Characters have three basic mechanical components:

  1. Ability scores
  2. Backgrounds
  3. Demons

In addition there are a few derived mechanics, the most obvious of which is Hit Dice.

Ability Scores

Ability scores are ubiquitous in OSR games and indeed many RPGs

StormHack uses six basic ability scores:

Ability Score Uses Demon Realm
Strength Fighting, wrestling, pushing, lifting, restraining, leaping Realm of Violence
Constitution Travelling, labouring, waiting, being patient, enduring pain, hunger, thirst, injury and sickness Realm of Durance
Dexterity Moving, sneaking, grace, precision, hand-eye coordination, throwing, shooting Realm of Flux
Intelligence Thinking, noticing, searching, scanning, reacting Realm of Voyance
Wisdom Knowing, sensing, empathy, dreaming, experience Realm of Desire
Charisma Speaking, convincing, seducing, leading, expression Realm of Dominion

These ability scores are used whenever the referee decides an outcome isn’t certain; in that case the ref may call upon the player to roll one or more d20 and compare with their ability score.

Scores range from 3-18 with an average of 10. These can be generated a number of ways, for example:

  • roll 3d6 six times (or variants thereof, such as roll 4d6 and drop the lowest)
  • point-buy
  • via playbooks in the style of Beyond the Wall

Ability scores (on individual human scale) correspond directly to Demon Realms (those same scores reflected on a cosmic scale).


Backgrounds are inspired by Whitehack’s Groups but also by WaRP’s traits, including negative traits.

Backgrounds are knowledge, skills and experience, advantages or benefits the character has picked up. These will tend to form the core of the character’s concept. They should have a short description (a single word to a short sentence). Kinds of backgrounds include:

Background type Example