Character Terminology

Statistics or stats: Ten fundamental descriptors of your character. Each has an associated adjective rank and a numerical score. The ten statistics are Strength, Endurance, Agility, Finesse, Knowledge, Alertness, Understanding, Expression, Willpower, and [Power]. See the Rank Table here.
Example: Karl’s character, Seth, has a Fair (8) Willpower statistic. Fair is the adjective rank, while 8 is the numerical score. Karl would add 8 to any flips when Seth uses Willpower, such as when he attempts to resist influence or mind-controlling magic.

Strength (associated with the suit of Coins) is a measure of a character’s raw physical power. It covers his ability to climb, jump, and hit things. In combat, Strength is added to the attack and damage totals of melee weapon and unarmed attacks.

Endurance (Coins) is a measure of a character’s ability to resist physical damage, press on through hardship, hold her breath or go without sleep. In combat, a damage total is compared to a character’s Endurance to see whether or not the character is wounded.

Agility (Swords) is a measure of a character’s overall ability to move quickly and gracefully. It covers his ability to sneak, dance, and dodge attacks. In combat, an Attack total is tested against a character’s Agility to see whether or not the character is hit.

Finesse (Swords) is a measure of a character’s dexterity and hand-eye coordination. It covers her fine motor control and ability to hit things with ranged and some light melee weapons. In combat, Finesse is added to attack totals of ranged weapons.

Knowledge (Wands) is a measure of a character’s academic training and general intellectual capacity. It covers a wide range of scholarly and practical fields of study and is used any time the character attempts an action that involves learning or memorization.

Alertness (Wands) is a measure of a character’s awareness of her surroundings and perceptive and investigative ability. Use Alertness when wondering whether or not a character notices something tangible. In combat, Alertness is added to the initiative total.

Expression (Grails) is a measure of a character’s ability to communicate to others. It covers diplomacy, deceit, speechmaking, intimidation and even artistic capacity and is used any time a character attempts to communicate an idea to a person or group.

Understanding (Coins) is a measure of a character’s awareness of the intangible currents of relationships and society. It covers her empathy, insight, and streetwise acumen, and is used to see through the deceit of others or to intuit others’ Aspects.

Willpower (Major) is a measure of a character’s ability sense of self, resolve, and resistance to hostile forces. In combat, powers that affect a character’s mental or spiritual wellbeing are tested against a character’s Willpower to see whether the power takes effect.

[Power] (Major) is a measure of a character’s particular talent and ability, the thing that makes her unique. [Power] is specified during character creation. Examples of [Power] types are Luck, Courage, Magic, Science and Faith. [Power] is explained further in the Powers section.

Edges: Fields of knowledge, abilities, or areas of expertise that define certain actions your character can execute with particular flair and panache. Grants one or more [ + ] to the referenced action.
Example: Seth is a gifted scholar, and so he has an Edge for Research. This is written as Research (1) on Seth’s character sheet. Whenever Seth attempts a Knowledge action to search a library for a tome, for example, he would get a [ + ] to his flip; in other words, he would flip two cards instead of one and add his Knowledge statistic to whichever card he prefers.

Aspects: Personality traits, bits of history, likes and dislikes, or peccadilloes that further describe your character. Used to enhance your performance of certain actions through the mechanic of Cheating Fate. Also used by the Gamemaster to compel character behavior. See Aspects for more information.
Example: Seth has an Aspect, Curiosity, which reflects his scholarly interests. When undertaking an Alertness action to notice a unique feature of a room, Karl could “tag” Seth’s Curiosity Aspect to replace the card flipped from his Fate Deck with one from his Hand of Fate. This might allow Seth to notice a detail, and Karl could then narrate how Seth’s curiosity impels him to examine new surroundings with a keen interest.

Powers: All characters have some level of power, whether it is political, monetary, magical, religious or technological. The tenth statistic, [Power], represents the source of the character’s power and should be replaced with an appropriate descriptor during character creation. The [Power] statistic chosen unlocks other abilities, such as contacts for political figures, resources for wealthy characters, spells and rituals for magi, spirit guides for the religious and access to schematics for technophiles. See the Powers section for more detail.
Example: Seth is a Rosicrucian magus. His [Power] statistic is Lore, representing his knowledge of arcane rituals and rotes. Seth also begins play with several words of power and a spellbook, the trappings of his particular craft.

Weaknesses: Some characters may have deficiencies in certain areas of skill or action. These weaknesses function as the foil to Edges, representing actions in which your character is more likely to bumble. A weakness grants one or more [ – ] to the referenced action.

For more information, see the Character Creation section.

Character Terminology

Arcana caelist