ABILITIES are specific activities that your character may or may not be proficient in.

As ability-levels go, the scale of 0-5 generally represents the following:
0: Typical untrained human
1: Typical trained human
2: Typically highly trained human
3: Exceptionally talented human
4: One of the premier experts living
5: One of the most exceptional experts EVER to walk the earth.

When you are familiar with White Wolf-system, you may find that a dot in ability here, means considerably more. A '2' represents professional ability, and a '3' is a specialist, a doctor or the best of a country or state. An average mortal is lucky to achieve one '3' during their lifetime.

Please find the list with available Abilities below:

Table of Contents


ACTING: The artistic talent of pretending to be others, of putting on a convincing performance as, or even becoming, someone else. Actors such as Gary Oldman, Sean Penn, and Johnny Depp have high levels of acting. By contrast, Jack Nicholson and Arnold Schwarzenegger have high levels of Performance.

ALERTNESS: The talent of noticing things when you're not actively looking (if you're actively looking, use Perception+<appropriate skill>).

ART: The talent of producing visual art, either in sculpture, painting, photography or some other physical medium. Characters should typically choose a particular art form in which to be skilled and put it in their background. At higher levels, an artist is likely to be more widely skilled (a world class sculptor is probably able to do some pretty impressive sketches).

ATHLETICS: General level of physical ability, including climbing, jumping, running, swimming, throwing etc. If you want one specialized sport, just write that into your background. Without at least 1 level of athletics, you might be able to float or doggy paddle, but swimming is more or less beyond you.

BRAWL: The talent of fighting without weapons. This includes punching, grappling, kicking, blocking, parrying, etc

COMPOSITION: The artistic talent of producing written art such as poetry, literature, haiku, speeches, screenplays, or song lyrics. Characters should select a specialty and note it in their backgrounds.

DODGE: The talent of avoiding being hurt in combat or minimizing the damage of blows that hit you; by dodging, diving for cover, rolling with the blow, or generally moving out of harm's way.

EMPATHY: The talent of being able to tell how another is feeling, being sensitive to their emotions. This is done by consciously or subconsciously observing body-language, etc and is not a supernatural skill. This does not cover being able to tell whether someone is lying (that's Subterfuge) but it will make it easier to pick up on someone's general mood (anxious, calm, shocked, etc.).

INSTRUCTION: The talent of teaching another person skills that you know yourself. Those who can, do. Those who can't, well, instruction skill won't help them teach something they don't know themselves. You can teach any lore, discipline, or ability up to a level equal to your instruction level without having to pay any experience point cost for teaching. (See Experience System and Non-Clan Disciplines for details on which stats require experience spent by the teacher.) This does not exempt your student or you from any other requirement for teaching or learning. Nor does this give the student any discount to the full experience point totals that they have to pay.

INTIMIDATION: The talent of knowing how to intimidate and frighten others, either directly or indirectly. Intimidation comes in physical, social, and even mental flavors, and would be paired with an appropriate attribute depending on the nature of the intimidation.

LEADERSHIP: The talent of being able to get others to follow you, or to obey your commands. It includes both inspirational leadership and dominance-based leadership.

PERFORMANCE: The talent of expressing yourself and grabbing attention. Actors, dancers, and Presidents often have Performance. Performance is used to determine how stirring or gripping a speech, dance, or conversation is. Actors such as Jack Nicholson or Arnold Schwarzenegger have extremely high levels of performance - who they are is naturally interesting. A character with extremely high performance does not necessarily need to be skilled in something to put on a good show.

SINGING: The natural talent of having a beautiful voice, and knowing how to use it. This ability determines how it sounds; performance determines how it comes across. (A good example is Carmen Diaz' karaoke in "My Best Friend's Wedding**: lotsa Performance, low Singing.).

STREETWISE: The talent of being able to blend in on the streets, fit in with the crowd, gather information, find contacts, navigate gang territories, etc. This is a social talent, and does not include such things as lock picking or pick pocketing (which are the realms of Security and Legerdemain, respectively).

SUBTERFUGE: The talent of social deception, of concealing your motives from others, and deducing theirs. This talent includes lying convincingly, and being able to perceive when others are lying to you (or at least not telling the whole truth). This is distinct from acting in that you are in no way pretending to be another person, although you may be hiding the type of person that you truly are.


ANIMAL KEN: The skill of understanding animals, knowing how to look after them, how they live in the wild, what they eat, etc.

ARCHERY: The skill of using a longbow, compound bow, and their variants. Note that crossbows are used with firearms skill.

BOATING: The skill of handling small yachts, power boats, canoes, kayaks etc. This skill covers sail and powered vessels, but not multi-ton cruise ships.

COOKING: The skill of preparing, cooking, and presenting food or drink. This necessarily includes a certain amount of knowledge of wines, spices, etc.

CRAFTS: The skill of producing physical objects from raw materials. Examples include basket-weaving, pottery, carpentry, metal-working, sewing, etc. Characters are encouraged to take a specialty, particularly at higher levels of this skill (3-5), and note it in their backgrounds.

DANCE: The skill of dancing, whether ballet, modern, West African, tango, hip hop, or even break dancing. This is a technical skill; to put on a truly moving performance, the dancer should have Performance as well. Characters are encouraged to select a specialty, particularly at high levels of this skill.

DEMOLITIONS: The skill of working with, assembling, and priming explosives for the purpose of destroying vehicles, structures, and other things.

DRIVE: The skill of handling cars and motorcycles, intuiting what other drivers may do, and understanding traffic patterns, etc. You need the drive-skill to use +drive code.

ETIQUETTE: The skill of knowing the correct way to behave socially in various social situations. This skill also includes the ability to make non-offensive chit chat, though it doesn't necessarily turn you into someone fun to talk to. You need this skill (and relevant lores) to read Etiquette lore.

FIREARMS: The skill of using small firearms; rifles, shotguns, pistols, SMG's, crossbows, etc.

FORGERY: The skill of copying the works of others, whether art, signatures, or official documents. Some training in complementary abilities such as Art, Composition, Bureaucracy, etc., is recommended depending on your character's specialties. You do not need this skill to spot a forgery, only to make one.

LEGERDEMAIN: The skill of sleight of hand and physical distraction. This includes card shuffling; three card Monty, pick pocketing, rolling coins through your fingers, etc.

MASQUERADE: The skill that allows a vampire to act like a human; eat food, drink, have warm skin, etc. This is a very specialized skill that may only be taken by vampires. You can find more information here.

MELEE: The skill of fighting with hand-held melee weapons; from knives, to clubs, to swords.

MUSIC: The skill of playing musical instruments and/or composing music. Characters should choose the instrument(s) with which they are skilled. Writing down musical compositions requires at least level 2, and writing anything for an entire orchestra requires at least level 3.

PILOT: The skill of piloting aircraft. Characters should select a class of aircraft from the following list for each level of skill they possess**: single engine propeller, multi-engine propeller, single engine jet, multi-engine jet, or helicopter. Attempting to fly a type of aircraft for which you do not have skill causes you to give away advantage.

REPAIR: The skill of constructing or repairing complex mechanical and electrical (not electronic) devices. This includes automotive/engine repair, wiring a building, plumbing, etc. It does not include any sort of work on integrated circuits or complex electronic devices such as computers or cell phones.

SECURITY: The specialized skill of dealing with security systems, locks, and encryption. Security is used both to create security systems as well as defeat them. You can find more information on security-systems on LAmush [[[conflict|security-and-hacking|here]]]. The use of this skill may draw on the abilities of Electronics (home security), Computer (encryption and hacking), or Repair (deadbolts). If your skill in the relevant area is higher than your skill in Security, you may take advantage on relevant security advantage.

STEALTH: The skill of hiding and moving without being seen.

SURVIVAL: The skills needed to survive in the wilderness.


ACADEMICS: The knowledge of the humanities, including literature, philosophy, and history.

BUREAUCRACY: The knowledge of how to work your way through power structures, of figuring out who to talk to, and understanding policy.

COMPUTER: The knowledge of how to operate, and program computers. This knowledge provides only limited hardware knowledge (i.e. how to replace consumer electronic parts such as video cards, connect networks, etc.). More extensive and/or detailed hardware knowledge is the realm of Electronics. You need the computer skill for email and computer - code.

CULTURES: The knowledge of other cultures, their society, art, music, etc. In effect, this skill is part anthropology, part diplomacy. Your background will determine which cultures you know of. This knowledge also implies a certain sensitivity to those cultures, and an ability to work with them.

ELECTRONICS: The knowledge of building, repairing, or altering complex electronic devices, including computers, security systems, and cell phones.

FINANCE: The knowledge of the value of things, how to trade on the stock markets, manage the financial side of a business, etc. This also includes knowledge of economics.

INVESTIGATION: The knowledge of how to look for clues, what to look for at a crime scene, basic forensic procedures, etc. This skill also includes information gathering through interviewing (i.e. knowing who to talk to), as well as research skills that are not covered by another ability.

LAW: The knowledge of the law, legal procedures etc.

LINGUISTICS: The knowledge of how languages are put together, theoretical study of languages. At character generation, this knowledge will also give you language points you can use to learn languages. Please note that you /can/ learn languages /without/ knowing about linguistics.

MATHEMATICS: Knowledge of the higher areas of mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. This ability also covers the measuring and planning aspects of engineering and architecture (for making drafts and actual design, take Art). Note that accounting is covered by the Finance ability, and basic arithmetic skills are simply a function of your background.

MEDICINE: The knowledge of the human body, how it works, and how to treat its injuries and ailments. This skill includes first aid knowledge.

OCCULT: The knowledge of the occult, the paranormal - all the darker mystical side of human existence. Much of the information covered by this skill will be patently false, but this knowledge may also reflect a general understanding of how mystical forces work.

POLITICS: The knowledge of politics, the political climate of the land, and which strings to pull to get political power. This is very different from bureaucracy, which functions inside static policy-run power structures.

PSYCHOLOGY: The knowledge of the human mind, how it is believed to operate, how people think, perhaps even predicting someone's actions.

SCIENCE: The knowledge of the sciences, including Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geology. Characters should select a specialty and note it in their backgrounds. Characters with levels 4 and 5 Science should select a subspecialty (nuclear physics, toxicology, metallurgy, etc.).

THEOLOGY: The knowledge of human religion and beliefs — the religious side of the mystical.

White Wolf © White Wolf
Original Work is licensed under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 US License.