|Home / Games / Avatar Index||Previous | Next Section/Chapter|
The following are brief descriptions of the key Fighting styles. The actual rules for these Fighting styles can be found in section 5.6.
See Table 6 for Governing Values, and section 5.6 for further information.
See Table 7 for Governing Values. Note that some of the domains of the crafts overlap, for example, Blacksmith is not far from a Weapon Smith. To allow for this, tasks which involve a similar craft are possible at a -10 penalty to the Skill in question. For example, a Blacksmith making weapons uses 10 less than his Blacksmith Skill.
The following are brief descriptions of the various Schools of Magic. The rules regarding magic use are given in Chapter 7.
See Table 8 for Governing Values.
Unlike other abilities, Language and Literacy skills start with a certain number of Skill Points assigned. These values can be raised by spending some of the character's Skill Points in the usual manner. The number of Skill Points a character has in a certain language depends on how well educated the character has been, and the relationship between their country of origin and the language being considered.
Players should choose the education class which best describes their character from the following:
The Gamesmaster should determine which template fits the character's home country from the following list:
Table 9 provides the Skill Points awarded to various different languages according to the education of the character and the type of nation they belong to. Where a zero is given, the character still rolls on the 0 Skill Points line of Table 10.
The three values given in Table 9 refer to the primary, secondary and tertiary language groups for the country in question. The general definitions for these are as follows:
These broad categories are altered in each case as follows:
To determine the Skill Points in the corresponding Literacy skill for each language, adjust any Skill Points allocated to a certain language by the Literacy value (given in Table 9). Any value adjusted value of 0 still gets to roll at the 0 level, but any value less than 0 is ignored. For example, a well educated character from a trading country has base 25, 10 and 5 in primary, secondary and tertiary languages respectively. The same person has 15 and 0 Skill Points in the primary and secondary Literacy Skills for these languages, but is not literate in any tertiary languages (without spending Skill Points in the Literacy Skills for these languages).
The Gamesmaster should tailor these broad language guidelines to individual characters and nations, according to circumstances.
It is not expected for characters to make Task Resolutions using Language and Literacy Skills. Instead, the Skill level is used to determine the degree of mastery in that Language, as indicated in Table 11, below.
The same degrees of understanding should be applied to Literacy skills, with appropriate alterations.
When role-playing a situation involving a lack of knowledge in the language used, the GM is advised to be creative. Listen to what the player said and ignore (or exchange) certain words at random, with the degree of alteration proportional to the degree of understanding. With a little imagination, some interesting and amusing situations can result from the use and abuse of language.
When exchanging one word for another, remember that the characters are not speaking English hence so don't replace one word with another that sounds the same in English (and do not let players know which word or words were misunderstood). Just reply to the player's statement as if they had actually said the altered sentence, and let any complications reveal themselves.
An option which may be used during character generation is to allow characters to specialise. Specialisation allows certain Skills to be subdivided into a set of more specific Skills. A character who chooses to specialise gains an advantage because, by concentrating on just one aspect of a proficiency, they are able to learn more in a given amount of time than they would if they learnt all aspects of that Skill.
A character who specialises will concentrate on a particular area of one general skill. Players can derive specialised skills for their characters from the list of general skills listed in Table 5, with the permission of the GM. For instance, if a player wanted a specialisation in Poison Lore for their character, the general skill would be Plant Lore.
During Skill Point allocation, points can be allocated to both the specialised skill and its general skill. It should be noted that Points need not be allocated to the general skill to have a specialised skill derived from it. Because the two Skills are so closely linked, expertise in one will add to the expertise in the other. This is reflected in the following process for determining Skill Values for the skills in question:
These Skill Point Totals are then cross-referenced against Governing Values on Table 10 in the usual way, to give the final Skill Values.
It is possible to have multiple specialisations in one general skill, for example, a player might derive the specialisations Poison Lore and Agriculture from the general skill Plant Lore. In this case, the Skill Point Total for the general skill will equal half the total Skill Point allocation for all the specialisations, plus the Skill Point allocation for the general skill.
As an example, let us consider a person who chooses to specialise in Survival, breaking it down into Hot desert survival and Tropical survival. They allocate 20 Skill Points in Hot desert survival, 10 in Tropical survival, and none into Survival itself. The general skill, Survival, would therefore have 15 points allocated (20/2 + 10/2) and the specialisations would have 35 (20 + 15) and 25 (10 + 15) allocated respectively. By restricting their area of knowledge, the player has increased the character's degree of proficiency in the areas the character does know.
In certain special cases, one Skill counts as a specialisation for another. For example, the Horseman Fighting style counts as a specialisation in Ride. This is treated in exactly the same way as detailed above. For example, if a person has put 10 Skill Points into Ride and 25 into Horseman, they have an effective Skill Point total of 22 (25 divided by 2 is 12, plus 10 gives 22) in Ride. Note that the amount that is `carried' over is always rounded down and also that the amount allocated to Ride does not affect the Horseman Skill, since Horseman is treated as a specialisation of Ride, but Ride is not treated as the general skill of Horseman.
A character's bias determines which is their dominant hand: left, right or ambidextrous. Normally the character can choose to be left or right handed, but this optional rule determines the bias randomly, whilst also giving a chance of the character being naturally ambidextrous.
|d6 < d20||Right handed|
|d6 = d20||Ambidextrous|
|d6 > d20||Left handed|
In order to determine a character's bias, roll 1d20 and 1d6, then consult Table 12 to determine the resulting bias. This distribution is reasonably close to the `real' distribution of left handed, right handed and ambidextrous people. Any character can choose to be ambidextrous at the cost of one Fate Point.
This section comprises of a summary of the twelve steps necessary to generate a character in Avatar. It should be noted that the actual rules for character generation are not included here; this section should be used with reference to the rules presented previously in this Chapter whenever needed. Once one or two characters have been generated using the Avatar rules, this section should act as a handy reference in creating future characters.
Before character generation can be started, it is important to have a clear picture of what the character to be generated is going to be like in terms of their previous background, personality and influences.
After each distinct game session (that is, when a game has been played to the point where it is reasonable to allow the characters a rest), the characters will have an opportunity to improve their Skill levels. Avatar employs a system of development packages. When a development package has been earned in a Skill, the Skill will increase by a certain amount, depending on what the current level of the Skill is, and what the Governing Value for that Skill is (see Table 13, below). For this reason, players are encouraged to record their Governing Values for their Skills.
|Skill Level||Governing Value|
|-10 to -1||0 to +10||+11 to +15||+16 to +20|
|0-5||1d6 -1*||1d6||1d6 +1||1d6 +2|
|6-10||1d6/2||1d6 -1*||1d6||1d6 +1|
|16-20||2 for 1||1||1d6/2||1d6-1*|
|21-30||3 for 1||2 for 1||1||1d6/2|
|31-40||4 for 1||3 for 1||2 for 1||1|
|41-50||5 for 1||4 for 1||3 for 1||2 for 1|
|51-60||6 for 1||5 for 1||4 for 1||3 for 1|
|61+||8 for 1||6 for 1||5 for 1||4 for 1|
*The minimum increase is 1 point.
A development package can be earned in two different ways:
Whichever method a development package is acquired, it improves the Skill in the same way, as described above. The GM should decide how many bonus development packages to award on the basis of how much opportunity the characters would have to train or learn in the period of game time that has elapsed. About one to three bonus development packages should be awarded after each scenario, or campaign chapter.
No player is forced to spend bonus development packages when they are awarded: they can be saved until the player has an opportunity to learn a Skill they would like to spend the development package on. However, they can only be spent when the character has both time and opportunity to learn that Skill.
When dealing with Specialisations (see section 3.18), each Development Package earned in a Specialisation is worth one and a half Development Packages in the Specialisation and an additional half a Development Package in the General Skill. The halves means nothing by themselves, and another half a Development Package must be earned before any benefit applies. If a character wishes to start a Specialisation after character generation, they must first have an opportunity to learn the Specialisation and then spend a Development Package on the Specialisation (which then counts as one and a half Development Packages in the Specialisation, and half a Development Package in the General skill).
Skill development can occur from being taught. A character can be taught in any Skill, by any character who has an aptitude in the Skill to be taught. The teacher need not have a higher Skill Level than the student, since the teacher may be proficient in areas of the Skill unknown to the student. However, the process will be more difficult for the Teacher in this case.
The ability of a teacher to instruct in a certain Skill is measured by the average of their Teach Skill and the Skill being taught. The student's Level in the Skill being taught can never rise higher than this value, without finding a teacher with a higher Skills average.
In order to determine how successful a teacher is in imparting knowledge, the teacher should add the result of a 1d20 roll to the average of their Teach Skill and the Skill being taught, and subtract 20. This value is a measure of the success in teaching for one days work (that is, one roll can be made per day of teaching). For each block of 5 in this total, the student gains and improvement point in the skill being taught.
An improvement point can be considered a fraction of a Development Package. When enough have been earned in the Skill being taught, a Development Package is gained. Improvement points build up day by day, though all improvement points will be lost if there is a significant break in the teaching process, for instance if the teacher and student are separated for a number of days. It should also be noted that improvement points are specific to one teacher.
When a student has gained as many improvement points as their current Level in the Skill being taught, they gain one Development Package in that Skill. If the student has no Level in that Skill (i.e. they are being taught a new Skill), it takes 5 improvement points to gain a Development Package in that Skill. The teacher may, at the GM`s discretion, gain a Development Package in their Teach Skill for their work in training the student.
If it is clear that the teacher and student will have a long period of time to work together, a similar process can be used to determine the number of improvement points that the student would gain for a solid week of work. Here, the teacher rolls 1d20 and adds it to their average of Teach and Skill to be taught, then subtracts 10. This value is equal to the number of improvement points the student gains in one week.
For example, a certain teacher has a Teach Skill of 20 and a Swim Skill of 16. The average is 18. She attempts to teach a certain student who cannot swim at all, over the course of three days. For the first day, she rolls a 19, which gives a total of 17 for that day (18 +19 -20). This is 3 complete blocks of 5, so the student has 3 improvement points. The second day, she rolls a 1 - a Fumble (see section 4.2). Because of the Fumble, she rolls again at -10, getting a 5, for a total of -7 (18 +5 -10 -20). This is one block of 5 against, so the student loses one improvement point, taking them down to 2 points.
On the final day, the teacher rolls a 17, for a total of 15 (18 + 17 -20). This is 3 blocks of 5, so the student now has 5 improvement points. Since the student had no Skill at all to start with, they have earned a Development package in Swim. The student's Governing value for Swim is +4, so they gain a Skill increase of 1d6. The student rolls, and gets a 6. The student's Swim Skill is now 6.
As a further example, let us assume the same teacher spends a week training the same student at some point in the future, when the students Swim Skill was still 6. The teacher rolls a 12 for a total of 20 (18 +12 -10) and hence 20 improvement points are given. The first 6 are worth a Development package, and looking at Table 13 we can see with a Skill level of 6 and a Governing value of +4, the Development package is worth +1d6 -1. The student rolls a 1, and hence the Skill only goes up by 1 (the minimum for a 1d6 -1 increase).
The student has 14 improvement points remaining, so 7 of these equate to another Development Package. The student rolls 1d6 -1 and gets a result of 5. This raises the student's Skill to 12, and since this is more than the number of improvement points remaining (7), the rest of the improvement points are lost.
The Demeanour traits, Concept Affinities and Concept Aversions that a character has represent their personality at the start of play. It is expected, however, that these will not be cast in stone.
Firstly, if a player has an idea of who and what their character is going to be, they should not act strictly as their Demeanour traits indicate if it conflicts with their view of the character. If the Demeanour traits don't reflect who the character is in the player's eyes, the Demeanour traits should be changed (however, any such corrections of Demeanour should be agreed with the GM).
There is likely to be a certain amount of this clarification when a player first starts playing a character, as the player's view of the character is finalised, and the Demeanour traits move to accommodate this. There is a certain potential for abuse inherent in allowing such changes, especially if a player chooses their Demeanour Traits to give them the best Governing Values on their Skills and then changes their Demeanours.
Gamesmasters are advised to watch for any such abuse. Secondly, as a character's life progresses, their personality will develop, according to the events and experiences of their life. Unfortunately, no hard and fast mechanics can be provided for these changes - it is entirely up to the player and the GM to discuss whether or not a character's Traits should change.
For example, a Peaceful villager who returns to find all of his people slaughtered is likely to change somehow. How he reacts is up to the player. It's possible that his Demeanour might go from Peaceful to neither Peaceful nor Violent (although unlikely to change straight to Violent). It's also possible he might become Vengeful, from neither Vengeful nor Forgiving, or any other appropriate change.
The simple fact is, to provide mechanics which dictate how a personality changes in certain situations is a hopeless task, especially when the players themselves are quite capable of deciding how their character's personalities should develop.
Another way personalities can change is by Insanity. The most common cause of Insanity in Avatar is magic use, and the rules provide mechanics for spell casters gradually sliding into Insanity. See section 7.5, section 7.6 and section 7.7 for more details.
It is worth noting, however, that other events may cause an individual to go Insane. Of course, the specifics are left to the individuals to decide, but anything in which a person's fundamental interpretation of reality is challenged is likely to cause a certain degree of Insanity.