In an effort to distance myself from the Dungeons & Dragons way of doing things, I took some steps to change things in subtle ways so that I could open my mind to new possibilities. Lots of ideas came from reading about other gaming systems, particularly those of D&D’s main competitor: World of Darkness.

In particular, I took a shining to White Wolf’s approach of creating powers drawn from the setting’s factions and creating character archetypes from whole cloth, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel of fantasy archetypes. Then again, maybe they were trying to do that and just failing miserably — either way, I found their approach to my liking.

I started with the six ability scores in D&D and expanded their basic concepts: Strength became Prowess, Dexterity became Agility, Constitution became Fortitude, Intelligence became Cunning, Charisma became Courage, and Wisdom … remained Wisdom, because I thought it was just fine where it was.

Then I set about defining my new ability scores by giving each one two “associated traits” that would more or less represent them throughout the rest of the system: Prowess (Strength) received the attributes “Force” and “Speed,” Agility (Dexterity) received “Accuracy” and “Precision,” and Fortitude (Constitution) received “Stamina” and “Soak.”

The mental ability scores, Cunning (Intelligence) received “Skill” and “Yomi” (read about yomi here), Wisdom received the attributes “Focus” and “Reflex,” and Courage received “Charm” and “Resolve.” All of the attributes are aligned with either offense or defense, which is used as the basis of conflict resolution.