In order to relate or compare the power of different people the researcher Seminal Aria developed what he called the Ratings System.
Roughly demonstrated in this table.
|1||Unskilled||Peasant, farmer, shop keeper, noble|
|2||Trained||Toran soldier, Protectoran legionnaire|
|3||Elite||Alkan Manes such as Shadow Riders, The Feinclave, the Hammerers Bodyguard|
|4||Heroic||Ran Clarke, Shadeborn, Ashley Darkkenbalde|
|5||Empowered||Sapphire Wizard Guild Sarrifs, elven druids, Xerans|
|6||Master||The Arch Mages of the Saffire Guild, Leonadar,|
|7||Legendary||The Deathlich Zarin, Leonadar Halkithantarius in Quintox, Thornmeld Firestorm|
|8||Eternal||Ravenfast with item, Mask with Item,|
Basically, this list refers only to Seminal Aria’s opinion of individual power equivalence. Therefore, a king wholly untrained in combat would have a PR (Power Rating) of 1 despite being in other ways a very powerful individual. Interestingly though, Aria built into the system the idea that possessing objects of power could alter someone’s PR significantly. She rated such historical figures as Heartcleaver for example as an 8 which should have been impossible for someone who was not a magic user of any kind. Of course Heartcleaver’s possession of the Armlet of Strength rendered any other rating ridiculous.
To expand on the above table for those interested I summarise Aria’s broad outlines and reasoning below.
NOTE: Each tier has a significant depth to it. By that, you should understand that two people in tier one are not equal. One will be stronger than the other and very likely to defeat the other. For example a 10 year old child and a 30 year old farm hand would both be tier one but if they fought each other it is almost certain that the adult would overpower the child. The depth of the tiers grows as you rise through the ranks tier 2 being wider than 1 and 3 being wider than 2 etc. The very highest tiers are extremely broad and encompass beings with such incredibly varied abilities it is very hard to compare them. This should therefore never be forgotten when noting or assigning Power Ratings on the Aria Scale.
0 – If someone is unable to fight at all such as the disabled, very young children or babies and the utterly helpless they are considered not to have a PR. Probably something close to 5% of the population.
1 – ‘Untrained’ means anyone who is physically able to fight, but is untrained in doing so. The majority of the inhabitants of Tal would fall into this category something in the nature of 70% or more.
2 – ‘Trained’ means anyone trained to fight as an archer, monk, ranger, hunter, explorer, warrior, berserker, pirate etc. Typically these individuals would not have access to outstanding levels of skill or magical enhancements of any kind. Against the untrained they could cause devastation, but one on one they would be utterly outclassed by the higher tiers. Typically trained individuals are group combatants such as soldiers. They make up perhaps 15% or just under of the population. In some of the eras, this percentage would be higher because of large scale conscription such as during the Dragon Army Invasions.
3 – Elite means anyone who is beyond the skill of a soldier to defeat. Most countries have elite units and many solo adventurers with the advantage of prodigious individual skill, some magical weaponry or other gear fall into this category. The defining feature is that even a good soldier would not be able to best them in combat even with luck on his side. Elites make up something like 5% of the population and include apprentice spell casters and the like.
4 – Heroic means anyone who is so skilled and has access to such weaponry that no matter how skilled the elite they could not hope to match him/her individually. Non-magic users who attain this rank of skill are almost always the subject of legends and great figures of great renown. They make up something like 1% of the population.
5 – Empowered means anyone able to utterly defeat any purely physical foe. They can wield power beyond what any training or skill alone can provide. Most generic spell-casters or paladins and the like would rank in this bracket due to their abilities allowing them to singlehandedly outclass far superior physical fighters. They make up something like 2% of the population.
NOTE – Most arguments about Aria’s Power Rating system comes from the nature of these two ratings 4 and 5. Many argue for example that a standard Guild Mage should not be considered more dangerous than Shadesbane Shadowstriker, who due to his lack of magical enhancement is considered by the system to be a four. The critics point out that he without such magical means was able to kill several beings including mages who were ranked in the 5 and even in the 6 rating. Some call this faction the Survivor Revisionists as they suggested that rating should be shift-able based on who the individuals historically were able to defeat or destroy. Some argue farther that based on such rating changes we should extrapolate like ratings to similar individuals throughout time.
6 – Master means that these individuals meet the Empowered Standard but are so skilled, powerful and in possession of such items as to make them undefeatable one on one by any Empowered. A Master typically needs to be able to show himself/herself as so powerful that they can defeat a cadre of Empowered individuals or give pause to entire battalions of soldiers single-handedly. They make up less than 0.1% of the population.
7 – Legendary means individuals who power is so great that they inevitably change the courses of nations and history. Legendary individuals have so much power regular armies would have no chance of defeating them unaided.
These individuals almost all share four core-characteristics:
-leadership (They have followers of some kind),
-life preserving power (They are very very hard to kill and even if you kill them it might not take),
-ways to avoid resist or otherwise deal with magic and
-the ability to destroy either on a wide scale or very powerful individuals.
It is typically these four characteristics that are used as the argument base for rating someone as Legendary rather than merely a Master. There is typically 1 Legendary individual in a million.
8 – Eternal This rating is really for unkillable entities of unimaginable power. Beings like the Demon Princes of the Night, Robe who keeps Death’s Door, Arch Angels etc. The only mortals who can be considered this level are those who have wielded Armlets or embody some level of Avatar like power.
The Core characteristics that define an Eternal Rating over a Legendary one are as follows:
Eternals are effectively immortal.
Eternals embody some element of Avatar power.
Eternals can planes walk
And of course an Eternal can defeat a Legendary rating… every time.
That is the magnitude of the gap. There is a huge gulf between 7 and 8 even wider than that between 6 and 7. It should also be noted that the bottom of the Eternal rating and the top of it are so far apart it is hard to describe. There are some Arch Angels for example that Robe could destroy almost by accident. Almost no Eternal individuals are on the planet. Those that are would typically number less than 10. most are extra planar creatures or Planeswalkers of somekind.
9 – This tier was reserved in Aria’s list for the Avatars direct manifestations themselves. Needless to say anything less than a manifestation by another Avatar is as nothing to Them.