Traits refer to any aspect of a character which can be defined by a number. These represent degrees of excellence in fields which the character needs. The numbers are the means by which the gaming system replicate weighted chances of success and failure. The more advanced your skills are, the more weighted the result of the random roll will be to your success. A player should not make the mistake of believing that a character is merely this conglomeration of statistics, however. If it were any game could be predicted within a margin of error. Instead a character is also what wisdom, quirks, and humor you give him. He is a gestalt with your flashes of brilliance and tragic mistakes.
Different traits will have different ranges and uses. These will be discussed in more depth below. Determining scores in any given trait will be discussed in more depth in the Character Creation Chapter. Information on gaining experience and how it can be spent to increase traits is on page 65 of the Street Fighter book.
Basic traits are those traits common to all characters and not optional in character creation. Basic traits include Attributes, Abilities, Chi, Health and Willpower. Attributes are our natural and honed apptitudes while abilities are those things we learn and develop, methodologies if you will for utilizing our Attributes. Willpower is our self awareness while its rating indicates our strength of identity. Although non-combatants do not utilize Chi even they have it (though too low to quantify) as part of their life force. Health is the physical damage you can endure.
Below, in the trait listings you will notice a line indicating Suggested Specializations. A specialization can be taken in the basic trait categories Attributes and Abilities. Some people have become so adept with a given Attribute or Ability that they may develop some aspect of it to a level above and beyonod the talents of others with the same score. You may declare a specialization at any time so long as you have a rating of four or higher in that traits. Thereafter any role that falls under that specialization is granted a bonus. Any natural tens you roll count not only as successes but may be rerolled for additonal successes. There is no bonus for having specializations in both the attribute and ability in a dice pool. Only one specialization may be associated with a given trait and the bonus only applies to dice pools that traits is being used in.
So, for example, lets say that my character Satomi has a five in perception and has specialized in patterns. She is trying to solve a puzzle that is essentially a complex pattern. She rolls her eight dice (Perception 5 + Enigmas 3) and rolls 1,3,3,4,5,9,9,10 vs. a difficulty of seven. Not only does she have two successes (three but loses one becuase the rolled one) but gets to roll the ten again to try for another success. She rolls a nine and now, thanks to the specialization has three succusses instead of two. If she had been lucky enough to roll another ten she would have had yet another chance for another success.
Attributes represent the ability of characters to interact with their environment. Only with these can characters use what they learn through experience (abilities) but attributes can not be learned or taught - they do change but only over long periods of time and entailing fundamental changes in the character themselves. More about this is discussed in the Systems and Rules chapter.
Due to the extreme nature of characters in the Ranma 1/2 universe I decided that three new attributes were necessary and that all attributes could be ranged from 0 to +8. Street Fighter only recognizes values of +1 to +8 in attributes but the zero is necessary to recognize the poor abilities of some characters in certain fields. Allowing characters to have a zero attribute and pile points into other attributes could be a potential abuse of the system which can be countered by requiring extreme feats to justify buying the first level of a zero attribute since the character has no proficiency in the field to base their learning experiences on. The actual experience points spent are only ten but what the character has to accomplish should be extraordinary, such as a spiritual quest.
Although attributes can reach as high as eight the normal "human" range is one to five. A score of six to eight is the result of some exceptional background or experience that is beyond the potential of most people and similarily a score of zero is so poor that someone must be truly deprived in some area of their life to have a zero. The day to day experiences of most people enable them to have at least a one in all attributes. The background to have an attribute above five could be a result of strange magic or some obscure martial arts style. These backgrounds should be represented by merits.
The twelve attributes listed in this chapter are the only attributes available for characters. Nine of them are identical to those listed in Street Fighter while three (one apiece in each category) are described in full here. If an attribute is also used in Street Fighter no description will be given. As in Street Fighter attributes are divided into 3 categories:
A score of 0 - 1 is considered pretty lousy, 2 - 3 is roughly normal, 4 - 5 is exceptional and above 5 is superhuman. Nine of the attributes are described in the Street Fighter book and here is information on the other three.
Suggested Specializations : Upper Body, Sure Grip, Legs
Suggested Specializations : Balance, Light Touch, Grace
Suggested Specializations : Tough, Unmovable, Tirelessness
This is tied to the body's natural ability to move. Your quickness attribute can not be higher than your agility or strength combined they can make a character who relies on skill and speed rather than raw power. The Storyteller system (essentially and illogically) combines agility and quickness in one attribute. However, agility is the suppleness and bendability of the body wile quickness is pure speed and reaction time. A behemoth like Balrog from Street Fighter can have amazing Quickness with his punch though he isn't very agile. By the same token a contortionist can be very supple and agile but not have the muscle strength to be fast.
Suggested Specializations : Sensitivity, Sophistication, Commanding
Suggested Specializations : Glib, Persuasive, Imposing
Suggested Specializations : Cute, Roguish, Alluring
Communication is best used in combination with other social attributes. With raw charisma a favorable impression can be made but nothing communicated. Manipulation requires that information be transferred but only covertly - the target shouldn't know what you doing since that would hamper you from influencing their actions. In contrast Communication is used openly. With it you give speeches and talk to people. Then you roll manipulation to see if you can influence their emotions. Ryouga is well known for his negative score in this.
Suggested Specializations : Creative, Erudite, Analyst
Suggested Specializations : Insight, Feral, Vigilant
Suggested Specializations : Paranoid, Practical, Maternal
This is the basic facility for a character to react immediately to his environment. One of the hallmarks of a true martial artist is their ability to train themselves into having new and very complex instincts.
Abilities normally run the range of 1 to 5 with a few rare individuals whom have attained higher mastery. Ability related rules are unchanged from the Street Fighter rules. Just as attributes can be purchased up to level eight so can abilities except that no special merits have to purchased to allow this - just a lot of experience.
Remember that these abilities are not necessarily all that a character knows. What abilities represent are the active interests, studies or activities of a character. For example, just because a character doesn't have a score in a Popular Culture knowledge doesn't mean she doesn't know what Coca-Cola is. The same is true with their educational background. If a character went to eleven years of formal education they will know some things. Like us in the real world they won't remember everything they learned but there is a chance they will remember some of it, as represented by thier intellegence score. What the ability scores really represent is the minimum amount of knowledge or facility a character has in an entire field. If you have a certain rating with a skill, you are guarenteed to know anything that falls within that level of the ability without requiring a roll.
Players should be careful when deciding which abilities to purchase. Although all abilities can be increased with experience some are more difficult than others. Knowledge is the simplest since all they require are a source of information whether it be a sensei or book. Skills are more difficult since you must practice them though a Sensei can speed up the process. Finally, talents are very difficult since they can not be taught or learned in any formal sense - over long periods of time people simply get better at them though truly exceptional Senseis can help.
There is a theoritically infinite selection of abilities and what a character chooses should be based on what is appropriate for their character - not merely what is available. You can always make up new abilities and many of the White Wolf source books can be excellent sources for these. Abilities without descriptions are given in the Street Fighter source book.
Suggested Specialities : Paranoia, Ambushes, Point Guard
Awareness is the ability to sense that which lies beyond the veil of normal reality - that which is present and not hidden but which our society claims is unexistent and thus we teach ourselves to ignore as well as the simple truth that is sometimes taken away from us.
This is for non-combatants to help them avoid damage on the sidelines when fights break out.
Expression helps a person communicate regardless of its medium. In some it can be a creative form, while for others it is only utilitarian.
Simple skills of how to play games and the rules of such.
Suggested Specialities : Fighters, Senseis, Announcers
Possessed By : Mothers, Police, Fighters Suggested Specialities : Veiled Threats
The talent for unconciously connecting apparently disparate pieces of information and making sense of it - not a psychic sense.
You know try to locate things in a given area.
You know how to tell when people are lying to you.
You are trained for feats of agility that take advantage of body shapes and momentum.
Suggested Specialities : Deuling, Indoors, Multiple Foes
You can climb and have little fear of heights - only the fear of losing control. You climb bare handed and know how to use equipment.
You know how to use costumes, makeup and your environment to obfuscate your identity.
You possess the knowledge of hwo to act properly, abiding by formal regulations and how to act upon them.
You can relax your mind and body and focus yourself - allowing yourself to concentrate despite your environment.
You are good at avoiding the perception of others or distracting their attention from what you are doing.
Suggested Specialities : Hiding in Shadows, Moving on Floors and Opening Doors
Surviving outside of a structured environment can be difficult but you can master it.
You know how to tread water, hold your breath, even the basics of proffesional equipment and SCUBA.
This is a knowledge of the traditional ways, or Do, of Japanese society.
This is the ability to not only keep ledgers and do accounting but follow the basics of the stock market and the nature of financial transactions.
This is the academic knowledge of past events and the understanding of them.
The knowledge of spaces on the earth's surface along with limited knowledge of structure, political ownership and major characteristics of inhabitants.
For each point in this skill you know a seperate language and can use the knowledge for theoritical or academic applications. This is a simplified way to take care of languages. You must choose each language at the time of purchase.
This is as per the Street Fighter knowledge and reflects a fairly traditional view of bodily healing. Suggested Specialities : First Aid, Setting Bones
Suggested Specialities : Magic, Lost Civilizations, a specific theme like the Seven Lucky Gods
Suggested Specialities : a specific style or technique
Toxicology is the ability to create, administer, and to a degree - treat poisons.
With combat so common healing so important in Ranma 1/2, notably rapid healing. The Ranma 1/2 world is filled not only with hospitals and paramedics but what westerners would consider "bunk" methodologies but have very valid and entrenched places in eastern lore.
Willpower works identically to how it does in Street Fighter. A beginning Willpower score is based on your martial arts style.
Chi works identically to how it does in Street Fighter. Since the Ranma 1/2 universe runs to extremes, those in stress situations (Passions in use) may get Chi bonuses at Storyteller discretion. In these circumstances where the Storyteller decides it is appropriate a character may take his relevant Passion score and use it as a dice pool to roll versus a difficulty of seven and for each success gain one temporary point of Chi for the scene. Starting chi scores are based on the styles of combat. This is an optional rule however, and should only be used when the Storyteller feels that it would enhance the story.
Payers start out with ten levels of Health and can get up to twenty as per the Street Fighter rules. The Street Fighter game was based upon a video game where in health was lost until a given person was knocked down. This is not true in the world of Ranma 1/2 as characters are impaired by damage. The chart below shows the penalty to the difficulty number on all roles the player must take when down to that number of health levels. Obviously having more health levels can be very big advantage. Normally a Ranma 1/2 character can recover about two levels of health damage per day of rest.
|7 health levels||+1 difficulty|
|5 health levels||+2 difficulty|
|3 health levels||+3 difficulty|
|1 health levels||+4 difficulty|
|-5 health levels||dead|
The Rule of Character Survival and Miracles :
In some types of game environments (especially those without a very serious tone) the characters should not die. Thus, in critical situations the Storyteller should feel free to call in some type of miracle to save them. This doesn't mean that the characters should get off scott free - there will be negative repercussions but they do survive.
Techniques, Special Maneuvers and Combos are discussed in the Combat Chapter.
Backgrounds are handled identically to Street Fighter. Animal Champion does exist in the world of Ranma 1/2 - see Jasmine from the first movie as a good example. Backing, Manager, Arena and Staff do not apply to Ranma 1/2. Fame can be used in Ranma 1/2 but it is unlikely to be as relevant as it is in Street Fighter. Kodachi's fame among the high schools as Rhythmic Gymnastic Champion is appropriate here (though you might call it infamy in her case). Other backgrounds can be created if agreed upon between the Storyteller and players of course.