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Author Topic: New Gifts & Flaws  (Read 11263 times)
DaR
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« on: June 08, 2002, 11:52:57 PM »

Here are some ideas for additional gifts and flaws, plundered from a variety of sources.

Additional Gifts and Flaws  for The Riddle of Steel.
 
Debt (minor or major flaw)

This indicates you have an ongoing obligation of wealth to someone else, such as a loan, a tithe, or other such manner of financial contract.   This is should not be a simple matter of paying someone off, but a long term obligation that must be delivered repeatedly or regularly. The severity of this Flaw depends on how much is owed and the penalties for failing to make good on a payment.  

The minor form of this Flaw causes you to start with half your normal starting wealth and requires making payments of one half your normal monthly income, with the penalty for non-payment being non-threatening, often in the form of a fee that extends the term of the debt.

The major form of this Flaw means you start with one tenth your normal wealth, and your payments are equal to, or greater, than your normal income.  Additionally, the penalty for missing payment is more severe, such as potential imprisonment or death.
 
Wealth (minor or major gift)

For some reason you have a greater income than you could normally expect at your social level, such as profits from a mine or guild, an inheritance from a wealthy relative, an extra stipend for services rendered to the local ruler, or perhaps your reputation just allows you to charge higher prices for your goods or services.  The minor form of this Gift gives you double the normal wealth and income for you social class.  The major form of this Gift grants five times the normal wealth and income for your social level.  Neither form, however, grant any additional rights in society.  For example, a slave or serf could still not carry weapons of any sort, and  freeman would still be resticted to certain types of weapons and armor in most societies.
 
Prodigy (major gift)

Every so often, a person is born who possesses a talent that simply surpasses the level that can be achieved by normal people.  Characters with the prodigy Gift may choose any one attribute or proficiency that may start above the normal character creation limits by 2 points (for a maximum of 9 for Attributes and 10 for Proficiencies).  All other Attributes and Proficiencies must meet the normal limitations, and this gift does not grant any extra points towards either.
 
Evil Twin (minor flaw)

It's said that everyone in the world has someone who looks just like them.  In your case, however, that person is a low down, rotten, vile, cur and has a nasty habit of showing up in the same areas you're in.  This means you occasionally suffer from a case of mistaken identities and get blamed for things you didn't do.  People you don't know may come to you demanding money.  Your counterpart may not know you exist, but if they ever find out, count on them using the likeness to their own advantage.
 
Nemesis (major flaw)

Those who seek the answer to the Riddle often make enemies in their journey, but you've gone beyond a simple enemy.  Through some action of yours, you've made a nemesis, someone who would go to great lengths to see you humiliated, discredited, disgraced or even dead.

Your nemesis is not a helpless no-one, but a talented and potentially deadly adversary.  The Senschal and you should agree on the reason for the feud and perhaps some of the overall details, but it's up to the Senschal to make the character, using the regular character creation rules and granting the nemesis an equal number of Insight points, for purposes of additional starting Priorities.
 
Heir (minor gift)

You are the heir to a significant title or an important estate.  When the current titleholder dies or abdicates, you will ascend to the title.  While your current social status does not change, you may be able to trade on your future good will in exchange for current considerations.  Usually, the title is appropriate to your social class or one just above it; a freeman might expect to inherit a minor gentry position, such as a knighthood, while a gentry or landed noble will expect to inherit a similar but greater position, such as a knight becoming a baronet, or an earl becoming an duke.  With Senchal approval, the jump may be even greater, such as the case of a younger prince who left home to seek his fortunes as a freeman in another country, assuming that his elder brother would ascend to king, who returns to find that his brother is dead and he is heir to the throne.
 
Bastard (minor or major flaw)

Due to an unfortunate circumstance of birth, your parents were not married when you were born, granting you the label of bastard. Being a bastard also makes it unlikely you stand to inherit anything upon your parents death.  Bastards often have a lower social standing than their parents as a result of this.

If you're lucky and take the minor version of the flaw, your father acknowledges you, and the social stigma is fairly insignificant, generally a one die penalty on social rolls when dealing with those who consider your station of birth important.  

If unlucky, your father does not acknowledge you or actively disclaims you, leaving you a major Flaw which carries a far greater social consequence.  This can result in much as a four die penalty, depending on the circumstances.
 
Telegraphed Techniques (minor flaw)

Due to some flaw in your training or mental make up, you tend to give fairly easy to read signals as to your intentions in combat.  Any time you successfully use the Beat, Feint, Stop-thrust, or Toss techniques, your gain two less dice than you would have normally.  This may reduce your gain to zero dice, but not below.  
Additionally, anyone using Read Body Language or Style Analysis gains an additional die on their attempt.
 
Stigma (minor or major flaw)

Through some twist of fate, you were born with, or have developed some form of stigma, such as a birthmark or skin lesion of unusual shape or color, scars in unusual positions, hair growing in an atypical place, a strange tattoo, or a minor physical deformity.  Whatever it is, it bears some meaning to those who are overly superstitious or religious.  

The minor version of this Flaw can be easily covered, or holds only a slight negative connotation to those who notice it; typically a one die penalty for social interactions with such people.  

The major version of the flaw is either in a noticeable location (such as on the face or hands), or holds a high degree of significance to those who recognize it, a three die or worse penalty, or perhaps even outright hostility.
 
Commission (minor gift)  
You begin play with an active rank in some country's military.  Note that most armies of the day are only just beginning to make the transition from a loosely organized mob based on feudal ties to something resembling the modern army structure.  Gelure, Stahl, Helena, Fauth, Taveruun, Ouesternreich, and Xanar, among others, have standing militaries with the beginnings of modern military rankings.  Slaves, serfs and freemen will gain a ranking equivilent to a sergeant, or in more feudal armies, leader of a levy.  Landless nobility, who are generally already knights, will either lead groups of cavalry or take the modern rank of captain.  Landed nobility will lead several groups of cavalry and become generals in organized armies.

The benefits of rank depend on the army and the actual rank, but as a rule, members of the army have the right to bear arms, can call upon fellow army members for assistance, especially in matters relating to their nation, and possibly a small source of income, especially in standing militaries.  On the down side, being a member of the army means having the associated duties, and the everpresent risk of being called into action.
 
Lingering Injury (major or minor flaw)

Some types of damage never heal quite right.  Taking a permanent injury Flaw represents a wound or injury that for some reason tends to reoccur on a regular basis, such as a bad back, a shoulder that pops out of joint, a knee with torn cartiledge, and so on. When that part of the body is stressed, strained, or injured in a different way, the character must make a HT/TN10 roll.  If the roll fails, the lingering injury flares up, adding an additional wound.  The resulting wound heals as normal.

The minor version of this is mostly irritating, such as a ripped muscle that never fully heals or a joint that tends to sprain easily as a result of an early injury.  When triggered, it provides the equivilent of a level 1 wound with Shock 2, Pain 1, and no Blood Loss.

The major version is much more serious, such as a back that goes out of joint, or a hip or shoulder that pops out of its socket.  This variety is equal to a level 3 wound with Shock 8, Pain 2, and no Blood Loss.
 
Shock-resistant (major gift)

Because of superior conditioning, intense training, a lack of sense of pain, or perhaps just superior breeding, you're less affected by the initial shock of injuries than most combatants.  Like a Rolex, you take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.  Whenever you take damage, make a TO/TN6 roll, and subtract the number of successes from the shock value of the wound.  Shock may never be reduced below 1 in this manner.
 
Optional Gift and Flaws
 
The Riddle of Steel rulebook lays out a standard progression for Gifts and Flaws, ranging from 1 minor and major Flaw to 2 major Gifts.  The rules also provide the caveat that a major Gift or Flaw is equal to two minor ones.  However, because of the nature of the priority system, it's normally impossible to end up with both a major Gift and a major Flaw.  

To allow for those characters for whom it makes sense to have such a set up, it's fairly easy to simply count major Gifts as +2, minor Gifts as +1, minor Flaws as -1, and major Flaws as -2.  Each priority works out to a fixed number of Gift/Flaw points (A: +4, B: +2, C: +1, D: 0, E: -1, F: -3) and so long as the total Gifts and Flaws adds up to the correct number for the priority taken and the Senschal approves, the players can mix an match whatever manner of Gifts and Flaws they like.



Thoughts?  Opinions?

 -DaR

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Dan Root
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Dan Root
Ben
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2002, 12:47:38 AM »

I like every one of those. they rock.
my only suggestion is to somehow have skills encorperated into the Prodigy gift

I think I may also start using option in the games I run. I gig it.
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   Ben
Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2002, 06:48:04 AM »

Excellent suggestions, Dan. I actually rather like the optional rule for choosing Gifts and Flaws, and might use it for future characters of my play-group (though I'll KIS for the start).

An idea I had for a Gift would be the exact opposite of Lecherous. Basically, it would make someone resistant or practically immune to seduction, no matter how attractive the person attempting it. This one hit me when Bob Richter and I were goofing around in OpenRPG and he was sorta playing Mallory (with Beauty of Legends) and I was sorta playing Tiberius, who is a borderline misogynist. By the rules, she'd have a good chance of seducing him, or distracting him with her beauty, which wouldn't fit the character, so I thought up this Gift. Any ideas for what to call it?
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
DaR
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2002, 09:38:56 AM »

Quote from: Ben
I like every one of those. they rock.
my only suggestion is to somehow have skills encorperated into the Prodigy gift


When I first wrote Prodigy up, I couldn't think of a good way to do this, since skills are based on packets rather than allocating points, but I'd forgotten about the MA points.  So here's a version which allows for Prodigious skills:

Prodigy (major gift)

Every so often, a person is born who possesses a talent that simply surpasses the level that can be achieved by normal people.  Characters with the prodigy Gift may choose any one of the following advantages: to have any one starting attribute ranked up to 9, rather than the normal limit of 7; to have any one proficiency ranked up to 10, exceeding the normal starting limit of 8; or to select any one skill from their packets to which they may use up to 3 MA points to lower the SR, instead of the normal limitation of being able to spend only one MA on a given skill.  All other attributes, proficiencies, and skills must meet the normal limitations, and this gift does not grant any extra points, but rather simply allows the normally available points to be used in a way that's not normally allowed.

Quote from: Wolfen

An idea I had for a Gift would be the exact opposite of Lecherous. Basically, it would make someone resistant or practically immune to seduction, no matter how attractive the person attempting it. This one hit me when Bob Richter and I were goofing around in OpenRPG and he was sorta playing Mallory (with Beauty of Legends) and I was sorta playing Tiberius, who is a borderline misogynist. By the rules, she'd have a good chance of seducing him, or distracting him with her beauty, which wouldn't fit the character, so I thought up this Gift. Any ideas for what to call it?


Well, my first kneejerk reaction is that this probably wouldn't be worthy of a gift.  Instead, I'd probably say that it largely depends on the reason for the resistance.  In many cases, this would be something that might fall under an SA, such as faith (both Three-become-One and Seven Vows of the Prophet promote celibacy, chastity and/or fidelity), conscience (if cheating on a spouse or going against beliefs about love), or perhaps passion (again, if cheating on a loved one).   This might also be handled using the Vow minor Flaw, again, depending on the nature of the reason behind the resistance.  As a Senschal, I'd probably also give bonus dice to someone like Tiberius in an extended contest, since he's made at least some point of expressing his disdain for most women.  However, thinking about it some more caused me to come up with the following:

Chauvinist (minor flaw)
More than most in your culture, you have a very hard time dealing with those you consider your social inferiors.  This may include those of the opposite gender, those from other countries, those with less or more learning, or those from different social classes.  When forced to deal with such trash, you take a 2 die penalty to any form of social interaction in which you must seek their help or trust, to represent your barely restrained disgust or disdain.  On the other hand, you do gain a 1 die bonus to any interactions which run counter to the interests of the targets of your chauvinism (such as Ridicule, or contested rolls to resist Persuasion or Sincerity).  At the Senschal's option, open displays of chauvinism may cause others who witness your attitudes to adjust their attitude towards you depending on their own beliefs.


How does that sound?

-DaR

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Dan Root
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Dan Root
Bankuei
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2002, 09:58:25 AM »

Quote
Chauvinist (minor flaw)
More than most in your culture, you have a very hard time dealing with those you consider your social inferiors.


Hey Dan, this wouldn't happen to sound like a particular baron we know?  :P

Chris
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2002, 11:31:55 AM »

These are good. I'll put them up on the site next week, if that's cool with you. Keep 'em coming

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Psychopompous
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2002, 12:32:24 PM »

How about a major version of lecherous?

Maybe have the character go around groping attractive people all the time (and quite possibly running into som serious consequences...).

Just a thought :)

-Psychopompous
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Ashren Va'Hale
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2002, 04:22:47 PM »

OOh ooh I like this post!
My first character was a conman with the major gift of born liar....
+4 dice whenever lying was involvled. Pair this with a social of 7 and a low sincerity SR of 6..... Lets just say the conman was  VERY good at what he did.

We also adapted skill focus for gifts, basically the player can place an extra number of points equal to 1/2 MA for the minor gift and full ma for major gifts to one skill but ALL other sr's go up by 2. We had a blacksmith who used the major  gift of this when he had an initial SR packet of 9, it fit well. It also takes 4 checks to progress in the non focused skills for balance.  This gift is still in the expiremental stage.

Those other sugestions ruled BTW, I like the evil twin especially!!
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Ashren Va'Hale
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2002, 04:38:12 PM »

just thought of one more cool gift, I call it the lucky bastard gift, its a MAJOR only, it basically allows a player to use a luck point (normally) to RE ROLL a bad dice roll instead of just adding a die to the roll.

any thoughts?
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2002, 04:57:24 PM »

Perhaps I was looking for something more along the lines of an Iron Will sort of Gift.. Basically, a gift which either offers bonus dice, or lowers TNs for WP rolls. I like the latter better, personally, as it kinda.. it doesn't make your will any stronger, it just allows better use of what you have. I'm not sure if it would count best as a major or minor, though.

And the corollary, a flaw called Weak Willed, which adds to the TN of WP rolls. Nasty, that would be...
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~Lance Allen
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Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Brian Leybourne
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2002, 06:08:59 PM »

Quote from: Ashren Va'Hale
just thought of one more cool gift, I call it the lucky bastard gift, its a MAJOR only, it basically allows a player to use a luck point (normally) to RE ROLL a bad dice roll instead of just adding a die to the roll.

any thoughts?


Hmm.. yeah, I quite like it. Perhaps as a minor version of the gift you could permanently spend a luck point for the same benefit (i.e. reducing your luck as if you had spent a point on experience).

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
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DaR
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2002, 10:06:23 AM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
These are good. I'll put them up on the site next week, if that's cool with you. Keep 'em coming


Eminently fine with me.  If you want to PDF 'em with the TROS fonts, header/footers, etc so they look similar to the books, feel free.  Otherwise I can send you a PDF with them already formatted in the same generic layout (two column, similar font).

-DaR

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Dan Root
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Dan Root
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2002, 10:10:05 AM »

Quote
Eminently fine with me. If you want to PDF 'em with the TROS fonts, header/footers, etc so they look similar to the books, feel free. Otherwise I can send you a PDF with them already formatted in the same generic layout (two column, similar font).


PDfing them hadn't occured to me (I was planning on just html) but it's a pretty cool idea now that you mention in. Anyone else want them that way?

Jake
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DaR
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2002, 10:55:14 AM »

Quote from: Wolfen
Perhaps I was looking for something more along the lines of an Iron Will sort of Gift.. Basically, a gift which either offers bonus dice, or lowers TNs for WP rolls. I like the latter better, personally, as it kinda.. it doesn't make your will any stronger, it just allows better use of what you have. I'm not sure if it would count best as a major or minor, though.

And the corollary, a flaw called Weak Willed, which adds to the TN of WP rolls. Nasty, that would be...


Hrm.  I think the problem with this is that it's really no different, from an overall mechanical standpoint, than simply reducing or increasing your WP.  If you want an Iron Willpower, just put 7 dice in your WP score.  If you want a weak will, put 2 in it.  

I think the advantages and disadvantages given by Gifts and Flaws should be ones that don't directly map to being able to simply take a particular skill, or change an attribute in either direction.  Unlike games such as GURPS, there really isn't a currency that allows you to trade around different aspect of your characters.  The priorities that you choose for a character should mean something, and if you can start using gifts to move the "points" between the different facets, that weakens the importance of those choices.  If you look at the existing Gifts and Flaws, none of them provide a straight bonus or penalty to any particular skills, instead they tend to be situational (a bonus in this sort of scenario or only when that condition is met, or it happens when you make a roll of this kind), or allow you mess with mechanics that are normally arbitrary (such as the Intuition or Accuracy Gifts).

Quote from: Ashren Va'Hale

just thought of one more cool gift, I call it the lucky bastard gift, its a MAJOR only, it basically allows a player to use a luck point (normally) to RE ROLL a bad dice roll instead of just adding a die to the roll.


Quote from: BryanL

Hmm.. yeah, I quite like it. Perhaps as a minor version of the gift you could permanently spend a luck point for the same benefit (i.e. reducing your luck as if you had spent a point on experience).


Interesting idea.  I'm not sure it warrants a major Gift though.  As it currently stands, you can normally spend a Luck die permanently to afford an instant success on any task normally out of your hands, so Brian's minor version isn't necessary, it's already something everyone can do.  Rerolling a die is something you normally can't do, but the only benefit it grants you over simply adding another die to you pool is that you may be able to potential stave off a result that would normally be a fumble (2 or more 1's showing, with no successes, by choosing to reroll a a 1 and hope for either a success or at least a non-1).  Though I suppose the fact that you can do so after seeing the roll is somewhat powerful, since normally you can only add luck points before you make the roll.  Balancing that, however, is the fact that under normal circumstances you'll never be able to affect more than 5 rolls of any sort in any single session, since that's the limit of how many Luck dice you can have.

Hrm.  Hrm.  How about these:

Born Lucky (minor gift)
Some people just seem to catch all the breaks.  You more than most.  As a result, you may choose to spend dice from your luck pool to reroll the same number of dice in a test you have just made.  You may not spend further luck points on the same test, but must accept whatever the rerolled outcome is.

The Devil's Own Luck (minor gift)
Once per session you may call "Devil's Own Luck" and reroll a test you have just made.  You reroll all the dice and must accept the outcome.  However, this luck often has a price.  At any point before the end of the session, the Senschal has the option to call for the Payment and ask you to reroll the roll you have just made.

-DaR

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Dan Root
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Dan Root
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2002, 11:01:41 AM »

Quote from: Wolfen
Perhaps I was looking for something more along the lines of an Iron Will sort of Gift.. Basically, a gift which either offers bonus dice, or lowers TNs for WP rolls. I like the latter better, personally, as it kinda.. it doesn't make your will any stronger, it just allows better use of what you have. I'm not sure if it would count best as a major or minor, though.

And the corollary, a flaw called Weak Willed, which adds to the TN of WP rolls. Nasty, that would be...


That's bmuch better than your previous suggestion, Lance. Gifts (or other game advantages) are really no fun when they serve only to give you plot immunity. So Dan came up with a very good wy to handle it. In general, characteristics like Gifts and Flaws should make a character more interesting, and likely to get involved, not less.

So the opposite of lecherous should be (forgive me if this already exists) the minor gift Romantic. This allows a character improved chances to get involved with people. A lech is someone who wants to get involved but isn't good at it. A romantic likes getting involved, and succeeds regularly. In both cases the character gets involved.

Another interesting opposite would be a minor flaw Chaste (for priests, knights and virgins, etc). Where the character is constantly hit on, but cannot or will not resond for some reason. This seems like not getting involved, but in actuality, it's just getting involved badly which can lead to all sorts of fun.

Hmmm, Tease? That one's bound to get you into trouble, and is very Arthurian in taste (not sure if it fits TROS).

Mike
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