they are doing most of the time. Your Underling is always at least 2 levels and 2 status below you. When you are at level 1 and 2 they have -2 on all rolls (because they are not yet level 1). If you mistreat your Underling, or fail to care for them, they may leave.


You do not give up on life easily. You do not have to roll to avoid death until you reach negative Health (as opposed to -5 Health), and you have +2 on any such rolls.


You are a wanted criminal, either in some distant place (-1CP) or where you are currently playing (-3CP). Officials are looking for you, your name has been distributed to Judges and Clerks, and outraged victims of your crimes may see you in the street and come after you. If you are caught you may be arrested, enslaved, sent to the Fighting Pits or other unpleasant fates. If you move to a new area you may have a brief respite, but you will soon be assiciated with more crimes (even if you didn't do them), or have your past uncovered.

War Cry2CPWarrior

You have the gift of focussing your fighting spirit into a scream, shout or yell to unnerve your enemies. You may roll Presence vs. Spirit to strike a target with fear. Take a -1 Presence penalty for each additional target you wish to affect. Each target who succumbs suffers -2A / -2D until the end of your next action.

Water Lore4CP

You have been entrusted with the location of many springs, wells and hidden water courses, as well as the secrets of conserving water in the Light Side. You can roll Survival to reduce the water consumption of a single person / animal by half and give +2 Survival to avoid dehydration. Take -1 Survival for each additional protected creature. You can also roll Survival -4 to try and locate a water source.


A Waterfinder has a magical power to detect water, and is valued as highly as a Stonetalker in the Drylands. With an hour of examining the ground, and a successful resisted roll of Intelligence + Level against a 15, they can determine the approximate distance and direction of the nearest water source of a desired size. If they have encountered the water source before they can roll Int + Level against a 10 to determine the exact location instead.


You have a notable weakness in one of your attributes. Gain 4CP if you reduce a starting attribute by 1. Gain 6CP if you reduce a starting attribute by 2. You may gain 1 less AP from reducing attributes during character creation (though you can still gain 1AP by reducing the weak characteristic still further).


You are healthy and resistant to external forces that would cause you to fall into corruption. Your Integrity is increased by 4.

Traits and Skills

The last element of your character is your Traits and Skills, the things you combine with your Attributes when you need to make rolls. In general any Trait or Skill can be rolled with any Attribute if it makes sense. For example hitting someone with your Sword would normally involve rolling Agility + Sword, but guessing something about the history of a blade might be Intelligence + Sword.


There are 20 Traits. Each Trait is a broad area of skills, such as Mining or Warfare. Each Trait is related to a number of Skills, but the Trait is always more general than the Skills it relates too. It's more common to roll against the Skills than the Traits, but sometimes you will make Trait rolls if it seems relevant. (One-Handed Weapons and Two-Handed Weapons are almost never rolled against however.)

Traits are expensive to increase. The first level of a Trait costs 1CP, the second 2CP, the third 4CP and so forth. The maximum level to which you can raise a Trait is 5.

Whenever you make a roll related to a Trait, or a Skill it covers, you get a bonus to your Attribute equal to the Trait. Having a high Trait means that you have a broad talent with all it's related Skills, even if you have not studied them.


There are around 100 Skills (there are a few skills that can be taken more than once, such as Craft, or Speciality Weapon). Each Skill is related to one Trait. Normally you roll against Skills rather than Traits.

Skills are cheap to increase compared to Traits. The first 3 levels of a Skill cost 1CP each, the next 3 levels cost 2CP, the third 3CP and so forth. You cannot increase a Skill past 12.

Whenever you make a roll related to a Skill, you get a bonus to your Attribute equal to the Skill (you may also get a Trait bonus as described above). In most cases you can make a roll even if you don't have the Skill, but in this case you have a -2 penalty. A few skills (including most Specialist skills and Craft skills) require you to have at least 1 point in the skill to roll.

Skill Summary

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Trait Total Cost 1 3 6 10 15 21 28 36 45
Skill Total Cost 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
requires trait 1 requires trait 2 requires trait 3

Complimentary Skills

Some skills are complimentary, having one helps you with another, usually for one specific sort of task. When you have both the main skill and the complimentary one you gain +1 on your skill checks. You can only claim this bonus if you have at least 1 point in the main skill. If the complimentary skill is greater than the main skill you gain +2.

Restricted Skills

Some skills are restricted by others, you cannot use the first skill effectively if you are not well skilled with the second. When making a roll restricted by a second skill roll against the worst of the two skills. If you have no points in the restricting skill then roll at Trait -2.

Skill List

In the following list Traits are listed in bold with the related skills below. Skills listed in italic are Specialist skills which can only be rolled if you have at least 1 point in them. Skills with (pick) after them can be chosen multiple times. For example you can have Culture / Craft (Bone) and Culture / Craft (Wood) as two separate skills.


















Weaponry (1-handed)

Weaponry (2-handed)

Weaponry (ranged)

Trait and Skill Descriptions


The Academics Trait covers education, learning, knowledge of great Sages and Scholars and the like. You can roll it with Int to remember random facts, or with Pre to deliver information. You might use Academics in a debate, a school or an ancient ruin.

This Skill covers the telling of time and dates, as well as predicting the cycles of the Passing and Brilliance, or other astrological conjuntions. Roll with Int to predict the nature of the next Passing or Brilliance, or to calculate the current Cycle.
Ancient Runes
This Skill is used to try and translate the languages and inscriptions of the Ancients. Roll with Int to interpret the meaning of a single inscription, with modifiers from 3-10 depending on how damaged it is. Roll with Pre to try and communicate with spirits and ghosts who only speak these tongues.
This Skill covers many topics in the history of the Eternal Empire. Roll with Int to remember facts, figures and details of the past. Roll with Spi to gain sudden insights into similar events in the past. Roll with Pre to relate tales and stories of the past.
This Skill is required to use libraries and archives, investigate official documents, learn new spells, or make sense of disputed testimony. May be rolled with Int or Pre depending on whether you are reading documents or speaking to people. Use of this skill may be resisted if the information is obscure or deliberately hidden. In the later case the resistance will generally be Int / Administration or Int / Deception.
This Skill is used to analyse unusual magics, determine the effects of magical items, design new magics (this can take years) or recognise the traces of magic after it's use. Use of this skill is generally resisted by 10 plus 5 times the level of the spell or effect. Sorcery skill level restricts the use of various spells, and the time taken to learn spells.


The Culture Trait measures your general familiarity with art, news, and the general rules of society. If you have no Culture then you are likely a bumpkin or savage, and may have trouble in the complex society of the cities. Roll with Int to understand art (or social rules), with Pre to impress people with your social skills, or with Spi to feel, appreciate or take part in cultural rituals. You might use Culture at a concert, a gallery, a party or during a festival.

This is the Skill of creating and appreciating artistic works. Paintings, Sculptures, Weavings, Jewellery and more, require a Spirit / Art roll to conceive and design, and then generally an Agility / Craft roll to execute (either by yourself, or by people you direct). Your roll may be resisted by the estimated quality of the final work (which is roughly 3 times the Property Quality you might end up with) if you attempt a challenging piece. Once you have a design you can make the Craft roll at the same resistance to actually make it (or get someone else to do so at +2 resistance).
City Lore
This Skill covers your understanding of how Cities work and operate. How to follow their laws, avoid the slums and thief's districts, buy houses, interact with the hierarchy, not get caught in a riot, or find a shop that will sell you weapons without questions. If you have no City Lore you are likely from the country, and are an easy mark.
This Skill covers your mastery of many forms of traditional dance and music, as well as your ability to know where your limbs are. Roll with Ag or Pre to execute dances, or to impress others with your performance. You may also roll with Int to recognise or recall specific dances. When forced to fight blind reduce the Attack and Defence penalty by your Dance level.
This Skill is used to both compose (with Spirit) and perform (with Presence) musical works. Exhausting mass performances (or energetic drumming) may require rolling Phys / Music to get through the piece. To compose new music use the same rules as Art.
This Skill covers your mastery of poetry, fiction, heroic tales, and also the drafting of official documents and proclamations. Roll with Int to recall tales, or facts about writers, with Spi to create works of fiction, with Int to create official documents and with Pre to deliver written works out loud. You can attempt to give someone else an Oratory bonus by assisting them with speechwriting.
Craft (pick)
There are many Craft skills, each covering one specific craft or professional skill. Each Craft Skill covers something from which you might make a living such as Woodworking, Boneworking, Weaving, Leatherworking, Ropemaking, Carving, Sculpting, Painting, Dyeing. To have mastery of more than one Craft, you need to take this skill more than once. Generally having a skill like this means your are capable of making a living for yourself that covers your lifestyle, you will neither gain nor lose wealth over time if you are practicing your Craft. Note that Farming, Mining and Smithing are covered elsewhere.


The Faith Trait measures your belief, both in yourself and in higher powers. Keldians have no real concept of Gods, but they believe that natural forces can be mollified by Earth Spirits, and by their own efforts. Faith is often rolled with Spirit to resist supernatural fears (such as being confronted with Halfmen or Ghosts), or to pray at a Satvan or Totem for guidance and healing. Roll with Int to recall religious facts, or Pre to deliver sermons and prayers.

This is the skill of self-confidance and faith in your comrades. You can use Bravery to resist fear in combat. Bravery is often used by non-player characters to decide whether or not to enter combat.
This Skill measures your knowledge of the Earth Spirits, the Satvans and the work of the Earth Clerics. Roll with Spi to take part in ceremonies, or Int to conduct them. If you are, in fact, an Earth Cleric, you probably want this Skill. You can inspire other Satvani by assisting them with this Skill.
This Skill measures your knowledge of the Talite philosophy followed in Nagash, including the nature of Talite vows, Talite slaves, and the principles of independence. You should roll with Int to make or accept Talite vows, and with Spi every time fierce independence is required. You can inspire other Talites by assisting them with this Skill.
This Skill covers your knowledge of the Totemic faith of the nomad tribes, including how to recognise, create and pray to Totems. If you have a tribal spirit watching over you then you probably want this Skill. You can inspire other nomads by assisting them with this Skill.
This is the Skill of personal faith and focus. You can roll Spirit / Meditation to enter a trance in which you recover fatigue six times as fast as normal. You may also use Meditation to assist yourself (an exception to the rules) on mental tasks if you spend at least an hour Meditating beforehand.


The Farming Trait covers one of the key talents that maintains the Eternal Empire. Without the grain farmers of the Drylands, the Crdlu herders, and the gatherers of the Poison Forest all Keldians would starve, and Sun-Keld does not make life easy on Farmers. Your Farming Trait is a rough guide to the number of families you can feed in a year if you have land and can work full time on it.

This Skill covers your ability to make nutritious and tasty food from raw ingredients. Use Ag to make dishes and Spi to design new ones. It can also be used in the Poison Forest to attempt to tell edible fruits and flowers from poisonous ones if you don't have Survival / Twilight or Farming / Poison Forest, but this use is at an additional 2 penalty.
This Skill covers your ability to maintain the farms of corn, wheat and razor grass that dominate the plateaux and Drylands of the Empire. Rolls with Int, Ag or Phys are used to manage labour, plough ground, nurture crops, control irrigation, and treat plant diseases. Rolls with Int can be used to substitute for Merchant when selling your produce.
This Skill covers your ability to manage herds of animals (usually Crdlu, but occasionally Krakath, Frians or the like). It is vital to manage the huge droving herds that take cattle from the Drylands to the great cities. This is the main Farming Skill for Tribesmen. Roll with Ag to guide your herd, Phys to control cattle, and Int to plan your droving routes.
This Skill measures your general ability to tend to animals, breed them, feed them and treat their illnesses. You can use it like Medicine to treat the wounds of animals. You can also use this to give orders to trained animals, set your Frians on a quarry, persuade your Crdlu to haul someone out of a hole, and so forth. See detailed rules on Animal Training.
Poison Forest
Use this Skill to manage one of the tiny jungle farms that provide the lifeblood of the Twilight lands. Roll with Ag to fish in the One River or to catch edible bugs and lizards. Roll with Phys to clear land, fell trees, and till the soil. Roll with Int to identify edible fruits and flowers, recognise poisons, and avoid the lairs of Slow Dragons and similar beasts. This Skill can be used instead of Appraise to recognize rare flowers, stones, bugs and fruit you might find in the forest.


The Games Trait covers the execution of abstract strategies and plans, both as an idle pastime and in war. You may roll Intelligence / Games to attempt to solve logic puzzles, recognise traps and appreciate sports. In a social setting roll with Pre to converse about popular sports such as Gladiator fights or Ulama. If you are own a Gladiator Stable you probably want at least 1 level of Games.

This Skill is used to create and solve codes, decipher, encipher and send secret messages. In general this is resisted by the Codes skill of the codemaker, but sometimes this would be more of an Opposed contest of Code skills. Code-making and breaking can be assisted with Research, Academics, Administration (for official codes) and Numismatics (for numerical ones).
This Skill is a staple of anyone who makes a living from dice, Krakath races, Gladiator fights and the like. A gambling game can be rolled as an Opposed contest of Gambling Skill based on Int, or on Ag if attempting to cheat with sleight of hand. Roll with Int to attempt to detect fixed races, thrown fights, or weighted dice. If you are in danger of losing big you can roll Spirit / Gambling (resistance 12) to call on your luck and reverse your fortune. If you fail lose one level of Gambling.
This Skill is used to plan and manage battles and military campaigns. Before battle make an opposed Strategy roll between commanders. Each degree of success gives a bonus to Physical rolls (to survive) or Tactics rolls (to win engagements between units) during the battle. Strategy can be used to assist any general sort of planning attempt.
This Skill covers immediate tactics in a fight, Ulama match, criminal heist, or other such situation. Unlike Strategy it is not used for long term plans, but for immediate decisions. Use Tactics to set and recognise ambushes, outflank enemies, plan an assault or robbery. Opposed Tactics can be used to arrive at the result of a skirmish or competitive game (or a series of opposed rolls for more drama).


The Healing Trait covers the tending of the sick, the treatment of wounds, setting of bones and brewing of potions. It's rare to roll the Trait, but you might do so to understand books on Healing, teach others, deliver lectures, or identify a plague in progress.

First Aid
This Skill is used to treat immediate injury, by cleaning, binding, bandaging and dealing with shock. If used within a short period of the injury you can roll Int / First Aid (or Ag to set bones) to restore half Skill level in lost Health. You have a penalty of -1 for each time increment (rounds, minutes, half hours, hours) that has passed since the injury. After a few hours you cannot even attempt First Aid.
Healing Stones
Stonetalkers can use Healing Stones at will, by simply spending some Fatigue and touching the stone to the wound. Other healers must successfully make a Spirit / Healing Stones roll to activate the stone. Once activate the stone heals D6 damage, and does the same amount of fatigue to the healer. Once used to heal a stone crumbles into chalky dust.
This Skill measures your knowledge of herbs that can be used to making healing draughts, potions, poultices and the like. Roll with Int to identify the herbs you need, with Ag or Phys to gather them, and with Ag to create the final products. You can also buy herbs from others instead of finding them yourself (and can roll with Int to make sure you get the right things). A roll to find ingredients is usually resisted by 3 times the value of the Herb you want. In general a treatment will heal damage (or fatigue) equal to the value of Herb used / 5, and takes a day to make, and another to take effect. You can of course prepare such healing herbs in advance if you wish. Make an Int / Herbs roll resisted by the healing value of the preparation +10 to make something that lasts a long term.
This Skill is used to treat old injuries, illnesses, and other sickness. Roll with Int to identify what the patient is suffering from. You can use this skill with Ag to assist the recovery rolls of someone trying to overcome poison or a disease, so long as you treat the patient throughout the recovery period. You can do the same to help someone heal from injuries faster. Their natural healing rate is increased by your Medicine assist rating provided you tend to them at least once a day. If you spend your full time on this you can aid a number of patients up to your Medicine Skill at once.
This Skill is used to identify, use, treat and create poisons. Roll with Int to recognise the signs of poisoning in a victim or to brew one (you will probably use Herbs to find the ingredients first). When treating a poisoned patient use the worst of your Medicine or Poisons Skill. Roll with Ag to safely apply blade venoms, work with toxic substances and pluck out poison darts.


The Languages Trait covers your ability to read, speak and write. A high Language Trait indicates that you have a large vocabulary, pick up new languages easily, and write well. Although Culture / Writing can be used to compose speeches and books, and Oratory to deliver them, your Language Trait gives the overall impression of your linguistic gifts. If you are exposed to a new language, you would roll this Trait with Int to learn it. The various Language Skills govern whether you know the languages concerned. If you don't you may be able to communicate in pidgin (if they are related to a language you do know), or not at all (if they are not).

This Skill measures your ability with Dosime, the dialect of Nagash. Dosime is related to Sanash.
This Skill measures your ability with Sanash, the universal language of the Eternal Empire. It is related to Dosime and Sulak.
This Skill measures your ability with Sulak, the dialect of the nomads. It is related to Sulak.
This Skill measures your ability with Taril, the secret language of the Steet. In general only Steet speak this tongue, which is not related to any of the other languages.
This Skill measures your ability with Tancred, reputed to be the language of the Ancients. It is an academic tongue only spoken by Mages and Sages. It is not related to any of the other languages.


This Trait covers your mastery of the various law codes of the Empire, and the social rules that hold society together. This is an invaluable Trait for any Judge or Aedile. You can roll with Int to remember legal precedents, identify the jurisdiction applying to any given crime or area, or delivery judgement in a case. Roll with Pre to make arguments before a Judge (perhaps to argue your own freedom). You may also be required to roll Law as part of a job as a Clerk or Bonded One.

This Skill covers the unofficial rules of society, how to be polite to your superiors, how to identify the rank of a Mage, what sort of customs apply at a Derzaki wedding, and so forth. Roll with Int to arrange a ceremony or celebration, with Pre to delivery a good impression or to arrange a marriage. There may be a penalty if you are unfamiliar with the society in question, but the Blending In Quality allows you to ignore this.
Nastrim's Code
This Skill covers the official law code of Nastrim, which is in force in all the Riverlands cities except Nistray. A Judge must have this Skill to deliver judgement. Roll with Int to interpret the code, and with Pre to use it in argument.
Ningaur's Code
This Skill covers the official law code of Ningaur, which is in force in all the city of Nistray. A Judge must have this Skill to deliver judgement. Roll with Int to interpret the code, and with Pre to use it in argument.
This Skill covers your ability to navigate the difficult waters of Order politics. With this skill you can gain promotion, bully inferiors, placate superiors, conduct plots and identify the plots of others. Politics is usually rolled with Int or Pre, and resisted by Status or opposed by Status or Politics. You can use Politics to assist someone else in a Status roll.
This Skill covers the laws and customs of the nomad Tribes, including the traditions of the Earth Clerics. If you are a Tribal Hetman or Elder you might want this Skill to help run your Tribe smoothly. It is also useful when tax collector Clerks are sent to collect tithes from the nomads, a difficult proposition at the best of times.


This Trait covers your mastery of business, and the inner workings of the Order Bureaucracy in all it's fantastic complexity. You can roll with Int to understand, run and audit the work of merchant houses, government departments, cabals, villages, caravans and farms. A reasonable level in this Trait stands you in good stead for promotion in the hierarchy. You can use this Trait as a tiebreaker in Status showdowns between administrators. When you lose Wealth (see rules on Wealth) you can choose to lose Merchant Trait instead.

This Skill is required to manage the innumerable functions and functionaries of the city Bureaucracies. Roll with Int or Pre to conduct business, draft papers, uncover financial irregularities, arrange transport, raise money, organize an expedition or army, and any of a hundred other such duties. You can use this skill to extract Wealth from your Property Qualities (see rules on Wealth).
This Skill is used to judge the value of treasures, the quality of gemstones, the size of Crdlu herds, the number of people in an army, the budget of a department, and other such issues of guesstimation. Roll Appraise to get a good estimate of the value of Treasure and avoid being ripped off.
This Skill is used at the sharp end of business, to haggle with another merchant over exact prices. Before making your Wealth test roll opposed Pre / bargain to try and adjust the price. If you pass the price is reduced by 1 per success level. If you fail the price goes up by 1 level. If you fumble then you lose a Wealth level.
This Skill covers counting, maths, and the use of the abacus. Use this Skill to conduct your job as a Clerk, avoid financial ruin, enumerate troops and military strengths and keep score in games. Roll with Int to identify financial irregularities (or to cook the books yourself), resisted by the skill of the embezzler. Can be used to assist Academics / Code rolls to break or make numerical codes.


The Mining Trait covers everything concerned with extracting precious materials from the earth and then working them. Roll with Int to run a mining operation or sport traces of mining, with Phys to do the actual physical working or with Ag to avoid accidents in a mine. There are specific Skills for Iron and Obsidian mining, but you can use the Trait to mine copper, tin, silver, gold, crystals and malachite. Although a valuable skill many of those who have it are Slaves, since the work is so dangerous.

This Skill is used when manufacturing or repairing armour, weapons, siege engines, shields and the other paraphernalia of warfare. Roll with Ag to make a weapon or piece of armour, resisted by 3 times it's value, 3 times its armour rating, or it's maximum damage (whichever is higher). Roll with Phys or Ag to repair damage, resisted by damage taken.
This Skill is used to extract Sacred Iron from the terrible mines of the Burning Mountains. Use with Int to design the mine works, avoid collapses, burnings, boiling water and other dangers. Roll with Phys to do the actual extraction. You can also use this Skill to make Survival rolls in the mines.
This Skill is used to build, repair and demolish structures of stone, brick and adobe, from Deadlands huts to city Ziggurats. Roll with Int to draw up plans and designs, and with Ag and Phys to do the actual building work.
This Skill is used to extract Obsidian from the dangerous mines of the Dark Lands. Use with Int to design the mine works, avoid collapses, frostbite, avalanches, and other dangers. Roll with Phys to do the actual extraction. You can also use this Skill to make Survival rolls in the mines.
This Skill is used when manufacturing metal goods other than weapons and armour. In most cases this will involve the softer metals, Tin, Copper, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Roll with Phys to turn ore into bars, with Ag to shape the bars into items. As well as mundane items (pots, bowls, locks, reinforced doors, lamps) you can attempt to make jewellery and decoration, but Culture / Craft (Jewellery) is needed for the finest work.


The Movement Trait measures physical dexterity, agility and ability to hustle, in a more specific way than the Agility Attribute. You will generally not roll Movement directly, but may do to undertake general athletic tasks such as Ulama matches, cross-country travel, or exploration. When you move in combat your base Move is increased by your Movement Trait.

This Skill is used to perform feats such as summersaulting, tightrope walking, backflips, escape artist acts and the like. If you plan to make a living as a street entertainer (or an assassin, or a cat burglar) then you will likely want this Skill. Roll with Ag to perform stunts, or with Pre to entertain crowds.
Use Ag / Climb to clamber over small obstacles (walls, trees, tables). Difficult obstacles resist your roll as per the usual difficulty scale. Phys / Climb is more appropriate for long mountaineering expeditions, such as trips into the Dark Lands. Roll with Int to plan a mountain route, or with Ag to set rope systems to assist other climbers.
You can make a vertical jump equal to your Agility bonus, or a long jump equal to twice your Agility bonus without a roll. Add a legat to this distance with a run-up. To jump further make an Agility / Jump roll and add the number of successes to your jump distance (max extra distance equals your Jump Skill level).
This Skill measures your ability to run. Roll with Ag for sprinting and footraces, with Phys for endurance and marathons. Two person races can be resolved with an opposed Run test. When you run in combat you can increase your sprinting distance by your Run skill.
This Skill has little use outside the Twilight lands, but is vital there, where the One-River covers so much land. Roll with Ag to race, or to catch something in the water. Roll with Phys to stay afloat for a long period (such as when deliberately avoiding the river banks). Difficult stretches of water may call for a resisted roll.


The Observation Trait is used to measure your ability to notice and observe things, spot hidden objects, spy out the landscape, taste poison in a drink, overhear a conversation, smell smoke from a fire, notice a secret door or panel or find clues at a crime scene. You will often make an Observation roll for a given sense (sight, hearing, smell, taste) in which case the Keen Sense (or Dull Sense) Qualities will apply, as will bonuses or penalties for light level, and other obscuring factors.

This Skill is used to catch game, run down prey, set snares, build hides, wait for a long time with knocked arrows, command hunting Frian packs and trap animals. Roll with Int to organise a formal hunt, with Phys to wait for prey and with Ag to catch an animal. Of course you can set similar traps for people.
This Skill is used to analyse clues, or draw deductions about things which you have discovered using other Observation skills. Roll with Int to understand the implication of something you have discovered. Use this skill as a restriction on attempts to analyse information with other skills such as administration.
This Skill is used to conduct close searches of people (for hidden items), rooms, crime scenes, hiding people or traps. Roll opposed Int / Search against Ag / Stealth to find someone who is hiding with an active search. Searching for something previously hidden by someone else will be resisted by their Int / Deception.
This Skill is used to follow other people, either through streets or open land. The roll is resisted by Stealth if your target doesn't know that you are following them, opposed if they do. Shadowing is conducted at fairly close range, as opposed to Tracking.
This Skill is used to follow the traile left by people or animals. Unlike Hunting and Shadowing it is conducted at a distance, and is usually a little harder than the closer Skills, generally increase resistance by 2. Roll with Int to identify an animal from its tracks, estimate the number of people who have passed, or the age of a trail.


The Oratory Trait measures your ability to manipulate others with your words and actions. This might be positive, such as when inspiring your troops, or negative, such as when tricking a widow out of her money. Oratory is generally rolled with Presence, although Spirit might also be reasonable for very impassioned speeches. Generally you will only roll the Trait when measuring raw speaking ability, as opposed to conducting some manipulation.

This Skill is used to conduct celebrations, parties, and entertainments, or to build cameraderie. Roll with Int to plan a party, with Pre to avoid a bar fight or get information from a passing meeting, with Phys to hold your drink, or with Spi to spread good cheer. An opposed Physical / Carouse roll could be used to determine the result of a drinking contest, the same contest with Int would determine who planned the finest party.
This Skill is used to alter someone's immediate reaction to you. You can roll with Pre to fast-talk someone, confusing them momentarily, or to give a good impression (either of you or someone else). Roll with Int to work out what someone likes or dislikes. You can sometimes guess a person's Qualities in this way, although it is resisted by their Spirit + (10 - the CP value of the Quality), i.e. more minor Qualities are harder to identify. Flaws can be identified with a resistance of 12.
This Skill is used to order around other people. It is resisted by Spirit if the people don't want to be ordered around (rioters, unruly soldiers, disobedient slaves). Such uses of Command will also add Status. Roll with Pre to assist others resist fear, or to get them into some sort of formation. Roll with Int to deliver orders to larger groups such as armies. Can be rolled with Pre (not including Status) to interrogate someone.
This Skill is used to conduct formal debates between people, the negotiation of treaties, arguments in Mage's councils, debates between Sages and the like. Whenever formal argument can decide an issue an opposed Debate is appropriate. Roll with Int to make your case with logic and argument, with Pre to do it with homily and verbal trickery, or with Spi to do it with passion and emotion.
This Skill is used to alter someone's long term reaction to you. It is a slower acting version of Charm. Use Persuade to start relationships, set up double-agents, worm your way into someone's council and the like. You will usually roll this with Pre, but you can roll with Spi to persuade someone of your sincere intentions (it must actually be sincere). Naturally you can also use Spi / Persuade to resist such attempts. Persuade can be used to interrogate someone without threats or violence, if you can persuade the subject to see your point of view.


The Subterfuge Trait covers all sorts of criminal and underhand acts. If you are a career criminal you will surely want a reasonable Subterfuge Trait. Roll Int / Subterfuge to add a layer of concealment to your own plans, anyone trying to uncover them must make a resisted Politics, Strategy or Research roll against your Subterfuge first.

This Skill is used to decieve people with lies, false actions, props and stratagems. If you are a con-artist you will want this Skill. Roll with Pre to lie to someone (resisted by Int / Deception), or to act as someone else. Use with Int to make plans and run cons, or with Dex to craft a disguise. You can also use this Skill to hide a structure, set up dummy soldiers or campfires to hide the size of an army, or set up false organisations. If someone uses Observation / Charm to deduce one of your flaws, a successful resistance roll allows you to block this. If you have an extra success then you can give a false flaw instead.
This Skill is used to disguise people or objects as something else. You can use it with Ag to conceal objects about your person, or in your baggage, or with Int to change your own appearance, construct or use hidden compartments in ships and caravans, make hidden passages and rooms in a building (may need a Craft roll as well). You can use Int / Disguise to assist Search rolls for such things.
This Skill is used to create copies of other things that will deceive observers. Generally you need to roll both Int / Forgery and some sort of Craft skill to produce your fake. For example roll Forgery followed by Smithing to forge coins, Forgery followed by Numismatics to forge accounts, Forgery followed by Writing to forge letters and so forth. Anyone examining the fake must make a roll resisted by your Forgery to realise that it is a copy.
This Skill covers the techniques of burglary, robbery and banditry. Use Larceny to pick locks, break into houses, pick pockets, avoid sentries, ambush caravans, deliver demands or make ransoms. Roll with Int to plan robberies, and with Ag and Phys to execute them. You can use Phys / Larceny to force open doors, break chains, wrench open boxes with a crowbar and the like.
This Skill is used to move quietly, hide in shadows, conceal items (either about your person or under camouflage) and avoid detection. Roll with Ag to hide yourself, with Int to hide other things. You can use Int / Stealth to assist others with hiding, up to a number of people equal to your Stealth Skill.


The Survival Trait covers the vital skills of staying alive in the harsh environment of Sun-Keld. Even in areas protected by Order magic these skills make life better, in the wild lands between towns and cities they will save your life. When travelling in the wilderness the GM will usually require a Survival roll every day to avoid drowning, freezing, dehydration, and the like. The Trait itself can be rolled with Int to set up camps, identify good camping spots and so forth.

This Skill covers the arts of surviving in the burning deserts of the Brightlands. Use this Skill to avoid dehydration, conserve water, shelter from sandstorms, navigate in a desert, hide from the Brilliance and navigate the Dragon Canyons.
This Skill covers the arts of surviving in the Darklands, or at least those parts of the icy wilderness that are survivable. Use this Skill to resist frostbite, set fires, navigate in the dark, shelter from snowstorms, cross glaciers, avoid avalanches and spot Goblins and Night Ravens.
This Skill covers the arts of surviving in the Razor Grass plains of the Drylands. Use this Skill to avoid dehydration, dodge Heat Flyers and rockfalls, stay clear of Tribal grounds, navigate the Grasslands and find water.
This Skill covers the arts of surviving in the dense Poison Jungles of the Twilight lands. Use this Skill to avoid flash floods and marshes, climb trees, skirt poison flowers, stay out of the way of Slow Lizards, sport Shadow Lion spoor, cross streams and survive storms.


The Travel Trait covers the skills of long distance travel, usually while conveying others, riding an animal, or organising an expedition. Roll with Int to recall details of distances between towns, the destinations of roads, the major geographical features in a given area, or to estimate the resources a trip will require. In mounted combat your weapon skill is the worse of your Riding or Weapon Skill.

This is the Skill of Caravan masters. Use this skill to co-ordinate a Caravan, hire guards, buy provisions, choose your route, find out about possible obstacles or conditions on the road, adjudicate disputes between drivers and keep people working together. The level of this Skill provides a limit on the size of Caravan (or similar expedition) that you can manage.
This is the Skill of riding on Curdlu. You must have at least 1 level to ride a Crdlu, and should roll with Ag to keep control in a difficult situation. Roll with Pre to get your Curdlu to haul loads, tow carts, pull people out of hols and the like.
This is the Skill of riding on Krakaths. You must have at least 1 level to ride a Krakath, and should roll with Ag to keep control in a difficult situation.
This is the Skill of marching long distances, useful for Soldiers, hunters and messengers. Roll with Phys to reduce avoid the long-term fatigue from a day of marching, or to increase your marching distance (forced march) by a percentage equal to your Skill.
This Skill allows you to handle teams of animals to haul sleds, carts, cranes and other loads. You can easily manage a team of no more than your Skill level times 2, larger teams require a roll, as do unusual loads. This Skill also covers the art of loading cargoes to use space efficiently, and can be used to load caravans, boats, panniers and packs as well. Finally you can use this Skill to make basic repairs to carts, reigns, traces, and other haulage items.


This Trait covers a variety of skills valuable to the professional warrior, but not directly concerned with hitting things. Roll with Int to recall general facts about fighting styles, the arms preferred by certain groups, the weaknesses of given weapons or armour, styles of armour and fighting stories. Roll with Pre to tell military stories. You can also roll with Spi to avoid collapsing from fatigue while in combat, instead of rolling Physical.

This is the Skill of wearing and using Armour, including barding for mounts, pavaises, and personal armour. You can use this skill to make minor repairs to your own armour, to keep it in good shape between uses, and to fit armour to another person. If you wear armour with a Load more than 2 without this skill then double it's Load.
This Skill gives you another combat option when carrying a weapon suitable for parrying (a knife, sword, spear, staff or polearm). When you are using such a weapon you have a Defence bonus equal to the lower of your Parry Skill or the weapon's Parry rating. Better weapons let you take advantage of higher Parry Skill. This bonus does not apply when you do not have your weapon ready in your hand, when you are surprised, or when the attack comes from behind or from your non-weapon side. When you Guard while using a weapon that can parry you can roll Ag / Parry to increase your Defence (see the combat rules).
When you successfully defend against a melee attack while Guarding, or using a weapon with the Parry trait, you may immediately make an out of turn attack against that attacker using the lower of your weapon sill with that weapon, or your riposte skill. You may only riposte against an enemy you are actively fighting (i.e. facing, with a weapon drawn), only with a balanced melee weapon, and only if you have a Skill of at least 2 with the weapon you are using. You may only make one riposte a round.
This Skill gives you another combat option when you are bearing a shield, and you cannot use a shield for anything useful without at least one level of this Skill. When you have a shield equipped you have a Defence bonus equal to the lower of your Shield Skill or the shield's Defence. Better shields let you take advantage of higher Shield Skill. You do not gain any Defence bonus from attacks from your weapon side (opposite the shield) or from the rear. When carrying an unready shield (e.g. across your back) you can gain it's Armour but only +1D against attacks from the rear. An attack that misses you, but comes with your shield's Defence of hitting, hits the shield, and will damage it if more damage is inflicted than your shield's armour. When you Guard with a shield equipped you can roll your Ag / Shield to increase your Defence (see the combat rules).
This Skill is used to make: standard unarmed attacks (punches, low kicks, shoves), which inflict damage equal to your Phys damage bonus; power attacks (elbow strikes, high kicks, haymakers), which inflict damage equal to your Phys damage bonus +1, but give you -1D until your next attack; stunning attacks (chokes, gut punches, slaps, joint strains) which inflict Stun damage equal to your Phys damage bonus; and grapples, which give your target a penalty to A and D equal to your Skill times 2 while grappled, and allows you to contest Phys with Defence to knock them down. Without any level in this Skill you can still make attacks, but always inflict half of your damage as Stun and half as Damage. The Fighting Spines Quality adds damage to all attacks made with Wrestle.

Weaponry (1-handed)

The Weaponry (1-handed) Trait covers the use of weapons held in one hand. Roll with Ag to make an attack (resisted by Defence) and with Int to know about the weapons covered. You will rarely roll this Trait.

Use this Skill to make attacks with one-handed axes and hatchets (for bigger weapons use the Weaponry (2-handed) / Polearms Skill). These weapons have high base damage but cannot be used to Parry, and generally have poor Guard values. Small axes can be thrown, using the Thrown Skill, at short ranges. Many axes are Unbalanced.
Use this Skill to make attacks with daggers and knives. These weapons are easy to conceal (+2 to your Ag / Disguise to hide), and can be used without an Attack penalty when pinned with Armoury / Wrestle, but have low base damages and Guard values. Daggers are small (1) weapons, and have penalties against longer ones. Daggers can be thrown, using the Thrown Skill, at short ranges.
Use this Skill to make attacks with small clubs, hammers, maces, and many improvised weapons. These weapons have moderate base damage, cannot be used to Parry, and generally have poor Guard values, but are very cheap. When attacking with a Mace you can convert up to twice your Skill in damage into Stun damage (the rest is done as normal damage) if you wish. Many maces are Unbalanced.
Use this Skill to make attacks with one-handed swords, batons and small clubs. These weapons have good base damage, can be used to Parry and often have good Guard values, but are quite expensive. When attacking with a Sword you can reduce your Attack by 5 to try and strike with the blade and inflict your Phys Damage bonus +3 in Stun damage instead. However if you get a fumble you must roll again at full Attack and do damage if you hit.
Special (pick)
There are multiple Special 1-handed Skills, one for each special weapon that requires them, such as the Tarig Hive. You cannot use these weapons without having the right Special Skill.

Weaponry (2-handed)

The Weaponry (2-handed) Trait covers the use of weapons held with both hands. Roll with Ag to make an attack (resisted by Defence) and with Int to know about the weapons covered. You will rarely roll this Trait.

Use this Skill to make attacks with jointed or flexible weapons using ropes and chains, such as Morning Stars, Flails, threshing tools and other agricultural instruments. These weapons have high base damage, good Guard values, and are fairly cheap, but cannot be used to Parry. When using a weapon like this your opponent's Defence bonuses from Parry and Shield are reduced by your Flail Skill. It requires one more person to outnumber you when you have a Flail.
Use this Skill to make attacks with large cutting weapons, such as Glaives, Halberds, Greatswords and Great-Axes. These weapons have very high damage, great Guard values, and can Parry, although they are also the most expensive weapons generally available. You cannot use a Shield with these weapons at all. It is hard to run with weapons of this size, your running move is reduced by 2 when using a Polearm. It requires one more person to outnumber you when you have a Polearm. Polearms are Long (3) weapons.
Use this Skill to make attacks with large stabbing weapons, such as Spears, Pikes and Awls. These weapons have good damage, good Guard values, can Parry and cost a lot less than Polearms. You can use a Shield with these weapons, but at -2D. Many spears can be thrown a moderate distance using the Dart Skill. Longer spears gain a Defence bonus when wielded in ranks. Spears are Long (3) or Very Long (4) weapons.
Use this Skill to make attacks with staves, any weapon with no blades held in two hands. These weapons have low damage, but have good Guard values, can Parry and cost very little. You cannot use a shield with these weapons. It requires one more person to outnumber you when you have a staff. Staves are Long (3) weapons.
Special (pick)
There are multiple Special 2-handed Skills, one for each special weapon that requires them, such as the Tarig Hive. You cannot use these weapons without having the right Special Skill.

Weaponry (ranged)

The Weaponry (ranged) Trait covers the use of weapons used at range. Roll with Attack to make an attack (resisted by Defence) and with Int to know about the weapons covered. You will rarely roll this Trait.

Use this Skill to make attacks at range with Bows. Bows have moderate damage and exceptional range, but are useless in close combat. Roll with Int to keep your bow in good condition in adverse conditions.
Use this Skill to make thrown attacks with Darts and Spears. These attacks have moderate range and good damage, but require flinging your weapon away, so make sure you have a backup!
Use this Skill whenever you need to throw something a short distance, such as a rock, sling stone, rope, dagger or axe. Thrown weapons have low to moderate damage and short range, but can be used in close combat as well, and are lighter and cheaper than bows.
Use this Skill to make attacks with whips, lashes and lassoos. These attacks have short range and poor damage, but can be used to pin and trip in the same way as Wrestle. The first two damage inflicted by any whip attack are always Stun, and you may try to inflict some or more of the rest as Stun as under Wrestle.
Special (pick)
There are multiple Special ranged Skills, one for each special weapon that requires them, such as the Tarig Hive. You cannot use these weapons without having the right Special Skill.

Starting Equipment


The Equipment list contains a list of suggested gear for each Path. You can start play with any (or all) items on the gear list for your paths. You can also start play with a reasonable selection of additional items, so long as those items are Affordable for you. With the GM's permission you can also have one or two Expensive items when you start play. If you wish to start play with items you couldn't otherwise afford you can take the Property Quality for each item.

If you start play with an expensive item you should assume that you have the appropriate accessories as well. If you have a sword you will also own a scabbard, belt, whetstone and oilcloth. If you have a mount you will also own a bridle, saddle, grooming kit and feed. If you own a ranged weapon you will also own a reasonable quantity of ammunition. If you own a house you will also own some furniture, decorations and cookware. Unless you are dirt poor, don't sweat the small details.


Your material wealth is represented by your Wealth level, and your standard of living by your Status level. You start play with an appropriate quantity of of cash, trinkets and trade goods sufficient to buy things according to your Wealth and sufficient income and luxuries to live according to your Status level.


If you are a spellcaster you are assumed to start play with a spellbook and a number of spells already learnt (or ceremonies learnt in the case of an Earth Cleric). You may know a number of energy levels of spells equal to your Status, which you know how to cast (i.e. of an Order and Rank that you can cast), though you always get at least one spell regardless of Status. You may also begin play with spells of a higher Rank than you can cast, but they cost Rank + EL each from your allowance. You may 1CP per extra spell if you wish to begin play with more spells than this.

Experience and Levelling

As Characters survive the harsh world of Sun Keld they grow in power, gaining status, skills and progress along their Paths. When your characters survive danger, achieve goals and make hard choices you are rewarded, either with Determination or (if the danger or goal was great enough) a Level.

Determination a points are special tokens that you can use to activate abilities, re-roll dice, and avoid death, as described in the main rules. Deterination points are awarded individually, you get them when you make a choice about your character.
When you spend Determination points they become Experience Points. Experience points, in turn, can be traded in for Character Points. This means that, as you use Determination, your character gains in power.
Levels are a much more significant reward than Determination. Levels increase your path abilities, and also grant a significant number of Character Points. Levels are awarded for completing significant goals, and are given to the entire party at once.


Determination (or, occasionally, levels) can be awarded for a number of reasons.

Reward is given for overcoming threats and obstacles. In Sun Keld everything can be a threat, the environment, starvation, hostile creatures, other Keldians. Survival is never guaranteed, and is to be rewarded. In either case rewards are given if the threat is endured, defeated or avoided, providing that doing so involved a degree of hardship and danger. A threat avoided or endured without effort is not worth a reward.
During the course of a character's life they will follow many Goals, either external ones (a mission from a superior, a quest, the search for treasure), or personal (vengeance for a loved one, reconcilliation with family, finding love). Minor Goals will appear and be completed every session, while more significant goals take multiple sessions to complete. Major goals are the object of an extended series of sessions, and will define the arc of the campaign you are playing. It does not matter if the goal is personal or external. Finding your long lost brother is as worthy of reward as completing a mission for your city's rulers (though the last may come with Status and Wealth rewards as well). Achieving the goals of other people is just as important as achieving your own, so you also get rewards when another player's character achieves a goal, or you help some non-player character achieve theirs.
If you willingly roleplay a Flaw significantly hindering you, gain one Determination point.
Choices (The Hard Way and The Harder Way)
A reward is available for making particularly hard choices (because this is the cost of living in a harsh world), but even more is available for finding a better way to surmount your difficulties. To qualify for a hard choice bonus you must sacrifice someone else to survive, such as abandoning wounded underlings, binding characters with magic, sacrificing Keldians to power spells, eating the pack animals, stealing food from the hungry, and so forth. The world of Sun Keld is brutal and brutal choices are rewarded. If a character was faced with such a hard choice and somehow found a way to continue in spite of it, such as choosing to carry a wounded man across the desert, sharing your last water with a stranger, etc. then they qualify for a greater reward. The Harder Way is very difficult. If you help someone because that's the obvious choice, or the easier way, or because it helps yourself, then it doesn't count. It has to be clear that you have willfully made the more difficult and painful choice.
Enhancing the Session
It's a nice thing to reward people who make the session better out of character, by bringing food, supplying props, and the like. Everyone does things like this, of course, but sometimes someone goes above the norm, and that can deserve an in game reward as well.
Downtime Play
A group may allow Downtime play, things that happen outside your regular session, such as writing up session reports in character, running scenes via email, and the like. If you allow this then a reward can be given for doing so.

You cannot get Determination for the same category of action more than once per session. You can have the GM award these points, or you can assign them through a group process, such as each player voting on whether each other player qualifies for an award. Choose the system that suits your group. If multiple characters survive a threat together then they will all get the reward, but a large enough group will drop the reward by one category.

Determination points are a measure of how your character's success increases your self-reliance, allowing you to pull off amazing feats of survival (Despearation re-rolls) without suffering the fallout of Desperation (the loss of Health). They are also a chance to spotlight your character, because when you spend a Determination point you are increasing the drama of the situation and putting more on the line. If you allow multiple characters per player (either more than one character, or through the Underling Quality) then Determination points are awarded to the Player, and may be spent on any character.

The following table suggests appropriate levels for each award.

Category reward example
Survival : minor threat - Level appropriate or less
Survival : moderate threat 1 Determination point Level +1 or +2 threat
Survival : serious threat Level? Level +3 or more
Flaw 1 Determination point
The Hard Way 1 Determination point
The Harder Way 2 Determination points
Downtime Play 1 Determination point
Enhancing the session 1 Determination point
Minor Goal - 1 session or less
Significant Goal 1 Determination point A couple of sessions
Major Goal Level? Many sessions

Remember, spent Determination points (DP) become experience points (XP), which can then be converted to Character Points (CP) at a rate of 4 to 1.


Levels are awarded to all characters at once, whenever it seems dramatically appropriate, such as just after achieving a major goal, defeating a recurring enemy, embarking on a new stage of life, or surviving a particularly dangerous adventure. You can choose to have the GM pick these times, or do it when the whole group agrees (you can vote on this, or just go by general feeling). This system assumes that the group is comfortable with pacing themsevles through their adventures. If you believe that some (or all) of the Group is going to treat this as a licence to have free levels in an attempt to overpower the game, then voting is probably not the ideal system for your group.

When you are awarded a level, the following happens:

Individual Levelling

Optionally you may choose to have different characters level at different times. You should choose this option if different characters have a significantly differing amount of screen time (e.g. there are main characters and some subsidiary characters who are not played as often) or if your games involve a changing collection of players who come and go (e.g. 10 people are playing the game but only some show up for each session). You can also choose this option if you feel that there needs to be greater reward for individual actions, such that some characters may fail while others succeed.

Other Rewards

As well as Determination and there are many other possible rewards other than Levels which can be given out. Some common types include :


Status rewards are given out every time characters fulfil missions for the Orders. Even small tasks should be rewarded (with small amounts of Status). Normally rewards are in Status CP, but occasionally a very major task will be rewarded with the direct award of a new Status Level. This will generally also come with some sort of position or Title (remember that titles are Social armour).


Most adventures that don't attract Status (or fulfil personal goals) will provide Wealth. This will usually be in the form of Treasure, but it's possible to give out Wealth CP directly when you feel that a character's network or financial power has been increased (such as when making contacts with another trader).


Sometimes material goods that are not Treasures are a suitable reward (an animal companion, a new sword, clothing). In general the assumption is that such an item would be worth more to the character than it's actual financial value. Such items can, of course, also be treated as Treasures, but will generally have a reduced Treasure rating since they are common or manufactured goods.


A number of Qualities are suitable for giving out as rewards in exceptional circumstances, either because it is demanded by the story, or because a character has done something exceptional. Good examples are Ally, Battle, Determined, Edge, Favoured, Property, Stoic, Totem, Tribal Image. The Edge Quality deserves special mention here, and should be awarded when a character achieves a great feat, or develops a noteworthy behaviour.

Skill / Trait CP

It is also possible to award CP directly in particular Skills or Traits, even between levels. This sort of award is appropriate when you feel that the character has been exposed to something new and interesting, or been so dedicated to a particular craft, that it should count as Training, Practice or Exposure in less than the usual timescales. In this sort of case give 1-2CP directly in a given Skill, Trait or collection of Skills. These are spent immediately, and cannot be used on some other Skill or Trait later.

Spending Character Points

In general you can spend your new Character Points on anything that makes sense. You can increase any of your Skills or Traits that you have used a reasonable number of times (both on and off screen) since you last raised them. You can raise any of your attributes. You can buy new Skills provided that you have had some opportunity to learn the basics of them in play (such as rolling successfully at default, practicing a similar skill, being exposed to a language). You can buy a new Trait at level 1 if you have used a number of the Skills covered by that Trait (whether or not you have points in the Skills). You can buy a new Quality (as long as it is available for purchase after character creation) if it appears to make sense to how your character is developing. In all cases you (and the GM) should apply common sense. If it makes sense that you should be able to buy a Skill, Trait, Attribute or Quality then you can, if it doesn't make a lot of sense then you shouldn't.


To buy a Skill level pay 1CP and raise it by a level. You cannot raise a Skill to a higher level than the related Trait times 3. In general you shouldn't raise a Skill more than once each time you go up a level, but this is not a hard and fast rule, and should sometimes be possible.


To buy a Trait level pay CP equal to the new level, and then raise it by a level. There is no limit to how high you can raise a Trait. In general you shouldn't raise a Trait more than once each time you go up a level.


Certain Qualities can be gained after character creation (those marked with a ◊ in the Quality list). To buy a Quality simply pay CP equal to it's cost. You cannot buy a Quality that you already have unless it is marked as being available multiple times (those marked with a • in the Quality list). You cannot buy any Quality that costs negative points, with the exception of Flaw. You can gain a new Flaw for free (don't gain or spend CP) if it mirrors some issue your character is having in play. This will give you extra XP for playing up your Flaw in the future.


To raise an Attribute pay CP equal to the new level, and then raise it by a level. There is no limit to how high you can raise an Attribute. Raising Attributes is very expensive in play. It is easier to raise Attributes at character creation, or using an appropriate Path.


Generally you buy your Paths when you create your character and stick with them for the rest of the time you are playing, but it's possible to gain a new Path in play. First you must be able to get comprehensive training in the appropriate skills, and live the lifestyle appropriate for the Path. For example you need to have developed a magical gift and been accepted by one of the Orders for training to become a Mage, or perfected your weapon skills and survived a number of duels to be a Gladiator. Secondly you must pay CP equal to the cost of the Path. Finally you must spend a number of in-game years equal to the cost of the Path in training. This last restriction makes gaining new Paths pretty unlikely in the average game, but not impossible.

Paths with the Advanced keyword are an exception to the last rule, as they are designed to be acquired during play. They generally require cycles equal to the cost in training instead of years.

If you do gain a new Path in play make a note of the level at which you gained it. When the Path says to add your level to some score, only add levels in excess of the one at which you gained the Path.

You can abbandon a path at any time, if it makes sense to do so in-game (e.g. you can stop being a slave if you have managed to get yourself freed), by paying back any bonus CP that you gained from the Path.


Sometimes you will gain a Flaw in play, for example by losing a Social Combat. If you have such a Flaw then you can buy it off by paying 1CP.

Training and Practice

Although you get more Character Points to spend each time you go up a Level, this is not the only way to improve Skills, Traits and Qualities. Given sufficient time, and access to a suitable teacher, you can gain CP towards improvement without gaining XP and Levels. Indeed many Non-Player Characters will primarily raise Skills and Traits in this way, since they live quiet lives without adventure.

To Train you must first find a suitable teacher. A suitable teacher must meet the following requirements.

You must then spend some time with your teacher learning and practicing. The teaching process usually takes about one week per level or CP of the thing you are trying to learn. For example to learn a new level of Astrology when you have Astrology 2 would take at least 3 weeks (because you are learning towards level 3). Learning Blade Wall would take at least 2 weeks (because Blade Wall costs 2CP). Add a week for every Intelligence or Personality point below 10 that either you or your teacher have. If you don't give the teaching your full time attention then it will take still longer of course.

At the end of the teaching period you gain CP in the Skill, Trait or Quality you chose equal to:

CP gained = (teacher's level in the skill learnt + Per Bonus) / 2 rounding up

In the case of training in a Quality the skill level is the CP cost of the Quality. Regardless of Skill level or Per Bonus you always gain at least 1CP from training like this. If you don't gain enough CP to buy the Quality or Trait / Skill level then the CP you have gained are saved until you gain more from training, practice or levelling up.


In the absence of a teacher you can still improve a Skill, Attribute or Trait, very slowly, through practice. Each month you spend in full time (or near full time) practice of a Skill or Trait gives you Int Bonus CP in that Skill or Trait. Gaining CP in this way requires dedicated full-time training. It cannot be done at the same time as any sort of adventuring, employment or other activities. Merely doing your job, even full time, does not count as practice in this manner. Indeed, being forced to earn a wage does not leave enough time for practice.

Gaining practice CP in an Attribute is much the same. In any month that you work full time on skills or activities related to one attribute (e.g. weapon skills for Dexterity, Endurance training for Health, weightlifting for Physical, research for Intelligence) gain CP in that attribute equal to your Phys Bonus (for physical attributes) or Int Bonus (for mental ones). You cannot increase Status or Wealth in this fashion.


For those without the luxury of the free time to spend on full-time intensive practice, CP can be gained more slowly through exposure. Exposure gives CP in Skills, Traits and Attributes just like Practice, but in increments of one year, rather than one month. In general any craftsman uses their main craft skill enough to gain Exposure CP. Any soldier uses their main weapon skills enough to gain Exposure CP. Any Clerk or Sage uses Administration, Merchant or a similar Skill enough to gain Exposure CP. It is possible to claim practice in a number of related Skills at once, if you are working on them all, up to your Int Bonus, in which case gain 1CP in each instead of your Int Bonus in CP.