As mentioned before, Abilities are the Traits used to describe what you know and what you've learned to do. Whereas Attributes represent your raw potential, Abilities represent the ways you've learned to use that potential. You may not need anything but brute strength to smash through a door - but if you're trying to use sheer muscle power to force an engine part into place without breaking anything, you'd better know something about mechanics. When rolling dice, you'll probably have to pair an Ability with an appropriate Attribute, in order to properly depict the combination of potential and know-how that's necessary for getting things done.

There are 30 Abilities: 10 Talents, 10 Skills and 10 Knowledges. Each Ability typically covers a broad range of aptitudes. For certain Abilities (Expression, Crafts, Performance, Academics, Science), it is best to pick a specialty (p. 117), even if the character's rating in the Ability is not yet 4 or higher. Thus, a character with the Crafts Skill is generally versed in handiwork of all sorts, but might be particularly adept at auto mechanics.

Talents describe what you intuitively know, what you can do without coaching or instruction. The only way to improve your Talents is through direct experience - with the exception of a very few cases (such as studying a text on Jeet Kune Do to learn a dot or so of Brawl), these things can't be learned from a book or mail-order course. If you try an action involving a Talent your character doesn't possess, there's no penalty to your basic Attribute dice pool; these Abilities are so intuitive that virtually everyone has some degree of capacity in each one.

Skills are Abilities learned through training, apprenticeships or other instruction. If you try to perform an action involving a
Skill in which you have no rating, your difficulty is increased by one. An unskilled worker just isn't as effective as someone
who might have lower Attributes but an understanding of what the procedure entails.

Knowledges involve the application of the mind, not the body; consequently, Knowledge Abilities are most often paired
with Mental Traits. (It's possible to roll Charisma + Academics, or even Stamina + Medicine, but such things are pretty
rare.) The following descriptions speak of Knowledge levels in collegiate terms, although formal schooling is j ust one way
to improve a Knowledge.

If you don't have any dots in a Knowledge, you cannot even attempt a roll involving it unless the Storyteller gives explicit
permission (such as where common trivia is concerned). If you don't know Spanish, you can't try holding a conversation in
espanol on your wits alone.




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