Forest of Doors uses a point-based character advancement scheme; there are no overarching levels or classes, and characters are rated entirely by their Traits and Skills. If you want to try your hand at combat, pick up some combat skills; if you want to do magic, learn magic. Although our trait system allows you to create a character who is well-suited to a particular type of activity, it is entirely possible to branch off in new directions, if you want to.
All General skills have an ability (an ability is anything in bold text on the right side of a skill table) which increases in level as the skill does, and which is modified by certain specific traits. For instance, Mercantile has the Expertise ability, which measures a character’s facility in manipulating markets and brokering deals; the higher this number, the more money a proactive merchant can make. Expertise is directly increased by a character’s Learned trait level, meaning a particularly bright merchant has a leg up on someone relying only on their skill.
Although Combat skills and Magical skills have slightly different mechanics for gaining their derived abilities (Prowess and Mastery), their dynamic is similar. Please see the Combat and Magic sections for details.
Every level a character buys in a skill, up to 6, will grant them a boost to their derived ability, as above, but they will also receive specific abilities unique to that skill. Beyond level 6, however, a character faces a choice between two abilities; they must pick one—and only one—before they may move on in the skill. The cost to increase skills is 5x their current level in Character Points, as indicated by the table to the left. Skills are not capped at level 12, but what lies at levels beyond this is strictly FOIP (Find Out In Play).
Characters do not need to be “trained” by other characters to buy into or increase most skills. Learning more than one magic school, additional Literacies, or any Advanced Combat Style, are the exceptions, however.
Skills and their descriptions
What follows is a series of “thumbnail” descriptions of General Skills. In-depth listings are available from the navigation menu.