A trait is a descriptive character element that allows for character customization outside the more structured system domains of Aspects, Skills, and Callings.
Advantages: Positive traits are known as Advantages. These enable special actions or grant bonuses. Many Advantages have prerequisites that must be met before they can be purchased, but unless otherwise specified they can be bought at any time using XP. Acquiring an Advantage should make some narrative sense for the character; a reedy bookworm is unlikely to suddenly gain the Bar Fighter trait unless there’s a good narrative reason (such as having been in several rowdy tavern tussles).
Disadvantages: Negative traits are known as Flaws or Disadvantages. These restrict otherwise normal actions or impose penalties. A character can have up to two Disadvantages at character creation in exchange for either receiving the amount of XP in brackets or the gaining 200g in additional starting funds per Flaw.
Some Disadvantages must be ‘bought off’ to remove. The player must spend 20 XP and provide a reasonable narrative explanation for the change. For example a Foolish character spends months tutoring under a more intelligent character. Other Disadvantages such as debts only require the character to pay their due. Finally, some Disadvantages such as Nemesis can be obtained during play and do not confer an experience bonus.
Traits are grouped or categorized as follows:
These traits are specific to gear, equipment, and vehicles. These traits are typically accessible to anyone who has access and control over the artefact in question.
These are traits that are held by the character. This list of traits is available to all players when creating their character (though not all will make sense for every character). Character traits represent fundamental elements of a person that help to distinguish them from others. Unless specified a Character trait is kept regardless of what Corpus the character is using.
[See Corpus System / WIP] These are traits that are specific to a given body a character might ‘inhabit’ and are distinct from them as an entity. Corpus traits are usually only relevant for player characters with a Corpus and only accessible while the character is inhabiting that corpus.
Players can pick from the traits below but should not consider them limiting; they are meant to provide inspiration and demonstrate possibilities. Players are encouraged to submit ideas for other traits based on their character concept to the Storyteller and work together to devise the effects.
Due to the flexible and character-specific nature of Traits it’s recommended Advantages be designed to encourage active rather than passive engagement from the player; the player must ‘invoke’ the advantage to see a benefit. This places responsibility for using an advantages on the player rather than the Storyteller. The Storyteller does have a greater responsibility for tracking (and exploiting) Disadvantages, but players are encouraged to play all character traits, including their flaws. To this end, whenever a player meaningfully portrays a characters Disadvantage, the cost of buying off the Disadvantage is reduced by 1 to a minimum of 1 XP. If the character *keeps* the Disadvantage they thereafter gain +1 XP for each session in which they portray the Disadvantage.
Concept: Traits marked as ‘multi-level’ (in progress) can be upgraded at an increasing cost of new level x base XP cost. At each new level the player can choose to improve one of the following by 1 step.
Use Frequency: N times per game, or N times per combat.
Use Time or Duration: N rounds or N time scale (minute, hour, 6 hour, 12 hour, 24 hour)
Impact: N impact level
Scale: N targets
Distance: N distance scale (Close, Near, Moderate, Far, Extreme)
Other: These are just examples; if a player can come up with a good idea use it.
Some Traits only have one dimension on which they can be improved.
Raw Mechanical Effects
Reroll but keep lowest
Single die for rolls
Tie always goes to opponent
Increase damage/stress accumulation
Susceptible to injury
Permanent cap on ability or skill
Negative social/resource (e.g. enemy, debt)
Negate critical success
Increased critical failure consequence
Increased xp multiplier cost for skill increase