Ability Scores

The basic attributes of a character are numbers representing

The first step needed to create a character is to roll dice for these six ability scores.

Roll 3d6 twelve times (or however many times your Game Master tells you), and write the results down in a row. Choose any contiguous group of 6 results, treating the ends as if they wrap around (i.e. the first result follows on after the last).

These are the scores for each of your abilities, as listed above.

Character ability scores

For example:

Let's say the scores you rolled were 10, 8, 11, 13, 7, 8, 7, 14, 15, 14, 11, 10.

You can choose any group of six of these, depending on what sort of character you'd like to play.

The groups shown in the accompanying image might be the ones you'd choose if you wanted to play a Fighter, or a Thief, or a Magic-user.

The exact choice is completely up to you — if you decide you want to play particularly intelligent Thief, and maximize brains rather than dexterity, you might choose another group entirely.

Ability ScoreModifier
Less than 1Additional -1 per point below 1
Greater than 20Additional +1 per point over 20

Ability Modifiers

Your ability total will modify the results of certain die rolls, such as Characteristic Saves, and may also have an effect on other things such as learning languages or attracting followers.

The Universal Ability Modifiers are as shown in the table to the right; specific modifiers are detailed in the Ability Descriptions.


Your Strength ability modifier applies when attacking with a sword or other hand-held weapon (called a “melee weapon”), adjusting both your “to-hit” and damage rolls.

It also applies when attempting tasks where strength is the primary characteristic such as opening doors that are stuck, bending bars, lifting a portcullis, tossing a dwarf across an abyss on to a causeway crowded with savage orcs, and so on.

Strength is the prime attribute for fighters.


Encumbrance is split into four broad categories, as shown below:

Total Carried (pounds)Encumbrance LevelMovement RateDEX Save Adj.
Up to STR x 5LightNo change0
Up to STR x 10Moderate��-2
Up to STR x 15Heavy��-3
Up to STR x 20Very Heavy��-4


Your Dexterity ability modifier applies when attacking with a bow or other missile weapon (usually called a “ranged weapon”), and also to your Armour Class, making you harder to hurt if you have a high dexterity or easier to hit if you have a low one.

A high dexterity also aids in the execution of tasks requiring agility and precision, such as balancing, sleight of hand, moving stealthily and so forth.


Your Constitution score represents your physical toughness. When you run out of hit-points, or suffer a particularly nasty blow, you can start losing CON — and when you run out of CON, you’re dead.

Your Constitution ability modifier applies to your character hit points when they are thrown at every level. Your hit die depends on what character class you choose. Regardless of any negative Constitution modifier, you will always get at least one hit-point per level.

Your constitution score will also affect the ease with which you can shrug off (or submit to) the effects of poison or disease, or withstand physical hardships. Constitution is also, in part, a measure of the character’s endurance.

Bonus Spell
7 or less0NilNone
15415+1 L1 spell
16516+1 L2 spell
17517+1 L3 spell
18618+1 L4 spell
19719+1 L5 spell
20820+1 L6 spell


A high intelligence is the prime attribute for magic-user characters, and only magic-users with high intelligence are able to learn the highest-level spells. High intelligence also aids with tasks requiring good memory or analytical skills, and also represents a good general education.

Note: the bonus spells referred to increase the number of daily spell slots available to the magic-user. They are cumulative, so a magic-user with an INT of 17, for example, would get additional daily slots for one spell each of levels 1, 2, and 3.


Any character with a wisdom score of 13 or higher gains a 5% bonus to all experience point awards.

Where Intelligence reflects knowledge and deductive reasoning, Wisdom reflects a character’s common sense and perceptiveness. A character with a low Wisdom is likely to be rash and foolhardy, and might engage in acts that he or she knows intellectually to be foolish. High wisdom is useful in tasks requiring good perception such as seeking out secret doors, and also in situations where perceptiveness and common sense are advantageous — for example, in some negotiation scenarios where true motivations may be hidden. It can also help the character resist the effects of some spells, such as illusions or mental controls.

A character with a Wisdom of 15 or higher adds +1 to any Surprise roll. A character with a Wisdom of 6 or lower subtracts -1 from their Surprise rolls.


A highly charismatic character has a better chance to his way out of trouble, and can lead more followers than characters with a low Charisma.

Any character with a Charisma score of 13 or higher receives a bonus of 5% to all experience point awards.

Max. No. of Followers
Note: Does not include normal men-at-arms

Characteristic Saves

From time to time, your GM may ask you to make a Wisdom Save, or a Dexterity Save, or some other kind of characteristic-based saving throw.

A Characteristic Save differs from a normal (luck) saving throw only in that you add to or subtract from the roll result any modifier for the appropriate characteristic.

For example, Hungor the Mighty, a Level 5 Fighter with a Saving Throw of 12, is attempting to puzzle out a manuscript with some very hard words, and the GM asks for an Intelligence Save to see if he can manage the herculean task. Hungor�s thews are mighty, but his brain, alas, is not � he has an INT of only 5, which gives him a -2 modifier to his roll � he would have to roll 14 or better to succeed. Hungor rolls a 9, fails to make out the joined-up writing and tosses away the manuscript in disgust.

His trusty comrade, Billiam the Sly, snatches up the manuscript. Billiam is able to read fluently, the manuscript is in a familiar tongue, and the GM therefore decrees that Billiam can read it without requiring any die roll at all. It is a notice offering a reward for the safe return of Hortan the Necrophage�s pet catoblepas.

Note that circumstantial modifiers may also be applied to the saving throw at the GM�s discretion.

EncumbranceArmour TypeEffective
Very HeavyChain-4
 Small Shield -1
 Large Shield-2

Dexterity Saves

DEX Saves are affected by the armour you�re wearing, and the weight you�re carrying, as well as any situational modifiers decreed by the GM

Encumbrance adjusts the character�s effective DEX for the purpose of DEX Saves by up to �4.

Armour penalizes your effective DEX according to its type, as shown here. The penalty for carrying a shield is in addition to that for any other armour.

The penalties for encumbrance and armour are cumulative, so a character wearing plate armour, carrying a large shield, and at Very Heavy encumbrance would have their effective DEX reduced by a whopping -12 whenever he or she has to make a DEX save!

What that means is this, for example:

If your character has a DEX of 15, but is moderately encumbered (-2), wearing chain armour (-4) and carrying a small shield (-1), his or her DEX would be treated as 15 - 2 - 4 -1 = 8 whenever a DEX Save is required.