This measures the character’s general physical capability, excepting raw power, which is a function of Vigor. Athletics covers running, jumping, climbing, and other broadly physical activities you might find in a track and field event. Characters with high Athletics include athletes, soldiers and outdoorsmen.

Athletics is often the “when in doubt” physical skill, and it can get a lot of use. There’s sometimes confusion as to when to use Athletics and when to use Vigor. As a rule of thumb, Athletics is used to move yourself, Vigor is used to move other things and people. When an action calls for both, they may modify one another. If there is no clear indication which should be primary, default to Athletics as primary and Vigor as secondary.

  • Jumping [Athletics]

Jumping is something one does to get over obstacles or across bottomless chasms, and in those situations the GM will set a fixed difficulty to be met or exceeded. Generally, that difficulty is going to be the bare minimum to clear the distance, so beating that by a few degrees is often a good idea. Outside of that, jumping is often just considered an extension of normal movement. For GM advice on setting difficulties and designing jumping challenges, see Running the Game.

  • Sprinting [Athletics]

A character may use their Athletics to move faster by taking a sprint action. Normally, characters may only move one zone on their turn. Characters who move as a supplemental action take a penalty (-1 to Athletics and their main action) are sprinting; rolling Athletics against a target difficulty of Mediocre ( +0), they may cross a number of zones and borders equal to or less than the total degrees of effect. In the absence of borders, characters can always move a minimum of one zone. See page Conflicts and Resolution for additional details.

  • Climbing [Athletics]

Athletics is the skill for climbing. The GM will set a difficulty for how hard it is to climb a given obstacle. At the GM’s option, degrees may be used to speed the process if the character succeeds. For GM advice on setting difficulties and designing climbing challenges, see Running the Game.

  • Falling [Athletics]

When characters fall, they bypass the physical stress track entirely, and hop right to a consequence, with the severity of the consequence being determined by length of the fall. Characters who fall can roll Athletics to try to limit the severity of the result. For guidelines on the severity of falls, please see Running the Game.

  • Athletics in Conflicts [Athletics]

Athletics can be used as an Attack skill in Race conflicts. Athletics is the primary Defense skill in Physical and Race conflicts, and works very well in conjunction with taking a full defense action (yielding a +2 to the roll; see Conflicts and Resolution). Athletics is the primary Move skill in Physical and Race conflicts.

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