Perks and Flaws are the primary way you will represent your character’s unique life living up to the time they enter play. Perks are unique advantages that are intrinsic to your character in a way that is generally not a Skill or learned over time as steady progress. Flaws are the things wrong with your character, often representing their dangerous, unfinished business such as an enemy, or some natural deficiency of the character such a crippling injury. Traits are quirks of your character that are somewhat good and bad, and may be taken for no cost if you choose.
Some Perks and Flaws are bound to a specific Social Class or Culture. Only characters of the appropriate Class or Culture may choose these. It is possible to purchase Perks or Flaws from another group for a Glory surcharge.
(Read more about Glory)
While you may gain Flaws through the course of play by making new enemies or other such misadventure, Perks are difficult to come by after Character Creation. In order to add them later, they require appropriate story justification and must be purchased with Personal Achievements Points, which are more difficult to come by than Experience.
(Read more about Character Development)
Dramatic stories of your reputation precede you. Whether as a hero or a villain, your deeds inspire some level of awe that fuels the fire of your notoriety, and when it matters, your stature lends extra weight to your presence. Whether as diplomatic peacekeeper, orc-slaying knight, feared pirate captain, most fanatical of priests, or oft-quoted scholar, define your remarkable reputation in a short statement, which will be listed in the Scriptorium. In any scene where someone (even you) brings up your reputation, all of your Social Condition uses gain Power if they relate to the topic of your notoriety.
You are a professional in a trade and have been at it long enough to have acquired tools of your craft. You may swap out any pieces of your starting equipment for pieces that relate to your profession.
Nobody’s Fool (5)
You’ve been lied to too often. A distrusting nature, a cool head and some common sense have given you a heightened awareness as to people’s true intentions. You have one free use of Discipline against a use of Trust, Intrigue or Reason against you in a scene.
Gain an additional 20 silver that can be spent in starting equipment or saved for starting silver. This can be taken multiple times.
You may wish to visit the World Prices Section to investigate what items you might wish to purchase.
You may choose an additional starting item from your Social Classes’ starting equipment list during the Equipment step. This can be taken multiple times.
Anacrusis Resistant (5)
For a reason that remains unknown, you are unusually resistant to the reality warping effects of Anacrusis, the spell sickness that accompanies heavy use of magical forces. You always take one less Anacrusis Point than normal from any spell.
This Perk is not purchasable if you are a Magician, and is refunded automatically if you become one.
The Spark (10)
Some say this gift is given to those born under the Magus Star, others say it runs in the bloodline of powerful sorcerers. Still others say that those with the Spark have a terrible destiny chosen by God. No one is sure why or how this gift develops, but in the very blood of those with it flows the essences of greatness in the sorcerous arts. For one specific element, your body storms with a latent and irrepressible arcane energy. You may not even know you possess this power, as its influence can be subtle. Some enjoy its benefit living lives completely apart from the magical studies, while for others, their latent power puts them irrevocably on the course to Arcane power.
The Spark of each Element grants access to a number abilities specific to that Element. Each one grants 5 unique powers, and any one of them may be used one time per Rest. As well, each one grants a special aptitude for working with the actual formal spells of that Element. For more detailed information, see Spellcasting.
This gift is not without its drawbacks however. Such a person has the rapt attention of all four of the Arcane Guilds should her identity be determined, earning her a host of manipulators and enemies immediately. A character can only ever have one Spark, and the presence of the Spark prevents them from ever using spells of the opposing Element.
Mercenary Captain (5)
You are the leader of a mercenary company of modest means. This makes you a Warlord. Instead of the normal Warmongering rules, Mercenary Captains must pay 1 Influence per Chapter to prevent their army from leaving. This can be paid in advance. Mercenary Captains arrive in play with 3 Warlord Achievements that can be spent to summon soldiers.
Boon (1-7 Points)
You have some sort of advantage or beneficial circumstance that isn’t represented elsewhere by other Perks. This could be a special writ of allowance by a local power like a noble, a quirk that makes you able to function with less sleep, or something else. The exact nature of this boon and how it works, whether it can be lost, what it costs and other details require express approval by staff, and the benefit you have in mind may not be allowable at all.
Peasant Perks AND FLAWS
You are seen as a forthright and earnest individual and are respected by local peasants. Local people listen carefully to your opinion, and take your words and wisdom seriously. You know how to manage the uncomfortable class divide between yourself and your betters – know when to show deference, and when to show backbone.
When presenting issues that affect Peasants to someone presenting themselves as a member of the Nobility, gain one use of Trust, and one Discipline to resist Social Conditions from them.
Your lifestyle living on the land gives you hands-on training that you can put to good use. When you take a Gathering Downtime action, you may also treat that as a Training Action for a related Skill, granting you 1 additional Experience Point toward purchasing a greater Skill level. These bonus Experience Points are cumulative over time, and are for the following Skills:
Farming : Heavy Weapons
Mining : Grit
Forestry : Survival
Hunting : Archery
These points are accumulated even if the requisite Attribute for a locked Skill is not attained.
Pillar of the Community (3)
You are a well-known and distinguished member of the local community, when there is need, people rally to help you. When resisting a Muscle Action, a Downtime meant to prevent you from acting as you would, you add your Morale Skill as members of your community rally to help. When you take a Labor action in the province where you live, you gain additional Labor equal to your Morale Skill as many hands make light work.
Living off the land has made you tough and strong, and your family has been doing it for centuries. Normally, when Downed, after 5 minutes a character will bleed out and die. Instead, after five minutes, you become Battered and may regain consciousness. Furthermore, when using your Downtime to perform a Gathering (Mining, Hunting, Farming and Forestry) or a Labor Downtime Action, your action is more effective, creating 2 Labor or performing an additional measure of Gathering work.
SCUM PERKS AND FLAWS
Light Sleeper (1)
It usually just means you’re grouchy for the first hour of every day. You automatically awaken from any natural sleep at the slightest noise when danger approaches. Before an intrusion on you while you sleep at night, you will be woken up individually; the intruder must leave, then re-enter. You must denote that you have this perk on your door with a door-hanger or note so that the invader knows who to awaken, or it does not work.
Sometimes it seems your entire life has been just this one lesson, over and over – the strong get what they want. You’ve had to remind others of that as often as it’s been beaten into you. When you’re interacting with other characters that are presenting themselves as Scum, you gain one use of Cowed and one use of Discipline against them when you’re trying to determine the pecking order.
Gutter Trash (3)
You’ve had a hard life, and it’s made you what you are. Every time it gets harder, you get harder, and the lessons you learn on the streets are the ones that keep you alive, even if just barely. You gain the ability to take the Training Action without access to food or Housing during Downtime, earning you an Experience Point toward any of the Scum Skills: Streetwise, Light Weapons, Intimidate, Finesse, or Stealth. When you do, target one city Building and make that Building Seedy, as you conduct unsavory activities in the area and expose it to crime and vandalism.
Street Savvy (5)
The dirty sprawls and bastard alleys know something and you know what it takes to make them talk. The Streetwise skill does not require a Downtime action to use. Furthermore, you automatically know when someone uses Streetwise to spy on you, and who used it.
Missing teeth, layers of grime, a certain stink, maybe a weird hunch and a scratchy voice. These are some of the hallmarks of your less than trustworthy seeming. You might be a completely legitimate business man with a somewhat adventurous view of hygiene, but let’s not kid ourselves. You must costume and roleplay this flaw.
Merchant Perks AND FLAWS
You may begin the game with 20 Silver of additional starting funds, similar to the Wealth Perk, but this money comes as a total debt of 30 Silver. You are required to pay back at least 1 silver per Chapter in repayment or else your creditors will come with demands.
This may be taken multiple times, though each instance increases the amount necessary to repay each Chapter by 1 Silver as well.
You have traveled extensively in lands outside your own. You have many friends and connections with those people and enough knowledge to live among them and profit from their needs. Choose one other Culture besides your own. You know the Cultural Basic Study for this Culture (the information presented in their Culture document), and you can speak their language. You also may choose 10 other Contacts from various locations within that country who may correspond with you by mail.
This may be taken multiple times.
You live and die by your notes and records because you know that knowledge is power. You spend nearly every day recording and checking facts and figures, and you almost always have a book in your hand to do additional research. Even while taking other Downtime Actions, you may always take a Research action as well.
The Research action from Bookkeeper doesn’t combine with location specific bonuses like Rooms, such as the Study or the Laboratorium, but your main Downtime Aaction still can.
You know how to network and make friends, even in the most insular of groups. Unlike other characters, you may purchase Allies within any Organization, not just one you are a member of. Allies (even in your own group) may be purchased with Influence, with Experience Points, or a combination thereof.
(Read more about Organizations)
You are constantly in debt from various sources and are constantly short on money to pay off creditors or other collectors. This works like the Leverage Perk, except the money is all gone, leaving you only with the debt. Your creditors demand a regular flow of money, and if they find out you are holding out on them, this flaw can become an Enemy flaw instead. You are in debt for 60 Silver, and must pay at least 1 Silver per Chapter to your creditors to keep them off you.
This can be taken up to three times, but for each instance, the amount that must be repaid increases as well. Work with the staff to determine the nature of your debt.
Gentry Perks AND FLAWS
Classical Education (1)
You were raised with the best tutelage and instruction, and your childhood was spent learning about the world. You begin play with the following Basic Studies: The Throne, The Church, History, Nobility, Law, as well as a Study representing your own Organization such as your Noble House, your Ecclesiarchal Covenant, etc.
Variable Glory Cost (see below)
You are directly related to the ruling house of your region, and bear their surname. You were likely raised in their castle, or possibly fostered at another ruling family’s keep. This gives you certain rights and privileges, such as legal immunity to and authority over all characters without this perk. A character with this perk is literally above the law except in regards to other Highborn characters. As well, few enemies who know your identity will seek to actually kill you, seeking to ransom you to your family instead. Your lands are elsewhere, but your birthright makes you above the common dirt of the peasants and lowborn. In this position, however, enemies are almost a certainty as they seek to supplant you in their schemes.
You begin play with a Signet Ring bearing your family crest, which helps to prevent forgery of your identity. This Perk grants you membership and Officer status in the Organization of your Noble House. The Glory cost of this Perk depends on the Tier of the Noble House that you were born into, costing 10 Glory for each Tier.
(Read more about Organizations)
Njord characters who take this perk are Throne nobles of the Cold Throne, the Throne annexed part of Njordr.
Shariqyn characters should not take this Perk; they should take the Shahzada Perk instead.
Dunnick characters should not take this Perk; they should take the Ancestral Moorsword perk instead.
Some Organizations do not allow their members to be Highborn, including Merchant Guilds, Magician Guilds, Outlaw Organizations, and the Priesthood. Characters with this Perk must renounce it or keep it secret to join.
Having been bred to power and purpose your whole life, you take your role very seriously. Whenever you see something not as it should be, the situation demands immediate correction. This could be an issue of injustice that you as a person of means could resolve, or someone doing their job incorrectly such that you cannot help but intervene. Furthermore, you cannot tolerate your authority being questioned. If anyone you consider to be a peer or your lesser questions your word, honor, or authority, you must immediately set them in their place and never let them forget it. To do less is to spit upon all you stand for, and by extension the entire Throne and its Emperor.
You gain the following Beliefs:
Always Intervene when a peer or social lesser someone is acting wrongly.
Never allow a peer or social lesser to insult you.
Njord Perks AND FLAWS
You cling to the Old Ways. The Throne and its White Benalus are at war with your ancient Gods, and you are considered a renegade to be put down by the invaders. You have an alternate Morality system to most characters. You do not follow the Heresy sin, and instead concern yourself with Cowardice. If you purchase the Holy Ordination Perk to begin as a Priest, you may begin as a Wise One, a Priest of one of the Old Gods of the North.
Note: This Perk is an advanced concept that may put your character at odds with the Church, Nobility, or other powerful figures.
Ice water runs through your veins and the winter winds fill your sails. During Events the Winter season, or when outside and unarmored in below freezing temperatures, you gain +1 to the Survival, Vigilance, and Stealth Skills, as well as Great Fortitude.
You are known in the North and have a strong name and reputation to uphold. Men respect you, and will flock to you to to be a part of your legend. Choose a name that the Northmen know you by, such as “The Laugher,” “Dead-Eye” “Irongut” or “Coldwind”.
This Perk makes you a Warlord. When tales of your newest great deeds reach the North, through new ballads being sung of you in public by Performers (or your own Performances with some impressive boasts), or rumors are spread about your accomplishments with Streetwise, or you win battles in Warfare, you will gain additional followers.
You will, however, also attract the occasional Northman who wants to kill you for your deeds, or just to embolden their name by being the one who killed you. You can earn the same renown whenever you prove your might – gain a Personal Victory whenever you kill another Branded Man or dominate them in The Challenge.
Thrall of the Old Gods (-3)
While you may or may not be a true Rimelander, you were never completely converted to the ways of White Benalus, preferring the complex submission of the old gods of the Northlands. Your gods demand sacrifice, and you must perform a ritual sacrifice each day by else be Traumatized until you complete it. An observance of your ancient rites involves ceremonial blood be spilt, chants be used, and other ritual behavior lasting at least 5 minutes. This can be done privately or publicly, the Old Gods care not which, but it must involve at least a prop of an animal to be killed, and stage blood must be visibly left on the site of your ritual as an offering to the Old Gods.
For those characters who are not Rimelanders, this Flaw does not automatically grant Heresy 3 Depravity, as it is an act of abasement rather than worship, though other supplications and prayers for aid from the Old Gods will.
Rogalian Perks AND FLAWS
Your life of constant danger has made you rightly suspicious that danger can happen at any time. When an emergency situation happens, you remain coldly calm and ready to act. Against attacks with the Stealth Quality, you may call Alert with your Defense, even if you are not Alert, allowing you to react to defend yourself.
You have seen all the horrors of battle and there is little left that can faze you. You have long since accepted that you live by your steel and that you will surely one day die by it. You do not take Trauma as an after-effect of Fear (though still may gain it from other effects), and you do not take Despair when a close friend dies.
As a Rogalian, you know the true value of loyalty, both in yourself to those you serve, and from those who serve you. Loyalty burns like a flame, and when you interact meaningfully with your factors, you continually rekindle that fire.
Your Followers, your Leader, and any member of your Organization gain Hope any time you successfully use Reason, Intrigue, Trust or Cower on them. You are affected the same way by their own Social Conditions on yourself.
(Read more about Social Conditions)
War Haunted (-3)
Your time with tragedy has worn you down, little by little and finally, with a gasp and a whimper, it broke you. You are trying to live a different kind of life now, but the ghosts of your old story haunt you to this day. At the end of any scene when combat breaks out, or when people discuss violence around you, you are Traumatized.
Gothic Perks AND FLAWS
You rarely ever crack a smile or make a joke, even in good company. A stern rebuke and possibly a lecture is the only reward for guile aimed at you. In any scene in which you have remained completely stoic and serious, with no facial expression, you may gain one use of Discipline against Social Conditions.
Your faith in the Lord is the strong pillar that you have built your life upon, and you never falter or shake in your convictions. As a result, you feel blessed that the Lord answers your call when you pray for assistance.
You gain the following Belief:
Always cover your head with a hood or veil in public.
Spiritual Prodigy (5)
For as long as you can remember, your faith has been everything to you. It is one of the strong pillars that you have built your entire life upon, and it impacts every decision you make. You begin play with 5 more Mastery if you have Holy Ordination, and you use the Prayer ability or the Willpower ability an additional time per day (though only once per scene).
You cannot suffer people who don’t see the world as you do. Godless heathens, people of opposite Devotion, those who don’t attend regular Church services, even foreigners and their backwards ways make your gut ache and your jaw set. When another character’s ways are very different from those you hold to be right, you must spend Discipline to resist the urge to shun or verbally debase them at each opportunity.
Shariqyn Perks AND FLAWS
You are one of the Desert Lions, the Shar’aslan who are Shariqyn yet have given up your people’s ways and converted to Church of Mankind. Unlike most of your people, who pursue the mysteries of Aa’boran, your Morality corresponds to the prevailing notions of the Throne like most other characters. Instead of the Hubris sin, you reject Heresy and the Anathema that spread it. You may be seen as an outsider among your people, but you will be welcome in the Throne, seen a blessed example of the eventual conversion of all of your lost people.
Natural Linguist (1)
Your interactions with a variety of cultures and people have left you with a knack for language. You begin play being able to speak Rogalian, Dunna, Hestron, Cappacian, Gothic, Njor and Shariq’a. Any additional languages you might learn do not require experience points, though still need to be learned through Instruction or Applied Research.
Travelers from the East need safe, reliable places to sell their wares and make their profits to continue their journeys, and you are that safe place. You are an insider in a Shariqyn trading cartel, and you have access to their trade routes and networks as a partner, able to bring in exotic goods from the East: pices, silks, cosmetics, and written books. You may place an order at a time with a trading caravan of any amount of exotic goods at a favorable rate – simply double the base rate for a given good (the price of Books varies greatly based on the contents).
Your goods will arrive one Chapter later, though there is a 20% chance of some misfortune occurring and the entire order being lost. Afterall, the Throne is a place of misfortune to the people of the desert.
You are an Amir, or if a woman, Amirah. You are considered a prominent warrior among your tribe, and others look to you to lead them to greatness. Amir can be of any caste, even jharad. This makes you a Warlord – when you win victories, Altariq warriors of your tribe will journey to join your cause, and you will take new jharad slaves when you raid. Additionally, you gain a Personal Victory when you fulfill a tribal Blood Feud by killing a member of a feuding tribe, or enslave someone in play as jharad.
Shahzada are either the direct sons, grandsons, or wives of the Padishah Emperor of Sha’ra, and though you may be far from home, you are part of one of the most powerful noble houses in the world. Your legal power means little in the Throne, but you will usually be treated as a traveling dignitary.
You begin play as an Officer in the House of El-Baz Organization as befits your royal status. Your House is extremely powerful, and you may, once per Chapter, offer any Organization 1 Influence from the Padishah, and create a temporary Formal Tie between them and the Padishah.
The politics of the Shariqyn royal house are ruthless, however, and rivals of the Meiraj may want to displace you, or even kill you, in their machinations, especially should the Padishah meet a sudden demise back home. The further you are from Sha’ra, the less likely you are to be swept up in this, but the great game knows no borders and no end.
Magical Wonder (5)
You are in possession of a strange magical artifact uncovered from the shifting desert sands. Its effects are not mighty, but its small magics may come in handy. You enter play with a magical item that has a Standard Effect, details subject to approval. See the Arcane Codex for more information on magical effects.
You are one of the Sahirim, the wise masters who have transcended the physical world to attain power over time, space and destiny. Your training as an initiate included a full education as Magus’Biraq, a master scholar and priest of Aa’boran. From there you were selected by the Temple of Water to attain greater purpose, and abandoned all Hubris to ascend to Sahir.
You begin play as a Sahir, or a Magician of Water and a Magus’Biraq with all the Primary and standard Biraq rituals. You do not gain Depravity for acts of Hubris, and you may use Water Elemental Sorcery.
Outspoken Heathen (-3)
Most Shariqyn are barely tolerated within the Throne because of their religious and cultural differences. You refuse to allow anyone to speak poorly of your people or your ways, and will speak up against any such disrespect and demand satisfaction before you relent. After all, it is they in the West that are truly the unwashed barbarians.
You gain a Belief:
Never allow anyone to speak ill of the Shariqyn culture.
DUNNICK PERKS AND FLAWS
They want to break you, break all of your people, but they’ll never break you. Perhaps out of faith, perhaps out of tradition, or perhaps out of spite, you cling to the ancient ways of the Old Faith, the worship of Vecatra, the Goddess of wild, untamed nature. Instead of the normal morality of the Throne, you follow an alternative moral system that reflects the values of society as it once was, and perhaps should be again. If you purchase the Holy Ordination Perk to begin as a Priest, you may begin as a Druid, a Priest of one of the Old Faith of Vecatra.
Note: This Perk is an advanced concept that may put your character at odds with the Church, Nobility, or other powerful figures.
Hard Drinker (1)
Your body is used to at least a little poison coursing through your veins. You put it through too much torment on a regular basis to be overthrown by some cutter’s plant paste on a blade. You gain a use of Toughness against drugs or poisons, or anything with the Poison Quality, and can drink 3 more drinks than normal before being Intoxicated or Blacked Out.
Oral Tradition (3)
Since you were a wee child spent your life hearing stories and legends of great heroes, epic wars, mysterious creatures, and other esoterica, and you’re able to pass that knowledge on to others through the same tales.
Once per day you may ask a Staff member a single question from any Lore, and get the answer because you heard it in a story. You can share the information others only if you continue the tradition and tell it to others as a story you make up OOC that includes the answer provided.
Ancestral Moorsword (5)
You are in possession of the sword of your father’s fathers. Its beautiful designs show the heritage of your family line back to the beginning of your clan, and you are its heir. The sword itself is as much a symbol as a weapon, and those that still bear one are the closest thing the shattered Dunnick culture has to Nobility.
You begin play with a moorsword – a mastercrafted steel greatsword, that is itself a work of Masterpiece Artistry, granting 3 Hope to those who take time to appreciate it, and a Personal Victory for those people whose Devotion is Idealism: Dunland. You should prepare an appropriate prop for this weapon.
(Read more about works of Artistry)
As the bearer of an Ancestral Moorsword treated with great respect by others of your culture, especially your own clan. This makes you a Warlord, and others will follow you if they believe you can lead them to victory, or blessed dream, a free Dunland.
(Read more about Warlords)
Harsh Temper (-3)
You have a tendency to fly off the handle and it takes very little for you to become combative and belligerent. Classically, you will talk back to people that oppose you, throw the first punch, or otherwise behave in an overly aggressive manner whether or not the situation calls for it. When treated with aggression you always must respond more aggressively.
You gain a Belief:
Always respond to aggression with escalation
(Read more about Beliefs)
Hestralian Perks AND FLAWS
Somewhere between sincere generosity and sincere boasting, It brings you a special kind of joy to spend your wealth on your friends, and an even greater joy to spend it on your enemies. Whenever you give someone a personal gift or pay for something on behalf of someone else, take Hope.
In Flagrante (3)
Your passions are who you are, and they steer you always. You love them, you hate them, you trust them, you are them. Sometimes you just let yourself go to your fiery Hestrali blood, and devils take whoever or whatever gets in your way. If you have an obvious and loud emotional outburst, followed by wild gesticulations and ranting and raving, some of it in Hestron and whatever else flies from your tongue, any Sins of 2 or lower cause no Depravity, as you are too worked up to be thinking straight. When you come back to your senses, it seems obvious why you did those things – afterall, he insulted your mother, what else were you supposed to do?
Daredevil (5) High risks awaken your blood and you feel truly alive when attempting anything out of reach. In any situation where you stand alone grossly outmatched or attempting something no sane person would ever attempt, you enter the Devoted condition.
You are the inheritor of the famous Hestralian passion, and it sometimes gets the better of you. You cannot stand to be upstaged, put down, or otherwise made to lose a competitive contest. It boils your blood to think that someone is underestimating you, and you will do anything you can to set the record straight, in elaborate and explosive display, if need be. If you are upstaged or publicly lose face because of another, that person becomes your Vendetta. Any time you have an opportunity to act against that person and don’t take it, you gain Despair. Your acts against them should be in the same arena you were bested in, physical, social or otherwise, though you can always escalate. This person remains your Vendetta until someone else becomes your Vendetta, even if you have already proven your superiority over them.
Cappacian Perks AND FLAWS
You have a poet’s soul, and are sensitive to feelings and emotions. You feel things profoundly, and have no trouble connecting with your heart. You may benefit from appreciation of a work of Artistry once per scene instead of per day, and, once per scene, when visibly demonstrating your passion or emotions, you may call any Social Condition.
(Read more about Performance)
People can be so tiresome sometimes, and you just really can’t be bothered to explain how to live to everyone who could benefit from it. You may snub someone by issuing a dismissive gesture at someone and an audible “ugh!” noise. Until you interact with them again, you may simply ignore them and are immune to any uses of Social Conditions (Reason, Intrigue, Cower, Trust, though not Obey) they may use on you. You may use this as often as you wish.
Your country’s favorable trade with the Dwarves has resulted in the human invention of the pistol, and their design and workmanship is centralized in your lands, making them slightly less prohibitively expensive. You have your hands on one such weapon, and may begin play with a pistol and twenty shots worth of black powder. You also have a contact that you can create orders for more black powder and shot, able to purchase it for one silver piece per use. Orders arrive the next event provided there is normal trade access to the city.
What’s the point of life if not to enjoy it? You try to stay away from the nastiness and filth that accompanies the things you love, and just focus on the good things. If you happen to get yourself noticeably dirty or you have to get blood on you (such as injuring another in melee or becoming injured), you are Traumatized.
Traits have both a positive and a negative element, and thus neither grant or cost experience.
Alcohol is not a luxury, it is a necessity. You use it to escape the shambles that have become your life and you feel more in control when you’ve washed away your worries with drink. When you are not Intoxicated, you cannot gain Hope from any source or benefit from the Performance Skill, however, every drink you take gives you 1 Hope as you finish it.
You are the grim husk of a man. It is arguable that you have nothing to wish for, because you are already dead. You are immune to Fear and Cower but you cannot flee or exit any unwanted combat situation you become engaged in. No combat is unwanted.
You have dexterous, quick hands which are built for small, precise movements. You are a natural with Light Weapons and you learn the Skill for 2 less experience points every level (though your natural ability cannot be further improved with any form of Instruction), but you have no talent at all for Arming or Heavy Weapons, and may never learn those skills.
You don’t know your own strength. You’ve never learned control and handing you something delicate is an invitation for you to break it. You are a natural with Heavy Weapons, learning each rank of the skill for 2 less experience points every level (though your natural talent cannot be further improved with Instruction of any kind). However, your hamfisted approach doesn’t lend itself well to much else; you can’t get the hang of Light or Arming Weapons and may never learn those skills.
You are an ex-member of a distinguished guild or Organization. You possess many of their secrets but have none of their support. As a Magician or a Priest, you may not increase your Rank or Circle, purchase any new abilities, or any other forms of support from your old organization, but you no longer possess the Beholden portion of your station – you’ve somehow escaped your prior life and are trying now to start a new one, or perhaps take what you’ve learned to fulfill the destiny you had in mind when you started.
You have always led a solitary life, keeping mainly to yourself and sharing very little of yourself with others. You have learned how to be self-reliant and have as little contact with others as is necessary, creating ways to allow solitude as you go about your affairs. The Streetwise Skill may not be used to investigate anything about you, but you may not join any Organizations.
The glories of youth have passed you by, but left hard, lived experience in its wake. Your body has grown weak, but your spirit has grown strong. You may never have a Combat or Physical Skill above Rank 1, and you may never have a Physical Attribute (Strength, Speed or Fortitude) above Ordinary. However, you immediately gain 20 Experience Points to spend toward this character in any way you wish, and you may negate 15 Glory toward the costs of any Perks, Flaws, Secrets, or other character sheet additions due to your long and eventful life. Venerable characters may also attain a higher rank in their Organization (such as Magician, Knight, or Priest) than younger characters, up to the 3rd Rank, if they pay the appropriate Glory costs and meet other prerequisites. (See below)
Regardless of your real age, you must wear age related makeups or prosthetics in the costume for this character.
There is no specific numerical limit to the amount of Flaws you take. However, if the flaws taken seem to not make sense for the character, or cause the character to be unplayable or nearly unplayable, whether because of the difficulty of playing such a character or because the character should be or will soon be dead, Staff reserves the right to refuse the Flaws or the character concept.
Most characters choose to take between 15 and 35 points of Flaws to help flesh out their character and become involved in the game world, but feel free to take more or less as fits your specific concept.
Beholden (1 to 3)
You are beholden to another character or Organization. It could be that this character is someone to whom you owe a great deal, or holds an emotional significance to you like a family member. It could also be that this debt is professional in nature, or even comes in the form of blackmail or another form of coercion. When they ask, however, you feel the need to do as they ask. Depending on the points that this Flaw is taken for, the consequences for refusing the requests of those you are Beholden to increase. The listed consequence occurs if your character is not able to fulfill the request the same Event that they receive it.
- For 1 Point, the relationship is personal. If she fails to meet the needs of the request, she feels intense guilt and gains Despair.
- For 2 Points, the relationship is professional and regarding held commitments. If she fails to meet the request, she may lose other Perks, Allies or gain new flaws like Enemy or Debt.
- For 3 Points the relationship is critical. If she fails to meet these requests, it could result in the Enemy flaw or serious backlash and revenge.
In order to take this flaw at a given value, the characters or organization you are Beholden to must be capable of delivering on the consequences, and so most likely are serious people with serious requests.
This Flaw can only be taken 3 times, excluding those gained automatically from joining Organizations.
Corpse in the Closet (1 or 3)
You have a secret that you do not want anyone to ever find out about. Maybe you were responsible for a tragedy, involved in the murder of a friend’s father, or once worshiped one of the Triumvirate. By taking this flaw it means that while whatever it is remains basically secret, it was not a perfect crime and there are witnesses, conspirators or other lingering evidence that a dedicated person might still discover if they really looked into it, and thus, you are more at risk of it being brought up. For this flaw to be effective, the secret must be something that will cause you serious hardship should it be found out. For 1 point, your close companions would consider parting ways with you. For 3 points, there would be no choice but to ostracize or kill you.
You are a unused to danger, or perhaps a little too used to it, and when danger arrives, you look out for number one. You will never willingly enter a combat situation and must attempt to exit immediately if you find yourself in one, and you must spend a Discipline to attempt to enter an area or circumstance that might have other dangers or participate in combat. If you do join a dangerous situation, you automatically gain Fear.
Something horrible afflicts your character, some lasting ailment or malady that the character perhaps acquired through previous events or possibly was born with, some flaw passed through the blood or perhaps on your entire lineage. The details and severity of this affliction are variable in nature, though there may be further repercussions than just the curse itself as people’s reactions to one bedeviled can vary wildly. Alternately, you can use this flaw to describe some other severe defect with your character not covered elsewhere by another flaw.
A 1 point Curse is something that is a serious inconvenience to you, and may occasionally prove dangerous.
A 2 point Curse is something that is a serious defect of your character, and might frequently put you in peril.
A 3 point Curse is anything that is critically the matter with your character, having a high likelihood to be the way your character ends their sad story.
Staff reserves the right to deny or revise any suggested Curse flaw, based on its practicality or other factors, and may suggest a similar, existing flaw instead.
You are not one for rough treatment and hard work. Taking a Hit to any of your limbs is enough to Down you.
Dirt Poor (3)
Perhaps you are down on your luck, or never had any to begin with. You may also begin the game as a captive or in some other dire circumstance, but in either case you lack all but the most basic property. You begin the game with no items, equipment or property and no starting money save the clothes on your back. You cannot take this flaw if you purchase a Character Perk for joining an Organization such as Knighthood.
Dirt Poor still allows you to take perks that give a special piece of equipment such as Well-Equipped, Pistolier or Ancestral Moorsword, but you may not take Wealth with this flaw.
Enemy (1-9 Points)
Some dangerous or powerful person or group has made it their business to destroy you. Like the Beholden Flaw above, the Enemy flaw is built out of multiple parts which indicate the resources and intentions of your enemy. Choose one selection from each of the 3 lists to derive the point value of your Enemy.
This flaw may be taken a maximum of 3 times, regardless of the value. If you are able to defeat your enemy completely, the Flaw is removed from your sheet without cost.
If your Enemy is a witch, a heretic, a monster or some other kind of purely antagonistic character, the Flaw is worth 1 less point than normal, as almost every other character would be willing to help you with your problem to benefit their own safety.
0 pts – This person wants you to suffer. They will attempt to take from you the things you love, and try to bring pain and loss upon you in whatever way they can. They will be satisfied if you are bereft, alone, and weak, but only so long as you stay that way. Common of long time rivals, feuding noble houses, jilted lovers.
+1 pt – This person wants to destroy you, but slowly. They prefer to work upon the edges of your safety and security, turn people against you, make you helpless and afraid. Then they’ll kill you. Common of hated foes, magicians, betrayed friends.
+2 pts – This person wants your head. You’ve earned their enmity to the point that they really want to see you dead, gone, forever dealt with, and while they may inconvenience your friends and allies on their way to you, they won’t usually actively act against your allies if they have a different option. Common of vengeful victims and hired killers.
+3 pts – To them you are anathema. You and everyone you have ever loved must die if the world is ever truly going to be cleansed of the taint you bring with you. Common of grieving parents, witches, and inquisitors.
0 pts – This person is about as strong as you are in their personal power. They are not likely to want to face you head on without support, some preparation, or a trick up their sleeve that they’ll have to work to set up. Common of trod upon peasants or wronged merchants, members of your own organization.
+1 pts – This person is quite capable. They’re dangerous in combat and shouldn’t be underestimated. They carry weaponry, or perhaps are a weapon, perhaps with some small amount of arcane or supernatural power. Common of soldiers, priests, magicians.
+2 pts – This person is very dangerous, and you probably are not their first or their last victim. They know where and when to strike, and are generally more than a match for even competent fighters who are unprepared for what they are dealing with. Common of assassins, heretics, supernatural creatures, swordmasters.
+3 pts – This person is more powerful than you can imagine. They smile when they’re cornered, for they do not believe mortal men can kill them. They might be right. Common of Kuarlites, Fallen Paladins, powerful supernatural creatures like Vampires, master wizards, and some of the most elite killers in the Throne.
0 pts – This person can only really come at you with what they personally bring to the table. They have no support structure and must pursue your ruin personally if anything is going to get done.
1 pt – This person has friends, perhaps a family or a gang (A Tier 2 Organization), who share their intentions, or maybe money enough to hire such people, and these are of slightly less power than the enemy themselves. You may get cornered in a dark alley by people you don’t know, coming to “teach you a lesson from ___.” Common of merchants, criminals, knights.
2 pts – This person’s words carry weight. They may have a significant following or an organization that they can use to oppose you (Leader of a Tier 3 or member of a Tier 4 Organization), and it is possible that their position and status in society protects them from your direct retaliation. They could have eyes on you that you are unaware of and move in ways you won’t understand until it is too late. Common of noblemen, priests, magicians, cultists.
3 pts – This person can move mountains with a penstroke. They have access to money, status, armies, or other great resources to bring to bear to oppose you in ways that you will have to be clever to escape (A Tier 5 Organization). Common of mighty nobles, master magicians, cardinals, grand master knights, shady masterminds.
Be it through curiosity or some black attraction, you are at one with the dark side of your soul and feel entitled to all the temptations that others normally deny. You must spend Discipline to avoid indulging in any of the level 1 Sins when the opportunity arises.
Honor Code (1-5)
The character is honor sworn to a specific set of principles or rules. You determine a number of Beliefs, which are “Always” or “Never” statements with no qualifiers such as “unless or” “except when” about your character’s personal ethics. Each tenet should also be “above and beyond” what a normal person would already do. For instance, “Never eat human flesh” would not be acceptable because most people would not do that anyway, whereas “Never eat meat” would be entirely suitable. Violating these precepts works exactly as if you were violating your Devotion, causing a Personal Failure. For each point this flaw awards, 2 Beliefs are required.
(Read more about Beliefs)
Note that Honor Code often requires some additional discussion during character creation, so allow some extra time to make sure that the tenets of this flaw are acceptable.
Your bombastic personality, your exaggerated dress, or some other feature about you makes you impossible to forget. Anyone looking into you with the Streetwise Skill spills all of your details, as if they had used Streetwise 5, and you do not gain any resistance to Streetwise from any Skill you possess.
You’re very trusting of people. It’s adorable. You may never counter a use of Sincerity used on you. Furthermore, when someone uses the Sincerity skill on you, you also believe that what they are saying is actually true as if they had used Persuade.
Maimed (2, 4 or 6)
You bear the old scars of previous conflict, having some injury from a previous encounter that haunts you to this day. You begin play with a Maim effect. This can be purchased multiple times, but more severe maims on a body part supersede and include more mild ones. For instance, if one cannot walk because of crippled legs, they also cannot run and cannot jump.
Mild Leg Maims
Trick Knee – You have a damaged muscle that causes your knee to slip out of place at the worst moments. Any time you are the subject of the Stun, Bleed, Grab, or Pain effects to the leg, you also suffer Knockdown.
Bad Knees – You can’t trek around the wilderness like you used to be able. Moving off of the established roads involves much too many dips, hops and hurdles for you, and thus you cannot step off of ordinary paths to enter Wilderness at all.
Damaged Spine – Injury to your hips and lower back make it impossible for you to crawl on hands and knees through tight spaces, and make crouching and ducking very painful. You cannot enter Stealth or take any action that uses the Ignore sign.
Severe Leg Maims
Cannot Run – Injuries to the muscles or joints are extensive and the character cannot keep his balance while running, and needs a cane or staff to walk uphill or downhill. You may never move at a full run, and can never use Dodge.
Terrible Balance – Great difficulty coordinating your back and hips means you can’t generate the necessary foundation for Footwork, and can never use it.
Crippling Leg Maims
Cannot Walk – Injuries to the hip, spine or nerves have left the legs useless, and the character can no longer walk at all, even with assistance. He must be moved manually, or rolled about in a cart.
Mild Arm Maims
Weak Grip – Wrist or muscle injuries cause a weak hold on gripped objects. Any strike with a Mighty or Large weapon against your weapon causes it to be Disarmed automatically.
Torn Rotator – Due to a shoulder injury, you cannot lift your arm above your eye-line. You can never climb on anything, draw a bow, or lift a shield.
Severe Arm Maims
Missing fingers – Important fingers like the thumb, forefinger or both are missing from one hand, and it makes fine manipulation with that hand exceptionally clumsy. You must tape down to the palm at least two fingers of the affected hand such that the fingers cannot be used to grip anything. Working with a mechanical device of any kind takes 2 minutes instead of 30 seconds, and you cannot fire a bow or pistol. Additionally performing Arcane Signs (unless with the Still Channeling Technique or possibly Sinistration) is impossible.
Crippling Arm Maims
Missing Hand – Your hand has been removed totally at the wrist or lower, or the hand has otherwise been rendered totally useless by injury. Crafting times double, and no equipment such as weaponry or shields may be used on the affected limb.
Mild Head Maims
Headaches – You are wracked by painful headaches that get worse as you strain yourself. Resting takes a minimum of 10 minutes as it takes a while for your headaches to subside.
Hearing Loss – Injuries to your inner ear have reduced your ability to pick up certain pitches. Perception abilities that make you Alert based on sound do not work, and you don’t react to sounds from far away.
Vision Loss – Your eyes are blurry, you have some double vision, or perhaps it just hurts to look at light, but tasks that require keen use of the eyes have become very difficulty for you. You cannot become Alert by any Vigilance Skill use that relies on sight, and you cannot fire ranged weapons at any target farther away than Speaking Distance.
Severe Head Maims
Scarred – Injuries to your face have ruined any hope of handsomeness or traditional beauty, and try as they might, it is difficult for people to see past your face. You cannot use Reason, Intrigue or Trust while your face is exposed.
Loose screws – All that pounding has broken something. You gain a permanent Severe Insanity.
One Eye – One of your eyes has been completely ruined or lost and you no longer have any vision with it. You must wear an eye patch or other covering as part of your costume that must block the vision of that eye.
Migraines – After exerting yourself you are wracked with blinding pain for a good while after. Resting takes at least an hour, and bright light or loud noises reset the time.
Seizures – Whenever you suffer Trauma, you automatically fall to the ground and are suffer Blackout as you struggle with fits.
Crippling Head Maims
Blinded – You have completely lost your vision. You should wear a blindfold or other sight impairing device, but for safety reasons you may take it off to navigate difficult environments, and may use a material that can be partially seen through.
Detachment – Damage to the brain has caused you to become unhinged. Gain a Crippling Insanity.
One Foot in the Grave (7)
Your character is dying. Unless by some miracle, your character will die within 5 Events.
Pure of Heart (5)
There is great virtue in you, and when you fail to live up to it, it is you who is harmed most of all. Whenever you gain any new Depravity from committing a sin, you gain also gain that many Despair.
Sick in the Head (4 or 6)
Your character has some severe trauma in their life that has driven them mad. The character begins play with a Severe Insanity. This Insanity can be suppressed with Discipline and can aggravate to more severe levels but may never be recovered from past the point of a Severe Insanity.
Your character’s mind is so different, or they have become so unhinged from normal processes that she is fundamentally and irrevocably insane. The character begins play with a Crippling Insanity, which as above, can never be recovered from by normal means.
You are new to this land, or perhaps just have always stuck with your own kind. You only speak the language of your home country, and no others. While most people speak Gothic as a sort of international language, you never learned, and thus, you may only speak with people who speak your native tongue.
Gothic characters may not take this flaw.
Everyone loves it when their egos are stroked; you just like it much, much more.
You may not counter any use of Intrigue, Trust or Reason while being complimented.
Ward (3 or 5)
You have someone who you are responsible for. This may be a family member, such as children or a spouse, or it may simply be someone you have taken pity upon or are sworn to protect. Wards can get caught up in your affairs, and might be the targets of your enemies. Your wards are emotionally important to your character, and if something tragic happened to them, you would be devastated, causing you Despair for each individual you failed. The Despair granted in this way is especially tragic, each one only able to be recovered from through a major personal victory relating to your Devotion. Many people who lose their Wards find a new Devotion in revenge for those they lost.
You spend time with your wards frequently over the Downtime periods, and learning about your actions with Streetwise will indicate the identity and location of your Wards to the one who investigated you.
If you have a single individual as your Ward, this flaw is worth 3 points. If you have several such people, like a family, this flaw is worth 5 points and must include at least 3 people. It is possible that your Ward may also be involved with another perk or flaw, such as a Beholden. Wards require that you feed them, or they may eventually starve.
Wards must be NPC characters and not player characters.
You’ve done things in your life that some wouldn’t agree with. Moreover, you’ve done things that most would curse you for; and you don’t especially care. For each level of this flaw, your character begins with 1 Depravity in the sin of your choice for which the character is completely uninterested in forgiveness for. These points of Depravity cannot be atoned for without buying off the flaw. This can be taken more than once.
You may not take this Flaw such that it forces you to enter play above your Morality threshold and be already gaining Insanities.
Wyrd Loathing (5)
You know in your bones that magic is terrible and wrong; whether it is because wizards killed the prophet, Holy Benalus, or because of the terrible world-warping effects of magical misuse, or that magicians with their towering egos go mad and become a threat to the world and humanity, you hate magic and those who use it. You will not willingly work alongside a magician, accept magic being cast upon you, and if beneficial enchantments do get cast upon you, you gain Despair. You also gain Despair if you knowingly use any Wyrd object, touched and tainted by wicked sorceries.
Organizational Membership Perks
Most of these require some level of commitment to a world organization which requires certain responsibilities of its members in exchange for the benefits that are granted, and this is represented by the Duty flaw discussed in each Perk, which does not yield any experience points when conferred this way. You may still take the Duty Flaw during character creation, but it represents a different duty than this, perhaps some above and beyond responsibility, or perhaps something completely unrelated to your affiliations.
Paladins begin play with the Charismata ability, and one Tier 1 Gift of their choice.
(Read more about Paladin Gifts)
The Charismata blessing confers the Memorable flaw, and a Beholden (Major) flaw, both for no additional Flaw points.
Since they are discovered as children, Paladins are raised aside from society in a special enclave in Holy Lethia, trained their entire lives to harness their sacred gifts and to live their lives with utmost purity. As warrior monks of the Church, they enter the world both cautiously and courageously, for they know that they bear an enormous responsibility to live righteously. Paladins who attempt to abandon their responsibilities, or who begin to sink into a life of Depravity may be recalled to Lethia, or, regrettably, might have to face execution at the hands of their former brothers and sisters.
A priest is required to maintain a virtuous life, and to accept orders from higher ranking members of his sect. Priests take on a new name in Aldersabin when they join the clergy – Matthew Kirkwald might become Father Silvarum upon taking his vows.
Nobles who join the Clergy give up their claims to their noble titles, so caution should be taken if taking the Highborn perk along with Holy Ordination. If a player wishes to create a character who is of Noble birth, yet gave up their titles to join the Clergy, the Highborn perk must still be taken for 5 exp, yet loses all of its official legal power.
The Old Ways
Magi, Njordic Wise Ones and Druids of the Old Faith do not have an formal Organization that tracks their activities or decides their responsibilities, instead acting as a loose-knit confederacy of like-minded sages. They are expected to act as pillars of their communities, but otherwise are not Beholden to anyone, though individual members, zealous as they are, might take personal or even grave offense at their perception of misdeeds.
When joining a guild and learning its secrets, you become their agent and are trusted to follow the orders of your superiors. Regardless of the stripe, all the arcane guilds are extremely stratified by their Circle, and any outranking individual has complete authority over you. Frequently, you will receive orders to you that represent the guilds interests and may have some long-term goal assigned to you.