Mechanical Aspects

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VERS -> Mechanical Aspects

The following sections go into more details on the more mechanical sections of the character, and how they interact with the physics of the world around them. These are the parts that most roleplaying games focus on, and they are integral to VERS as well.

Power Source

A character's power source is essentially a one or two word descriptor of what powers their abilities. Typical examples are magic, technology, psychic, alien biology, and martial arts. In a realistic war game or any other genre that does not use abilities, this can be skipped, or the training Power Source can be used.

The power source descriptor allows certain abilities to target only certain types of characters, such as "protection against evil" spell preventing characters with the “Evil” power source, or a "signal jammer" device that prevents an AI character from moving or acting.

Power Level

A character's power level is a measure of how powerful the character is. It gives a character their starting Build Point totals and it also functions as a loose guideline for balancing character creation and character advancement by placing a general limit on the character’s stats. No character should have an Attribute, Skill, or Ability ranked above this value, although exceptions can be made by the GM.

Most games will start out at PL 3, although low fantasy or horror games may start out at PL 2, high fantasy games often start at PL 4, and superhero games range from PL 4-7. In games or genres in which players often have more abilities (high fantasy or superheroes) the GM may double the general BP total in the chart.

Finally, Build Points are different from Character Points, both in that they are spent differently and that BP is only available during character creation, while CP is only available after. Attribute and Skill BP is spent 1 for 1, or in other words, 1 BP gets 1 rank, while CP has a diminishing value for both, costing progressively more for the next rank. General BP spends the same way as CP, and can be converted to CP if it is not all spent at character creation.


Attributes are the character's inborn talents, and reflect what they are good at before education, training, or practice. For more information, see the Attributes section.


If attributes are a character’s inborn talents, then skills are the things that a character has learned over the course of their lives. For more information, see the Skills section.


Abilities are, in essence, everything else a character can do. Psychic abilities, punching through walls, casting spells, or anything else that makes sense in your game. For more information, see the Abilities section.


In many ways, Advantages are more limited Abilities. With only one rank and a very straightforward application (the majority of them require no activation roll, for instance), Advantages typically give a slight bonus in certain specific situations, or, more rarely, give access to new types of actions.

  • Attractive: The character is especially interesting to characters who might be attracted to a character of this gender. This gives the character a +2 bonus on social rolls against those people to befriend, seduce, calm, or deceive them. However, those people are likely to vividly remember the interaction later. This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Aura of Command: The character is especially good at taking control of a situation, and even those not well-disposed towards authority will often fall in line. This grants the character a +2 bonus to social rolls when leading. This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Companion: The character has a companion, be it a servant, slave, friend, or pet. This is the one advantage that has multiple ranks, with the rank setting the PL of the companion, who must be at least 1 PL less than the character taking this advantage. This advantage costs 5 CP per rank.
  • Danger Sense: The character, either through extreme paranoia or extreme vigilance, is much harder to ambush than the average person. They are allowed a free Insight roll (typically rolled by the GM) before an ambush. This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Encyclopedic Knowledge: The character is a walking repository of minor facts. Treat the character as having a +1 for any Expertise roll. This does not have any effect on Expertise skills that were purchased or are part of their background, only those skills which the character otherwise does not have any ranks in. This advantage costs 5 CP.
  • Fearless: The character is more resistant to fear than others. This could be because of experience or psychosis or any other reason. Discipline rolls again fear get a +2 bonus. This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Gigantic: The character is exceptionally large, measuring over 2 m (roughly 6’6”) in height. This increases both the starting and maximum Strength by 1, grants a +1 to Reach (see the Gameplay section), they take a -2 penalty to Dodge, and they are considered Size 1. This advantage costs 4 CP and must be purchased at character creation.
  • Hideous: The character is especially ugly to most members of their species or society. This gives the character a +2 bonus on social rolls against those people, to terrify, intimidate, or otherwise negatively influence those characters. However, those people are likely to vividly remember the interaction later. This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Language: The character is fluent in another language, including reading and writing it if the language has a written form (and the genre/setting features common literacy). The character is automatically considered to have this advantage in their native language. The character does not have to make a Linguistics roll to understand languages she has this advantage for. This advantage costs 1 CP.
  • Light Sleeper: The character does not sleep deeply, granting them a Perception roll with a -4 penalty to avoid ambushes during sleep (typically made by the GM in secret). This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Perfect Body: The character is particularly resilient to certain biological stresses, gaining a +2 bonus to resist them. This can take many forms, with common ones being exhaustion, poison, disease, holding their breath, or resisting drugs and alcohol. This advantage costs 1 CP, and can be purchased multiple times, each for a different situation.
  • Perfect Mind: The character is particularly good at estimating certain data, gaining a +2 bonus on rolls involving that information. This can take the form of distance, temperature, direction, pitch (as in sound), calculations, or even memory. This advantage costs 1 CP, and can be purchased multiple times, each for a different situation.
  • Status: This character has gained some type of higher status in their culture, gaining a +2 on social rolls with people who recognize and respect that status, and a -2 penalty with those who recognize but do not respect that status. Common statuses are military, religious, or governmental ranks, social class, wealth, or fame. This advantage costs 2 CP.
  • Tiny: This character is smaller than average, measuring less than 1.5 meters (5’) tall. This reduces the maximum and starting Strength for the character by 1, gives them a -1 Reach, and a +2 bonus on Dodge, and they are considered Size -1. This advantage costs 2 and must be purchased at character creation.


While not very important to superhero games, gear is an integral part of most other genres of roleplaying games. For more information, see the Gear section.

VERSIcon.png VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference
General Rules Basics
Making a Character Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)
Gameplay Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts
GM Info NPCs
Optional Rules Not Yet Complete
Gamemastering Not Yet Complete
Storytelling and Drama Not Yet Complete
Advanced Techniques Not Yet Complete
Appendices Example Abilities Fantasy - Psionics - Superheroes
Example Gear Prehistoric to Dark Ages - Medieval to Renaissance - Modern - Sci-Fi
Example NPCs Animals - People - Fantasy - Horror - Sci-Fi