Basic Rules

Ability Tests

The basic mechanic of Warheroes of Ivalice is the Ability Test. An Ability Test is a roll on a 1d10 against one of the character's Ability scores. What this means is that you have to roll equal or under the character's Ability to pass the test, so if a character has a 5 in Melee, they need to roll 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 to pass. If a character's Ability score is 0, then they automatically fail any tests in that score.

Sometimes, an Ability test is modified. For example, the Charge action adds a +1 Modifier to Melee tests. In this case, you modify the threshold needed to succeed, not the die result itself. Thus, a character with a 5 in Melee who charges is counted has having a Melee of 6, so you'd need to roll a 6 or under to pass.

Sometimes it is important to find the 'degrees of success' of a test, with more degrees of success usually resulting in a better result. The Degrees of Success (DoS) is just the difference between your Ability score and the result you rolled, so if you have a Melee of 5 and you rolled a 2, that's 3 DoS (5-2=3). You do the same to count your Degrees of Failure should you fail a test- the difference between your roll and your Ability score.

Regardless of modifiers or anything else, a roll of 1 on an Ability test always passes, and a roll of a 10 on an Ability test always fails.
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Opposed Ability Tests

Occasionally, two characters will have reason to roll 'Opposed' tests, which are special sorts of Ability Tests where the importance is on beating your opponent's score rather than passing. Both characters roll on their given Ability Test, and whoever gains the most DoS wins. If both sides fail, then whoever had the least Degrees of Failure wins the test.
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This section deals with characters, specifically how they function mechanically. It covers their Ability Scores, their Combat Scores, their Traits, their Talents, their Spells and their Resources.
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The Ability Scores

Every character has a collection of Ability scores, which number from 0 to 10. The scores represent how good that character is at various tasks. The higher the score, the better that character is at something. These are typically used for Ability tests, but some govern other aspects of your character as well.

The scores are Melee (M), Ranged (R), Strength (S), Toughness (T), Agility (A), Insight (I), Resolve (R) and Magic (MA).

  • Melee represents the character's skill at hand-to-hand combat. It is used for Melee to-Hit tests.
  • Ranged represents the character's skill with ranged weaponry. It is used for Ranged to-Hit tests.
  • Strength represents the character's physical power. It is used for melee Damage tests.
  • Toughness represents the character's ability to endure damage. It is used for Defense tests.
  • Agility represents the character's speed. It determines how far they can move each turn and the order of initiative.
  • Insight represents the character's mental faculties and their perceptiveness. It is not always used in combat, but its most common uses are to avoid illusions and detect stealthy enemies.
  • Resolve represents the character's willpower, charisma and force of personality. It is used for morale tests, to resist mental effects, and to persuade or overawe others.
  • Magic represents a character's ability to see, understand and cast spells. It is primarily used for casting spells.

Ability scores are the most important part of a character. They rarely remain static, as they are influenced by experience, injuries and equipment.

Improving Ability scores can be done by spending experience to do so. You can improve a score by 1 by paying a number of XP equal to the score's target value- so to improve a score of 4 to 5 requires you to pay 5 experience.
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The Combat Scores

Combat Scores are special scores that are primarily used for combat. They track essential combat mechanics.

The scores are Attacks (Ak), Wounds (Wo), Armour (Ar), Ward (Wa) and Stress (Ss).

  • Attacks represent how many attacks a character can make in a single turn. Most characters have an Ak of 1, meaning they can make one attack a turn. Characters with attacks of 2 or more can attack multiple times. It is possible for a character to split their attacks across multiple weapons, so long as they have those weapons equipped.
  • Wounds represents how many wounds a character can take before becoming too injured to fight. Most characters possess 1 wound, but some particularly tough ones possess 2, 3 or more. Once's a character's wounds drop to 0, they are unable to fight any further. They must make Death saves; should they pass, they roll on the Injury Table after the fight is concluded. Characters have a Current Wound count and a Max Wound count. They regain all lost Wounds at the start of the next Cycle, unless there is a reason they have not.
  • Armour represents the degree of protection afforded to the character because of their equipment. When characters make Defense tests, they add their Armour score to their success threshold; thus a character with a Toughness of 4 and an Armour of 1 rolls against a 5. Weapons and attacks ignore some armour, based on their 'Penetration' value; a weapon with Penetration 1 treats a target's Armour score as being 1 less; so if a character only has an Armour score of 1, they treat it as though it were 0 against that attack.
  • Ward represents a degree of protection that is especially powerful, sometimes from mystical or unnatural sources. Ward is used as part of Ward Saves, which are used to shrug off damage.
  • Stress represents mental, spiritual and emotional fatigue to the character, brought about due to combat injury, psychic attack, trauma, bad events and the like. It starts at zero, and goes up to 10. Ability scores who are lower than your Stress suffer a -1 penalty. If your Stress is twice your Score, that score suffers a -2 penalty. Once you hit Stress 10, you suffer a Breakdown, and must roll on the Breakdown chart.

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Traits are special abilities inherent to a character that change how they behave or modify their abilities in some way. Traits are often intrinsic to a character and tend to stay fixed to them. For example, all chocobos possess the Fast trait, which lets it move at a rate equal to double its agility. They are often quite powerful, but some can be detrimental.

It is possible to gain or lose traits throughout an adventure, but this is rare and often a reward (or consequence) for an exceptional event.
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Talents are special abilities that are purchased with the 'experience' Resource. Purchasing a talent improves a character in some way. Careful and proper purchasing in talents will do wonders in making a character truly shine in their chosen field.

Talents are divided into six categories: Offense, Defense, Agility, Insight, Resolve and Magic.

  • Offense talents are designed to improve a character's offensive combat abilities. It covers both melee and ranged combat, and can do things such as provide them with rerolls to failed tests or improve their Attack score.
  • Defense talents improve a character's durability and ability to resist harm, both physical and mental.
  • Agility talents improve a character's movement. It also improves their ability to steal items and sneak.
  • Insight talents improve a character's ability to think, plan and sense things in the environment.
  • Fellowship talents improve a character's ability to persuade others. It also offers some leadership abilities in combat.
  • Magic talents improve a character's ability to use and resist magic.

Talents are furthermore divided into five tiers, in order of how powerful they are. Thus tier 1 Talents are easy and cheap whilst tier 2 Talents are rarer to obtain.

If a character has Experience to spare, they can buy talents. Talents become more expensive depending on their Tier. Some talents also have prerequisites you must meet beforehand.

  • Tier 1 Talents cost 1 XP.
  • Tier 2 Talents cost 2 XP.
  • Tier 3 Talents cost 4 XP.
  • Tier 4 talents cost 6 XP.
  • Tier 5 talents cost 8 XP.

Some talents are marked as Group Talents. Group Talents are special talents that apply bonuses to the warband as a whole, including all of its members. The bonuses can be combat-based or non-combat based, but the rule is that Group Talents do not stack. Thus, if two characters possess the same Group Talent, the warband only gains the benefit once.
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Some characters have the ability to use magic.

Magic is tied to the Mage class, who learn it through Class Talents, although other classes can learn some limited magic.

Possessing magic doesn't mean you can cast it freely, however. A character can only use magic abilities that they have memorised. They can have up to 5+Spellcasting abilities memorised at once. They can change their list of memorised abilities with an hour of preparation, during which they are treated as having no spells memorised.

Magic comes in two types: Spells and Circuits.

  • Spells are active magic abilities that require a test to activate in exchange for a direct, specific and immediate effect.
  • Circuits are passive, providing a constant basic effect so long as they are memorised.

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Many characters possess a pool of resources, each with its own uses.

The four types of resources are Equipment, Cash, Experience and Fate Points.

  • Equipment is the broadest type of resource. Essentially, it is gear- weapons, armour, tools, and so on- that characters use to enhance their natural abilities or make certain tasks easier. Equipment is usually obtained by post-encounter looting, as a reward, through theft or by purchasing it with Cash.
  • Cash is money! Cash comes in three sizes- Small, Medium and Big. Every item is priced as well, each costing a certain amount of Smalls, or Mediums, or Bigs, but never a mix. However, you can expend one amount of Cash to gain unlimited purchases of items priced in a smaller amount.
  • Experience is an intangible resource, awarded to Heroes to represent their growing skills. Heroes can spend Experience to gain Talents or improve their Ability Scores.
  • Fate Points are a renewable resource that can be spent to give a character an edge. A character has a small pool of Fate Points. They can spend a Fate Point to reroll a test, add a single +1 to a test, or restore a single lost wound. Spent Fate Points are replenished at the start of the next Cycle. A character's Fate Point pool can be permanently increased, but only through exceptional deeds and moments of great roleplay.

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