Special Abilities give characters and creatures unique abilities that go above and beyond what they can achieve through Aptitudes alone.
There are three main categories of Special Ability: Mundane, Extraordinary and Racial.
Mundane Abilities are available to any character in Shapers. They are predefined in the rules and can be learned through experience. Examples include combat moves and specialist knowledge and experience that give bonuses to certain tasks. A Mundane Special Ability may be taken more than once to improve its effectiveness.
Extraordinary Abilities are only available to characters with a Shaping Attribute of 1 or more. There are a few examples in this book that your characters can learn through experience, but there are also rules for players and GMs to create their own. Extraordinary Special Abilities can be improved by spending experience. Examples include throwing fireballs, teleportation and attribute and aptitude increases (or decreases!). Extraordinary Special Abilities may also come packaged with Downsides.
Racial Abilities are Mundane or Extraordinary Special Abilities possessed by all creatures of the species. Examples include flight, water breathing, changing skin colour, low level psychic ability, etc. Details about which species have which abilities are in the Bestiary chapter.