Skills in The Carrington Event

The are 12 Abilities which all players have to some degree. Each Ability (the game system term) encompasses any kind of activity that fits the description of that Ability.

If you want to hurt someone, whether using a pistol, rifle, sword, or your fists, or intimidate them, use Ferocity. If you are a weapon instructor but are pretty soft-hearted, you might instead be ranked highly in Educated. If you want to sneak past someone or do something unseen or just generally be a sneaky, shifty character, use Shenanigans.

Each of the Abilities is described very broadly below. You’ll have a rank in each from Poor (the default, an average but capable person) to Spectacular (among the very best in the world at that kind of thing).

A Note on Perception

Strictly speaking, there is no pure “see things” skill. If something can be seen, you do see it and the GM simply tells you. Sometimes things are genuinely hidden or at least not in plain sight, and if you describe how you are looking for it, or describe your character taking actions that might reveal something hidden, the GM might either simply tell you or ask for a Deduction roll.

Other Abilities can sometimes substitute for Deduction. If you are searching for a secret door, someone with high Education might be have architectural knowledge and spot it. While looking for herbs in the wild, a Deduction roll could be called for – but Worldly covers knowledge of everything natural in the world, so you could use that instead.

It’s generally up to the player to mention the other Ability that could be used.

The Ability List

  1. Charm: You ability to impress people in social situations, and persuade them to do your bidding. This is not mind control: people will generally not put themselves out on your behalf unless they have some reason to pay attention to you. If that group of thugs is about to beat you up, turning on the charm won’t do much good. But if you have established yourself as a fierce warrior, and they recognise you, they are much more likely to listen before they risk their lives!
  2. Courage: At its heart, Carrington is a game of pulp heroes, and in this kind of game, Courage is the same thing as toughness. Can you keep going despite privation? Let’s check your willpower – and therefore Courage. Courage covers willpower, stubbornness, heroism, and the like. You have a Stress rating directly derived from your Courage score, and use the ability to resist mental influence – PCs must always have this at least at Fair.
  3. Daring: Moving, however it is done. Running to chase or escape someone, swinging from a chandelier, leaping through a window, avoiding the rolling boulder, etc.
  4. Deduction: Your ability to notice things that just aren’t apparent. You can sometimes use other abilities, but Deduction is the default perception / solving problems skill. You also receive a special benefit. For every rank in the Ability, you can ask the GM one yes/no question per Chapter that relates to your senses. “Is there a secret door in this room?” If the answer is yes, you know where it is. “Has this NPC lied to me?” (and you know which was the most recent lie.) No other Ability can substitute for this benefit.
  5. Drudgery: This is a fairly boring ability, and covers a lot of skills not covered by the others – being a maid, managing a tavern, and so on. It also covers familiarity with the lower classes and living beneath your means. If you want to find or interact with the black market, this is the Ability to use (and in some games it may be called Streetwise).
  6. Ferocity: Your ruthlessness and facility with violence. Your ability to bring harm to another, whether using a sword, a gun, or a fist. Fighting is a favourite of heroic individuals and their opponents, and it is not a good idea to be bad at this!
  7. Learned: Your academic ability. You might be a lowly clerk, lawyer, or governess, or even a skilled professor and scholar (of something). Use this ability for anything that might be written at length in an academic book, as long as it doesn’t clash with other Abilities. For each rank of Great and above, you can describe an obscure area of scholarship in which you have some renown. The GM should find some way to work that into play once in a while, which may be as simple as someone acknowledging it. Once per Chapter per rank, you may substitute Educated ability for any other skill on one roll, by describing how your education applies.
  8. Prestige: This represents your social standing, respect, and leadership ability. It’s a skill that might not often be used directly by players, but once per Chapter, you can invent an NPC of social standing equal to a roll, who is in a position to assist you once if they can. You can also use this ability to gain access to higher ranking events (like an invite to a gala), and when you need money or wealth, this is the Ability to roll. That money might be a possession or a loan – we’ll see…
  9. Shenanigans: Being sneaky in some way (or in many ways). Use this ability when trying to do something without being noticed. Pick someone’s pocket, sneak into their camp, perform an ambush, pocketing an item. Attempting this skill and failing always means the attempt is spotted by someone likely to be opposed to you (not another PC), and usually has consequences.
  10. Tinkering: Ability in maintaining, repairing, sabotaging, and operating equipment, especially if they are not commonly available. You could use this to repair the engines of an ocean-going ship, figure out how to drive the newfangled automobile, and sabotage the power armour being used against you. Highly skilled and capable engineers might be Inventors, and introduce their own marvellous gadgets (see Extras).
  11. Uncanny: This is an unusual Ability, unlike any other. It represents skill in the mysterious and eldritch powers of the world, and will be described later. You may not begin with this higher than Poor, and if it is raised in play, it can never be reduced.
  12. Worldly: Your ability and familiarity with the outdoors. In some adventures, this might be useless, and in others incredibly useful. Use this ability to find paths through the undergrowth, discover healing herbs, know about history of the local tribe, and so on.

Additional Abilities

It is possible to create extra Abilities, and acquire them. But this list should cover pretty much everything you try to do, so there probably is no need. You can, but you don’t have to.

Duplicate Abilities

Sometimes multiple abilities can be used for the same goal. This is especially the case when players get flexible with how they plan to achieve their goal (see the post on Resolution). Some flexibility is encouraged, but try to remain in the spirit of each listed Ability.

The Aspects and Extras described later can really help you mix things up, if that’s what you want.

Recommended Abilities

All player-characters start with six Abilities above Poor (one Great, two Good, and three Fair), and will get more. If you aren’t sure what to pick, I recommend having at least these: Charm, Courage, Daring, Ferocity and Shenanigans. Add to these, either Drudgery, Education, Tinkering, or Worldly. That will give you an all-round useful set of Abilities. If you have a specific idea for your character, feel free to deviate from these suggestions.

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