The Explorer

You are a person of action and physical ability, fearlessly facing the unknown. You travel to strange, exotic, and dangerous places, and discover new things. This means you’re physical but also probably knowledgeable.

Individual Role: Although Explorers can be academics or well studied, they are first and foremost interested in action. They face grave dangers and terrible obstacles as a routine part of life. 

Group Role: Explorers sometimes work alone, but far more often they operate in teams with other characters. The Explorer frequently leads the way, blazing the trail. However, they’re also likely to stop and investigate anything intriguing they stumble upon. 

Societal Role: Not all Explorers are out traipsing through the wilderness or poking about an old ruin. Sometimes, an Explorer is a teacher, a scientist, a detective, or an investigative reporter. In any event, an Explorer bravely faces new challenges and gathers knowledge to share with others.

Advanced Explorers: Higher-tier Explorers gain more skills, some combat abilities, and a number of abilities that allow them to deal with danger. In short, they become more and more well-rounded, able to deal with any challenge.

Suggested Character Descriptions: athlete, explorer, adventurer, drifter, detective, scholar, spelunker, trailblazer, investigative reporter


When playing an Explorer, you can spend 1 XP to use one of the following player intrusions, provided the situation is appropriate and the GM agrees.

Fortuitous Malfunction: A trap or a dangerous device malfunctions before it can affect you.

Serendipitous Landmark: Just when it seems like the path is lost (or you are), a trail marker, a landmark, or simply the way the terrain or corridor bends, rises, or falls away suggests to you the best path forward, at least from this point.

Weak Strain: The poison or disease turns out not to be as debilitating or deadly as it first seemed, and inflicts only half the damage that it would have otherwise.


You get 6 additional points to divide among your stat Pools however you wish. 


First-tier Explorers have the following abilities:

Effort: Your Effort is 1.

Physical Nature: You have a Might Edge of 1, a Speed Edge of 0, and an Intellect Edge of 0.

Cypher Use: You can bear two cyphers at a time.

Starting Equipment: Appropriate clothing and a weapon of your choice, plus two expensive items, two moderately priced items, and up to four inexpensive items.

Weapons: You can use light and medium weapons without penalty. You have an inability with heavy weapons; your attacks with heavy weapons are hindered.

Special Abilities: Choose four of the abilities listed below. You can’t choose the same ability more than once unless its description says otherwise. If there is a point value after the name, that is the cost to activate that power once.  Abilities tagged as Action require an action to use. Abilities tagged as Enabler are always in effect. 

Block (3 Speed points): You automatically block the next melee attack made against you within the next minute. Action to initiate

Danger Sense (1 Speed point): Your initiative task is eased. You pay the cost each time the ability is used. Enabler.

Decipher (1 Intellect point): If you spend one minute examining a piece of writing or code in a language you do not understand, you can make an Intellect roll of difficulty 3 (or higher, based on the complexity of the language or code) to get the gist of the message. Action to initiate

Endurance: Any duration dealing with physical actions is either doubled or halved, whichever is better for you. For example, if the typical person can hold their breath for thirty seconds, you can hold it for one minute. If the typical person can march for four hours without stopping, you can do so for eight hours. In terms of harmful effects, if a poison paralyzes its victims for one minute, you are paralyzed for thirty seconds. The minimum duration is always one round. Enabler

Find the Way: When you apply Effort to a navigation task because you don’t know the way, are lost, are attempting to blaze a new route, need to choose between two or more otherwise similar paths to take, or something very similar, you can apply a free level of Effort. Enabler.

Fleet of Foot (1+ Speed points): You can move a short distance as part of another action. You can move a long distance as your entire action for a turn. If you apply a level of Effort to this ability, you can move a long distance and make an attack as your entire action for a turn, but the attack is hindered. Enabler

Improved Edge: Choose one of your Edge stats that is 0. It increases to 1. Enabler.

Knowledge Skills: You are trained in two skills in which you are not already trained. Choose two areas of knowledge such as history, geography, archeology, and so on. You can select this ability multiple times. Each time you select it, you must choose two different skills. Enabler

Muscles of Iron (2 Might points): For the next ten minutes, all Might-based actions other than attack rolls that you attempt are eased. If you already have this ability from another source, the effect of this ability lasts for one hour instead of ten minutes. Enabler

No Need for Weapons: When you make an unarmed attack (such as a punch or kick), it counts as a medium weapon instead of a light weapon. Enabler

Physical Skills: You are trained in two skills in which you are not already trained. Choose two of the following: balancing, climbing, jumping, running, or swimming. You can select this ability multiple times. Each time you select it, you must choose two different skills. Enabler

Practiced in Armor: You can wear armor for long periods of time without tiring and can compensate for slowed reactions from wearing armor. You reduce the Speed cost for wearing armor by 1. You start the game with a type of armor of your choice. Enabler

Practiced With All Weapons: You become practiced with light, medium, and heavy weapons and suffer no penalty when using any kind of weapon. Enabler

Surging Confidence (1 Might point): When you use an action to make your first recovery roll of the day, you immediately gain another action. Enabler. 

Trained Without Armor: You are trained in Speed defense tasks when not wearing armor. Enabler

EXPLORER Background Connection

Your type helps determine the connection you have to the setting. Roll a d20 or choose from the following list to determine a specific fact about your background that provides a connection to the rest of the world. You can also create your own fact.

d20 Background

1 You were a star high school athlete. You’re still in great shape, but those were the glory days, man.

2 Your brother is the lead singer in a really popular band.

3 You have made a number of discoveries in your explorations, but not all opportunities to capitalize on them have panned out yet.

4 You were a cop, but you gave it up after encountering corruption on the force.

5 Your parents were missionaries, so you spent much of your young life traveling to exotic places.

6 You served in the military with honor.

7 You received assistance from a secretive organization, which paid for your schooling. Now they seem to want a lot more from you.

8 You went to a prestigious university on an athletic scholarship, but you excelled in class as well as on the field.

9 Your best friend from your youth is now an influential member of the government.

10 You used to be a teacher. Your students remember you fondly.

11 You worked as a small-time criminal operative until you were caught and served some time in jail, after which you tried to go straight.

12 Your greatest discovery to date was stolen by your arch-rival.

13 You belong to an exclusive organization of Explorers whose existence is not widely known.

14 You were kidnapped as a small child under mysterious circumstances, although you were recovered safely. The case still has some notoriety.

15 When you were young, you were addicted to narcotics, and now you are a recovering addict.

16 While exploring a remote location, you saw something strange you’ve never been able to explain.

17 You own a small bar or restaurant.

18 You published a book about some of your exploits and discoveries, and it has achieved some acclaim.

19 Your sister owns a store and gives you a hefty discount.

20 Your father is a high-ranking officer in the military with many connections.