What does an ability score mean?

I have been lurking and reading archives for a few days, hoping to get a feel on what a score in an ability signifies in this system. I haven't actually found anything of that kind on this forum, but I have enjoyed reading the numerous threads that I stumbled over on my way.

To a certain extent a standard is implied by the xp-gain rate of characters and the increasing costs of abilities, but I still have trouble trying to understand if a soldier with a score in Single Weapon of 4 is average, rather good, or below average.

What are the ability standards in your saga? What kind of scores do you give to your stock NPCs?

Yours hopefully,

Average depends on what kinda people you're refering to.
For your average peasant levy, 3 would be pretty average, with 4 as high (well-trained levy).
For hunter levy, brigands and the ilk, 4 would be the average.
Professional soldiers would be at 5+.

A score of 2 for a semi-skilled artisan, an apprentice, the baron's levy guards.

A score of 5 or 6 for skilled arisans, a master craftsman, a knight or professional soldier.

A score of 10 or so for grandmasters, famously skilled warriors, and so on.

Higher scores on an individual, genius-based, basis. :slight_smile:

Thank you both for your quick replies! I initially tried to make some assessments myself, but they would often rely (at least partially) upon assumptions about the skill level of teachers available.

It seems that your standards for less-skilled people (i.e. levy troops) are slightly different, but I assume that both have worked out for you in your games.

Depends on the type of ability as well.

A score that is tested against the skill of an opponent (usually, combat abilities) needs to be higher to compensate for that. On non-competitive abilities this is not as true.

A score of 5-6 in a craft or ride skill makes you a really good expert in such ability: you can achieve scores of 9 (difficult targets) easily and master pieces of performance (12 as a target number) 50% of the time (more often if you have a positive characteristic applicable)

A score of 5-6 in combat abilities is not as good most of the time, since the targets tend to have pretty tough abilities as well in those areas. The levy with ability 2 is common, but the turb of the local lord is likely to have an average skill of 4, so your 6 does not grant you that much of an advantage here! The difference is like granting you a 2 in the ability: 2 points of advantage makes it way more difficult to score killing blows easily and a bad roll can scrwew you up easily. you have an edge in protracted (long) combats, but those are not very common.

Hope I made myself clear here. I am not sure I did...


From Cities & guilds: At the end of a guild apprenticeship, a guildmember will have an ability of 5. This doesn't say anything about men-at-arms, but since it does speak of the primary ability of proffessionals, I hold that it can be applied to warriors as well.