This section describes attributes and skills used in RIP system. A
character generation system is merged into it, giving any variations
to possible race averages.
In normal cases, characters in RIP are made with character
points. The player has designed number (normally 15 for basic
powerful RIP fantasy characters) of character points, which are then used to buy
better attributes, skill levels and background options. Unless noted
otherwise, 25% of original character points must be used in
A normal average human is about 5 character points. A creature of
another race has certain basic attributes and skills typical to race,
and then has character points as acquired experience for training and
Unless noted otherwise, a player character is made
with 15 cp, which are used to buy following things:
- Attributes, standard and special
- Skills (at least 5 cp must be used on these in normal cases)
- Background options
As base, character has following things for free:
- Native language at master (3) level
- Any number of free skills. These skills can be chosen quite freely,
but must be linked to the character's education and personal history.
- Familiarity with local culture, geography and important people,
unless the character is a stranger in the area (see below).
- Some equipment. See background.
Not all characters are limited to humans, and even humans have some
notes on them in fantasy world. If creating a character to Tanion (a
fantasy world used in these rules), refer to bestiary
for possible races (only civilized races,
please). On other worlds, consult the GM. As different races have
different starting attributes and things, the race may cost varying
Attribute note: Some races have guidelines about common
attributes, like human males usually have strength and health
+1. These notes are only guidelines for character creation and player
is free to choose such a common attribute if he wants to, but pays the
normal cps for it. However, some races have some upgraded attributes
automatically, like all elves have better awareness than humans. In
such a case, any attribute changes are made to that level, not to
normal +0 level. So an elf with poor (-1) awareness (-2 cp) has final
attribute +0, not -1 or anything else.
Attributes are character born or somehow enhanced physical and mental
Standard attributes are physical and mental
attributes possessed by each creature, and are strength, health,
agility, awareness, willpower and social.
Special attributes are creature or individual specialized
attributes like mental problems, physical disadvantages and
advantages, special powers etc..
All creatures in RIP have following attributes:
- This attribute resembles creature pure physical strength.
A creature with superb (+2) strength is as strong as
world-class (human) weight lifter, while inferior (-2)
creature is like a few years old kid.
- This attribute reflects endurance and constitution of the
character. A character with high health can
go on longer while those ranked very low get exhausted very
fast. Health is also used when character is wounded or
suffers damage or poisoning, but note that muscle mass (i.e.
strength) usually determines how well the body of the
character can withstand damage. Typical sub-attributes
are endurance (how long the character can go on) and
resistance (poisons and toxins)
- Creature speed, balance, agility and such things are
represented with agility attribute. High level attributes are
possessed by olympic athletics, while those with poor agility
stumble on stairs.
- Creature perception, sight and smell. It also tells about
character speed to react to certain situations, althought
agility is also important.
- This attribute resembles, how good will and self-control the
creature has and how easily he is broken under stress. Those
with low levels are usually easily irritated and break easily.
Mindless creatures have no willpower.
- General appearance, social skills, charisma and such things.
A creature with high social is easily listened to and well
liked, while those with low levels stutter, get paralyzed in social
situations and do not have many friends.
All attributes are ranked from negative levels to positive, with +0
being the average for human beings. Any attribute over +2 (superb)
level is classified as supernatural.
In addition to these 6 basic attributes, some large (and small)
creatures have one extra special attribute:
- General resistance against all kind of physical damage, from
punches to cuts.
Note that this attribute cannot be modified! It is only used for
comprative purposes and to show that some big creature is simply so
much larger than small cuts and wounds have no same effect on it as it
does on human-sized targets.
Standard Attribute Levels
All attribute levels differ from race
average, which is in then
compared to human average. For example, all human averages are +0. If
an orc has strength +1 as average, an orc player may have good
strength (+1), effectually having strength +2, and an orc with superb
strength (+2) has total strength of +3.
- Superb (+2) (3 cp)
- The character has top value in attribute. He might be
world-class weight lifter, athletic or marathon runner,
professional detective, have a will of iron or be a
very successful journalist.
- Good (+1) (1 cp)
- Character has an attribute better than most average, but not
very exceptional. He is good shape, fast or most of the time
very calm and relaxed.
- Average (+0)
- This is the average level.
- Poor (-1) (-1 cp)
- Character is obviously inferior to average people. He almost
always loses any appropriate physical effort, is easily
irritated or cannot converate with people.
- Inferior (-2) (-3 cp)
- Character is clearly inferior to any other. He is easily
pushed around, stumbles in stairs or is irritated and
nervous all the time. In social situations, he gets frozen and
stutters. Not recommended level for any attribute, people
with inferior attributes can be considered as handicapped
Non-human creatures or humans with magical or other
special powers may have higher (or lower) attribute levels. In
general, each level is quite clearly superior to lower one.
Note that normal human
males have strength +1 and health +1, as described in bestiary and points are expected to be used
In addition to standard attributes, a creature may have some special
attributes. Here is a list of common ones, but they are not limited to
- Addiction (nuisance -1 cp, severe -2 cp)
- Character is severely addicted to some subtance or possibly
- Gifted (2 cp)
- The character is gifted so that he senses mana flows all
around him. He can draw the mana around him, and practice
magics. This attribute can be bought later, as the
characters becomes aware of his powers. If the character is
not gifted, he can only train magics to skilled (1) level,
and can do only effects not requiring any mana.
- Grounded (2 cp)
- Simple known as a 'grounded' man, the character is resistant
against all magical effects; the mana simply rejects him.
He can never be a magician.
- Mental Problem (nuisance -1, severe -2 cp)
- Some psychological quirk, like paranoia, over-confidence,
arrogance, stubborness... Note: cannot kill is a
psychological limitation very common to most people. As
nuisance, cold-blooded kills are problematic. With severe,
even warm-blooded kills.
- Physical Disadvantage (varies)
- For missing limb or similar things, character gains more CPs.
Apply -2 cp for missing hand, -3 cp for missing entire arm,
others handicaps as determined by the GM.
- Warrior Frenzy (2 cp)
- The character comes from the savage tribes of the wilderness.
He can psyche himself to mad killing frenzy, and in combat
fight with great ferocity and endurance, but must rest for a
while after that. In addition, those capable of frenzy may
sometimes freak from some very extraordinary situation and
turn into blind-frenzy, attacking anything close to them.
- Woman (-2 cp)
- As social cultures are what they are, women are not taken as
seriously as men in many places, and they must face prejudice
in almost all places. Of course some places value them higher
than men, but such places are quite rare in many fantasy
worlds. So this 'disadvantage' is similar to background option
'stranger'. Of course, womanhood grants many special favors in
some places. Note: Naturally this applies only to certain
fantasy worlds like Tanion, Hyperborea etc. In some worlds,
the opposite can be quite true, and cps are awarded for male
Skills are learned or natural abilities to do certain things. All
skills have level
of expertise described below, and they are
categorizied as primary, secondary
character creation rules only.
Skill levels in RIP are very broad. They are used to easily
distinguish the level of expertise.
Specialization and training:
- Non-skilled (level 0)
- Character has no training with the skill. Depending on the
skill, the character may or may not do anything related to
it. For example, a gun can be fired without training and
most people can drive a car even if they have not ever done it
before - assuming someone starts it for them. On the other
hand, helicopter flight is a different matter...
- Skilled (level 1)
- Character has basic training and some experience with given
skill or expertise. He can handle rush hour in a major city
while driving or land a plane.
- Expert (level 2)
- Character in an expert in his area. He can fight several
opponents at the same time, land a plane in a storm or
charm everyone with his manners in royal banquet. He also
knows most masters in his field of expertise.
- Master (level 3)
- Character is simply a master in tasks concerning his area.
He can drive car in reverse in rush hour without colliding or
speak completely fluently. He is usually well known by the
other people dedicated to this area.
- Grand Master (level 4)
- Character is simple a grand master in his area. He is world
famous and his guidelines are followed by hundred followers,
or he might be a world-top acrobat. This level is available
for player character only by GM permission.
Most skills must be specialized
and trained to certain sub-areas. There is no limitations or accurate
guidelines for that, so use common sense. A etiquette(royal and streets)
is a good example, while gun(any) is not... When a situation arises, a
character is down in skill levels if the sub-area is unfamiliar to
CP Costs and Limitations
is just a point-based system used in RIP. Skills are
either primary, secondary
skills. If the skill
is very useful, it costs more points to take. The actuasl points are
listed under each category, below.
Skill levels can be limited so that characters are not boosted
in some limited areas and cannot do anything else. The GM may require
characters to have at least as many lower level skills than higher
Primary skills are frequently used skills, which should cover most
activities done by the characters. If the skill needed is very narrow
or not useful in a typical campaign, use secondary skills.
Most frequently used skills are listed here, but as noted earlier,
players are free to invent new ones needed by their characters.
Primary skills cost 1 cp for trained (1), 3 cp for expert (2), 6 cp
for master (3) and 10 cp for grand master (4, only with permission
from the GM).
- Skill to fire accurately with trained missile weapons,
including bows, crossbows and slings, but not thrown things.
- Skill to fluently speak about subjects not known to character
or to get victim to do things he would not normally do.
- Skill to create magical effects, as described in magics. Each magics must be learned
separately, but usually one is enough. Note that the character
must have special attribute gifted if he ever wants to use any
real magic, otherwise this skill gives only theoretical learning.
- Skill to treat wounds, bind them and avoid infections. Also
includes long term healing, and analyzing the patient. In
fantasy environment, the knowledge of creature is much more
limited, but this skill also includes knowledge about different
healing herbs and use of them. Must be specifically trained to
- Skill to fight effectually in melee. Character is
trained in appropriate weapons and technics; use of any
other may give penalties for combat.
- Training to read and write languages specialized in.
A master level can read like a modern man, a trained must
still read aloud and spell each word.
- Sleight of Hand
- Various dexterous manouvers like picking the pockets,
building card buildings and doing magic tricks.
- Spirit Lore
- Knowledge about Spiritworld and spirits therein.
- Skill to move silently and hide effectually. Urban and
rural environment should be both trained separately.
- Skill to throw items accurately and long. Must train to throw
more exotic items.
Secondary skills are skills rarely used in RIP sessions, or are
simply very narrow and thus not worth the same price as primary skills.
Secondary skills cost 0.5 cp for trained (1), 1.5 cp for expert (2), 3 cp
for master (3) and 5 cp for grand master (4, only with permission
from the GM).
- Skill to make impressive acrobative flips, to walk tightropes
and otherwise control own body. High agility is also
- Knowledge about different creatures of the fantasy world.
- Ability to climb safely, quickly and skillfully steer
surfaces, ropes and cliffs.
- Skill to act properly in trained social environments, like
correct behaviour in an orc village.
- Knowledge about different plants of the fantasy world. This
skill is very useful to create poisons, healing herbs and
- Character is trained in selected language. Each
language must be learnt separately, not as specialization for
- Skill to inspire, lead and manipulate large masses.
- This must be specialized to certain creatures. The character
can ride and control creature in extreme conditions and get
it to perform some non-standard actions like jumping.
- Skill to survive in trained extreme conditions, like deserts
or arctic conditions.
- Not many characters can swim.
- Skill to track prints in wilderness mainly, and to identify
various normal animals from their footprints.
Characters can take, for free, any number of almost useless
skills at suitable levels to enrich their past and education. Such
skills include, but are not limited to the following:
Area Knowledge, Artistry, Cooking, Dancing, Local
These skills can be added to character profile when needed later
during game, if approved by the GM. No character should have many free
skills at higher level than skilled (1), especially if character has
not studied for many years. Also remember that free skills do not
apply for limitations.
Third thing about character is their background options. These things
are usually social background etc. oriented material goods, known
friends and enemies and other similar things, which are dependent on
Most background options are advantageous, and thus cost character points,
while some of them are disadvantages, and the character having them
gets more points to be used on other things. Note that
if a disadvantage is not a disadvantage, it is worth no
For free, the character may have:
Any standard equipment, like armor, weapons, utilities
applicable for previous career. Even a plate mail and a horse
is allowed, if appropriate.
- Artifact (0.5 cp or more)
- The character has a lost artifact. He has gained, stolen or
been granted this item, and knows most of its functions.
The actual price is determined by the GM, depending on the
item. See trappings.
- Avatar (2 cp and more)
- The character is possessed by a friendly spirit or part of a
greater spirit entity, giving him extra powers to use.
The magics offered by the spirit is added to the cost.
The spirit may also enhance attributes of the character. Such
an attributes cost half the normal price. Note that
'gifted' special attribute is not required for powers granted by the
- Haunted (occassional -1 cp, continual -2)
- The character is haunted by some spirit or spirits, for
reasons unknown or known to characters. These spirits may be
simply annoying or they can be plain deadly. This is same
as standard hunted background.
- Magic Items (0.25 cp or more)
- The character has an enhanced item, created by some magician.
The cost varies, according to powers possessed by the
item. See magic items in trappings.
- Poor (-1 cp)
- The character is very poor and does not have standard
trappings, just a few rags and practically nothing
else. Normally there must be a good reason for this state.
- Stranger (cultural -1 cp, obvious -3 cp)
- The character is not native to the campaign area and does not
know local habits, laws or culture. If obvious, the
character is usually immediately noticed as a stranger, and
reactions are accordingly. Usually native language is
different. Note that if the character is of different race,
the maximum penalties from race and gender (see
atrributes) is -4!
- Wealthy (2 cp)
- The character has collected, gained or stolen a vast fortune,
and starts the game with almost anything, except for magic
items and artifacts.
No optional things can be taken unless approved by the GM. Only
following are usually used in Fantasy campaign, others (like Lucky)
are only allowed in special cases.
These disadvantages have nothing to do with the actual
characters. Instead, they are ways to earn more points by agreeing
to do something that enriches the campaign.
- Campaign Log (-2 cp)
- The player keeps a log of events in the campaign, and writes it to
some place agreed with the GM.
- Character Diary (-2 cp)
- The player keeps some kind of diary of actions of his character and
events around him. It is like a campaign log, but
personalized and subjective. Should be placed to a
place where it is readable by anyone.
Back to Index
- RIP Fantasy (c) Kalle Marjola 1997-2002. All rights reserved.