Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blessings and Flaws

I remember reading through the Ars Magica rules years ago and characters had some kind of charcter quirks - something and flaws. Anyway, I always thought it might be cool to have something like that for my own campaign, but it seemed like a lot of work.

I was rifling through some old papers and I found some stuff that I had printed up from probably a decade or more ago - Zuggtomy's House Rules. I remember that I was really into finding a spell point system at the time and that's included in the house rules, but there was a section called Banes and Boons that I really liked and so I present a version of that (almost all of it cribbed from the aforementioned Zuggtomy's House Rules) for playtest in my own campaign (if it ever happens...). PLEASE NOTE: I claim no original authorship here - this is pulled from, reformatted, rewritten, etc. from something I found on the net years ago...

Blessings and Flaws:

Blessings and Flaws

Blessings and Flaws are advantages and disadvantages that a character may have as both special abilities and hindrances. A new character rolls percentile dice twice: once to determine the number (if any) of Blessings, the second time to determine the number (if any) of Flaws. Characters are not guaranteed to have any boons or banes, and those without simply move on to the next step (Secondary Skills).

D100 Roll

# of Blessings/Flaws

01-40

Zero

41-75

One

76-90

Two

91-100

Three

Blessing List (d100)

01-04

Starting Cash 1

63-64

Starting Cash 2

05-07

Status 1

65-66

Status 2

08-10

Absolute Direction

67-68

Language Talent 1

11-13

Absolute Timing

69-70

Hard to Kill 2

14-16

Quickstride

71-72

Second Sight 2

17-19

Animal Empathy

73-74

Danger Sense

10-22

Double Jointed

75-76

Attractive Voice

23-25

Immune to Normal Disease

77-78

Daredevil

26-28

Language Talent 1

79-80

Minor Magic Talent

29-31

Longevity

81-82

Weapon Master

32-34

Peripheral Vision

83-84

Spirit Sense

35-37

Rapid Healing

85-86

Special Talent

38-40

Strong Will

87-88

Acute Vision

41-43

Alcohol Tolerance

89-90

Empathy

44-46

Simple Disguise

91-92

Intuition

47-49

Hard to Kill 1

93-94

Luck

50-52

Second Sight 1

95

Extraordinary Luck

53-54

Underwater Breathing

96

Serendipity

55-56

Increase Stat

97

Eidetic Memory

67-58

Acute Hearing

98

Toughness

59-60

Combat Reflexes

99

Religious/Philosophical Fervor

61-62

Common Sense

100

Supernatural Heritage

Flaw List (d100)

01-02

Reduced Starting Cash 1

51-52

Reduced Starting Cash 2

03-04

Reduced Status 1

53-54

Unhealthy

05-06

Socially Awkward

55-56

Reduced Stat

07-08

Compulsive Generosity

57-58

Reduced Status 2

09-10

Compulsive Spending 1

59-60

Compulsive Spending 2

11-12

Color Blindness

61-62

Unlucky

13-14

Overweight

63-64

Lack of Confidence

15-16

Undeweight

65-66

Overconfidence

17-18

Youth

67-68

Stuttering

19-20

Acquisition Syndrome

69-70

Stress Paralysis

21-22

Impulsiveness

71-72

Greed

23-24

Miserliness

73-74

Phobia

25-26

Truthfulness

75-76

Evil Relative

27-28

Weak Will

77-78

Insomniac

29-30

Deformity

79-80

Easy to Read

31-32

Disowned

81-82

On the Edge

33-34

Bad Smell

83-84

Short Attention Span

35-36

Disturbing Voice

85-86

Innumerate

37-38

Light Sleeper

87-88

Abinism

39-40

Chummy

89-90

Clumsy

41-42

Sleepwalker

91-92

Moves Slowly

43-44

Curiosity

93-94

Thick Accent

45-46

Indecisive

95-96

Berserker

47-48

Nightmares

97-98

Arrogant

49-50

Post Stress Shakes

99-100

Untrusting

Explanation of Blessings

Starting Cash 1

Character begins game with double normal cash

Status 1

The PC is well known due to a family connection or religious activity and can expect hospitality and aid from others who respect this connection. Add one level to his starting status. Typical bonus is +2 to reaction rolls.

Absolute Direction

The PC always knows which way is north, and can always re-trace a path he has followed within the last week, no matter how faint or confusing it may be (excluding magically confused paths, of course). This boon is effective either aboveground or underground or above water or underwater.

Absolute Timing

The PC has an accurate mental clock. Unless the PC has been knocked unconscious, hypnotized or otherwise interfered with, eh will always know what time it is, down to the second if need be. The PC can also measure elapsed time with great accuracy. Normal sleep does not confuse this boon.

Quick Stride

The normal walking speed of the PC is 15 instead of 12 (or 9 instead of 6). Running speed is also increased accordingly.

Animal Empathy

This boon gives the PC a +2 bonus to reactions vs wild animals, and a +4 bonus vs. domesticated animals. A Ranger or Druid with this boon may use it to augment their class interactions with animals.

Double Jointed

Your PC can bend his body into weird contortions – and also gain a +3 bonus to climbing (+20% to a thief's climb walls ability).

Immune to Normal Diseases

The PC resists all non-magical disease organisms, even if forcibly injected with them. Virus and fungus invasions are also considered “disease” - making the PC immune to Myconid spores and yellow mold, for example.

Language Talent 1

The character gains 1-3 languages. These bonus languages are either oral or written – to take both takes 2 “slots” from the character's total.

Longevity

The PC comes from a line of very long lived ancestors. Add +25% bonus to the character's natural lifespan (eg – humans live 80-100 years, so a human PC with this boon would live 100-125 years).

Peripheral Vision

The PC has a wide range of vision. PC gains +1 on search rolls (secret doors, etc) and is only +2 to hit from behind instead of +4. Roll vs INT at -2 to foil a backstab attempt.

Rapid Healing

The PC regains 1 hp per day regardless of activity or strenuous circumstances. He regains 2 hp per day if getting a full day of bedrest and 3 hp per day if wounds are being actively treated.

Strong Will

The PC has a +2 to saves vs. fear, terror, and mind-controlling enchantments (magical or otherwise). If no save is normally allowed, the PC saves for lesser effect (or negates as appropriate) if a natural 20 is rolled.

Alcohol Tolerance

The PC can drink steadily for an indefinite period of time with no major detrimental effects.

Minor Disguise

The PC has the ability to blend in to anonymous groups of people – crowds, guards, servants, etc. Reaction rolls vs. discovery are at -4 (or -20%).

Hard to Kill 1

The PC will not die when hp reach -10, but will hold on until hp reach -10 +1/2 CON. (that is, a PC with a CON of 14 could survive until reaching -17 hp). Note, unconsciousness still comes at 0 hp.

Second Sight 1

The PC is sensitive to magical auras. On a successful roll against INT-2, the PC can sense any magic in use (or which has been used within the past hour) in a 10 foot radius. This attempt at reading a magical aura takes one full round in which no other action can be accomplished.

Underwater Breathing

The PC can breathe underwater for a number of rounds equal to double his CON score. So a PC with a CON of 18 could breathe underwater for 36 rounds.

Increase Stat

The PC adds +1 to any one of his stats, not to exceed the racial maximum (an elf, for example, cannot increase STR above 17 or CON above 16. Stats may be raised over 18.

Acute Hearing

The PC has amazing hearing, functioning as a Thief's Hear Noise skill at 25% (or adding 25% to a thief's score for HN).

Combat Reflexes

PC gains +1 to initiative and gains -1 to being surprised.

Common Sense

The PC gets a roll vs. WIS-2 if the DM thinks the PC is going to do something stupid.

Starting Cash 2

The PC starts with 4x the normal starting cash.

Status 2

Exactly as Status 1 but in addition to the bonus to reaction rolls, PC is under the “watchful eye” of the connection which may result in small benefits, such as potions, scrolls, or minor magic items or a raise dead when the party is at no position to afford such.

Language Talent 2

As per Language Talent 1, but the PC gains 4-6 languages instead of 1-3.

Hard to Kill 2

As per Hard to Kill, except the PC will not die from his wounds until his hp reach -10 + TWICE his CON in negative points (thus, a character with a 15 CON would not die until reaching -40 hp!!)

Second Sight 2

As per Second Sight 1 plus the ability to tell if an item is magical (or if it has had a spell cast upon it) by making a successful INT-2 roll. Also, by taking one full round (doing nothing else), the PC can determine the TYPE of magic cast/sensed on a second successful roll vs INT-2.

Danger Sense

The PC makes a successful roll vs WIS-2 and can “sense” danger nearby – traps, ambushes, enemies, etc. On a natural 1, the PC has some vague idea of the danger.

Attractive Voice

Th PC has a clear, resonant voice, gaining +2 on all reaction rolls where the voice is heard. Note that this may be in addition to a bard's class abilities, for example.

Daredevil

The PC is incredibly lucky when taking unnecessary risks gaining a +2 (or +10%) to actions that are highly risky. Furthermore, the PC re-rolls any critical failures (one time only each) when taking unnecessary risks.

Minor Magical Talent

Regardless of the PCs class, the PC has a minor magical talent – the ability to use a single cantrip at will.

Weapon Master

The PC has trained extensively with a single weapon (allowed by class) gaining a +1 to hit and a +1 to damage with the weapon.

Spirit Sense

The PC can sense supernatural creatures (undead, angels, demons, etc) if concentrating (INT-2 roll – one round doing nothing else) within 10'. The sense does not determine what TYPE of supernatural creature, nor good or evil.

Special Talent

The PC is gifted in a single artistic talent (not combat or survival oriented) such as playing an instrument, writing poetry, storytelling, painting, etc. The PC gains +4 in rolls regarding the use of such a talent.

Acute Vision

The PC can see clearly at far ranges, reducing range penalties on missile weapons to 0 and gaining a +1 bonus to detect secret and concealed doors. Thieves gain +10 to their find traps skill (but not to remove).

Empathy

The PC has a “feel” for people, making a roll vs WIS-2 to determine a character's character and general emotional state (1 round of concentration). A successful roll vs WIS-4 can reveal when a person is lying (though will not reveal what the truth actually IS, just a “gut feeling” that this person is lying).

Intuition

When faced with multiple options and no logical way to choose between them, the PC makes a roll vs WIS-2 (PLUS the number of “right” options, MINUS the number of “wrong” options). If the roll is successful, the PC will be steered toward a “right” choice. If a natural 1 is rolled, the PC intuitively knows the absolutely BEST choice, and if a natural 20 is rolled, the PC inadvertently selects the absolutely WORST choice available.

Luck

Once per hour (real time), the PC can choose to re-roll ANY roll up to three times, selecting the BEST of the three rolls. If none of the three rolls are better than the original, the original roll may be used instead. Luck can be used on things like saving throws, thief skills, stat checks, to hit rolls. Luck cannot be applied to rolling for hit points when gaining a level or determining the value of items, etc. Luck is applied DURING the adventure itself, not the bookkeeping between adventures.

Extraordinary Luck

As Luck, only it can be used once per HALF hour real time, instead of once per hour.

Serendipity

This is another type of luck, though it does not directly involve dice rolling. Rather, it is the luck of fortuitous coincidence. Once per game session the PC gets lucky in a serendipitous manner. This is entirely up to the GM's judgment, though the player may suggest possibilities.

Eidetic Memory

The PC can remember the general sense of everything he concentrates on. Also, whenever he needs to remember a detail of something he was told, the DM will roll vs INT-2. If the roll succeeds, the PC remembers the detail. The PC gains +2 in other rolls involving memory.

Toughness

The PC has a base AC of 8 unarmored, rather than 10. In addition, damage rolls against the PC are reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 1 point of damage). Thus, a PC with Toughness wearing Platemail has an AC of 0 and if he's hit for 8 points of damage, only takes 7 points.

Religious/ Philosophical Fervor

The PC is passionate about his faith or philosophical disposition – to the point of being persuasive in winning converts. PC gains +3 in rolls regarding expression of his viewpoint and gains +3 in reaction rolls with regard to hirelings and companions.

Supernatural Heritage

The PC, in some distant previous generation, has a supernatural being in it's lineage. When traveling on other planes, the PC receives only half the normal penalties as “normal” PCs (as appropriate).

Explanation of Flaws

Reduced Starting Cash 1

The PC has HALF the normal amount of starting cash.

Reduced Status 1

The PC is from the lowest social standing in the campaign and is infamous because of some bias against his “people”. The PC gains +2 in regard to reactions within the group of “his people” but -2 in reaction rolls for all other groups.

Socially Awkward

The PC is shy. -2 to CHA and the PC will never be a leader of any kind.

Compulsive Generosity

The PC is “open handed.” If a beggar asks for cash, the PC has to make a WIS-2 roll to avoid giving 10x what is asked for. WIS-2 check to avoid being taken in by “hard luck” stories.

Compulsive Spending 1

Cash runs through the character's fingers. The mechanic for this is that everything costs the character 25% more than anyone else.

Color Blindness

PC sees the world in shades of grey. PC suffers -2 to any rolls involving identifying colors.

Overweight

Figure weight normally, then add 25%. Subtract 1 from CON. In areas of hunger (slums, for example, or areas of famine) reaction rolls are at -2.

Underweight

Figure weight normally, then subtract 25%. Subtract 2 from CON.

Youth

The PC will always appear as an adolescent (even when very old). All reactions are at -2 in regard to age, respect, wisdom, etc.

Acquisition Syndrome

The PC will always spend all of his money on upgrading equipment, weapons, supplies, etc. PCs with this flaw never “save for another day.”

Impulsiveness

The PC acts rashly, often without considering the circumstances. When the party stops to analyze something, the PC has to make a roll vs WIS-4 or act in a rash manner (note – he will not willingly jump in a pit, but might start down the possibly trapped hallway saying something like, “see, nothing to worry about.”).

Miserliness

PC will hoard away wealth, use old, possibly even broken equipment if still serviceable, rather than spend money on new. If forced to spend money, the PC will go to great lengths to find the absolute lowest price.

Truthfulness

The PC can't lie. To lie by omission requires a successful WIS check, to actually lie requires a roll vs. WIS-5. A failed roll means the PC stumbles so much as to reveal the lie. A natural 20 means the PC blurts out the truth.

Weak Will

The PC has a-2 to save vs. Fear and/or Terror, mind controlling enchantments and any form of Charm or Hypnotism.

Deformity

The PC is deformed in some way. CHA is reduced by 1-3. 1 is a minor deformity (perhaps an extra finger or eyes different colors), a 2 is an obvious deformity (perhaps only one eye, one leg significantly shorter than the other, large hump back) and a 3 denotes a serious deformity (such as one hand, mishappen face) which may also affect DEX or CON.

Disowned

The PC has been disowned by his family, regardless of status, and is an outcast among his people group. He is marked somehow so that all people of his culture will identify him as disowned by his family and suffers -3 in reaction rolls with his culture and -5 in reaction rolls with his family.

Bad Smell

PC has an unnaturally bad body odor, causing reaction rolls to be at -3. Pests and carrion scavengers will be attracted to the PC.

Disturbing Voice

The PCs voice is naturally unpleasant – squeaky, grating, nasal, whatever – which causes reaction rolls to be at -2 whenever the PCs voice is heard.

Light Sleeper

PC cannot rest when sleeping in any place but home or a home like environment (a quiet inn, a farmhouse perhaps), thus healing at half the normal rate (unless at home). For each week spent away from home, PC suffers -1 (or 5%) cumulative penalty to rolls. Thus, a fighter with the Light Sleeper flaw who has been 3 weeks in the wilderness will suffer -3 to hit, a thief with this flaw would suffer -15% to his climb walls skill.

Chummy

PC is unhappy when alone even for a few minutes and will always seek to be with people. When alone, PC will suffer -2 on all skills or spells that require INT or WIS checks in any way.

Sleepwalker

The PC walks in his sleep. Generally this is only annoying, but in dangerous or sensitive areas this can be a problem. On any given night, the PC will sleepwalk on a failed INT-4 roll, waking 2-7 rounds later.

Curiosity

PC is naturally inquisitive and when presented with an interesting situation or item, the PC must roll vs WIS-5 to avoid examining it, even if he knows doing so would be dangerous.

Indecisive

The PC has trouble making up his mind. As soon as choices are offered, the PC has to make a roll vs. WIS-2 MINUS the number of choices there are to actually make a decision. This flaw only occurs when there is a little time for decision making (such as choosing a magic item from a hoard or deciding to draw your sword or fire another arrow before the enemy closes – in melee, the PC acts normally).

Nightmares

The PC is tormented by nightmares. Roll vs WIS-2 on any given night to see if the character experiences nightmares. A natural 20 means the PC wakes up screaming from the nightmares and triples the chance of attracting a random encounter. Mornings after nightmares, the character is haunted by the images and functions at -2 (or -10%) in skills and abilites.

Post Stress Shakes

As soon as any stressful situation is over (such as combat or scaling a high cliff), the PC is stunned for 1-6 rounds. If a new enemy appears during that time, the PC cannot react.

Decrease Stat

This flaw requires that the PC deducts 1 from any stat (or chosen randomly). A stat cannot fall below 3.

Unhealthy

The PC is sickly or fat or has extreme allergies. In some way, the PC lacks a normal constitution. Subtract 2 from CON (to a minimum of 3).

Reduced Starting Cash 2

The PC starts with NO money – only ragged clothing.

Reduced Status 2

The PC is marked as a slave or indentured servant and begins the game as a wanted criminal (escaped slave/servant). If captured, the PC will face whipping at the very least, possibly the death penalty. Most people will shun the PC (reaction rolls at -5) unless in a culture that does not allow slavery or indentured servitude, where reactions are normal.

Compulsive Spending 2

Like Compulsive Spending 1, except expenses are DOUBLE what everyone else spends and the PC must make WIS-3 check or be willing to go into debt to support his spending.

Lack of Confidence

PC feels inadequate. Whenever the PC tries something new, he does so at -2 (or -10%).

Overconfidence

The PC overestimates his abilities. Whenever the PC tries something new, he does so at -2 (or -10%).

Stuttering

The PC suffers from a speech impediment, receiving a -2 on all reaction rolls where conversation is required. Spell casters take twice as long to cast spells and have double the chance of spell failure.

Stress Paralysis

The PC has a permanent initiative penalty of -1 and +1 to surprise rolls.

Greed

The PC must make a WIS-2 check or be tempted by wealth. If offered a monetary reward for a task, the PC with Greed will demand more if the check is failed. When dividing up treasure, the PC rolls vs. WIS (with penalty assigned by DM – up to -7 for very large treasures) to avoid demanding the biggest share.

Phobia

The PC is unreasonably afraid of something, mastering the fear only with a WIS-3 check (however, since the fear persists, the check has to be made every 3 turns as long as the PC is in the fearful situation. If the roll fails, the PC panics and a second failed roll (this time at -5) means the PC runs away screaming. Typical phobias include: crowds, undead, the dark, spiders, heights, loud noises, deep water, snakes, etc.

Evil Relative

The PC is from a notorious family and reaction rolls when dealing with anyone who knows his family history are at -3.

Insomniac

The PC has trouble sleeping. Each night, roll vs WIS-2 to see if the PC sleeps. If the PC fails the roll, he gets no sleep for the night and functions at -2 (or -10%) for the following day. Once a period of insomnia begins, it lasts for 2-5 days before normal sleeping habits begin. Each day without sleep results in an additional -1 (-5%) penalty (thus a PC could end up at -5/-25% after a full 5 days of sleeplessness).

Easy to Read

The PCs body language betrays his true intentions. Thus, the PC has a -2 on any checks involving lying or deception. Opposing warriors who have at least 4 rounds to study the PC gain +1 to hit when facing the PC in combat.

Innumerate

PC has no concept of numbers beyond 3 (that is, you have 1, 2, 3, many). Multiplication and division are impossible for the character. The character may be good at estimating relative sizes (that pile of coins is about the same size as this one) but cannot count them out at all.

On the Edge

The PC doesn't care if he lives or dies – he's not suicidal, but will take unreasonable risks when faced with dangerous situations.

Short Attention Span

Anything that requires more than a round or two of attention is impossible for the PC (unless he makes a roll vs WIS-4). Thieves with this flaw suffer -20% on any skills that require concentration and spell casters with this flaw must make the check for every spell cast.

Hard of Hearing

The PC is not deaf, but does suffer from hearing loss. He is at -6 to any hearing roll. Cure Deafness will remove this Flaw for 1-100 days. But it always comes back.

Albinism

The PC has no natural body pigment – hair and skin are pinkish-white. The PC always stands out and can never blend into a crowd. The PC will take damage from sunlight (1 hp every 30 minutes uncovered in direct sunlight). The PC suffers -2 to attack in direct sunlight.

Clumsy

The PC has a natural clumsiness. PC subtracts 4 from DEX score and critical fumbles are a natural 1 OR 2 for PC.

Moves Slowly

The PC just can't move quickly. Walking and running rates are one half standard.

Thick Accent

The PC is very hard to understand. -2 on reaction rolls and roll vs. CHA -4 or be completely misunderstood to the point of the person hearing the OPPOSITE of what the PC is trying to say.

Berserker

The PC tends to lose control of himself under stress. If hit 3 or more times in a single round, the PC must roll vs WIS -2 or go berserk. While berserking, the PC attacks at -2 to hit, but gains an extra attack per round. Also, suffers a +4 AC penalty. When no enemies remain, the PC must make a roll vs WIS-2 or attack friends and allies.

Arrogant

The PC believes that everyone is beneath him, regardless of his abilities or social standing. All reaction rolls are at -4 and the PC will always want to be the leader and will assert expertise in field he has no knowledge of at all.

Untrusting

The PC doesn't trust anyone. All dealings with the PC will have to be exaggerated (dividing treasure, for example) and the PC will still suspect everyone else of some wrongdoing. Anything that can be misconstrued as being against the PC will be taken as such by the PC who will be very difficult to convince otherwise.

3 comments:

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

This is groovy stuff.

The flaws list looks like a Who's Who of the guys on my dorm floor my freshman year of undergrad. As we used to say, "You can't be an outcast if you've never belonged."

Pastor Bill said...

Heh - yeah, same here. One of the things that appealed to me about this particular list was that it pretty heavily relied on two of the attributes that I think are seen as useless in general CHA (reaction rolls) and WIS. Unless you're a cleric, WIS seems a bit unnecessary.

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can create short links with AdFly and make cash for every click on your shortened links.