As you progress through the adventures in Fallen Earth, your character will be able to learn and improve essential skills and unique abilities, such as how to use a weapon, treat an injury, develop special powers, or dodge an attack. These skills and abilities fall into four categories: Attributes, Active Skills, Mutations, and Tradeskills.
STATS, which are a way of measuring abilities, come in twelve major categories, which relate to physical endurance, mental dexterity, social magnetism, creative intelligence, technical ingenuity, and an aptitude for using extra-sensory abilities.
In Fallen Earth, stats represent an individual’s basic attributes. The stats for every attribute determine the base values for all Active Skills and Mutation Paths, in addition to limiting the maximum possible values for Tradeskills. Special abilities and equipment can raise or lower stats; for instance, wearing heavy armor temporarily reduces the Coordination attribute or goggles that increase Perception.
ACTIVE SKILLS include a number of special abilities you use to gain certain temporary powers. Using a special ability consumes stamina, which is slowly deducted from your character’s Stamina Pool over time (rather than in one large chunk on initial activation). All special abilities have a minimum level, so as your character levels up and improves skills, he or she can learn new special abilities.
Most special abilities are useful in combat, but they won’t replace your primary combat style. For example, Lingering Wound is a melee attack that causes damage over time. It’s just enough to give you an edge, but you’ll still have to pound your target with other attacks. Other, less combat-specific items—like the Athletics’ Dash (which gives a temporary speed boost) and First Aid’s Stanch Wounds (which restores hit points)—can round-out a character’s skills and abilities.
MUTATIONS may have been caused by the Shiva Virus, or radiation exposure, or maybe they are the result of deliberate genetic manipulation. Most likely, it was some combination of all these factors that created the different Mutation Paths available to the denizens of the Grand Canyon Province. Each Mutation Path falls into one of three fundamental types: Augmentation, Restoration, and Destruction. Activating Mutations costs Gamma, a representation of your character’s mental fatigue.
Everyone begins with mutations in the Alpha Path (the “GlobalTech Standard Clone Upgrade Package”), which provides Healing and Stamina Regeneration, in addition to some attacks. The Alpha Mutation Path is always equal to twice the player’s Willpower. However, mutations augment your primary combat style—they don’t replace it. You won’t be able to wander the wasteland fighting your battles purely with mutations.
TRADESKILLS represent a character’s aptitude for crafting and fixing everything from rifles to computers; Tradeskills even include things like cooking stews and brewing up poisons. The better your Tradeskills, the better items you’ll be able to craft.
Remember that Tradeskills only allow you to construct an item—they don’t determine whether you know how to use it or not. As a master craftsman, you could very well build a great pistol, but you might not be able to use it because your Pistol Skill is too low. Likewise, medical items require proficiency in the First Aid Skill, armor items require the Armor Use Skill, and so on. To improve a Tradeskill, use it. To enhance other attributes such as stats and Mutation Paths, you must spend AP. To better your Active Skills and skills based on mutations, you must purchase better skillbooks.
In Fallen Earth, stats are a way to represent an individual’s basic attributes and give an idea of how strong, agile, or smart they are. They also determine the base values for all learned skills and Mutation Paths, while limiting the maximum possible values for Tradeskills. Special abilities and equipment can raise or lower stats; for instance, wearing heavy armor temporarily reduces Coordination.
Charisma affects a character’s Group Tactics Skill and Social Skills, Telepathy Mutation Path, and what missions NPCs offer, as many missions can only be undertaken by characters with a high Charisma.
Coordination affects the Athletics, Dodge, and Melee Skills, as well as the Reflexes derived attribute. Raise your Coordination to increase your defensive abilities.
Dexterity is used to determine a character’s Pistol and Rifle Skills, along with the Reflexes attribute. Raise your Dexterity to increase your long-range offensive abilities.
Endurance is used to calculate Health, Stamina, and the Body Save, while factoring in to a character’s Armor Use, Athletics Skills, and Empathic and Patho-Transmission Mutation Paths. Increase your Endurance to increase your overall survivability.
Intelligence is used in determining Gamma, the First Aid Skill, Group Tactics Skill, all Tradeskills, Nano-Manipulation, and Telekinesis Mutation Paths, as well as a character’s Mind Save. Increase your Intelligence to max out your First Aid Skill or use Mutations and Tradeskills.
Perception is used as a secondary component in many Skills, including Dodge, First Aid, Pistol, and more. It is also a factor in Sonic Influence, Suppression, and Thermal Control Mutation Paths. Raising Perception is useful for all characters.
Strength determines a character’s Body Save, Encumbrance, Melee Skills, Primal Mutation Path, and Health. Raise your Strength if you wish to play a melee character.
Willpower primarily determines a character’s Stamina and Gamma attributes, as well as its Mind Save. Also all Mutation Paths factor in Willpower. Raise your Willpower if you wish to use mutations.
Derived attributes further describe a character’s traits, but unlike the primary abilities, they cannot be directly modified by spending APs. Instead, they are determined by a combination of other attributes and updated immediately as those attributes change.
Gamma powers a character’s abilities. An individual whose Gamma completely depletes must wait for it to replenish before using another mutation. Gamma determined using a combination of Intelligence and Willpower.
Body defines a person’s resistance to invasive special abilities, such as poisons and disease. Endurance and Strength are the primary factors in the Body attribute.
Health represents how much damage one can take before becoming incapacitated. Strength and Endurance determine how much Health a character has.
The Mind attribute is used as a saving throw against mental attacks, such as Telepathy. Mind is a combination of Intelligence and Willpower.
A character with a high Reflexes attribute can quickly sidestep special abilities (i.e., an Acid Spray). Coordination and Dexterity are used to calculate Reflexes.
Stamina defines how much energy a character can exert before exhaustion sets in. When Stamina bottoms out, a character also suffers reduced speed. Stamina is a product of Endurance and Willpower.
Characters can learn nine skills:
Armor Use allows players to equip progressively more powerful forms of armor and to get more out of the armor they already wear.
Athletics gives the player access to a pool of special abilities that change their physical capabilities, such as increasing land speed or temporarily increasing attributes.
Dodge improves a player’s defense against ranged attacks. The difference between your Dodge and your opponent’s Rifle or Pistol Skill can affect how much damage you take and whether you suffer a critical hit or a glancing blow. Dodge also determines the base value of your Melee Defense.
First Aid gives the player some abilities that heal others and is required to use items created with the Medicine and Mutagenics Skills.
Group Tactics allows the player to activate buffs on teammates during combat that can that can improve defenses, health and stamina regeneration, or speed.
Melee allows players to inflict more damage in melee combat and use more effective melee weapons. The difference between your Melee and an opponent’s Melee Defense affects how much damage you do and determines the victim's chance to be critically hit.
Pistol allows players to inflict more damage with (and use more effective types of) pistols. The difference between your Pistol and an opponent’s Dodge also affects how much damage you do; it also determines your chances of scoring a critical hit.
Rifle is similar to Pistol and Melee in that it affects the damage a character can do with the weapon and also allows him or her to equip increasingly more effective rifles. Like Pistol, the paired ability is Dodge, and the difference between these two skills helps calculate damage.
Social enables the character to finagle better deals from merchants and also imbues them special abilities that allow them to conceal their faction alliance.
Each active skill includes a number of special abilities that the player uses to gain certain temporary powers or effects. Using a special ability consumes stamina, which is slowly deducted from the character’s Stamina Pool over time (rather than in one large chunk on initial activation). All special abilities have a minimum level, so as a character levels up and improves skills, he or she can learn new special abilities. Special abilities can also be learned from books bought from trainers or gained as mission rewards.
The number of special abilities associated with a skill varies, but each ability will always be directly related to the skill in question. For example, all Armor Use special abilities involve armor in some way, whether that of the user or of an enemy in combat. Most special abilities are useful in combat, but won’t replace your primary combat style. For example, Lingering Wound is a melee attack that causes damage over time. It’s just enough to give you an edge, but you’ll still have to pound your target with other attacks. Recognize Weakness would work in the same way. It allows the user to ignore some of the target’s armor, making their victim more vulnerable to attack. Other, less combat-specific items—like the Athletics’ Dash and First Aid’s Stanch Wounds—can round-out a character’s power pool. Dash gives a temporary speed boost, while Stanch Wounds restores hit points.
Some special abilities for specific skills:
Dash: Increases speed for a short time.
Second Wind: Recovers Stamina by resting a few seconds and lowering your defenses.
Shake It Off: Removes debilitating physical effects.
Duck and Weave: Boosts defensive skills and your Reflex saving throw.
Stanch Wounds: Restores hit points to the target.
Treat Poison: Removes poison effects from the target.
Resuscitation: Restores an incapacitated character.
Rally: Help your allies recover more quickly in battle by keeping their spirits up.
Offensive Coordination: Boosts the Rifle, Pistol, and Melee Skills of your group.
Feint: Reduces your target's defenses and effective armor rating for a short time after you fake them out.
Rifle Smash: Strikes the target with the butt of the rifle, stunning them for a short time.
Precise Aim: A Rifle stance that increases your chance to critically hit with rifles.
Maybe it was the virus, maybe it was the radiation, or maybe it was some kind of manipulation of the basic genetic structure shared by all humans. Most likely, it was some combination of all these factors that created the different Mutation Paths available to the denizens of the Grand Canyon Province. These choices range from Telepathic to Empathy to Nano-Manipulation, and each one has its own unique abilities. For example, the Sonic Manipulation Path includes Equilibrium Shock, an attack that slows the target. The Patho-Transmission begins with Sapping Sickness, which is a stamina-draining effect. Activating Mutations costs Gamma, a representation of the character’s mental fatigue.
Each Mutation Path falls into one of three fundamental types: Augmentation, Restoration, and Destruction. The types describe the purpose of most, but not all, mutations in that path. So most Augmentation Mutations are primarily buffs but may also include a few attacks. Items in the Restoration type generally heal, resurrect, and give temporary hit-point boosts. And mutations in a Destruction Path are offensive in nature and include Damage-Over-Time attacks, debuffs, and more.
Here are the ten available Mutation Paths, broken down by type and the factions that favor them:
Enhancement: This mutant can use his or her own chemistry to alter the composition of other substances for buff, debuff, and healing effects. (Techs, CHOTA.)
Telekinesis: The user creates kinetic energy with his or her mind and directs it at an enemy for damage and even occasional debuffs. (Lightbearers.)
Primal: The mutant can activate repressed animal genes to grant personal stat buffs and even grant a few powers that mimic animal abilities and pheromones. (Vistas, CHOTA.)
Telepathic: These powers affect the mind of the targets, changing their perceptions, memories, thought processes—sometimes crushing them. (Lightbearers, Travelers.)
Nano-Manipulation: Favored by the Techs, this strange mutation alters the bio-electric field so that the mutant can control nanites left on the body after the cloning process. These mutants can direct the nanites to heal them, strengthen their armor, and even resuscitate others. (Techs.)
Empathy: Users takes wounds and detrimental effects from other players onto themselves. At higher levels, they can also drain Health and Stamina from an opponent. An empathic mutant can also restore the dead by taking massive amounts of damage to him- or herself. (Lightbearers.)
Thermal: By controlling the friction between molecules, characters with this power can cause temperature changes in a small area. This can result in fire and cold damage to targets, along with other debuffs. (CHOTA, Techs.)
Sonic: This type of mutant can control sound waves and sonic vibrations to unleash sonic attacks, buffs and debuffs. (Travelers, Vistas.)
Suppression: Allows a character to suppress a mutant’s power by removing buffs and debuffs or even by draining Gamma. (Enforcers.)
Patho-Transmission: A mutant of this type can unleash disease, poison, and radiation on others. This character is also highly resistant to these kinds of attack. (CHOTA.)
Everyone begins with mutations in the Alpha Path (the “GlobalTech Standard Clone Upgrade Package”), which provides healing and stamina regeneration, in addition to some attacks. The Alpha Mutation Path is always equal to twice the player’s Willpower. AP cannot be spent on it directly.
Later in the game, it is possible to learn the faction-specific Mutation Paths by training and running missions. Each faction favors certain paths and offers the Knowledges needed to develop them, but players can make their own through use of the Mutagenics Skill.
Each Mutation Path is associated with one stat, which, along with Willpower, determines both the base and maximum skill values for that path. For example, Empathic Mutations are determined by Endurance and Willpower, while Primal Mutations have a base value that is a combination of Strength and Willpower. Spending AP can’t raise a Mutation Skill above its max, so to get the highest possible skills, you’ll have to boost the associated attributes.
Remember, mutations augment your primary combat style—they don’t replace it. You won’t be able to wander the wasteland fighting your battles purely with mutations. Instead, you might use Patho-Transmission to weaken a creature or rely on Telepathy to buff your allies before having to come up with other attacks.
The old saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” This same ethos of self-sufficiency is a hallmark of the post-apocalyptic world of Fallen Earth, a time in which those who survive are those who can build and repair essential equipment, machinery, weapons, and more.
Tradeskills represent a character’s aptitude for crafting and fixing everything from rifles to computers; they even include things like cooking stews and brewing up poisons. The better your Tradeskills, the better items you’ll be able to craft in that area.
Tradeskills fall into eleven categories:
Armorcraft: Constructs clothes and armor.
Ballistics: Builds firearms, ammunition, zip guns and crossbows.
Construction: Builds tents and other camping equipment to provide save havens out in the wilderness.
Cooking: Prepares food that provides buffs and improves Health, Stamina and Gamma regeneration.
Geology: Harvests minerals such as iron or coal from the Earth.
Medicine: Prepares medical supplies and devices, including bandages, antitoxins and crash carts.
Mutagenics: Builds items that affect mutations, such as drugs that speed Gamma recovery.
Nature: Harvests resources from plants and animals.
Scavenging: Gathers materials and items from ruins and rubbish heaps.
Science: Builds advanced devices, such as batteries, computers and grenades.
Weaponry: Constructs axes, clubs, knives and other melee tools.
Remember that Tradeskills only allow you to construct an item—they don’t determine whether you know how to use it or not. A master craftsman could very well build a great pistol, but he or she may not be able to use it if his or her Pistol Skill is too low. Likewise, medical items require proficiency in the First Aid Skill, armor items require the Armor Use Skill and so on.
Practice Makes Perfect
To improve a Tradeskill, use it. As long as an item is still challenging for you (i.e., near your Tradeskill level), you’ll improve as you craft it. Each item made by crafting boosts the skill (up to a certain limit that is determined by each item). The number of points earned from making an item varies based on the length of time required to make it, value of the components, etc.
Anyone may craft using any Tradeskill, and skills cap based on the character’s Intelligence and Perception stats, so players who spend AP on those will get further in crafting than those who spend AP on other things. Note that because crafting consumes a fair amount of real time, it will be a challenge for any one player to max out every Tradeskill.