In Psi-punk, all characters have three primary attributes, each divided into two secondary attributes. The primary attributes, Body, Mind, and Persona, are a composite of their two respective secondary attributes.
Primary attributes are the broadest trait that a character possesses. Using the three primary attributes, we can see the “big picture” for any given character and whether they are more athletic, intellectual, or social. These attributes also act as a character’s defenses against certain forms of attack. For example, a character who is being shot at would add his Body attribute to any necessary defensive check to help determine whether he was hit and how much damage he sustained from the attack. More details about how these attributes are used are detailed throughout the book.
Because primary attributes are a composite of their secondary attributes, they may not be raised or lowered individually by any normal means. Instead, add together the bonuses (and penalties) for their secondary attributes to determine the total trait level for each primary attribute. Raising secondary attributes will be described later in this chapter.
Body is used to determine how athletic a character is and how well he can avoid or absorb damage. Any time you would be the subject of a physical attack—such as a gunshot or an old-fashioned punch to the face, you would add your Body attribute to your Defensive Damage Factors (see Playing the Game for more information on Defensive Damage Factors). Body’s associated secondary attributes are:
Used for any skill which requires accuracy, reflexes, precision, or speed. Examples of Dexterity checks include aiming a gun or other ranged weapon, maneuvering a large object through a tight space, driv- ing, dodging an attack, avoiding fast-moving obstacles, etc.
Used for any skill which involves physical strength, stamina, fitness, or power which does not require precision. Examples of Strength checks include climbing, swimming, jumping, lifting heavy objects, running for extended periods of time, swinging a melee (hand-to-hand) weapon, throwing heavy ob- jects or short-ranged weapons (such as spears and knives), etc.
Mind gives a picture of how intellectual and spiritual a person is. Mind is also used as a defense against mental attacks from many psionic and magic powers. Any time you would be the subject of a mental attack, such as a mind control attempt or a mental shock, you would add your Mind attribute to your Defensive Damage Factors. Mind’s secondary attributes are:
Used for any skill involving the use of intelligence, perception, or mental prowess. Most, but not all, psionic powers use the Focus attribute, as do checks that involve reasoning, learning, memorizing (or calling back to memory), resisting mental attacks, perceiving ones surroundings, or using mechanical and technical skills.
Perhaps the least straightforward attribute, Spirit applies to skills which don’t necessarily fit in with
the rest of the physical realm. Spirit checks can involve using empathy, luck, intuition, self-discipline, etc. This attribute also represents the ego, ambition, and spirituality of a character.
The Persona attribute gives us an estimate of how sociable and socially connected a character is. When two individuals are locked in a tense debate, Persona is used to determine how well one charac- ter can hold his position over another. Any time another character would attempt to influence you in some social way—whether by fast-talking you out of your pocket change or by exerting his status over you—you would add your Persona attribute to any applicable check. Persona’s secondary attributes are:
Force of personality, charisma, chutzpah, style—whatever you call it, a person with a good Presence attribute understands his place in the world and other people tend to respect (or fear) him for it. Pres- ence is most often used when one person tries to influence another in some way.
Used to represent one’s place in society. Status skills are less often rolled for various checks than they are to simply represent the level of fame (or infamy), rank (military or corporate), status, respect, popularity, or wealth of a character.
Attributes in Play
On their own, attributes are rarely checked against. Having a Body attribute of Superb, for example, might indicate that you are simply a very muscular or fit person. Sometimes, it may be enough to sim- ply look at a person to get an impression of them.
Primary attributes are usually added to Defensive Damage Factors (see Playing the Game) to determine how well a character can defend against certain types of attack. They also give the broadest picture of a character’s overall traits.
A secondary attribute’s primary use, other than to give a broad picture of a character, is to control the number of dice that character can reroll when using Luck Points (see below) to reroll an associated skill check. A character with a Great (+2) Strength will get to reroll 3dF (a base of 1dF, +2dF for having a Great attribute) any time he spends a Luck Point to reroll a skill which is associated with Strength, such as Climb, Jump, or Pugilism. For further detail, refer to the section on Luck Points.
Though attributes come in different trait levels, they cannot be raised independently. To raise an attribute, one must first raise the level in appropriate Skills (see below). For every 15 Build Points a character spends on any associated skill (or number of skills), a secondary attribute will raise by 1 level. To compute the level of a primary attribute, simply add together the level for each of its two
secondary attributes. No Secondary Attribute may ever be raised beyond a level of Superb and no Primary Attribute beyond Phenomenal. A detailed example will follow the skills section.
Psi-punk Copyright 2012, Accessible Games; Author Jacob Wood