hile you can easily and quickly execute many complex actions in Wraith with simple challenges, this is not always the case. Sometimes Abilities – the skills, talents and knowledge’s that characters use – are necessary.
An Ability allows your character to engage in, if not excel at, a particular type of activity that she would not normally be able to attempt. Performing such a task often involves risking Traits. If the character is defeated in the challenge, she may choose to temporarily sacrifice a level in the appropriate Ability to call for a retest. While any Traits risked are lost regardless, it is still possible to win the challenge. An Ability lost in this manner is recovered at the beginning of the next session. If your character loses all her levels in a particular Ability in this manner, she may not use that Ability again until she recovers at least one level (i.e., at the next game session).
Often a challenge of one sort or another accompanies the use of Abilities. The Narrator choreographs some of these challenges, not only assigning the relative difficulty of the challenge in Traits but also actually performing the test with you. The Narrator also sets a difficulty against which the Static Challenge is performed; interprets the amount of time required to attempt the skill; and possibly even asks that you pretend to perform the action in question, or that you drop out of play for the duration of the task.
Also, you can use other Abilities, such as Subterfuge or Melee, directly against another player. This sort of usage rarely requires the assistance of a Narrator. Note that you may choose Abilities multiple times to represent a high degree of expertise in that skill or in a broad number of related fields, such as with Performance, Occult and Linguistics.