If I'd of thought far enough ahead I'd of named these different but who knew?
Recent changes to the system -
Explicit advantages to having a high stat have been added. Obviously having a high stat helps in a lot of ways, it offsets the untrained penalty, it makes it easier to raise a skill, boosts your computed stats etc but now there are distinct advantages associated with focusing on a stat.
On top of the Stat Focus benefit that a player selects when they build their character there are also innate advantages to having a high stat. "High" is currently set at 3+. This allows a person to have 2 level 3 stats so they'd get two advantages. But with only 5 stats (charisma was dumped) it's hard to have a dump stat so they're all valuable although not 100% equally so, especially with differences in builds. If you never use a melee weapon and never do anything athletic or have to carry a heavy load then a high strength isn't of great value for instance.
Anyway, a high strength lets you do killing damage with unarmed attacks. Generally without a high strength or specific Knack unarmed attacks deal Fatigue damage only. It doesn't seem like much perhaps but strength already adds to your melee damage, dictates how much you can carry and gives you a longer throw distance. So this seems like a reasonable additional bonus.
A high intellect gives you a bonus level 1 skill. Seems reasonable to me since intellect already offsets a lot of penalties since most of the skills are Intellect based and is a direct boost to your ability to avoid damage. And a bonus starting skill is a pretty good boost since after the start it takes a level up to get a new one.
A graceful character subtracts one level of success from the damage roll for an AOE. Since AOE's are the exception rather than the norm this seems reasonably balanced to me, right now. Yes it means that it takes a pretty good damage roll to really hurt a high grace character but it doesn't do anything directly to single target attacks of course.
A resolute character, high Resolve, gets a bonus damage box on their Sanity Damage Tracker. In many settings this has no value at all. I may have to figure out something else as an option but Resolve is already pretty valuable, it helps define your mental defenses and lets you get undazed easier and being dazed is not a great place to be. But in a horror setting it can be quite powerful to avoid a character going insane since it adds 25% more buffer between normal and the loonybin.
A high Fortitude character gets to add one bonus damage box to either their Physical Damage or Fatigue Damage trackers at their option. I started to make it just automatic that it goes to their PDT since you're going to take physical damage much more often than fatigue but a character with the power Healing who wants to be a dedicated healer could certainly see a boost in their ability to heal their friends as a result since healing can cause Fatigue.
I've flipped (yet again) to making the base Target Number a 15, up from 13 to lower the hit rate a bit as I felt characters were too successful too often. Too many excess Degress of Success which detracted from their impact when they occurred. I've also boosted the Evasion so that the average value falls into the 14-16 range in line with the base TN. Damage reductions were also nudged up by 1 to give characters slightly more surviability.
I'm also going to be testing with limiting the number of explosions to either a single dice in the dice pool gains from an explosion or limiting it to one explosion per dice. The averages are just a tiny bit too high for me in terms of overall feel.
You can now Push Your Strength when you need to do something heroic like raise a heavy grate or break a door down. You make a basic Strength roll (3d8+Strength) and compare it to the TN. For each degree of success you get, your strength counts as 2 higher for that attempt. You also take a level of Fatigue so you can actually knock yourself out trying to exceed your abilities too often wthout rest. I wanted players to try that whole break their manacles with all the gritted teeth and veins popping of any proper action movie but didn't want to say "Okay you tried once, failed, you can't do it, end of story" nor did I want them to "Okay I just keep trying till it breaks." So sure they can try it 4 times but then blam they're so hammered they can't do anything but move around at a slow crawl.
Added/modified a couple of Knacks, tweaked skills, I forget which ones. Nothing major, Empathy skill is now known as Social, Reliably Quick is now "Hates To Go Last", stuff like that.
Unarmed damage got its rules figured out in more detail. An unarmed person can make 2 attacks, the second one at -3 as usual, and deal 1d6 damage or a single attack and deal 2d6 damage. The unarmed equivalent of 1H and 2H. The damage goes against the targets Fatigue tracker which seemed to be an easy way to add sub dual damage using the existing mechanic and causes the target to fall unconscious rather than killing him. But if the unarmed attack rolls really well on damage, i.e. gets 3 or more successes one of those successes is counted as physical damage. It's hard to hit someone REALLY hard and not break something.
You can also try to deal 'subdual' damage with weapons but unless the weapon has the Tweak "Subdual" then you suffer a penalty on your attack roll because trying to knock someone out with a sword is harder than just killing them. And you're more likely to deal physical damage to them as well thus potentially killing them in spite of yourself. Subdual weapons like coshes, padded clubs etc don't risk physical damage.