Skills, Talents, and Abilities

Some can sing, some can fight, some can think, and some can cast spells. Some may even fly, stop time, or control forces of the universe… but can’t boil an egg properly. What can your characters do?

Skills, talents, and abilities make us who we are. While many embrace their gifts, others fight and claw against nature to learn new skills. Talents can come to the fore easily or may rest latent for years. Use this page to see what abilities your characters may discover…

Talents and Strengths

There are some things that characters are just born with, part of their personality. These inherent talents and strengths are listed here to give you some ideas…

  • smart, intelligent, quick learner,
  • cunning, sly, witty,
  • wise, thoughtful, considerate,
  • charming, confident, charismatic,
  • quick, fast, swift, deft,dexterous, agile,
  • strong, physical, athletic, trim, tough,
  • tough, hardy,
  • proficient with magic, weapons, a sword, a whip, a hockey stick,
  • problem solver, analytical, critical thinker,
  • adaptable, trainable, coachable, teachable,
  • team worker, collaborator,¬†interpersonal, relationship builder,
  • mathematical, orderly, sequential, linear,
  • reflective, intrapersonal, self-reflective,
  • social, good communicator, networking, socializing,
  • patient, reserved,¬†handles pressure,
  • linguistic, wordsmith, writer, storyteller, poetic, good with words,
  • musical, rhythmic,
  • logical, measured,
  • visual, artistic, spatial, design,
  • conceptual, existential, theoretical,
  • imaginative, creative, inventive, innovative,
  • emotional, empathetic, compassionate, sympathetic, understanding,
  • working with hands, hands -on,
  • strong memory, photographic memory, facial memory, names and dates recall,
  • natural leader, inspirational, motivational,
  • attractive, good looking, alluring, handsome, beautiful, natural beauty, magnetic,


Training and practice can result in skills that characters become particularly strong at. Here is a list of these types of skills to attach to characters in your narratives…

  • masonry, stone work, bricklaying,
  • whittling, carving, woodworking, carpentry,
  • metal work, smithing, millwright,
  • boat building,
  • sailing,
  • craftsman, artisan,
  • tactician, strategist, military analyst,
  • computer programming, tech, IT, systems analysis,
  • speaking foreign languages, linguistics, public speaking,
  • typing, communications,
  • heavy machinery operation, automotives, mechanics, repair, maintenance,
  • hunting, tracking, scouting, survival, fishing, trapping,
  • dungeoneering, spelunking,
  • healing, first aid, first response, medicine,
  • bookkeeping, accounting, auditing, payroll management, economics, money management, investing,
  • management, scheduling, hiring, human resources,
  • performance, dance, musical instrument, singing,
  • psychic connection, contacting spirits,
  • firearms, guns, shooting, ballistics,
  • weapons, sword fighting, jousting,
  • martial arts, hand-to-hand combat,
  • spinning the positives, characterizing, pivoting, politicking, redirecting, refocusing, deflecting, seeing the silver lining, reframing, denying,
  • lock picking, safe cracking,
  • sleight of hand, pick-pocketing,
  • sneaky, quiet movement, stealth,

Knowledge Sets

Sometimes, a character’s abilities can be defined more by the knowledge they possess than by the things they actually do. Some of these will give you an idea…

  • aerodynamics,
  • science, physics, biology, chemistry,
  • nature, natural world, earth science, geology,
  • arcana, mysterious forces, magic, spellcraft, spells, potions, scrolls, wands, amulets, talismans,
  • politics, diplomacy, negotiation,
  • history, archaeology, paleontology,
  • medicine, healing, treatments,
  • psychology, the mind, mental health, brain science, learning, behaviour,
  • spirituality, theology, religion, mythology, legends, gods, divinity,
  • dungeoneering, exploration, navigation, spelunking, mining, travel,
  • mechanics, engineering, industrial design, automotives, inventions,
  • space travel, starship engineering, interstellar travel,
  • analysis, research, investigation,
  • art, design,

Words for Skills and Abilities

  • skill, talent, ability,
  • aptitude, prowess, virtuosity, mastery, aptness,
  • expertise, profession, trade, volition, drive,
  • proclivity, propensity,
  • proficiency, power,
  • competency, capacity, forte, strength, facility, acumen,
  • artistry, craftsmanship, art, craft,
  • bent, leaning, means, knack, flair, feel, panache,
  • area of ability, prodigy in, area of interest,
  • attribute, endowment, gift, genius, sense, instinct, capability, predilection, penchant, set, inclination, druthers, savvy, slant, predisposition, persuasion, passion, bias,
  • liking, leaning, penchant, preference,
  • training, learning, grasp,

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