Madness is Mercy
Strength (STR): Strength is the measure of how much physical effort your character is able to put into a task. Someone with a high STR is not necessarily covered in muscles; they could be lean and well-able to use leverage. You can use STR to pick up or move heavy things, to force open doors, carry a lot of stuff and to put an extra bit of hurt into punches or grapples.
Constitution (CON): Constitution is how tough your character is when it comes to resisting pain, injury and disease. Someone with a high CON is healthier than someone with a low CON: they generally get sick less and are harder to kill. Constitution is used to determine how much damage your character can take before dying, how easily they resist becoming sick or poisoned and how much exertion they can perform before becoming tired.
Size (SIZ): Size is less straightforward than other characteristics, as it can be interpreted in a few different ways. A character with high SIZ can be extremely tall, or can be very broad. Size is used in determining how much damage a character can take (larger people have more mass to hurt) or inflict (bigger characters can often hit harder), among other things.
Intelligence (INT): Intelligence is a measure of how smart your character is. It is not about how much they know but how able they are to use what they know. A character with a high INT generally learns faster and has likely picked up the basics of a large number of skills. INT can also represent how quick-thinking your character is in a pinch. You use INT to figure out things, make educated guesses where no applicable skill jumps to mind and while learning.
Power (POW): Power represents a few intangible aspects of your character, from willpower, internal drive, magical potential, to simple dumb luck. A character with a high POW is usually luckier than everyone else and is usually more ‘connected’ to the ebb and flow of the universe than someone with a low POW characteristic. You use POW to determine how much magical ‘juice’ your character has (more on this later) and how lucky they are.
Dexterity (DEX): Dexterity measures hand-eye coordination, raw speed and general physical agility. A character with a high DEX is catlike and may be a natural athlete, while someone with a low DEX is probably clumsier, slower and all thumbs. Dexterity determines when you character is able to act in a round, it figures into your character’s starting Dodge skill and it affects other skills and actions requiring physical speed or agility.
Appearance (App): Appearance is a measure of personal magnetism, an intangible measure of force of character and appeal. Like many characteristics, it can be described in a few ways: how likeable or attractive your character is, how authoritative and compelling or even how influential they are in personal relationships. A character with a high
APP is very noticeable in a crowd, regardless of how they look, while someone with a low App does not attract much attention.
Education (EDU): Education covers formal schooling, roughly equating to one EDU point per year of education. It can also cover knowledge gained through a well-lived life, representing knowledge gleaned from experience, reading or general observation about life. A low EDU represents someone essentially unschooled, such as a small child or amnesiac, while a high EDU score indicates years of school and even higher education. The EDU characteristic determines how many points your character has in their professional skills and can serve as a general guide to how sophisticated and worldly they can appear.
Idea (INT x 5): The Idea roll is used to determine if your character is inspired to make a guess about something that is not obvious, such as an intuitive leap based on existing facts. The Game Master may ask you to make an Idea roll for your character to determine if they know something that you, the player, do not know. Similarly, you may be required to succeed in an Idea roll if the Game Master thinks that your character would not easily be able to recall something.
Luck (POW x 5): The Luck roll is used to determine if fortune favours your character in any instance where luck, not skill, is an option. If your character was flipping a coin to determine heads or tails, or guessing the answer to a multiple choice question when they had no idea what the correct answer was, the Luck roll would be used.
Know (EDU x 5): The Know roll is used to determine whether your character knows some piece of basic information about the world, ranging from current events, general etiquette, common cultural history to even trivial information. Your character might need to make a Know roll to recognise the name of a minor villain in a penny dreadful or the name of the current Prime Minister of Bulgaria. The Know roll may also be used for current events, such as knowing that there was a recent robbery in the rare books collection at Miskatonic University.
Hit Points are determined by averaging CON and SIZ (adding them together and dividing by two) and rounding up. When you determine your character’s Hit Points (HP), you should circle that number on their character sheet. Hit Points are a measure of how much damage your character can take through injury, poison and so forth, before dying.
Sanity (SAN) Sanity Points (abbreviated as SAN) are a reservoir of your character’s stability, a pool of psychological fortitude that enables them to withstand the mind-shattering effects of experiencing Lovecraftian horrors. Your character’s initial Sanity Points are equal to POW x 5.
Magic Points (MP) Magic Points are a pool of your character’s resources to employ and resist the effects of “magic”. Your character’s initial maximum Magical Points is equal to POW.
Damage Bonus (DB) The bigger and stronger your character is, the harder they are able to hit other people with bare hands or weapons. Similarly, smaller and weaker characters do not do as much damage when they strike an opponent. The Damage Bonus (abbreviated as DB) is an extra die, added to or subtracted from damage, normally rolled for a hand-to-hand attack. You determine your character’s Damage Bonus by adding STR and SIZ and consulting the following table.
For those who post an in-character Adventure Log post on Obsidian Portal from their previous session . . .
Experience Bonus (½ INT) Generally, a high intelligence means that learning new skills and improving existing ones comes easily. To determine your character’s experience bonus, divide their INT by 2, rounding up. When you check to determine if your character learned from successfully using a skill, add the experience bonus to the learning roll.