Where Attributes measure a character's raw potential, Abilities measure how effectively a character can use that potential to perform a type of task. When success isn't guarenteed, you choose the correspeonding Ability and the appropriate Attrubute for how you will go about the task. Each dot you possess in each will be a die added to your dice pool.
* example: To intimidate someone with your raw strength, roll [Strength + Intimidation]. To intimidate someone with more subtle threats, roll [Manipulation + Indimidation].
You can still use talents even without dots, as they area intuitive. The only way to improve them is through practice, though training can certainly help.
Alertness: How attuned you are to your surroundings. This measures how observant you are when actively looking as well as how good you are at spotting things when you aren't. In combat it is often rolled with Wits to measure reaction and response time. Outside of combat it pairs well with Preception to notice clues in your surroundings.
Athletics: Athletics is a catch-all talent for physical activities such as running, jumping, swimming, sports, and even throwing. Althetics itself is being able to turn your physical attributes towards a purpose, and measures how effective your technique is. This talent does not cover boxing or fighting, as they would be covered by brawl and melee respectively.
Brawl: Any sort of fighting that doesn't use a weapon, falls under brawl. Fists, feet, heads, elbows, and in the case of shifters it includes teeth and claws too.
Empathy: The ability to read and understand the emotions of other people falls under empathy, and so too the ability to tell if someone is lying to you. Some might use this to connect with people while others might employ manipulation instead. Be careful though, the more empathetic you become, the harder it is to remain unaffected by the emotions of others too.
Expression: Expression is about how effectively you get your points across with language as the primary form. Whether it is a speech, poety, or a well written letter, high expression means you are picking the perfect words to achieve the desired effect. Whether you use this for double talk or an inpiring speech, is up to you.
Intimidation: Coercing someone to do something they don't want to do. This could be the obvious physical threat or blackmail, but it can also be more subtle and suggestive and imply a third party might react unfavourably should your victim not take your advice.
Leadership: Unlike intimidation, leadership is about making people want to listen or do what you ask. It is knowing how to motivate and get people working together to achieve more than they could on their own.
Primal-Urge: This talent is specific to shifters and represents their connection to their beastial nature. Feral instincts that will help you to shift between your different forms, or know instinctively what is supernatural.
Streetwise: How well can you fit in with rough crowds and understand their slang? Do you know how to ask for information without being marked as a snitch or a cop? Criminals, junkies, lowlifes and the homeless tend to be more accepting of one of their own, and much less forgiving of a nosey outsider.
Subterfuge: Subterfugure is about hiding your motives while projecting something completely different. It is the trait of intrigue, double dealing, and lying.
Hobby Talent*: This is to cover a talent not already covered by something listed above. Be sure to discuss this with the STer first, as it may be something that would be better lumped with an existing talent or not used enough that it is worthy of a stat.
* When you take this talent you must denote what the talent is. Having a knack for Scrounging doesn't make you a good negotiator.
Using skills you do not possess increases the difficulty by 1. While anyone can attempt such things, they generally require training and practice to use them effectively.
Animal Ken: Knowing how to read an animal's body language, gain its trust, or even attempt to train an animal falls under Animal Ken. A shifter's innate rage can be sensed by animals and can make these things much more difficult, however the level one homid gift [Scent of Man] can overcome this with ease.
Crafts*: Crafts covers your ability to fix or make things with your hands. This could be leather-working, carpentry, or even car repair. You must choose a specialty, as being a weaver doesn't mean you know how to rebuild a combustion engine.
Drive: You will need at least one dot if you're going to drive an automatic car OR a motorcycle without incident, and in most cases you probably have your license. Regular driving won't require rolls, but stunt driving, difficult road conditions, bad weather, and even multitasking probably will. Having more dots does not only increase your driving skills, but also increases your familiarity with other vehicles. Choose another vehicle type you know how to drive for each dot.
Etiquette: Basic etiquette is about good manners and social expectations. It's about knowing about traditions, how to phrase things without (unintentionally) insulting the other person. But as you dig deeper, it includes knowing ceremonies, social rituals, and just how much respect you need to give the other person based on their age and standing. Generally this skill covers your own culture unless otherwise stated.
Firearms: Firearms covers all you need to know about guns from a little BB pistol to a heavy machine gun. This skill is used to determine how accurately you can shoot a target, but also how to clean, repair, and identify the type. This does not extend to artillery, cannons, tanks, and the like as those should be covered by Proffesional Skill.
Larceny: These are the skills of professional criminals. It includes forgery, lock picking, picking pockets, hot wiring cars and the tools required to do such. Inversely, it can also be used to understand how a thief broke in, or how to protect against thieves by knowing their tactics. Note that this does not extend to computer forgery or advanced security systems which would fall under Computer and Technology Knowledges respectively.
Melee: Melee is about fighting up close and personal with a weapon. While swords aren't too common in the modern world, knives, lead pipes and the occassional broken beer bottle still have their place. This also includes weapons that fall under martial arts as well, as well as fencing and other such sports.
Performance*: This skill covers all of the performing arts, from music, dancing, acting and so on. It is not only about technical ability, but also includes the ability to keep an audience engaged with your show, and also historical knowledge of your art. You must specify what type of performance you have when you take this skill.
Stealth: When you want to avoid being seen, this is the skill you use. It can be hiding in shadows, moving through a crowd, or shadowing a mark. It can also be used for hiding objects on your person if you suspect you will be searched. Typically this skill is opposed by the observer's Perception + Awareness.
Survival: Knowing how to survive off the land, find food, purify water, and create shelter is a skill less common these days. It is also essential fof tracking, and navigating natural dangers. Note that if you attempt stealth in the wilderness, your stealth dice cannot exceed the number of dice you have in survival.
Professional Skill*: If a particular skill has not been covered, and it is something you would need to be trained to use without being at a disadvantage, it might fall under here. Discuss it with the ST first to be sure. The skill you pick must be specific enough, as with the skills above.
* When you take this skill you must state what that skill is. Having a professional skill in cooking does not make you a copetant aircraft pilot.
If you do not have dots in a Knowledge, you may not make a roll. Dots represent learning and study beyond common knowledge. Primarily involve the use of mental attributes.
Expert Knowledge*: Words
* When you take this knowledge you must denote an area of study. Someone who has studied the science of geology would not be equally knowledgable in Astrophysics.