Abilities are a mechanical way for you to implement the attributes of your character, and are this game's version of Skills. There are three parts to customise your character: terrain type, size, and Abilities.

If you are having trouble picking any part of these, feel free to contact a GM, and we can help you decide what best suits your character.

First, choose the type of terrain your animal character would be most comfortable in, which will determine their mobility in all terrain types. Mobility doesn't need to just be a measure of speed, but also your character's acceleration, agility, dexterity and general ease of movement.

Your character's terrain type can be the location your animal is found in in the real world, or the terrain type your character has spent the most amount of time in, and is thus the most proficient at moving through.

There are three types of terrain type: Terrestrial, Aquatic and Avian, which have the following mechanical effects:


  • Best mobility on land
  • Low mobility on water
  • Can send a maximum of 5 messages while underwater before needing to come up for air


  • Best mobility in water
  • Low mobility on land
  • Can send an unlimited number of messages while underwater, even if you breathe air


  • Can fly
  • Lowest mobility on land and water
  • Hollow bones – injuries will automatically be more severe than other creatures of the same size as you
  • Can send a maximum of 5 messages while underwater before needing to come up for air

Now choose a size for your character. Size will determine the strength of your character, the spaces they can fit into, the likelihood of gaining injuries, and the number of Ability Points your character gets to spend on Abilities. See below for information on Abilities.

Your character's size can be the same as the size of your animal in the real world, or you can choose to be a particularly large or small version of your animal (within reason – the GMs will not accept an elephant-sized fly).

There are three size categories: big, medium and small, which have the following mechanical effects:

Big (e.g. rhino, big cat, Nile crocodile)

  • Less likely to gain injuries
  • Physically stronger than animals of smaller sizes
  • 3 Ability Points

Medium (e.g. house cat, penguin, chimpanzee)

  • Medium likelihood to gain injuries
  • 4 Ability Points

Small (e.g. mouse, insect, pigeon, trout, hedgehog)

  • More likely to gain injuries
  • Can fit into smaller spaces than animals of greater sizes
  • 5 Ability Points

Finally, choose your Abilities. Each Ability costs 1 Ability Point, and the number of Ability Points you have to spend are determined by your animal's size.

Abilities can be derived from attributes your animal has in the real world, but they do not have to be limited to such. Your character may have an Ability because they've practised it for a long time, and may lack an Ability other animals of the same species tend to have because they've never needed to use it, and have neglected to train it.

The available Abilities are listed below, along with the mechanical effect they bring:

Armour – Whether natural or manufactured, you possess protection of some sort that keeps the dangers of the world firmly on the outside. The likelihood of you gaining an injury is the same as animals one size larger than you, and if you are a big animal, the likelihood of you gaining an injury is very low.

Better senses – Sometimes you pity the other animals that can never experience the world quite like you do. Either due to years of honing or a few extra organs, you possess one of the improved senses below. You may take this Ability multiple times, choosing a different improved sense each time.

  • Sharp eyes – You have better vision in bright light than other creatures, being able to discern objects in greater detail or perceive them at a further distance.
  • Dark vision – You have better vision in dim light than other creatures, being able to see details in dim light that others would only be able to see in bright light.
  • Blind sight – You possess the ability to know where objects are in pitch black, such as deep in a cave e.g. with echolocation or infrared vision.
  • Tremorsense – You possess the ability to sense tremors due to moving creatures nearby, even if they’re underground, while in contact with a solid surface.
  • Keen ears – You have better hearing.
  • Trusty nose – You have better smelling.
  • Strong tongue – You are able to discern some of the materials/ingredients that make up a substance by tasting it
  • Sixth sense – Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and one other… tell us what extra sense you possess and what it allows you to do, within reason, e.g. magnetoreception, electroreception, or hygroreception.

Buoyancy (only available to Terrestrial and Aerial animals) – You’re no fish, but that doesn’t mean the water is impassable to you. You can swim near or on the surface of water reasonably well, but are not capable of full mobility underwater, unlike Aquatic animals.

Burrowing – To hide, to feed, or to nest, there’s a whole world available just beneath the surface. You are able to dig into soft materials like dirt and sand.

Climbing – Be they green, rust or grey, no tree is too tall for you to master. You are better at climbing.

Extremophile – Whatever the world might throw at you, you’re ready to take it. Choose one of the following conditions to be resilient against. It will take significantly more of this condition to harm you than other animals. You may take this Ability multiple times, choosing a different condition each time.

  • Extreme cold
  • Extreme heat
  • Low oxygen, including allowing you to hold your breath for much longer than average, allowing you to write 10 messages while underwater if you breathe air, or 10 messages while above water if you have the Gills (-) Quirk. NB: This does not need to be taken by Aquatic animals who breathe air
  • Poison, including diseases, venom, toxins and chemicals

Fast – You feel the need, the need to burn an excessive number of calories in a very short period of time. You can move faster than other creatures in your terrain-type.

Feather Falling – You have long since won the battle against that ancient foe: terminal velocity. Be it through rational physics or the irrational ability to always land on your feet, you can fall from any height and survive the landing, even if you posses an injury that prevents you from flying or gliding.

Glider (only available to Terrestrial and Aquatic animals) – That wasn't flying, that was falling with style! You have the ability to glide through the air, letting you slow your descent and cover quite some distance while falling, though you lack the full manoeuvrability and ability to rise in the air that Aerial creatures possess.

Intimidating – You don’t often lose your temper, but due to the reddening of your skin or the unfurling of a frill or even just a particularly hard stare, when others make you angry, you make sure they know about it. It will be easier to scare and intimidate NPCs if you so wish.

Iron stomach – When it comes to surviving starvation, beggars can’t be choosers. You are able to digest plants or materials others would find inedible, meaning food is easier to come by.

Mimicry – “Polly want a cracker?” You can mimic sounds, tunes and single words you've heard before near perfectly. Mimicking longer sentences is more difficult however, and won't sound exactly like the original speaker.

Secret weapon – Unlike other animals who wear their teeth and claws on their sleeves (if you’ll forgive the old phrase), what makes you dangerous is hidden away until you need to call upon it. Be it sheathed claws, venom, or quills, the sudden appearance of your weapon means you will have an advantage when you get into combat with another animal. NB: You do not need to take this Ability if your animal has natural weapons which are not hidden, such as sharp teeth.

Stealth – Remaining unseen is more than just possessing a camouflaged coat and padded paws; it’s a state of mind. You are significantly less likely to be discovered by other animals if you wish to remain hidden.

Wriggly – Be it a lack of shoulder blades or just a very flexible spine, if your head can get through it, the rest of your body can too. You are able to wriggle through gaps and within spaces as narrow as your skull.

  • skills.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/07/20 15:53
  • by gm_will