There are two types of abilities: raw abilities and town abilities. Raw abilities represent the core of your character while town abilities represent the people and resources you have to call on while in town.
Raw abilities Edit
Will is an ability that represents how mentally resilient and adaptable your adventurer is. This ability is rated from 1 to 6. Test Will when you’re trying to resist being convinced of something or to overcome the mental trials of life on the road, like anger and illness.
Will is the base ability for mental and social skills.
Health represents your adventurer’s physical strength and fortitude. The ability is rated from 1 to 6. Health is used for running a long distance, holding open a portcullis while your friends escape, swimming a fast-moving river, balancing on a tightrope and so on—any physical test that doesn’t fall under Nature or a skill. Note that climbing, swimming and navigating underground, often in the dark, is a specialized skill and not covered by raw Health. See the Dungeoneer skill for those factors. Health is also frequently tested when trying to resist the physical trials of life on the road—fatigue and injury. It is also used to break ties for tests requiring physical exertion.
Health is the base ability for physical skills.
Nature represents your stock’s natural qualities and tendencies. It is rated from 0 to 7. The Nature ability is unique among all the other abilities. While it has a rating like other abilities and skills, it includes three descriptors. These aspects describe the situations in which you can use your Nature without penalty. If you use your Nature in situations outside of the descriptors for your stock, you risk losing a bit of it. The higher your Nature rank, the more dwarf-like, elf-like, halfling-like or human-like you are. The lower your rank, the more strange and unlike your people you are. You don't want your Nature to get too low or too high. Characters with a max Nature rating of 0 or 7 at the end of a session are no longer fit for the adventuring life and must retire.
When performing a test which involves a skill you don't possess, you have two choices. You may either use Beginner's Luck or Act Within (or Against) your Nature.
Acting Within your Nature Edit
When you roll nature for a test which is related to one of your Nature descriptors, then you are acting within your Nature. Test Nature instead of the indicated skill.
Acting Against your Nature Edit
If you opt to roll Nature for a test which is outside of your Nature descriptors, then you are acting against your nature and risk taxing it. If you fail the roll, reduce your Nature by the margin of failure (to a minimum rating of zero). This is tax.
Taxed Nature Edit
When Nature is taxed, note your current nature rating as a fraction of your total nature. If your current Nature drops to zero, you immediately change one of your traits to Outcast, Odd, Faded, or something similar. This trait is decided on by the group and should be appropriate to the taxing situation. Your maximum Nature is also reduced by one and you lose all tax. If your maximum Nature is reduced to zero, then your character retires at the end of the session.
Tapping your Nature Edit
Players may spend a Persona point during any test in order to tap their Nature. Tapping your Nature adds your current Nature rating on top of your skill or ability rating for the purpose of a single test. If the test is failed, Nature is taxed by the margin of failure. If the test is passed but the task was against your Nature, take one point of tax. If the test is passed and the task was within your Nature, there is no tax.
Town abilities Edit
The Resources ability represents what material assets your character can muster in town, through resourcefulness or wealth. Your rating in Resources allows you to get stuff for your character. Resources ratings range from 0 to 10. Test Resources to find or purchase stuff. Your character can acquire food, lodging, a weapon or extra equipment.
The Circles ability represents how well-connected and sociable a character is. When in town, you may test your Circles to find other characters who might help you: guides, apprentices, porters and guards; mentors or other adventurers who will trade information. Circles can be rated from 1 to 10.