Every character has three special abilities: a primary, a secondary, and a tertiary. The Primary starts at 3 and has no IP multiplier. The secondary starts at 2 and has a x2 IP multiplier. The tertiary starts at 1 and has a x3 multiplier. Special abilities may only be chosen at character creation.
Here is an important note about the differences between bonuses and offsets. Some abilities give a bonus. This means that in the right circumstance, you get to add the bonus to a die roll. Some abilities give a penalty offset. This means that specific penalties can be ignored up to a total equal to the special ability. So it’s like a bonus, except that if the ability exceeds the total penalties, you don’t get to use the entire ability.
At the bottom of the list are extra special abilities. This can never be chosen, but are gained via events in the characters past or during the course of the campaign.
This special ability does not have a specific benefit and ignores the normal IP multiplier rules. Instead the player chooses a skill that the character has an affinity for. If the skill is chosen as the primary ability, the skill’s IP multiplier is reduced by three. If the skill is chosen as the secondary ability, the skill’s IP multiplier is reduced by two. If the skill is chosen as the tertiary ability, the skill’s IP multiplier is reduced by one. For example, in an effort to suck up to the GM, a player chooses the Lima Lama martial art skill. As a normal skill, its IP multiplier is x4. If the player chooses to have Affinity for this skill as their primary ability, its multiplier is reduced to x1, making it much easier to advance in the skill. So in other words, Affinity is not a extra ability, it is simply applied to a skill which makes the skill easier to learn. It is possible to take this ability more than once and apply it to different skills.
The character knows how to draw the attention of an individual or small group of people. They’ve got the mojo. The ability is a bonus to Seduction. A bonus equal to half of the ability, rounded down, is applied to Grooming, and Wardrobe & Style.
This is the ability to intimidate or control others. Some people naturally have a commanding presence that’s hard to stand up to. This ability is a bonus to Interrogate and Intimidate skill checks.
This character has the ability to sway crowds and manipulate the mob mentality. This ability is used as a bonus to Oratory and Leadership. However, where as those skills alone will only affect a handful of people, the maximum number of people that can be affected by the skill when combined with this ability is equal to the ability score squared, times 200.
No matter how much you train for combat, there is no substitute for the real thing. The character has seen some heavy action at some point in his or her life, and as a result has developed a gut instinct about the nature of skirmishes. The character has an advantage because they can read how things are developing. Combat Sense is a bonus to initiative rolls and combat related Awareness checks.
This is an ability to be believed or at least be taken seriously. When the police arrive and want someone to explain all the lead filled corpses, the character with the high credibility is the one they will most likely believe. It also comes into play when you need to convince an executive that he needs get out of town because bad things are about to happen. In other words, this ability helps the character be perceived as trustworthy. Because credibility comes from honesty, if the character is caught out in a lie, they lose 10 IP toward advancing this ability.
The character has a Sherlock Holmes like gift for deductive reasoning. The spot things others would miss, and can gain important clues from a conversation that would seem unimportant to others. This skill gives a bonus to Awareness checks. A bonus equal to half of the ability, rounded down, is applied to Interview and Human Perception.
The character has a quick recovery time. Wounds seem to heal faster and drugs and poisons seem to lose their effect sooner. If the character is wounded, each day the character rolls a 1d10. If the result is equal to or less than the ability, the character heals an extra point that day. The ability also reduces the effect duration of drugs by 5% per point of the ability. This includes both harmful and beneficial drugs.
The character is right out of a John Woo film and has a talent for close range gun duels. The ability can only be used when wielding pistols or light submachine guns. This ability can be used to offset penalties for fast draw, walking or running while shooting, off hand use, and using two guns.
Some characters have a natural talent for working in The Net. While anyone can run The Net, characters with the Interface ability have an affinity for it that gives them an edge. Interface is a bonus to INT when rolling some cyber deck functions like scanning for remotes and creating virtual environments. It is also used in cyberspace combat when using or defending against anti-personnel and stealth/detection programs.
The character is a natural athlete. He could easily have played professional sports if there were any still around that didn’t have a lethal injury report. The ability has three benefits. First, it’s a bonus to any Endurance skill checks. Secondly, the character has another movement rate in addition to walk and run. The character can choose to sprint. While sprinting, the character may take no other action. The distance the character can sprint is equal to the run speed + one meter for every point in the ability. For every two points in this ability, the character can increase their Leap distance by one meter.
This is the MacGuyer skill. The character has a gift for tinkering. The character rolls Jury Rig + Tech to assemble a contraption or modify the function of a device. The difficulty is based on the intended creation and the available parts and tools. The contraption or modification will function for 1d6 rounds for every point in the ability.
The character has a knack for the long shot. This ability can only be used with a rifle, or any rifle style, direct fire weapon. It most always be preceded by an aim action. This ability offsets penalties for moving targets, called shots, and reducing extreme range to long range.
This is the ability to tap into the underground information network and black market economy. The skill is used to uncover rumors and information, locate missing persons or things, get word out on the street, and score black market deals. It is a bonus to Streetwise and Fast Talk.
The character is unshakeable when he or she is focused and in the zone. Characters can use this ability to offset skill check penalties for being distracted, under pressure, in a hurry, or in a hostile environment.
The character has an almost symbiotic relationship with vehicles. When piloting any kind of vehicle, including powered armor, the ability is a bonus to initiative and Awareness checks. The ability also gives a bonus equal to one half the ability score, rounded down, to all pilot skill checks.
The character has a particularly strong sense of humanity. As a result the character can take on more cybernetics than the average person before cyber-psychosis sets in. The character’s humanity is calculated by EMP x Well Grounded x 10. In other words, a character with Well Grounded at 5 has 15 Humanity points per point of EMP instead of the normal 10. If a character increases this ability, he immediately receives a number of Humanity Points equal to his starting EMP. This ability also gives a bonus equal to half of the ability score, rounded down, to Human Perception and Social.
WILL TO LIVE
The character just refuses to go into the light. There are two benefits to this ability. This ability works similar to LUCK accept that it can only be applied to Death Saves. Furthermore, it acts as a bonus for anyone attempting to stabilize the character.
The following special abilities are not chosen, but developed through game play
Reputation is everything in the life of an edge runner. It is how the character is perceived. This influences the likelihood of getting hired for a lucrative job, and how much is actually paid out. Street punks think twice before messing with a guy that people tell stories about. Characters will have a base reputation between 1-10. It is modified by the character’s current life style. (Two characters may have identical abilities and identical accomplishments, but if one sleeps in a coffin, eats kibble, and takes the bus; while the other has a penthouse pad, dines out on fresh food, an drives a sports car, guess which one has the better reputation.) IPs are earned (or lost) solely at the discretion of the GM based on the character’s performance and who knows about it.
A character with a Resources ability has a connection with, or ties to a specific group. This could be a gang, a nomad family, a corporation, or a government agency. It is possible to have multiple versions of this ability. He or she can call on that group for favors. Small favors would be asking a street gang to create a traffic problem to delay someone, or having a cop pull someone over on a bogus traffic stop. Larger favors would be having a corporation supply the group with some basic equipment, flying them somewhere, or hand over intelligence on a rival corporation. Big favors would be having a street gang start a gang war, the cops raiding a corporation, or a corporation loaning a piece of military grade firepower. IPs for a Resources ability are issued by the GM based on what the character did that game session to benefit the organization that the Resources are tied to.