The Common Attribute Skill System

Wicked North Games developed the Common Attribute Skill System, (CASS), to work with the OpenD6 OGL initiative in 2009. The idea behind CASS is that the combination of Attributes and paired Skills cover all fundamental rolling across multiple Role Playing Game genres.
The five core Attributes are Dexterity, Strength, Intellect, Persona, and Aptitude.

The Attributes

Attributes are the core elements of a Character, and the innate way a Character interacts.  An Average Attribute is three dice (3d), a dice score below three dice (<3d) is a Below Average Attribute, and a dice score above three dice (>3d) is an Above Average Attribute.  Characters begin the game with one die (1d) in every Attribute and ten dice (10d) to distribute among the five (5) Attributes, which if distributed evenly creates an Average Character.  Attributes have a minimum score of one die (1d) and a maximum score of six dice (6d).


Dexterity deals with the accuracy and control of movement. It is the Parent Attribute for the Skills: Initiative, Athletics, Brawl, Dodge, Heavy Weapons, Melee, Pick Pocket, Ranged, Riding, Sneak, and Throw.


Strength deals with disciplines of force-related movement. Strength is the Parent Attribute for the Skills: Climb, Grapple, Jump, Lift, Push-Pull, Stamina, and Swim.


Persona deals with social and personal influence. Persona is the Parent Attribute for the Skills: Artisan, Command, Deception, Empathy, Gambling, Intimidation, Languages, Persuasion, and Willpower.


Intellect deals with academic and experiential disciplines. Intellect is the Parent Attribute for the Skills: Academics, Business, Culture, Law, Medicine, Politics, Search, Streetwise, Survival, and Tactics.


Aptitude deals with complex mechnical or technical tasks inherently trainable.  Aptitude is the Parent Attribute for the Skills: Communication, Demolitions, Engineering, First Aid, Navigation, Operate, Piloting, Security, and Vehicle Weapons.

Derived Stats

The derived stats for Characters are Hit Points, Initiative, Move, and Vitality.  Players should only calculate these four Character stats at Character Creation.  After Character Creation Hit Points, Initiative, Move, and Vitality increase independent of any Attributes.  Initiative and Vitality increase like Skills, Move increases like a Skill Specialization, and Hit Points increase by their own constant cost.

Derived Stats

  • Hit Points – Determines how much damage Characters may suffer before dying.
  • Initiative – Determines how quickly Characters react in combat.
  • Move – Determines the number of spaces a Character can move in a Round.
  • Vitality – Used to absorb and resist damage when hit.

About Skills

The list of Skills included with the basic Character in c6 is comprehensive and covers the breadth of Character actions available to players.  The development of more general Skills in c6 is intentional.  The following Skills cover the majority of actions any Player may desire taking with a Character while playing c6.

Each Skill predisposes the idea that it works across the breadth of genres including Fantasy, Historical, Renaissance, Modern, Science Fiction, Horror, Drama, Romance, etc. This gives players of a game the ability to worry less about what Skill does what, and more time to focus on character

Skills provide a more unique and detailed way to better customize each Character than Attributes.  An average roll during game play revolves around a Character succeeding with three to four dice (3d – 4d) in a given Skill.

Skill dice scores are cumulative with their parent Attributes.  A Character with three dice (3d) in Strength and two dice (2d) in Climb provides five dice (5d) to attempt a Climb.  As such, Skills can have a value of zero dice, but as they inherit the innate ability of the parent Attribute, they have a minimum cumulative score of one die (1d) and a maximum cumulative score of twelve dice (12d).  An Attribute roll should not occur without an attached Skill.  For example, a Player has a Character with three dice (3d) in Strength, and wants that Character to Climb a wall, but has no dice score in the Climb Skill.  The GM instructs the Player to roll the three dice (3d) from Strength, since it is the parent Attribute; however, the attached Skill is Climb.

Skill Specializations

Any Skill can become on a Specialization.  A Player writes in a Specialization at the bottom of the Skill list.  Skill Specializations cost less to increase than the parent Skill as they only pertain to the Specialization when improved or used.  For instance, a Specialization on Melee: Swords does not work with swinging Chairs, only the base Melee Skill is available for swinging chairs if a Specialization does not exist for it.

Many Skills have Skills Specializations representing a focused area.  Below is quick list of Skills and example Specializations.

Dexterity Skills

  • Athletics – Use to execute complex physical maneuvers.
  • Specializations: Acrobatics, Balance, Finesse
  • Brawl – Use to kick, punch, and utilize some martial arts.
  • Specializations: Boxing, Martial Arts, Claws
  • Dodge – Use to avoid attacks.
  • Specializations: Feigning Missiles, Thrown Weapons, Fencing
  • Heavy Weapons – Use to operate ballistae, rocket launchers, trebuchets and other heavy weapons.
  • Specializations: Ballista, Catapult, Rocket Launcher
  • Melee – Use to swing or parry with a weapon.
  • Specializations: Knife, Dagger, Improvised Weapon, Long Sword, Two-Handed Weapon
  • Pick Pocket – Use to steal an item off of someone’s person.
  • Specializations: Bump and Grab, Swipe and Run
  • Ranged – Use to fire bows, guns, or other personal ranged weapons.
  • Specializations: Crossbow, Laser Pistol, Rifle, Short Bow, Sniping
  • Riding – Use to ride on flying, aquatic, or land-based mounts.
  • Specializations: Horse
  • Sneak – Use to avoid detection by others.
  • Specializations: Silence, Darkness, Holding Still
  • Throw – Use to throw any object.
  • Specializations: Dagger, Grenade, Improvised Weapon, Short Sword
  • Climb – Use to scale a vertical surface.
  • Specializations: Cliffhanging, Ice, Rock
  • Jump – Use to jump horizontally and vertically.
  • Specializations: Long Leaping, High Jumping
  • Lift – Use to lift objects much heavier than is comfortable or normal.
  • Specializations: Levers, Strapping
  • Push-Pull – Use to push or pull an object and apply momentum and torque.
  • Specializations: Improvised Wheels
  • Grapple – Use to wrestle and subdue opponents.
  • Specializations: Restraint, Martial Arts
  • Stamina – Use to act longer, resist certain poisons or diseases, and increase tolerance to intoxicants.
  • Specializations: Drinking, Hold Breath, Poison
  • Swim – Use to swim through water.
  • Specializations: Cold water, Deep Water, Diving, Strong Current
  • Artisan – Use to interpret ancient and modern artwork, or create art including acting, dance and music.
  • Specializations: Acting, Dance, Drawing, Sculpting
  • Command – Use to direct and inspire others through the tides of battle.
  • Specializations: Inspire, Objective
  • Deception – Use to coerce, lie, employ subterfuge, and trick others.
  • Specializations: Forgery, Impersonation, Long Con
  • Empathy – Use to identify the motives of others.
  • Specializations: Diplomacy, Mediation, Psychology
  • Gambling – Use to play games of chance.
  • Specializations: Cards, Dice, Poker
  • Intimidation – Use to appear menacing to others.
  • Specializations: Frighten, Threaten
  • Languages – Determines how well one learns other languages and the number of languages known.
  • Specializations: A Specific Language, Sign Language
  • Persuasion – Use to charm or convince others to see a point of view.
  • Specializations: Pressure, Seduce
  • Willpower – Use to resist another’s will.
  • Specializations: Resist Fear, Resist Manipulation
  • Academics – Use to conduct research or recall specific knowledge.
  • Specializations: Alchemy, Ancient History, Logic, Mathematics, History, Science
  • Business – Use to bargain and conduct business.
  • Specializations: Appraisal, Bargain, Bartering
  • Culture – Use to understand other cultures.
  • Specializations: A Specific Cultural Group
  • Law – Use to understand local laws and customs.
  • Specializations: A Local Region or City
  • Medicine – Use to apply advanced medicinal practices.
  • Specializations: Herbalism, Triage, Surgery
  • Politics – Use to understand local politics.
  • Specializations: Aristocracy, Autocracy, Democratics, Espionage
  • Search – Use against Pick Pocket, against Sneak, and generally when trying to find anything.
  • Specializations: Investigate, Listen, Spy, Tracking
  • Streetwise – Use to interact with criminals and navigate the underworld of crime.
  • Specializations: Black Market, Networking
  • Survival – Use to adapt and live in the wilderness.
  • Specializations: Desert, Forest, Mountain, Tundra
  • Tactics – Use to identify bonuses against enemies in combat or understand the enemy better.
  • Specializations: Close Quarters, Dungeoneering, Military, Mounted, Vehicle
  • Communications – Use to communicate effectively at long range.
  • Specializations: Hooded Lantern, Radio Procedures, Smoke Signals, Symbology
  • Demolitions – Use to create, place, recognize, and detonate explosives.
  • Specializations: Arrange, Defuse, Manufacture
  • Engineering – Use to design, manufacture, and repair complex devices or mechanisms with lots of moving parts.
  • Specializations: Fix, Improvised Repair, Schematics
  • First Aid – Use to stabilize someone’s health in an emergency.
  • Specializations: Bandaging, Stabilizing, Tourniquet, Triage
  • Navigation – Use to understand charts and maps, identify location, and determine routes.
  • Specializations: Cartography, Orienteering
  • Operate – Use to operate a device or complex machine without an understanding of its innards.
  • Specializations: Bull Dozer, Crane, Pulley Systems
  • Piloting – Use to drive just about any vehicle (not mount) that flies, floats, or moves on the ground.
  • Specializations: Air Ship, Boat, Car, Galleon, Motorcycle, Stagecoach, Wagon
  • Security – Use to understand and apply security, and to avoid sentries or similar countermeasures.
  • Specializations: Escapology, Evasion, Hacking, Lockpicking, Traps
  • Vehicle Weapons – Use to fire weapons from a ship or vehicle.
  • Specializations: Missile System, Mounted Ballista, Mounted Gun

Dexterity Skills


This is how quickly you react, whether you are rolling for yourself or for a group.  It is sometimes vital to go first in order to survive potential casualties.


If you are diving through the air with grace, or trying to pull off death-defying physical feats, then you are using the Athletics Skill.  Using Athletics will help you get into and escape from situations no ordinary person could conceive, execute complex physical maneuvers, run at great speeds, and add a little flavor when swinging a sword.

Sample Action                                      Difficulty Rating

Sprint                                                   Easy

Sprint over rocks                                  Moderate

Sprint across rooftops                           Difficult


The act of brawling covers a lot more than just punching; it involves blocking, kicking, and some martial arts.  When in a combat situation and unarmed, it is time to put up your dukes and make sure you are the last one standing.


You dive for cover!  When the action gets intense, the Dodge Skill is critical to staying alive.  Dodging an attack will allow you to avoid harm.

Heavy Weapons

From the ballista, to the rocket launcher, to more personal large weapons – all of them demand fast hands and hard work to maneuver, aim, and fire.  Most Heavy Weapons are complex machines that may need quick repairs; familiarity with a Heavy Weapon can only help in this cause.


When you have run out of arrows and all you have on you is a trusty blade, or when you are creeping through the darkness only armed with a dagger, Melee is the Skill to use.  Melee covers attacks and parrying, and a range of hand-wielded weapons: simple, improvised, and complex.

Pick Pocket

Stealing – agree with it or not, sometimes you have to do it.  The Pick Pocket Skill covers most actions that involve any sleight of hand.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Pick pocket in a crowded train terminal            Moderate

Pick pocket along a trail in the park                  Difficult


Whether you prefer the direct approach of a handgun, or shooting your opponents from a distance with a longbow, your method of choice uses the Ranged Skill.


The Riding Skill dictates your control when riding mounts, whether they are flying, aquatic, or land-based creatures.  No matter what the difficulty, sometimes the creatures will have ideas of their own, and that is when the best riders can maintain control.


The art of stealth is essential to survival.  The Sneak Skill allows you to move without detection or conceal an item so it remains hidden.  This Skill helps overall in avoiding detection by others.


Your ability to throw an object is governed by the Throw Skill.  Clever throwing involves understanding how an object will bounce and where it will go afterwards, which is especially useful with explosives.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Throw a ball 30 meters                                    Easy

Throw a ball 30 meters to another person         Moderate

Throw a ball 60 meters to another person         Difficult

Strength Skills


The Vitality Skill is used to determine how much damage, punishment, and suffering you can absorb before losing Hit Points.  Vitality also determines how long you can stay conscious due to pain, torture, or similar effects.


The Climb Skill is used when you scale a vertical surface that requires a bit of skill or while under stress.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Climb a ladder under medium winds                Easy

Climb a rope, while carrying a backpack           Moderate

Climb a rock wall, no harness                           Difficult


This Skill determines the distance you can clear in a jump horizontally, vertically, or in a combination of both.  Whether you are jumping from vehicle to vehicle, rooftop to rooftop, or sprinting through some hazardous terrain, the Jump Skill will often determine the difference between life, death, or serious bodily harm.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Jump about 2 meters                                        Easy

Jump about 3 meters (with a run)                    Moderate

Jump about 5 meters (with a sprint)                 Difficult


While brute strength alone is a good thing to have, experience that guides you through lifting an object so that you will not hurt yourself is better.  The Lift Skill allows you to lift objects much heavier than is comfortable or normal.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Dead lift 30 lbs.                                               Easy

Dead lift 60 lbs.                                               Moderate

Dead lift 100 lbs.                                             Difficult


This is the raw skill behind pushing or pulling an object to get it moving.  Understanding the basics behind momentum and torque to aid in this task allows you to push or pull a normally stationary object to some advantage, such as pushing open a door that is stuck.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Push 100 lbs.                                                   Easy

Push 150 lbs.                                                   Moderate

Push 200 lbs.                                                   Difficult


Being able to bring your opponent into a submissive hold can always help prevent an undesired action.  Unlike brawling, the art of Grappling may come in handy when the situation calls for defeating an opponent without harming him.


Your endurance is essential.  A high Stamina Skill allows you to act longer and resist certain poisons or diseases, including an increased tolerance to ale and wine.

Sample Action                                                                          Difficulty Rating

Drink two beers without issues in 15 minutes                           Easy

Drink two glasses of wine without issues in 15 minutes            Moderate

Drink two shots of liquor without issues in 15 minutes            Difficult


If you are battling raging rapids or swimming a long distance, the Swim Skill determines how long you can survive before succumbing to fatigue or cramping.

Sample Action                                                  Difficulty Rating

Swim with the current in the ocean                  Easy

Swim against the current in a lake                     Moderate

Swim against the current in the ocean               Difficult

Persona Skills


An artistic flare or a well-trained eye can help interpret ancient works of art and modern ones.  The Artisan Skill governs artistic areas such as acting, dance, and music.


Inspiring a legion of troops just before battle is no easy feat; those gifted with Command seem to pull off amazing inspirational speeches.  Whether leading a platoon of rag-tag militiamen or a squadron of experienced mercenaries, those with the Command Skill can often influence the tide of battle.


The act of subterfuge or tricking those around you is a skill desired by many.  Information is power, and those who make a living by deceiving others to obtain it can often find employment as mercenaries for factions with their own hidden agenda.  Use the Deception Skill when you wish to conceal your motives, lie to others, impersonate someone, blend into a crowd, or fast-talk your way out of a situation.


The need to recognize the truth in others is imperative, and any good interrogator will use it to navigate around the Deceptions of others.  Use the Empathy Skill when you wish to reveal the true intentions of others, recognize emotional reactions, or just understand and identify small white lies.


Betting a small fortune and winning requires both using the Gambling Skill and a lot of luck.  Those who whisper that fortune favors the bold may be onto something, and taking risks can be rewarding or devastating.  Whether your Gambling is professional, for fun, or from addiction, role-playing during the scenario is encouraged.


Sometimes in order to get your way you have to make those around you feel uncomfortable.  Intimidation occurs when you wish to appear menacing to the point where it breaks the will of your opponents.


Knowing more than one language can be useful – especially on a large world like Westward.  Language barriers often hinder encounters between people, but the well traveled often know how to recognize mannerisms and dialects.  The Languages Skill determines the number of languages you understand fluently.  Everyone starts with at least one native language.


When you wish to charm someone or convince them to see a point of view, use the Persuasion Skill.


The ability to resist another’s will or to press yourself to move on is a trait vital to survival.  Under strenuous conditions, the mind and physical body are at risk of reaching a breaking point.  The Willpower Skill is a measure of your ability to resist that breaking point.  Use Willpower when trying to resist cons, Persuasion, or Intimidation – or when using supernatural abilities.

Intellect Skills


A background rich in Academics will benefit anyone.  Did you attend school?  How far did you advance?  Depending on the situation and the resources and time at your disposal, the use of the Academics Skill may act as a bonus to another Skill.


Your understanding of the art of Business and the local economy is determined by the Business Skill.  Using your Business shrewdness and being able to decipher good Business decisions from bad will depend on your familiarity with the particular field.


What is the difference between our cultures?  Those with a high rating in the Culture Skill know what to look for to find those differences.  Culture indicates your awareness and study of a culture’s preference with art, etiquette, history, literature, and religion.  Culture may also aid you in sensitive negotiations where you would not want to offend your guest due to ignorance.


Styles of law enforcement vary from place to place.  Using the Law Skill, you can determine if you have a basic or detailed understanding of local laws, which can help you avoid legal complications.


From applying medicinal herbs to performing surgery, the knowledge of Medicine and the Skill to use it properly can spell the difference between life and death.


Politics gives you knowledge of local people in office and key figures in more regionalized Politics.  The Politics Skill can influence your dealings with local authority figures that are giving you a hard time or let you know the proper people to bribe when a situation gets sticky.


Use the Search Skill to counter Pick Pocket, Sneak, and Deception (when used for impersonating others).  More generally, use Search when trying to perceive clues, identify details, spot danger, or observe changes.


Criminals come in all shapes, sizes, and species.  While their preferred methods vary, their upbringings typically start on the street.  Tricks of the trade are learned here through the knowledge that flows through the streets’ networks.  The more attuned you are to these networks, the more informed you will be when the latest news gets out.  Rumors emerge from every corner, and the chances of you hearing it first come from the Streetwise Skill.


Deep down in every being’s core is the essence of Survival.  The Survival Skill determines your ability to live in the harshest of terrains and in Westward’s many punishing environments.  Survival is the ability to change, adapt, and live off your surroundings.


Gaining an edge over your opponent is a skill practiced by many, but mastered by few.  Use the Tactics Skill against your opponents to add a bonus to Initiative or other Skills, as the GM deems appropriate.

Aptitude Skills


The ability to Communicate effectively is essential during hikes into the jungle or when venturing into dangerous mountains plagued by ogres.  Long-range Communications often involve smoke signals, hooded lanterns, or radios.


Knowing how to place explosives and time detonations is a craft not easily mastered, but highly sought after.  Experts in the field of Demolitions have little trouble finding employment.  The better you are in the Demolitions Skill, the more complex the explosions you can pull off.


A high rating in the Engineering Skill will allow you to perform repairs and alterations to any device or mechanism with lots of moving parts – from basic maintenance to major overhauls.  Having a team of engineers at your disposal will help lower the overall difficulty.

First Aid

While Medicine covers the knowledge of drugs and surgery techniques, the First Aid Skill covers the intense concentration and the hand-eye coordination involved when carrying out the task of stabilizing someone in an emergency.


Figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B is not a feat for the timid.  The art of Navigation gives you the necessary knowledge of charts and understanding of magnetic north.  Depending on your Navigation Skill, you are able to predict the distance and time of travel, the food supplies the party will need, as well as have an understanding of what lies along the destined route.


Sometimes you can just walk up and comfortably Operate a device or complex machine without an understanding of its innards.  You use the Operate Skill to easily identify and control a machine without the worry of understanding every little aspect of how it works – from a simple pulley system used to raise and lower a drawbridge, to a complex machine created for producing light without fire.


Those gifted with a high Piloting skill are able to control a ship or vehicle as if it were an extension of their will.  Pilots can easily find employment everywhere and they often love their chosen trade for the rush of speed or the freedom of traveling.  Piloting is the ability to drive just about anything that flies or moves on the ground.  Those who wish to dodge enemy fire while Piloting a vehicle use their Piloting Skill.  If a ship or vehicle has a Maneuverability rating, that value augments the Pilot’s roll.


The Security of information, individuals, and items is highly sought after everywhere.  Security patrols and sentries are found in seemingly every corner and can be dangerous.  Yet they apply very different techniques in eliminating potential threats.  Those understanding how Security works are able to slip by undetected and possess unique talents.  Use the Security Skill when you intend to avoid sentry patrols or similar countermeasures.

Vehicle Weapons

Firing the guns on a ship or vehicle takes a lot of coordination and training.  Those proficient in using Vehicle Weapons are able to fire a vessel’s weapons accurately.  A ship’s weapons may contain a Fire Control rating which augments your Vehicle Weapons Skill.