Friday, April 30, 2021

Negative Character Traits


This is something I've thought about after initially making a short video about it.

You either choose or randomly roll on the list of negative character traits.  That's just part of your personality.  You can choose to indulge your nature or fight against it.

If you choose to succumb to your flaw (via roleplaying), you get a point of Divine Favor (it's like 5e's inspiration, but you can re-roll anything if you don't like how the original roll turned out).   The advantage of avoiding one's shortcomings means you're not put into dangerous situations.  

It's the kind of risk vs reward mechanic I like. Plus, I think it'll juice-up the roleplaying while giving players something else to think about... other than "should I touch the tentacle or leave it be?"

This needs some kind of cap, as well.  Can't have PCs going down the rabbit hole of vice to keep themselves insulated with re-rolls.  Across the board, I'm limiting divine favor to 3 per session.  Doesn't matter if it comes from flaws, culture, or sheer awesomeness.  

Like my post about cultural backgrounds, this should be considered a workshop zone.  Things may change, as I'll be refining stuff every few days.  Check back to see its progress.

Negative Traits

  1. Vengeance
  2. Alcoholic
  3. Drug addict
  4. Curious
  5. Sex fiend
  6. Deceitful
  7. Violent temper
  8. Disloyal
  9. Jealous
  10. Obsessive
  11. Fanatical
  12. Lazy
  13. Hubris
  14. Disgusting
  15. Bigoted
  16. Selfless
  17. Cowardly
  18. Rebellious
  19. Megalomania
  20. Vain

There are many more I could have chosen, but my thinking here is two-fold.  First, the flaw should be something the player can roleplay.  Second, it's got to be gameable, as in, will this occasionally get PCs into trouble without being a total drag?  Finicky might be an interesting negative trait, but if a character is going to spend his time cleaning his nails or looking for higher quality ale, that's just boring.

Feel free to try it out, and let me know what happens!  Many other RPGs have mechanics similar to this, but I'm specifically designing something that'll work really well with Crimson Dragon Slayer D20.


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