ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Absolute Direction *
Acute Taste and Smell*
Body of Gas*
Body of Stone*
Body of Water*
Code of Honor*
Decreased Life Support*
Extra Hit Points*
Hard of Hearing*
Hard to Kill*
High Pain Threshold*
Immunity to Poison*
Immunity to Disease*
Increased Life Support*
Independently Focusable Eyes*
Language Barrier. *
No Eat or Drink*
No Fine Manipulators*
No Sense of Humor*
No Sense of Smell/Taste*
Odious Personal Habits*
Odious Racial Habits*
On the Edge*
One Fine Manipulator*
Reduced Hit Points*
Sense of Duty*
Short Life span*
Walk on Liquid*
Absolute Direction 5 points
You always know which way is north, and you can always re-trace a path you have followed within the past month, no matter how faint or confusing it may be. This ability does not work in environments such as interstellar space, the limbo of the astral plane, etc., but it does work underground, underwater, and on
other planets. Also gives a +3 bonus on your Navigator skill.
Absent-Mindedness -15 points
The classic disadvantage for eccentric geniuses. You have difficulty paying attention to anything not of immediate interest. An absent-minded person suffers a -5 penalty on any IQ roll except those for a task he is currently interested in and concentrating upon. If no engaging task or topic presents itself, his attention will drift to more interesting matters in five minutes; he will ignore his immediate surroundings until something catches his attention and brings him back. Once adrift in his own thoughts, an absent-minded character must roll against IQ-5 in order to notice any event short of personal physical injury.
The absent-minded person may attempt to rivet his attention on a boring topic through sheer strength of will. To do so, he must make a Will-5 roll once every five minutes. "Boring topics include guard duty, small-talk or other forms of meaningless conversation, repetitive manual tasks, driving on an empty highway...Absent-minded individuals also tend to forget trivial tasks (like paying the bills) and items (like car keys and checkbooks).
Whenever it becomes important that an absent-minded character have performed such a task or brought such an item, the GM should call for a roll against IQ-2. On a failed roll, this detail slipped his attention. For example, an absent-minded detective is in a shootout. He has been involved in gunplay earlier today, in which he fired four rounds, so the GM calls for an IQ-2 roll. The detective fails the roll, discovering too late that he forgot to reload his weapon, so his revolver only has two bullets left!
Absolute Timing5 points
You have an accurate mental clock. Unless you have been knocked unconscious, hypnotized, or otherwise interfered with, you always know what time it is, down to the second. You can also measure any elapsed time with equal accuracy. Sleep does not interfere with this (and you can wake up at a predetermined time if you choose). Changes of time-zone also have no effect. Time-travel will confuse you until you find out what the "new" time is.
Acceleration Tolerance10 points
This is is the ability to withstand for short periods the sudden high-G forces of extreme acceleration. It is most useful for fighter and star fighter pilots at TLs where it can sometimes be possible (for instance) to dodge a missile. This advantage gives a +5 to HT on any roll to avoid the effects of acceleration. It is not the same as Improved G-Tolerance (below).
Acceleration Weakness -5 points
This disadvantage is the reverse of Acceleration Tolerance. Characters with Acceleration Weakness are more likely to suffer from extreme acceleration; they get a -3 to HT on any roll to avoid the effects of acceleration.
Acute Vision 2 points/level
You get a bonus on any Vision roll -- that is, when you roll to look for something, or whenever the GM rolls against IQ to see if you noticed something. Cost: 2 points for every + 1 bonus to your roll.
Acute Hearing 2 points/level
You get a bonus on your Hearing roll whenever you must roll to hear something, or when the GM rolls against IQ to see if you noticed a sound. Cost: 2 points for every +1 bonus to your roll.
Acute Taste and Smell 2 points/level
You get a bonus on any Taste or Smell roll . For instance, the GM might roll to see if you noticed the taste or smell of poison in your drink. Cost: 2 points for every + 1 bonus to your roll.
You are addicted to a drug, which you must use daily or suffer the penalties of withdrawal (see below). The bonus for this disadvantage depends on the nature of the drug addiction, as follows;
If each daily dose costs $20 or less: -5 points.
If each daily dose costs $21-$100: -10 points.
If each daily dose costs over $100: -20 points.
If the drug is incapacitating or hallucinogenic: -10 points.
If the drug is highly addictive (-5 on withdrawal roll): -5points.
If the drug is totally addictive (-10 on withdrawal roll): -10 points.
If the drug is legal in your original game-world: plus 5points!
Examples: Tobacco is cheap, highly addictive, and legal; a chain-smoker has a -5 point addiction. Heroin is very expensive, incapacitating, illegal and totally addictive; a heroin addict has a -40 point disadvantage.
Your character is over 50 years old when created. Thus, you will have to roll a number of times (see Age and Aging, p. 83) for possible loss of attribute points due to old age. Note that creating a very old character will be self-defeating: a character created 70 years old would get 60 bonus points (!!) but would have to roll 20 times for each of his attributes, chancing loss of points each time, and would already be near the end of his life. Bonus: -3 points for every year over 50.
Albinism -10 points
You have no natural body pigment; your hair and skin are pink-white, and your eyes are pink. An albino may seem attractive or ugly, but "average" appearance is impossible when choosing Physical Appearance. An albino will always be remembered, and can never blend into a crowd. Albinos must avoid direct sun, as they have no resistance to sunburn; you will take 1 point of damage for every 30 minutes of ordinary direct sunlight you are exposed to, or every 15 minutes of hot summer or desert sun. You are also at -2 for every Vision roll, or ranged
weapon attack, made in direct sunlight.
Alcoholism -15 or -20 points
You are an alcohol addict. Alcoholism is treated as an addiction (see above); it is inexpensive, incapacitating, and (usually) legal, so it would normally be a l0-point addiction. But alcohol is insidious, because it is different from most addictions. Therefore, it is worth 15 points, or 20 if it is illegal. An alcoholic may, under normal circumstances, confine his drinking to the evenings, and therefore be able to function (for game purposes) normally. However, any time an alcoholic is in the presence of alcohol, he must roll vs. IQ to avoid partaking.
A failed roll means he goes on a "binge" lasting 2d hours, followed by a hangover twice as long, during which all stats are at -3. Alcoholics on a binge are characterized by sudden swings of mood -- from extreme friendliness to extreme hostility -- and may attack their friends, talk too freely, or make other mistakes.
The other drawback of alcoholism is that it is hard to get rid of. Should an alcoholic character successfully "withdraw," he no longer needs to drink daily...but he must still make an IQ roll, at +4, whenever in the presence of alcohol. A failed roll does not reinstate the addiction, but does set off a binge. (Three binges in a week will reinstate the addiction.) Thus, there is no normal way that the disadvantage can ever be "bought off."
An alcoholic must roll yearly against (HT+2), until he withdraws. A failed roll means the alcoholic must lose one point from one of his four basic attributes -- roll randomly to determine which.
Alertness 5 points/level
A general bonus you get on any Sense roll, or when the GM rolls against your IQ to see if you notice something. This advantage can be combined with any or all of the acute senses.
Cost: 5 points for each +1 bonus to your roll.
Many fictional heroes have partners -- loyal comrades, faithful sidekicks or life-long friends -- who accompany them on adventures. These partners are Allies. Having an Ally is an advantage. In one sense, the other PCs who adventure with you are allies. But they can be unreliable allies indeed. Often they are chance acquaintances, first encountered at a roadside tavern only hours ago. They have their own hidden goals, ethics and motives, which may or may not coincide with your own. An NPC Ally, on the other hand, is wholly reliable. Perhaps you fought side-by-side in an extended campaign, trained under the same master, or grew up in the same village. The two of you trust each other implicitly. You travel together, fight back-to-back, share rations in hard times, trade watches through the night. The point cost for an Ally is determined by his point value and frequency appearance.
An Ally built on 75 or fewer points is actually a Dependent
An Ally built on 76 to 100 points costs 5 points.
An Ally built on 101 to 150 points costs 10 points.
An Ally built on 151 to 200 points costs 15 points, and so on.
An Ally built on over 50 points more than his PC is actually a Patron (below).
An Ally having special abilities -- Psi powers , equipment far beyond the world's TL costs an extra 5 to 10 points, at the GM's discretion.
Frequency of Appearance: To determine whether your Ally appears in a given play session, the GM rolls 3 dice. If the number rolled is within the range for the ally (see below), then the ally will be with you for that adventure.
Ally appears almost all the time (roll of 15 or less): triple cost.
Ally appears quite often (roll of 12 or less): double cost.
Ally appears fairly often (roll of 9 or less): listed cost.
Ally appears rarely (roll of 6 or less): half cost (round up).
Creating an Ally
An Ally character is created just as though he were a PC. An NPC Ally can have disadvantages totaling no more than 40 points, or one disadvantage of any value. A GM may allow occasional exceptions to this guideline, however, just as he might for a PC. NPC Allies must all pay the points to have their PC as an Ally. For a normal, 100-point PC, this will cost 5 points. When selecting skills, advantages and disadvantages for an Ally, remember that most Allies share a common background with their PCs. Soldiers will usually have fighters for Allies, thieves will have other underworld types, priests will have clerics or holy knights, etc. A player should come up with an excellent rationale if he wants his PC to have an Ally from a wildly different background.
Neither an NPC Ally or his PC may receive points for a disadvantage such as Sense of Duty or Oath to his comrade. The point cost to have an Ally already takes this bond into account.
Mastering the Ally
An Ally is a non-player character, and should be played as such. While Allies are usually agreeable to the suggestions of their PCs, they are not puppets. They will disagree with their friends from time to time. An Ally may try to dissuade a PC from a plan that seems foolish to him; if he can't talk his friend out of the plan, he may refuse to cooperate. An Ally may even cause problems for his PC, picking fights, landing in jail, insulting a high noble....Of course, the Ally will also try to bail his friend out when he makes similar mistakes. A PC should receive no character points for any play session in which he betrays, attacks or unnecessarily endangers his NPC
Ally. If the betrayal is particularly blatant, prolonged or severe, the trust between the PC and his Ally will be broken; the Ally is lost, but the points are not recovered. If, on the other hand, an Ally dies through no fault of his friend, the PC should not be penalized. Let the PC form a relationship with another Ally. This relationship should develop gradually -- no one gains a true Ally overnight.
Since allies are NPC, they don't automatically earn character points. However, the GM may choose to give them more points over a period of time, as they gain experience. The GM, not the player, decides how these points are spent. (If the ally increases in value -- e.g., from 100 to 101 points) -- the PC must pay more for the advantage of the more powerful Ally.)
Ally Group Variable
You have a loyal group of followers. None of them has as high a point value as a normal PC, but together they are significant support for you. Noblemen, mercenary or bandit leaders, and similar characters are reasonable candidates to have Ally Groups. Ally Groups are composed of NPCs, controlled by the GM. The point value of the Ally Group depends on its strength, modified by how frequently the group appears.
A small group (2 to 5 people) costs 10 points. Examples include an infantry squad or a small gang.
A medium-sized group (6 to 20 people) costs 20 points. Examples include a large gang, a small army of bodyguards, or a cavalry unit.
A large group (20 to 100 people) or a medium-sized group with some formidable individuals costs 30 points. Examples might include a whole barbarian army, or a small cadre of trained warriors with good equipment.
Alternate Identity 15 points per identity
You have an extra identity, which to all appearances is legally-established. Your fingerprints (and retina prints, if this is a common method of ID) are registered under two different names, you have to sets of licenses, passports, birth certificates, and so on. This can be extremely useful for anyone involved in illegal activities, or for anyone trying to conceal a super identity. This advantage may be purchased as many times as desired, giving another set of papers each time. While the new identity may include credit cards and bank accounts, all money in these accounts must be supplied from the "real" character's bank account - it isn't included in the package.
If a law enforcement agency attempts to identify you from your prints, with no clues as to your name, there is an equal chance for each of your identities to come up. The search will stop at that point...unless they already have reason to believe you are a ringer. If the search continues, the second identity will, of course, surface, and you will be unmasked. At that point, once the agency determines who you really are, the alternate Identity(s)
are lost. Alternate identities are illegal for ordinary people. If you are caught, you will face a stiff fine and possibly a jail sentence. An alternate identity can also be a "secret" identity, but it doesn't have to be!
Legal Alternate Identities: Certain PCs might have access to an Alternate Identity legally. An undercover FBI agent, for example, could have a complete set of papers, history, etc. in a fake name. A character must have at least 10 points of Legal Enforcement Powers (p. 21) to have a legal identity such as , but the point cost of the Alternate Identity drops from 15 to 5 points. If a super has official permission to conceal his original name (to protect his family, etc.) and to hold property, etc., in his "super" name, that is a Legal Alternate identity combined with a Secret Identity (his real name is hidden).
"Weak" Identities: In many countries, it is legal to use false names for privacy, as long as you do not attempt to defraud or interfere with "public records." You can usually rent an apartment as "Mr. Smith," paying cash, without problems. But you can't get a driver's license, etc., legally. This sort of weak identity is worth no points.
You have obtained a set of identity papers, and had the appropriate records altered, to set up an Alternate Identity. However, the quality of the work is poor. The new identity will eventually be noticed and eliminated (and the user sought after!). Therefore, a Temporary Identity is not considered an "advantage," and costs no points. It is a convenience to be bought with cash. A standard Temporary Identity is guaranteed to be good for
one week. At the end of that week, a roll is made. On an 8 or less, the false records have been discovered. Each week an additional roll is made at a cumulative +1 (e.g. the discrepancies are discovered at the end of week 2 on a 9 or less, and at the end of week 3 on a 10 or less.)
Cost of a temporary identity is negotiable, and depends entirely on the background. The cheaper the identity, the oftener the GM will roll; a really cheap one might be good only for a day, with rolls every day! More expensive identities, lasting longer or starting at a lower number, might also be available.
In a high-tech background, where a temporary identity is a matter of tampering with computer files, the net runner who builds the identity can put a "daemon" in the file. This will automatically place a warning phone call when the identity is blown! This will often be as expensive as the Temporary Identity itself. Someone who has been Zeroed (p. 237) can use a Temporary Identity.
Ambidexterity 10 points
You can use both hands with equal skill. You do not suffer the -4 DX penalty for using an "off hand" , and can fight (or act) with either hand, or (in an All Out Attack) with both hands at once. Should some accident befall one of your arms or hands, assume it is the left one.
Amnesia -10/-25 points
You've lost your memory - you can't remember any of your past life, including your name. There are two levels to the disadvantage; Partial and Total. If you have Partial Amnesia, you can see your character sheet, but the GM may reserve up to 30 points for use as he sees fit for disadvantages. Other than these secret disadvantages, you know that you can do certain things and use certain skills, but have no idea where you learned how to do them. You are likely to have enemies - and possibly friends - that you can't remember. If you turn yourself in to the police, they can perform their standard ID checks...but you might turn out to be a wanted criminal.
Even if you're an honest citizen, finding out your name won't restore your memory! Partial Amnesia is a -10 point disadvantage. Total Amnesia (-25 points) is much more serious. Your physical skills are unaffected, but the GM makes all rolls for you (because you have no idea what you can do until you try it!). Likewise, the GM makes all of your Mental skill rolls, but at a -2 penalty. You have no idea what advantages, disadvantages and
skills you have. If a player chooses to play a character with this disadvantage, the only things he can choose when designing it are those things that can be seen in a mirror. Everything else is assigned by the GM (and the GM holds onto the original character sheet until his memory is restored)!
If you are playing a character with Total Amnesia, the GM knows what your quirks and mental disadvantages are...and you don't. So, from time to time, he will overrule your statements about what you are doing. For instance, you won't know you have the Berserk disadvantage until you go berserk. This disadvantage can only be bought off if there is some rationale for the victim recovering his memory. Meeting an old friend, reliving some fateful event, or the ever-popular blow-to-the-head are all reasonable. In most cases, the cure will be related
to the cause of the memory loss.
Amphibious 20 points
The race is equally at home on land and in the water. Amphibians automatically have the Swimming skill (p. B49) at their normal Move rate. Usually, this will mean they will have both true lungs and gills (below). Note: Aquatic air breathers like whales and dolphins, who cannot function on land, do not need to buy this advantage.
Anaerobic -30 points
The race dies if exposed to oxygen. Anaerobic individuals must wear sealed pressure suits when oxygen is present. The race reacts to oxygen as a one-level contact poison , taking 1d damage every turn.
Animal Empathy 5 points
You understand animals and like them, and they like you. You get a +2 on any reaction roll by a wild animal, and a +4 on any reaction from a tame animal. You also get a +4 bonus on any "animal" skill roll (Animal Handling, Riding, Vet, etc.). However, you may never kill an animal without a very good reason, and you should try to prevent others from doing so. Note that killing for food is perfectly acceptable, and in a hunting
situation you will get a +3 bonus to find game.
Hideous Appearance: May be any sort of disgusting looks the player specifies: hunchback, severe skin disease, wall-eye...preferably several things at once. The character is -4 on any reaction roll except by totally alien creatures (who don't care) or by people who cannot see him or her (who will be very surprised when they finally meet the character, and may have to make another reaction roll at the GM's discretion). -20 points.
Ugly Appearance: As above, but not so bad - maybe only stringy hair and teeth. -2 on reaction rolls, except as above. -10 points.
Unattractive Appearance: Nothing you can put your finger on --the character just looks vaguely unappealing. -1 on reaction rolls by members of his/her own race, but no penalty for other races --the problem is too subtle for them notice. -5 points.
Average Appearance: No bonuses or penalties of any type; this person can blend easily into a crowd. A viewer's impression of his/her looks will depend on behavior. An "average" person who smiles and acts friendly will be pleasant looking; one who mutters will be remembered as unattractive. No point cost or bonus.
Attractive Appearance: This person doesn't enter beauty contests, but is definitely good-looking. +1 on all reaction rolls by his/her own race. 5 points.
Handsome (Beautiful) Appearance: This person could enter beauty contests. +2 on all reaction rolls made by the same sex; +4 by opposite sex -- as long as races are same or similar. 15 points.
Very Handsome (or Beautiful) Appearance: Enters beauty contests and wins regularly. +2 on reaction rolls made by the same sex. +6 (!) on reaction rolls by opposite sex. Exception: If members of your own sex already have reason to dislike you (more than 4 points of negative reaction modifiers, regardless of positive modifiers), then they will resent your good looks, and instead of a +2 you will have a -2. This problem will appear at
the GM's discretion. A further difficulty: You may be bothered by talent scouts, friendly drunks, slave traders and other nuisances, depending on where you are. 25 points.
Aquatic -40 points
A common example of a increased life-support situation. The cost for Increased Life Support (Aquatic) is based on the fact that water is much heavier than air (one cubic foot of water weighs about 7.5 pounds). The score, however is modified down on the assumption that, with proper filtration, the aquatic environment can double as the ship's water reservoir.
The race has thick hide, scales, a shell or other natural armor. Depending on the desired effect of the armor, this can be bought as Passive Defense (p. 15), Damage Resistance (p. 11), or some combination.
Bad Sight -10/-25 points
You may be either nearsighted or farsighted -- your choice. If you are nearsighted, you cannot read small print, etc., more than a foot away, or road signs, etc., at more than about 10 yards. When using a hand weapon, you are at -2 to your skill rolls. When using a thrown or missile weapon, use the modifier appropriate to double the actual distance to the target. If you are farsighted, you cannot read a book except with great difficulty (triple the normal time), and you are at -3 DX on any close manual labor. Any character at TL5 or higher can acquire glasses which will compensate totally for bad sight while they are worn; in the 20th century, contact lenses are available. Remember that accidents or head blows may knock glasses off, enemies may take them, etc. For anyone starting at a Tech Level in which vision can be corrected, Bad Sight is worth only -10 points. For a character from a time in which vision cannot be corrected, Bad Sight is worth -25 points.
Bad Temper -10 points
You are not in full control of your emotions. In any stressful situation, you must make a Will roll. A failed roll means you lose your temper, and must insult, attack or otherwise act against the cause of the stress.
Berserk -15 points
Like Bad Temper, but worse. You tend to lose control of yourself under stress, making frenzied attacks against whoever or whatever you see as the cause of the trouble. (You cannot take both Bad Temper and Berserk.)
Any time you take more than three hits in one turn, you must roll vs. Will. A failed roll means you go berserk. Other conditions of extreme stress (GM's option) may also require a Will roll to avoid berserking. A berserker may deliberately go berserk by taking the "Concentrate" maneuver and making a successful Will roll. While berserk, you must make an All Out Attack each turn a foe is in range, and Move as close as possible to a foe if none is in range. Or, if the enemy is more than 20 yards away, a berserker may attack with ranged weapons -- but he many not take time to aim. High-tech berserk: If an experienced gunman goes berserk, he will fire as many shots as he can every turn, until his gun is empty. He will not reload unless he has a Fast-Draw skill for
reloading, letting him reload "without thought." When his gun is empty, he will attack with his hands or another weapon. He may never aim.
While berserk, you cannot be stunned, and injuries cause no penalty to your Move score or attack rolls. All rolls to remain conscious or alive are made at a +4 bonus to HT; if you don't fail any rolls, you remain alive and madly attacking until your HT reaches (-5 x HT). Then you fall dead! When a berserker downs his foe, he may (at the player's discretion) roll vs. Will to snap out of the berserk state. If he fails the roll (or does not roll), he continues berserk and attacks the next foe. Any friend attempting to restrain the berserker will be treated as a foe! The berserker gets one Will roll each time he downs a foe, and one extra roll when the last foe is downed. If he is still berserk, he will start attacking his friends... If you snap out of the berserk state, all your wounds immediately affect you; roll at normal HT, to see whether you remain conscious and alive.
This covers a wide range of artificial parts for the human body -- see Medicine (p. 67). If a bionic part enhances normal human function, it will cost character points, whether the character starts with it or adds it later. If it functions exactly like a lost limb or organ, there is no character point cost (though if a character buys one as a replacement, it will still cost money).
You are in tune with some specific higher power. The simplest version of this advantage costs 10 points and grants the ability to use any one Divination spell at IQ level. The type of Divination should match the "flavor" of the deity. The Blessed person (often a cleric) also gains a +1 Reaction from any of the deity's followers who know him to be Blessed. For 20 points, one can be Very Blessed, which confers a +5 bonus to Divination skill. Any Blessed character must act in accordance with the rules or values associated with their deity, or the advantage will be lost. A deity might also grant powers beyond Divination to especially Blessed characters. These powers must match the power or capability of the deity (a goddess of mercy and healing could grant healing gifts, for instance). These abilities come in many different forms, the exact cost of each depending on the ability granted. In addition, many of the standard Advantages can be explained as divine gifts, at the GM's discretion.
Some examples. Immunity: Your blessing involves an immunity to (or protection from) certain substances, usually those associated with the deity granting the blessing. A fire god might, for example, bless
his clerics with an immunity to fire damage. When determining the cost, the GM should keep in mind that these are powerful blessings, and charge accordingly. Aptitude: Your blessing gives you an added bonus to a particular
skill. For Physical skills, the point cost for a +1 aptitude is equivalent to the cost (see p. 44) to learn the skill at DX level. The cost for a 2-point aptitude is equal to the cost for DX+1, and so on. For Mental skills, the cost for a +1 aptitude is equal to the cost of learning the skill at IQ level. A 2-point aptitude costs the same
as learning it at IQ+1 and so on. The bonus applies to default skill levels as well as to those you have training in.
Heroic Feats: 10 points. Your blessing gives you the innate ability to perform a particular heroic feat. Once per playing session you may add 1d to either ST, DX, or HT (the attribute is specified at the time of the blessing) for up to 3d seconds. At the end of this time, you revert to your normal attribute and must suffer all penalties amassed during the heroic period. (For instance, if you take more than 5 times your normal HT in damage during a time of raised HT, then without some sort of healing you will immediately die when the effects wear off.)
Blindness -50 points
You cannot see at all. As partial compensation, you may start with Acute Hearing and/or Acute Taste and Smell at only half cost. Furthermore, you suffer no extra penalties of any kind when operating in the dark! In unfamiliar territory, you must travel slowly and carefully or be led by a companion or guide animal. Many actions and abilities -- too many to list -- are impossible to the blind; GMs should use common sense.
A blind character is at -6 on any combat skill. He can use hand weapons, but cannot aim a blow at any particular part of a foe's body, and cannot fire a missile weapon (except randomly or at something so close he can hear it). This all assumes that the character is accustomed to blindness. Someone who suddenly loses his eyesight will fight at a -10, as though in the dark. In civilized countries, a blind person will receive a +1 on
reaction rolls. As an option, the GM may ask the player of a blind character to wear a blindfold during play; this will give some slight appreciation of the problems facing the blind, and of the many things a person can accomplish without sight!
Bloodlust -10 points
You want to see your foes dead. You will go for killing blows in a battle, put in an extra shot to make sure of a downed foe, attack guards you could have avoided, and so on. A Will roll is necessary to accept a surrender, or even to take a prisoner under orders. Even in a non-combat situation, you will never forget that a foe is a foe. This may seem a truly evil trait, but many fictional heroes suffer from it. The character is not a fiend or sadist; his animosity is limited to "legitimate" enemies, whether they are criminals, enemy soldiers, feuding clansmen, or tavern scum. Often he has a very good reason for feeling as he does. And, in an ordinary tavern brawl, he would use his fists like anyone else. On the other hand, a gladiator or duelist with the disadvantage would be very unpopular, and a policeman would soon be up on charges.
Body of Gas -30 points
The race has no solid form; their "bodies" are free-floating clouds of gas. Individuals can carry nothing. Movement is 1/2 normal, but they can go up and down at will, and slip through the narrowest of cracks.
Every 5 mph of wind will move a gas creature 1 hex/turn in the direction it is blowing -- if that's the direction it wishes to travel in, the wind adds to its Move. Otherwise Move will go down as it fights against the breeze.
Gas creatures cannot be hit by ordinary weapons, but are vulnerable to all energy and psionic attacks. All knock back from strong winds is doubled. In a vacuum, gas creatures take 3d damage per turn. A whirlwind will do 1d damage per turn that the individual remains in its radius.
Body of Stone 6 points/level
The species is made of rock (in science fiction this usually implies a silicon-based metabolism). The race gains PD 1 for every 4 levels (maximum PD 6) and DR 2 for every 3 levels. Damage from punches and kicks is raised by +2, but Move is reduced 20%. Sonic and vibratory attacks are automatically "armor piercing" against stone creatures. This means that only 3/4 of the target's DR (round up) is effective. Special enhancement: The race's body structure is amorphous rather than crystalline, and does not suffer the extra effect from sonic or vibratory attacks. +3 levels.
Body of Water -20 points
The species is made of water (or some other liquid compound) kept together by surface tension. Normal crushing weapons do 1/2 damage; normal cutting, impaling and missile weapons do 1 point damage per hit (regardless of DR), and dehydration or fire-based attacks do double normal damage. Normal physical skills are at -8. Individuals are amorphous, but they can alter form to resemble objects or individuals. In their natural habitat, water creatures are -4 to be scene. If noticed, they appear as a vague mist moving through the water.
Broadcast 5 points/level
The Radio Hearing advantage (below) is a prerequisite. The race can broadcast on any radio frequency it can hear. The race's Broadcast range, in miles, is equal to its level of Broadcast squared. This ability will often qualify for Secret Communication , which carries its own cost.
Bully -10 points
You like to push people around whenever you can get away with it. Depending on your personality and position, this may take the form of physical attacks, intellectual harassment or social "cutting." Make a Will roll to avoid gross bullying when you know you shouldn't -- but to role play your character properly, you should bully anybody you can. Since nobody likes a bully, others react to you at a -2.
Catfall 30 points
The race subtracts 5 yards from a fall automatically (this is considered an automatic Acrobatics roll; Acrobatics skill will increase this bonus). A successful DX roll halves all damage from a fall.
Chameleon 10 points/level
The race can blend into the surroundings. In any situation where being seen is a factor, members of the race have an additional +2 per level to their Stealth skill when perfectly still, or a +1 per level if moving. This advantage will not help in the dark, or against someone relying on senses other than sight.
Charisma 5 points/level
This is the natural ability to impress and lead others. Anyone can acquire semblance of charisma by good looks,
good manners and intelligence - but real charisma works independently of these things, and you either have it or you don't. It affects any reaction roll made by any intelligent creature.
Claws 15/40/55 points
For 15 points, the race has claws which do an extra +2 damage on any hand-to-hand attack (including Karate).
For 40 points, the claws are 6 to 12 inches long, and do thrust/impaling or swing/cutting damage.
For 55 points, the claws do thrust+2/impaling and swing+2/cutting damage. In both cases, the cost assumes two hands; pay again for each pair of hands that have claws.
Clerical Investment 5 points
You have been ordained as a minister of some religion. A cleric has a number of powers and privileges thay a layman lacks, including a +1 reaction bonus from co-religionists and those who respect his faith. He or she will be addressed by a title Father, Sister, Reverend, Shaman -- and can perform such ceremonies as Confirmation, Marriage and Exorcism. Remember that not all clerics are nuns or rabbis. Aka'Ar, high priest of the unholy Cult of Set, is a vested priest as well, and the blessings and marriages he performs will be just as meaningful to his own flock as are those of a vicar to his parish. And, if Set so wills, Aka'Ar will be able to perform exorcisms as potent as those of a Christian minister, if not more so. Aka'Ar will have a better working knowledge of demons.
The GM should determine whether clerics, in his campaign, can call upon active aid from Beyond. If so, and if clerics are known to be able to get such aid, Clerical Investment will be worth 10 points or more. If Investment is merely (as far as the players know) a "social" advantage, it costs 5 points.
Clinging 30 points
The race can walk or crawl on walls or ceilings. Move is halved while using this advantage. An individual can stop at any point and stick to the surface without fear of falling. If an individual is falling and tries to grab a wall before hitting the ground, the GM first decides whether the wall is within reach. If it is, a successful DX roll is needed to touch the wall.
Once the wall has been grabbed, a successful ST roll must be made, modified at -1 for each 5 yards fallen. If the ST roll is failed, 5 yards are subtracted from the distance because of the
slowing effect the failed clinging attempt had on the fall. Note that a variation in gravity will affect the above distances. In .5 G, for instance, each 5-yard distance would become 10 yards.
Code of Honor -5 to -15 points
You take pride in a set of principles which you follow at all times. Codes of honor differ, but all require (by their own standards) "brave," "manly," and "honorable" behavior. A Code of Honor may also be called "pride," "machismo," or "face." Under any name, it is the willingness to risk death rather than be thought dishonorable...whatever that means.
In any culture, there are those who pretend to honor but have none, and those who truly try to follow the code but often fail to live up to it. But only one who truly follows the code may get points for it as a disadvantage.
A Code of Honor is a disadvantage because it will often require dangerous (if not reckless) behavior. Furthermore, an honorable person can often be forced into unfair situations, because his foes know he is honorable. This is not the same as a Duty or Sense of Duty. A samurai or British grenadier will march into battle against fearful odds out of duty, not for his personal honor (though of course he would lose honor by fleeing). The risks a person takes for his honor are Solely on his own account. The point value of a specific Code varies, depending on just how much trouble it gets its followers into, and how irrational its requirements are.
Pirate's Code of Honor: Always avenge an insult, regardless of the danger; your buddy's foe is your own; never attack a fellow-crewman or buddy except in a fair, open duel. Anything else goes. This code of honor is also suitable for brigands, motorcycle gangs, and so on. -5 points.
Gentleman's Code of Honor: Never break your word. Never ignore an insult to yourself, to a lady, or to your flag; insults may only be wiped out by apology or a duel (not necessarily to the death!). Never take advantage of an opponent in any way; weapons and circumstances must be equal (except, of course, in open war). This code of honor is especially appropriate for the swashbuckling period, whether British, European or Colonial. Note that it only applies between gentlemen; a discourtesy from anyone of social status O or less calls for a whipping, not a duel! -10 points.
Chivalric Code of Honor: As above, except that flags haven't been invented; you must resent any insult to your liege lord or to your faith. In addition, you must protect any lady and anyone weaker than yourself. You must accept any challenge to arms from anyone of greater or equal rank. Even in open war,
sides and weapons must be equal if the foe is also noble and chivalric. -15 points.
Color Blindness -10 points
You cannot see any colors at all (this is total color-blindness). In everyday life, this is merely a nuisance. In any situation requiring color identification (gem buying, livery identification, or pushing the red button to start the motor), the GM should give you appropriate difficulties. Certain skills will always be harder for you. In particular, you are at a -1 penalty for any Driving, Piloting, Chemistry, Merchant or Tracking roll.
Combat Paralysis -15 points
This is the opposite of Combat Reflexes; you tend to "freeze up" in a combat situation. It is not Cowardice; you don't have to role play fear. You may be brave, but your body betrays you. In any situation in which personal harm seems imminent, roll against HT (not IQ). Any roll over 13 is a failure, even if you have high HT. You do not roll until the instant when you need to fight, run, pull the trigger, and so on. A successful roll means you can act normally. A failed roll means you are mentally Stunned (see p. 122). You must roll every turn, at +1 to your effective HT each turn, to break the freeze. A quick slap from a friend will give + 1 to your cumulative roll. Once you unfreeze, you will not freeze again until the immediate danger is over. Then, in the next dangerous situation, you may freeze once again.
Combat Reflexes 15 points
You have extraordinary reactions and are very rarely surprised for more than a moment. You get a +1 to any Active Defense in combat. You also get a +1 on any Fast-Draw skill, and +2 to any Fright Check . And you never "freeze" . Furthermore, your side gets +1 on initiative rolls to avoid a surprise attack, or +2 if you are the leader. You, personally, get a +6 on any IQ roll to wake up or to recover from surprise or a mental "stun".
Compulsive Behavior -5 to -15 points
You have a habit (usually, but not always, a vice) which you feel compelled to indulge on a daily basis. You waste a good deal of your time indulging your habit. Examples of compulsive behavior include gambling, attrac-
tion to another person, arguing (or even fighting) . In general, a Will roll is required if the player wants his character to avoid the compulsion in a specific instance (or a specific day). Note that it is very bad roleplaying to attempt to avoid the compulsion often! The specific point value of the disadvantage depends on what the behavior is, how much it costs, and how much trouble it is likely to get the PC into. The GM is the final judge.
Compulsive Carousing -5 to -10 points
You cannot resist the urge to party! Tavern-owners know you by name; taxi drivers have helped you home so many times they can do it blindfolded. No offer of a social drink can be refused. This is not Alcoholism, though. You don't need to drink, really, as much as you need to be convivial. You must go in search of a social gathering at least once per day, and participate for at least an hour. The number of drinks you have is determined by
economics -- the more money you have, the more you'll spend. This disadvantage does not go well with Miserliness, demophobia or any introverted tendencies.
If a bar you enter is empty or nearly so, you'll seek out another. If the last tavern in town has only quiet folks present, you'll attempt to liven things up. If there's a party going that you should avoid for some reason, you must make an IQ roll to keep from joining in. Roll against IQ+2 if you would have to "crash" the party (a private party -- you're not invited). Once you're in, though, you'll stay at least an hour -- you may make an IQ roll every hour to be able to leave. If you keep failing the roll, you
stay until forcibly evicted or the party drags to an end. You get a +1 from like-minded extroverts, and a -1 or worse from sober-minded citizens. Puritans and other extreme Calvinists react at -4! This disadvantage is worth -10 points in campaigns set entirely in areas where such religions are in power. Otherwise, it is -5 points.
Compulsive Generosity -5 points
You are just too open-handed. If a beggar asks you for cash, you have to make a Will roll not to put your hand in your pocket; where others will give a copper, you'll give silver. You will always listen to larger requests for financial aid, if they are even remotely plausible, and you need a Will roll to avoid falling for a good hard-luck story. (If you are flat out of cash when you are asked, you will apologize profusely.) You aren't a complete sucker; you just feel guilty about being better off than others. In a society with a lot of beggars around -- such as most medieval towns -- your living expenses are increased by 10%. Note that this disadvantage is incompatible with Miserliness, but may earn you a +1 Reputation with pious Buddhists, Muslims and many varieties or Christian. If you yourself are poor, the reaction bonus will be even higher.
Compulsive Lying -15 points
You lie constantly, for no reason other than the joy of telling the tale. A compulsive liar delights in inventing stories about his deeds, lineage, wealth -- whatever might impress his audience. Even when exposed as a liar, he will cling tenaciously to his stories, calling his accuser a liar and a scoundrel. In order to tell the pure, unvarnished truth, a compulsive liar must roll against Will-4. A charitable GM might allow a liar to tell a slightly-fractured version of the truth if he narrowly fails this roll. When a PC liar makes a roll to tell the truth to his fellow party members, he should roll out of sight of the other players. Thus, they can never be sure that they are getting accurate information from their comrade.
Compulsive Spendthrift -5/-10/-15 points
Cash just runs through your fingers! You enjoy being seen as a big spender, you like luxury too much, or you just find the experience of buying to be fun -- or perhaps all three. You aren't necessarily inept at making money - you may, in fact, have become good at it from sheer necessity - but you don't keep it. Unlike Compulsive Generosity, you don't simply give your money to anyone who asks; you buy goods and services, usually
for yourself. This advantage is not limited to rich characters in rich worlds...a poor farmer in a low-tech world can be a spendthrift, wasting all his money at the local excuse for a tavern. The point value varies with the intensity of your problem. At the 5-point ("Mild") level, you are simply careless about expenses. Your living costs are 10% above the standard for your social level, and any time you haggle over a purchase, your
Merchant roll is at -1 for impatience. At the l0-point ("Serious ) level, you are noticeably casual with cash; the local merchants probably love you.
Your living expenses are increased by 40%, and your rolls to haggle over a
purchase are at -2. Furthermore, any time anyone offers you some luxury for sale that matches any of your quirks or known interests, and the cash in your pocket is more than twice the asking price, you must make a Will roll not to buy. The 15-point ("Wastrel") version of this disadvantage really makes you a menace to yourself. Your living expenses are higher by one Status level or 80% -- whichever is more. You haggle at -5 to your Merchant roll, and you have to make a Will roll not to buy something you like and can find the cash for. You must roleplay
all this to the hilt. Note that this disadvantage is incompatible with Miserliness (in fact, it's the opposite), but can be combined with Greed. You grab cash with one hand and spray it around with the other!
Common Sense 10 points
Any time you start to do something that the GM feels is stupid, he rolls against your IQ. A successful roll means he must warn you, "Hadn't you better think about that?" This advantage allows an impulsive player to take the part of a thoughtful character.
Constriction Attacks 15 points
A race with Extra Flexibility may also take a constriction attack for 15 points. In order to make a constriction attack the individual must successfully grapple its opponent. Then roll a quick contest of ST. If the constrictor wins, the victim takes as much damage as he lost by. If the victim wins, he takes no damage. To constrict successfully, the constrictinlg limb must be twice as long in hexes as the victim's size in hexes. So to constrict a human (size 1 hex) the constricting limb must be at least 2 hexes long.
A Contact is an NPC, like an Ally or a Patron. However, the Contact only provides information. A Contact may be anything from a wino in the right gutter to the Chief of State of a country depending on the character's background. The Contact has access to information, and he already knows the character and is likely to react favorably. Of course, offering a price, in cash or favors, is never a bad idea. The Contact is always played and controlled by the GM, and any price he asks will be set by the GM. The GM may assume that a Contact is, in general, well-disposed toward the PC. However, the Contact is not an Ally or Patron, and is no more likely to give special help than any other generally friendly NPC!
A Contact doesn't have to be crested when the PC is first developed. Contacts may be added later. When appropriate, the GM can turn an existing NPC into a Contact for one or more players, possibly in lieu of character points for the adventure in which the Contact was developed and encountered. For instance, the reward for an adventure in which the party helped solve a bank robbery might be a knowledgeable, reliable police contact, shared by the whole party. He's worth 18 points - more than any one character earned nn the adventure, but a fair reward for the whole group. Whatever the case, the Contact can provide information only about his own area of expertise. The technician at the forensics lab probably has no information about currency transfers, and the VP of the local bank probably can't do a ballistics comparison.
The GM assigns a skill (Streetwise for a minor criminal, Forensics for a lab tech) to the Contact. All attempts to get information from him require a secret roll by the GM against the Contact's "effective" skill. Note that the effective skill is not necessarily the NPC's actual skill; the actual skill can be set by the GM if the NPC comes into regular play. For instance, the president of a local steel mill might actually have business-related skills of 16-18, but he has an effective skill of 21, making him worth 4 points, because he himself has good connections!
Point values for Contacts are based on the type of information and its effective skill, modified by the frequency with which they can provide information and the reliability of the information. Importance of information is relative and the list of possible Contacts is virtually endless; a few are listed below as a guide to help the GM determine value.
Street Contacts. These are minor criminals, derelicts, thugs, gang members, small-time fences and other streetwise NPCs who provide information on illicit activities, local criminal gossip, upcoming crimes and so forth. Base cost is 1 point for "unconnected" Contacts (not part of the local criminal; Streetwise-12) and 2 points for "connected" Contacts (Streetwise-15). If the Contact is a major figure in a criminal organization (the Don, Clan Chief, or member of the "inner circle" of the family; Streetwise-21), the cost doubles to 4 points.
Business Contacts. Executives, business owners, secretaries-even the mail room can provide information on businesses and business dealings. Base cost depends on how much the contact can be expected to know: 1 point for a mail boy or typists (effective skill 12), 2 points for the president's secretary (effective skill 15), 3 points for an accountant (effective skill 18) or 4 points for the president or Chairman of the Board (effective skill 21).
Police Contacts. This includes anyone connected with law enforcement and criminal investigations; beat cops, corporate security, government agents, forensics specialists, coroners, etc. Cost depends on access to information or services. Beat cops and egular private security officers are 1 point (effective skill 12);
detectives, federal agents, or record clerks are 2 points (effective skill 15); administrators (lieutenants, captains, Special Agents in Charge, Head of Departmental Security, etc.) are 3 points (effective skill of 18) and senior officers (sheriffs, chiefs of police, District Superintendents, Security Chiefs, etc.) are 4 points effective skill 21).
Frequency of Assistance
Frequency refers to the chance that the Contact can be found when needed. When creating the character, the player must define the way the Contact is normally contacted! Regardless of the chosen frequency, a contact cannot be reached if the PCs could not reasonably speak to him. Available almost all of the time (roll of 15 or less): triple cost.
Available quite often (roll of 12 or less): double cost.
Available fairly often (roll of 9 or less): listed cost.
Available rarely (roll of 6 or less): half cost (round up; minimum cost is always 1).
During the adventure, if a PC wants to talk with his Contact,the GM rolls against the availability number for that Contact. A failed roll means the Contact is busy or cannot be located that day. If the Contact is available, then the GM must roll against the Contacts effective skill for each general piece of information the
PC requests. No Contact mahy be reached more than once per day, even if several PCs share the same Contact. If the PC has several questions to ask, he should have them all in mind when he first reaches his Contact. The Contact will answer the first question at his full effective skill, and each subsequent question at
a cumulative -2. Don't overuse your Contacts!
A Contact can never supply information outside his particular
area of knowledge. Use common sense. Likewise, the GM must not allow a Contact to give information that short-circuits the adventure or part of it! If a PC gets a critical failure when trying to reach his Contact,
that Contact can't be reached during that entire adventure.
Reliability of Information
Contacts are not guaranteed to know anything useful, and are not guaranteed to be truthful. Use the following modifiers (cumulative with frequency modifiers). Completely reliable: Even on a critical failure, the worst
response will be "I don't know." On an ordinary failure he can find information in 1d days. Triple cost.
Usually reliable: On a critical failure, the Contact will lie; on any other failure he "doesn't know now but check back in 1d days." Roll again at that time; a failure means he can't find out at all. Double cost.
Somewhat reliable: On a failure, the Contact doesn't know and can't find out; on a critical failure he will lie; on a natural 18 he will let the opposition or authorities (whichever is appropriate) know who is asking questions. Listed cost. Unreliable: Reduce effective skill by 2. On any failure he will lie; on a critical failure he will notify the enemy. Half cost (round up; minimum cost is always 1).
Bribery, whether cash or favors, motivates the Contact and increases his reliability level. Once reliability reaches "usually reliable," further levels of increase go to effective skill; bribery cannot make anyone totally reliable! A cash bribe should be about equivalent to one day's income for a +1 bonus, one week's income for +2, one month's for +3 and one year's for +4. Favors should be of equivalent worth. The favor should always be something that the character actually performs in the game. The GM must maintain proper roleplaying -- a
diplomat might be insulted by a cash bribe, but welcome an introduction into the right social circle. A criminal may ask for cash, but may settle for favors that will get the PCs in trouble. A police detective or wealthy executive might simply want the party to "owe him one" for later...which could set off a whole new
adventure, somewhere down the road.
Cool 15 points
The race automatically lowers the temperature of an area by up to 10 degrees. This cannot be done repeatedly in the same area by the same individuals. Multiple individuals can lower the temperature 1 degree for each individual past the first. The temperature will drop at a rate of 10 degrees per turn. An individual with Cool can become invisible to IR on a successful IQ roll (low IQs do not roll at 12). Special enhancement: the race can turn Cool on and off at will for an additional +3 levels. Area affected -- 3-hex radius.
Cowardice -10 points
You are extremely careful about your physical well-being. Any time you are called on to risk physical danger, you must roll against Will. If there is a risk of death, the roll is at a -5. If you fail the roll, you must refuse to endanger yourself unless you are threatened with greater danger! Soldiers, police, etc., will react to you at -2 once they know you are a coward.
Cultural Adaptability 25 points
The race has an instinctive knack for getting along with everybody, no matter how physically or psychologically alien.This advantage includes one level of Charisma and two levels of Language Talent.
When confronted with a completely alien concept or custom, the individual gets an IQ roll to understand what's going on and respond correctly. Finally, the individual gets an IQ roll when confronted with an Odious Racial Habit to avoid the negative reaction modifier (note it does not apply to Personal Habits, only Racial Habits).
Curious -5/-10/-15 points
You are naturally very inquisitive. When you are presented with an interesting item or situation, you must roll vs. IQ (not Will) to avoid examining it, even if you know it will be dangerous. Good role players won't try to make roll very often... This is not the curiosity that affects all PCs ("What's in that cave?
Where did the flying saucer come from?"), but the real thing ("What happens if I push the button?"). You will push buttons, pull levers, open doors, unwrap presents, and generally do everything in your power to investigate any situation with which you aren't familiar. And, when faced with a real mystery, you simply may not turn your back on it.
You will rationalize your curiosity to others who try to talk out of it. Common Sense won't help - you know you are taking a risk, but you're curious ! Extremely Curious: -10 points. All IQ rolls to avoid over inquisitiveness are made at -2.Insatiably Curious: -15 points. All IQ rolls to avoid over-inquisitiveness are made at -5.
Cursed -75 points
Like Unluckiness, but worse. When anything goes wrong for your party, it happens to you, first and worst. If something goes right, it misses you. And any time the GM feels like hosing you, he can, and you have no complaint coming, because you are cursed. You can't buy off just by spending points -- you must determine what has cursed you and deal with it, and then spend the points.
Damage Resistance 5 points/level
This functions as the Toughness advantage , but can be purchased in as many levels as desired. This DR will
protect against both physical and energy attacks, but will not aid versus mental attacks. This can be armor, a force field, thick skin, or any other mechanism the GM may favor. Cost of this advantage depends on whether it applies against everything, or olny against certain types of attacks. For example, a race might have extra resistance only against fire or heat based attacks.
Against Everything: 5 points per level of DR
Common Attack Type: 4 points per level of DR
Occasional Attack Type: 3 points per level of DR
Rare Attack Type: 2 points per level of DR
Very Rare Attack Type: 1 point per level of DR
Common attack types include Crushing (most bullets, fists, maces, falling safes), Cutting/Impaling (knives, swords, arrows, or spears), Metal (knives, bullets, falling ), generic Energy, generic Psionic, Living Things.
Occasional attack types include Fire/Heat, Cold/Ice, Air, Light, Earth, Electricity, Sonic, Plants.
Rare attack types include Vibration, Radiation, Acid and Poison.
Very Rare attack types might include such things as Mud, Insects.
Danger Sense 15 points
You can't depend on it, but sometimes you get this prickly feeling right at the back of your neck, and you know something's wrong...If you have Danger Sense, the GM rolls once against your IQ, secretly, in any situation involving an ambush, impending disaster, or similar hazard. A successful roll means you get a warning that something's wrong. A roll of 3 or 4 means you get a little detail as to the nature of the danger.
Dark Vision 25 Points
The race can see in absolute darkness, using some means other than light, radar or sonar. It cannot detect colors in the darkness. Special enhancement: The race can see colors in the dark. +5 points.
Double-Jointed 5 points
Your body is unusually flexible. You have a +3 on any Climbing roll, on any roll to escape from ropes, handcuffs or other restraints, or on any Mechanic roll (to reach into an engine, of course!).
Deafen 5 points
The race can project a short, focused blast of sound that deafens the victim. This attack is resisted by HT. A critical success with this attack results in a duration of hours rather than minutes. Area affected -- 3-hex radius. Duration -- 3 turns.
Deafness -20 points
You can hear nothing. Any information you receive must be communicated in writing (if you are literate) or through sign language. You also have a -3 penalty to IQ when learning any language but your own. However, you get a +3 on any Gesture or Sign Language or Lip Reading skill roll. As an option, the player of a deaf character may wear earplugs to force the other players to write notes or use sign language. This is not too practical (good earplugs are hard to find) but can be interesting.
Decreased Life Support 10 points
The race needs much less food and atmosphere than normal in life-support situations. Very small races and races with Slow Metabolisms often have the advantage.
Delusions -1/-5/-10/-15 points
You believe something (or several things) that are simply not true. This may cause others to consider you insane. They may be right. If you suffer from a delusion, you must roleplay your delusionary belief at all times. The point value of the delusion depends on its nature; you may not get more than 40 points from delusions, regardless of how insane you really are. Quirk. -1 point. Any or all of your five Quirks may be a trivial delusion that does not affect your everyday behavior, and is not likely to be noticed by a casual acquaintance. Examples: "The Earth is flat." "The Pentagon controls the Boy Scouts and the health food stores." "Socks cause disease of the feet." Minor delusion. -5 points.
This delusion affects your behavior, and is likely to be noticed quickly by anyone around you, but it does not keep you from functioning more or less normally. Examples: "Squirrels are messengers from God." "The Illuminati are watching me constantly -- but only to protect me." "I am the rightful Duke of Fnordia, stolen at birth by gypsies and doomed to live among commoners." Strangers who notice your delusion react at -1.
Major delusion. -10 points. This delusion affects your behavior strongly, but does not keep you from living a fairly normal life. Examples: "The government has all phones tapped." "I have Eidetic Memory and Absolute Direction." Others will react to you at -2.
Severe delusion. -15 points. This delusion affects your behavior so much that it may keep you from functioning in the everyday world. Examples: "I am Napoleon." "I am immortal." "Ice cream makes machines work better, especially computers. Spoon it right in." Others will react to you at -3, though they are more likely to fear or pity you than to attack. GMs should limit this sort of delusion carefully, or the character may not be able to participate meaningfully in the campaign. Note that the character's behavior is the important thing.
Depending on behavior, the same delusion could be any level from quirk to severe. Suppose you believe that "Everything colored purple is alive. If you pat purple things and say hello, that's a quirk. If you won't discuss serious matters with purple things in the room, it's a minor delusion. If you picket the Capitol demanding Civil Rights For Purple Things, that's major If you attack purple things in sight, thats severe!
A GM who wants to shake up his players can make a delusion be true. Not all delusions are suitable for this. Of those listed above, for instance, the ones about squirrels, ice cream and Napoleon seem unlikely. The one about socks isn't too interesting. But the Earth might really be flat in your game-world, or the Illuminati might really exist, or the gypsies might really have stolen the heir to the throne of Fnordia. If a delusion turns out to be true, it does not have to be "bought off" until the other players realize that it's true. (And remember: the player should not be told that his character is not really crazy. Somebody can be right and still be crazy...).
The race requires some special substance. Without it, they weaken and die. Value of the dependency depends on how common the item is. Infrequent (very expensive and hard to find): 20 points
Occasional (expensive, somewhat hard to find): 10 points
Common (available almost anywhere): 5 points
This value is modified by the frequency with which the race must indulge in the item:
Constantly: Five times listed value. The race must carry and use the substance at all times -- for example, an exotic atmosphere. Lose 1 HT per minute without the item.
Hourly: Four times listed value. Lose 1 HT per ten minutes after missing an hourly dose.
Daily: Three times listed value. Lose 1 HT per hour after missing a daily dose.
Weekly: Twice listed value. Lose 1 HT per six hours after missing a weekly dose.
Monthly: Listed value. Lose 1 HT per day after missing a monthly dose.
A dependent is a non-player character for whom you are responsible e.g., your child, younger brother or spouse. Dependents can be a problem: you have to take care of them, and your foes can strike at you through them! Therefore, a dependent is a disadvantage, worth negative character points. The point value of a dependent is set by his/her competence, importance in your life, and frequency of appearance, as shown below.
The GM may restrict the dependents allowed in a campaign, or even forbid them entirely, if they would unduly disrupt the flow of the adventure.
Competence of Dependent
The dependent is created just like any other character, but instead of the 100 points used to create a player character, you use 50 points or less. The more character points you use to "build" your dependent, the more competent they will be and the fewer points they will be worth as a bonus to you. A dependent built with over 50 points is not helpless enough to be worth any bonus points.
A "dependent" built on 51-75 points may be capable enough to be helpful...in essence, an Ally who costs no character points. The only drawback to such a "competent dependent" is that you must still look after him or her.
Dependent built with 26-50 points: Slightly more competent than average. -6 points.
Dependent built with 1-25 points: Average. -12 points.
Dependent built with 0 or fewer points: Possibly a young child or feeble older person. -16 points.
Importance of Dependent
The more important the dependent is to you, the more you multiply his/her intrinsic "nuisance value" and worth in points. Employer or acquaintance: You feel a responsibility toward the person, but you may weigh risks to them in a rational fashion. Use half the listed value.
Friend: You must always try to protect this person; you may only risk harm to him or her if something very important (such as the safety of many other people) is at stake. Use the listed value.
Loved one: The dependent is a relative or lover. You may not put anything before the safety of this dependent. Double the listed value.
Frequency of Appearance
The more often a dependent shows up, the more bonus points he is worth. Pick a frequency of appearance that fits the "story" behind the dependent. If the dependent is your infant child, for instance, it would be odd for him to appear "quite rarely"!
Dependent appears almost all the time (roll of 15 or less): triple the listed value.
Dependent appears quite often (roll of 12 or less): double the listed value.
Dependent appears fairly often (roll of 9 or less): use the listed value.
Dependent appears quite rarely (roll of 6 or less): use half the listed value.
If your dependent is kidnapped or otherwise mislaid during play, you must go to the rescue as soon as you can. (If a powerful enemy and a dependent are both "rolled up" at the beginning of an adventure, the GM can start off by letting the enemy kidnap the dependent and go on from there!) If your dependent is in trouble and you don't go to his aid immediately, the GM can deny you bonus character points for "acting out of character."
Furthermore, you can never get any character points for a play session in which your dependent is killed or badly hurt. So if you have dependents, take good care of them!
If your dependent is lost (killed, or so seriously injured that the GM decides he is effectively out of the campaign), you must make up the bonus points you got for them. There are three ways to do this: "buy off" the amount by spending points earned during your adventures, take a new disadvantage, or get a new
dependent. New dependents are usually inappropriate, but a mental disability brought on by the loss is a good solution. (Ever since the octopus got Amy, you've been afraid of the ocean...)
No character may ever earn points for more than two dependents at once. However, GMs may interpret this rule creatively. For instance, a crime fighter who is a schoolteacher in his mundane identity could have "generic dependents" -- all pupils. They are young (12 points) and around quite often (double value, for 24 points each). They count only as "friends" -- but, even so, the two-dependent limit allows that character 48 points' worth of dependents. (And if one gets hurt, there will always be others.) Some good dependents...For anyone: elderly relatives, teachers, friends, children, young brothers or sisters, lovers, husbands, or wives. For crime fighters: young sidekicks, reporters, or wards. For wizards: apprentices. For ship captains (ocean- or space-going): ensigns or cabin boys. For soldiers: new recruits. For criminals or mad scientists: incompetent henchmen.
Destiny is an irresistible force that can pull a hero's life this way and that, bringing good and bad luck by turns as it carries him blindly to his pre-ordained fate. One's destiny can be discovered by magical divination, the interpretation of omens, and similar magical techniques, but the true meaning of an omen is often not discovered until after the prophecy it revealed is fulfilled. A character with a Destiny is likely to become the subject of songs and stories for generations. Destiny can be taken as an advantage or as a disadvantage, at a value of 15 to -15 points. When the player decides to take a Destiny, he tells the GM the point value he wants. The GM then
secretly determines the nature of the character's Destiny, according to its value and the dictates of the campaign. Of course, the GM can change his mind later, as the campaign develops!
When a player chooses Destiny, he is giving the GM absolute license to meddle with his character's life. The more subtle the GM is, the better, but the GM must make the destiny work out. The point value of the Destiny determines the kind of impact on the hero's life, while the precise details are determined by the GM and the flow of the campaign. A hero should never know the nature of his Destiny, except through ambiguous omens or a
supernatural agency. Destiny taken as an advantage will work to the character's good in the end - although this may not always be clear, and is likely to be inconvenlent at times. Destiny taken as a disadvantage leads to something bad -- but perhaps not immediately, and not without a chance to gain honor by dealing with it well. A
fated, tragic death can be an end worthy of a hero.
Great Advantage: 15 points. The character is fared to achieve greatness in his lifetime -- in the end, everyone will know his name and praise it! Sooner or later a fortunate event will fulfill the character's fate. Note that this does not guarantee the "success" of the character. If he chooses to jump in front of an assassin's knife during the very next game session, the GM might just decide the destiny is fulfilled...he died a hero!
Major Advantage: 10 points. As above, but a lesser success. Alternatively, the character may be doomed to die in a particular place, or in a particular fashion: at sea, by the hand of an Emperor, underground, whatever. Although he can be grievously wounded elsewhere and by other means, he will not die; all damage is applied normally, but he does not die. If he avoids the circumstances which would fulfill his Destiny, knowingly or
otherwise, he may find that Fate has a few surprises. The sea may flood his home while he sleeps, the general against whom he marches may be the future Emperor, or Mt. Vesuvius may bury him under tons of ash. The GM may need to use these twists if a PC discovers that he has a Destiny of this kind.
Minor Advantage: 5 points. The character is fated to play a small part in a larger story, but this part will reflect to his credit. In game terms, he is guaranteed one significant victory.
Minor disadvantage: -5 points. Again the character is fated to play a small part in a larger story, but this time he will not come off so well. He is guaranteed one tragic experience or one embarrassing failure. These things should not cause the fated character's death except in the most desperate and heroic of circumstances.
Major disadvantage: -10 points. The character is fated to play a key role in a sorry turn of events. For instance, he might be late with a message which could have saved the day...but he blew it. Or he might have executed the only competent general in a threatened province, causing its loss to barbarian invaders. Still, the character will survive.
Great Disadvantage: -15 points. Death stalks the character. Something out there has his name on it, and it knows where he is, and it's getting closer all the time. He will either die, or be ruined, and his fall will have terrible repercussions for others. This level of Destiny is not suitable for every campaign! The GM does not have
to allow it, and if he does, he should plan on letting the campaign take a radical turn, or simply end, when destiny is fulfilled.
Working out a good Destiny - and making sure it comes to pass - requires considerable ingenuity on the part of the GM. Before you decide on a Destiny, be sure that it won't drag the campaign off the rails. If someone fulfills his Destiny and still lives, it is over - although its repercussions might haunt him for years to come. A disadvantageous Destiny must be bought off as soon as it is fulfilled...although this may be automatic, if the working-out of the Destiny costs the character riches or allies worth equivalent points.
If the character does not have enough points to buy off his Destiny at the time it is fulfilled, he gains the Unluckiness disadvantage, regardless of the level of the Destiny disadvantage (or, the GM might assign a new bad Destiny to the PC). The Unluckiness can then be bought off in the normal way. No extra character points are earned for fulfilling an advantageous Destiny.
Dying Race -10 points
For whatever reason, the race's death rate has exceeded the birth rate. If this trend isn't reversed, the race will be extinct in a few generations. It is unlikely that the individual will have any progeny that live. Discovering the reason for this disadvantage and eliminating it can be an excellent adventure or campaign seed.
You have a significant responsibility toward others, and you are personally committed to that responsibility. Duties may come from an arduous job, a feudal responsibility, or elsewhere. By definition, a duty is imposed from outside. A wholly "self-imposed" feeling of duty is "Sense of Duty" . The GM rolls at the beginning of each adventure to see if each character will be "called to duty" in that adventure. The point cost of a duty depends on the frequency with which it is demanded:
Almost all the time (roll of 15 or less): -15 points.
For a Duty of this level, the GM may always rule that the character is on duty, without rolling.
Quite often (roll of 12 or less): -10 points.
Fairly often (roll of 9 or less): -5 points.
Occasionally (roll of 6 or less): -2 points.
To be significant, a duty should be dangerous. An ordinary job is not a "duty." If a duty does not require you to risk your life, at least occasionally, reduce its value by 5, which negates those less frequent than "quite often."
Some examples of duties: Feudal responsibility toward one's liege-lord. A good military officer's responsibility to his men and his superiors. A loyal spy's duty to the Agency. The GM can make good use of duties (by "fixing" the die- rolls, if necessary) to send characters on adventures or interesting side-trips. A character who tries to avoid such a situation should be penalized for bad role playing. However, the GM may restrict the duties allowed in a campaign, or even forbid them entirely, if they would unduly disrupt the flow of the adventure.
Dwarfism -15 points
You are a genetic dwarf -- abnormally small for your species. Determine your height normally and then reduce it to 60% of that. You may not have an "average" Physical Appearance -- you will either be thought "cute and charming" or noticeably unappealing. Anyone attacking you with a thrown or missile weapon will be at a -1 -- you are a hard target! In combat, you are automatically 2 feet below a normal-sized human foe. Certain things are impossible to a dwarf because of size; others are much easier. The GM must use his imagination here.
Dwarfism is a condition found in all species. A genetic dwarf is not the same as a member of the race called Dwarves . A dwarf's strength and health are determined normally; many dwarfs are strong for their size. However, dwarves have a -1 to their Move, and jump, as though their ST was 4 less.
Duty (Involuntary) -5 points
Some duties are enforced by threats, by threats to loved ones, or by exotic methods of mind control. Such a forced duty can result in difficult decisions or surprising insights for the affected character. An involuntary duty would not include military service by draft (although service by impressment, as practiced by the British navy of the 18th century, would qualify), nor would any other "normal" service. Only cases where life or sanity are
directly at stake qualify. For instance, if the Flying Avocado's brain was taken over by Dr. Zod's Orbital Mind Control Laser, and the hero is now being forced to rob banks, he would have an involuntary duty bonus. If
a duty is involuntary, add an additional -5 points to its value.
Dyslexia -5/-15 points
You have a severe reading disability. (Minor forms of dyslexia are common, not crippling, and not significant in game terms, except possibly as a quirk.) You can never learn to read or write; even simple maps and road signs are beyond you. You can learn any skill at normal speed if you have a teacher. If you try to learn a mental skill without a teacher, you will learn at only 1/4 speed, and only if it can be self-taught without books
(GMs may vary this for special circumstances).
You also cannot learn magic (you cannot handle the symbolism required) though
you can still use magical items. The value of this disadvantage depends upon the type of culture the character is originally from, as follows: Primitive or medieval (Tech Level 4 and below): -5 points. Most people around you can't read, either. Post-printing-press (Tech Level 5 and above): -15 points.This handicap will cause you problems every day. You are automatically illiterate, but you get no extra points for it.
Electrical 15 points
The race can hinder the function of all electrical devices by "slowing" the current that powers the object. This does no damage to most equipment -- just turns it off for the duration. Computers (and many other devices) can be damaged merely by slowing them down or turning them off -- if you dampen the electrical system of a shuttle during re-entry, you aren't exactly damaging the equipment, but the resulting crash will be nasty.
Early Maturation 10 points/level
Each level of this advantage halves the time to reach the age of majority (normally 18). A race with one level of this advantage reaches maturity in 9 years, two levels 4.5 years. A race with one level of Extended Lifespan and one level of Early Maturation reaches maturity in 18 years.
Eidetic Memory 30/60 points
You remember everything you see or hear. This talent comes in two levels. At the first level, you remember the general sense of everything you concentrate on. Thus, all points you put into "regular" mental skills count double (there is no bonus for magic spells or psi skills). Also: whenever you need to remember a detail of something you have been told, the GM rolls against yout IQ. A successful roll means he must give you the
information! Cost: 30 points.
The second level is true "photographic memory." You remember everything that has ever happened to you! All points you put into "regular" mental skills count quadruple. Furthermore, any time you (as the player) forget a detail your character has seen or heard, the GM or the other players must remind you truthfully! Cost: 60 points.
Empathy 15 points
You have a "feeling" for people. When you first meet someone, or when you are reunited after an absence, you may request the GM to roll against your IQ. He will then tell you what you "feel" about that person. (Note that a failed roll means the GM may lie to you.) This talent, when it works, is excellent for spotting imposters, ghostly possession, etc., and determining the true loyalties of NPCs. You can also use it to determine whether someone is lying...not what the truth really is, but just whether they are being honest with you.
You have an enemy (or enemies) that may enter some or all of your adventures, to work against you or just to try and kill you! The point value of an enemy is governed by his (or its) strength, plus the likelihood that it will show up on any given adventure. Enemies will be NPCs or Adversary Characters.
The GM may restrict the enemies allowed in a campaign, or even forbid them entirely, if they would unduly disrupt the flow of the adventure.
The more powerful your enemy, the more points he/she/it is worth as a disadvantage. The GM sets this value. Some guidelines: A single above-average individual (created with 50 points): -5 points.
A single very formidable individual (created with 100 points) or a group of 3 to 5 "normal" or "average" 25-point people: -10 points. Examples: A mad scientist, or the four brothers of the man you killed in a duel.
A medium-sized group (6 to 20 people): -20 points. Examples would be a small gang of criminals, or a city police department (which numbers in the hundreds, but they're not all after you at once).
A large group (20 to 1,000 people), or a medium-sized group which includes some formidable or superhuman individuals: -30 points. Examples would be the FBI and the Mafia.
An entire government, a whole guild of powerful wizards, the Space Patrol, an organization of supers, or somc other utterly formidable group: -40 points.
Frequency of Appearance
At the beginning of each adventure, or each session of a continuing adventure, the GM rolls 3 dice for each enemy to see if he appears. If the enemy appears almost all the time (roll of 15 or less): triple the listed value.
If the enemy appears quite often (roll of 12 or Less): double the listed value.
If the enemy appears fairly often (roll of 9 or less): use the listed value.
If the enemy appears quite rarely (roll of 6 or less): halve the listed value (round up).
You are responsible for determining the nature of your enemy when you first create your character; you should explain to the GM why this enemy is after you. However, the GM should feel free to fill in the details -- because the enemies, once created, are his characters. Whenever the GM determines that an enemy should show up, he must decide how and where they will become involved. If an enemy is very powerful, or if several
characters' enemies show up at the same time, the whole adventure may be influenced. If you take a very powerful enemy, you are likely to be jailed or killed before long. So it goes. You can get a 60-point
bonus by taking the FBI as a "quite often" enemy, but your every adventure will be that of a hunted criminal, and even with the extra 60 points, your career may be short.
On the other hand, if you start with a weak enemy or play cleverly, you may manage to kill or eliminate your foe, or permanently change his attitude toward you. But there ain't no such thing as a free lunch! When you eliminate an enemy this way, you have three choices:
(a) Pay enough character points to "buy off" the original bonus you got for that enemy.
(b) Take a mental or physical disadvantage to make up for the point bonus. For instance, you might have been kicked in the head during the final battle, leaving you partially deaf. Or you might have been attacked by a giant spider, leaving you with a phobia about bugs. The new disadvantage should have the same
point cost that the enemy did (or less, if you want to buy off part of the disadvantage). If you cannot think of a good substitute disadvantage, the GM should supply one.
(c) Take another enemy of the same type and start over. You may have destroyed the fiendish Dr. Scorpion -- but his brother is continuing his evil work.
Since too many enemies can disrupt a game, no character may take more than two enemies, or total more than 60 points bonus from enemies. (If the whole U.S. Government is out to get you, the fact that your old college professor has lost his mind, and is also after you, will pale to insignificance.) The GM always has the right to veto a player's choice of enemy, if it seems silly or if it will be too hard to fit into the campaign.
Enhanced Move 10 points/level
Each level of Enhanced Move increases the race's maximum speed by the original Move score in one mode of locomotion (running, swimming, flying, etc.). Move is only increased if the individual is moving along a relatively straight, smooth course. Combat Move and Dodge are unaffected, but anyone targeting the individual with a missile or thrown weapon will subtract a speed modifier appropriate to the individual's current speed.
Example: A plains-dwelling race with a Move of 8 buys two levels of Enhanced Move (Running). Members of the race can now run at 8+8+8 or 24.
Epilepsy -30 points
You are subject to seizures, during which your limbs tremble uncontrollably and you cannot speak or think clearly. This represents a severe form of the ailment.) Whenever you are in a very stressful situation (especially if your life or the life of a friend is threatened), you must roll 3 dice against your basic HT. A failed roll will bring on a seizure lasting for 1d minutes. Needless to say, you can do nothing while the seizure goes on,
and you take 1 die of fatigue damage as well. If you have any sort of phobia, exposure to the object of fear is automatically a stressful situation; roll vs. HT once every 10 minutes. By concentrating, you may attempt to induce a seizure through autohypnosis. This requires one minute and a successful IQ roll. A seizure in a high-mana (magical) area will produce visions, which may at the GM's option be true or even prophetic.
Primitives, not understanding "fits," are sometimes awed by them, and may think your seizure shows a communication from the gods. Make a reaction roll at +1. Very good results indicate worship! Poor results will cause the savages to flee never to attack.
Eunuch -10 points
You (male characters only) have lost your manhood, either through accident or hostile action. You are immune to seduction, and cannot seduce others. Anyone aware of your condition will have a -1 on reaction rolls.
Extra Fatigue 5/points
The race's fatigue is greater than its strength. The race can run farther and fight longer than normal. Extra Fatigue goes into a separate pool that can be used to power natural attacks, psionics or extra effort. This pool recharges at the same rate as normal fatigue, but will only begin to regain points if regular Fatigue
(based on ST) has been completely regained first.
Extra Flexibility 5 points/10 points
Arms may be designed for great flexibility, compared to human arms. They may be tentacles, or they may just be multi-jointed. Such arms are not necessarily strong or weak; they are not necessarily either dexterous or clumsy. Those abilities and disabilities are bought separately. The effect of this is simply that any arms that can reach each other can work together, regardless ofbody positioning, general layout, or "right" and "left".
Cost is 10 points (for the whole creature), or 5 points (for a single limb, for example an elephant's trunk).
Extra Hit Points 8/point
The race can take more damage than is normal for its HT. A race with a normal HT of 12 could buy its Hit Point total up to 15 for 24 points. This is written HT 12/15 (note that if an individual of this race bought his HT up to 14, his Hit Points would be 17 at no additional cost). All rolls versus HT, Contests of HT, resistances, calculation of unconsciousness and survival rolls, and anything else regarding HT would be made against the
individual's first HT value. Only damage is subtractcd from the second value.
Extended Lifespan 25 points/level
An average life cycle is defined as 18 years childhood, 32 years active maturity, and then the onset of progressive aging. One level of Extended Lifespan doubles all these values... maturity at 32, onset of aging at 100, rolls begin at every two years, accelerate at 140 and 180. Two levels triples the base values.
Extra members Variable
If a limb cannot manipulate, but can be walked on, it is a leg. The default number of legs is two. A leg is
assumed to be able to kick with a range of 1, doing thrust/ crushing damage. Each additional hex of range costs 10 points. Extra damage is purchased as stated below. If the legs can't kick for damage, reduce the total leg cost by 5 points. Three or four legs cost 5 points; ifthe individual loses a leg, it can continue to move at half speed (round down). Loss of a second leg causes it to fall. Cost to have five or six legs is 10 points. Each leg lost
reduces speed by 2 until only three legs are left. At that point, speed is only 2. Loss of one more leg causes individual to fall. Cost to have seven or more legs is 15 points. Each leg lost reduces speed by 2 until only three legs are left. At that point, speed is only 2. Loss of one more leg causes the individual to fall.
Any limb which can manipulate should be purchased as an arm--the fact that the creature walks on it is merely a special effect.
To increase the damage done by a striker, arm, or leg, the Claws Advantage (see p. 17 Fanatasy Folk) may be added. This may also represent fangs, pincers, horns, etc. For +15 points, the limb does an extra +2 damage: punch+2 for arms, kick+2 for legs, and thrust+2 for strikers. For an +40 points, talons let the limb do both swing/cutting and thrust/impaling damage. For +55 points, long talons do swing +2/cutting or thrust+2/impaling. Note that this advantage only has to be purchased once -- no matter how many limbs it modifies! If a race has 8 arms, 15 points will buy +2 damage for all the arms (of course, Full Coordination, p. 17, is needed to attack with more than one).
Exoskeleton 20 points
The race has an exoskeleton natural body . An individual can use exoskeleton to push and strike objects.
The race will be more strong and resistant than that species with internal shells or bones. In particular, it can support up to five times more charges than its size might suggest.
Extra Head 25 points
The race has more than 1 head. He automatically gains the Independent focus Eyes advantage, an cannot be killed instantly by a critical head blow. Instead, a result of 3 on the Critical Head Blow Table (p. B202) indicates that one head has been severed. This does triple damage, and permanently reduces IQ by 2. The being won't fall unconscious until all of its heads have been knocked out. He will, however, lose 2 points of IQ for
each knocked-out head until they recover. If one head is blinded, the Independently Focus Eyes advantage is negated. If a head is deafened, the being is treated as if he had the Hard of Hearing disadvantage.
Fanaticism -15 points
You believe very strongly in one country, religion, et cetera. It is more important to you than anything. You might not die for it (depending on your degree of personal bravery), but you will put it ahead of everything else. If your country/religion/whatever requires obedience to a certain code of behavior, you will follow that code rigidly. If it requires obedience to a leader, you will follow that leader with total loyalty. You must roleplay your fanaticism. Note that fanatics do not have to be either mindless or evil. A glaring priest of Set, brandishing his bloody dagger, is a fanatic. So is a kamikaze pilot, exchanging himself for an aircraft carrier. So is a patriot who says, "Give me liberty or give me death!" Fanaticism is a state of mind; it is what you are fanatic about that makes the difference.
Fat -10/-20 points
You are unusually obese for your race. (A character may also be just "overweight;" this is listed separately, below.) For -10 points, determine weight normally from ST (p. 15) and then increase it by 50%. This gives -1 on all reaction rolls; HT may not be greater than 15. For -20 points, determine weight normally and double it; this gives -2 on all reaction rolls; HT may not be greater than 13. In either case, the extra weight counts as extra encumbrance (see p. 76), which you cannot get rid of. (Exception: fat encumbrance does not count against you
when swimming.) Normal clothes and armor will not fit you. You will also be at -3 to Disguise, or to Shadowing if you are trying to follow someone in a crowd. As a rule, fat people have many small problems, which the
GM should interpret creatively. However, there are a few small advantages. For instance, fat people get +5 to their Swimming roll, and are very hard to dislodge if they choose to pin you down by sitting on you...if you are fat, you also get +2 to your ST when you make (or resist) any Slam attack.
You saved someone's life, kept silent at the right time, or otherwise did someone a good turn. Now they owe you one. Think of a favor as a one-shot version of the Ally, Patron, or Contact advantages. You have one of these for one time only, for each time you buy the advantage. Work out the point cost for Favor exactly as you would the parent advantage, and divide the cost by 5. Round up to the nearest full point. Any time that you
wish to "collect" on the Favor, the GM rolls against the "frequency" of the advantage. If it is successful, you get what you want, within the limits of the advantage. Remove the advantage from your character sheet unless you rolled a critical success; on a critical success, your "friend" still feels indebted to you.
If the roll is failed, you couldn't reach them in time, or they couldn't comply. You still have your favor coming. You may try again in another adventure. Favors gained in play are treated as all other advantages, and
should be paid for, but the GM may also wish to include a favor as part of the general reward for a successful adventure, in addition to earned points.
Fearlessness 2 points
Fearlessness is a special case of Strong Will that only applies to Fright Checks and attempts to intimidate
Example: A PC has an IQ of 13, plus 2 levels of Strong Will and 3 levels of Fearlessness. He would make regular Will rolls at 15 (13 plus 2), but his Fright Checks would be at 18 (13 plus 3 plus 2). Any attempt to intimidate him would be at a -3 -- if the intimidation is handled as a Contest of Wills, both his Will and
Fearlessness would help him.
Field Sense 10 points
The race can detect and orient to electromagnetic fields. They automatically have Absolute Direction on any planet with a magnetic field. They can also (for instance) sense whether power is flowing through a device. The power flow from an A cell could be detected at 1 hex, a B cell at 10 hexes, a C cell at 100, and so on
Flash Area 15 points
The race can create a flash of light that can blind and confuse those seeing it. Anyone within the area of effect is automatically blinded for 3 seconds and at -3 DX for another full minute (including members of the same race, unless they have the Polarized Vision advantage). Anyone farther out may be affected if they were facing the flash and had their eyes open at the time (GM will rule if someone is affected or not). Those outside the
area get a resistance versus HT to avoid some of the flash.
In a stressful situation, you may experience a flashback. These are vivid hallucinations, full participation replays of memories, or any other similar phenomena. The player may choose, at the time of character creation, what type of flashback will be experienced but the content of each episode is up to the GM.
Point value is determined according to the severity of the flashback. Flashbacks are very appropriate as results from a failed Fright Check; if you have this disadvantage, roll for a Flashback whenever you miss a Fright Check, or make the Fright roll exactly, regardless of other results. In any other situation which the GM feels is stressful, he may roll 3 dice; on a 6 or less, you get a flashback. -5 points:
The flashback lasts only 2d seconds; attendant hallucinations do not seriously impair skills (-2 on all skill rolls), and accompanying delusions are minor -- the victim realizes that he's having a flashback.
-10 points: Duration is 1d minutes; hallucination impair skills (-5 to all skills); the delusions seem real.
-20 points: Duration is 3d minutes; hallucinations are so severe that they preclude all skill use; the flashback seems completely, 100% real, and can be potentially fatal, as you are receiving no input from the real world.
Flight 40 points
The race can fly through the air without wings or gliders (perhaps via psionics or natural jets). If wings are used, the advantage costs less; see Winged Flight. Flight speed is equal to twice normal move, plus any levels
of the Enhanced Move (Flight) advantage possessed. This advantage does not automatically confer the ability to do complex aerobatics and tight turns; buy Flight skill (Physical/Average, defaulting to DX-4) to use in such tough spots.
Fragile -20 points
The race has an extremely brittle and fragile physical structure. The race takes double damage from crushing attacks. Creatures with this disadvantage might include crystalline races, or avian races with hollow bones.
Full Coordination 50 points/attack
This is the ability to make more than one physical attack per turn, using each limb only once. The "default" for GURPS combat is one attack per turn, regardless of how many limbs one possesses. Each level of Full Coordination allows one extra attack per turn. The maximum number of attacks possible is equal to the number of limbs which may attack. For instance, a race with four arms could buy Full Coordination/2 and make two extra attacks per turn, or FC/3 and make three extra attacks per turn. Physical attacks are limited to punches, kicks or weapon attacks, not the natural attacks
When an individual with Full Coordination makes an all-out attack, it may take one type of bonus for each weapon used, but all bonuses must be the same. The individual could not, for instance, swing twice with one weapon while aiming carefully with another! To aim two or more weapons at once requires the Independently Focusable Eyes advantage .
G-Experience 10 points
This is the advantage of experience in many different gravitational fields over a period of time. Your reflexes quickly adapt to the different rate at which things move and fall in different G fields. You suffer only half the DX penalty under non-standard gravitational fields. No character may start with this advantage unless he or she
has space experience already.
However, this advantage can be bought after a PC is created, once that PC gets experience in at least three different G fields. It is treated as an advantage rather than a skill because (for game purposes) your brain and body either know how to make the adaptation, or they don't.
In situations where lower-than-normal gravity would help an attempt, a person with G-Experience rolls at their "normal" DX, plus the appropriate bonus, plus a further +1 for the G-Experience. For instance, if a normal person in a certain low-G situation would get a +2 to catch a ball, a person with G-Experience would get +3.
Gigantism -10 points
You are a genetic giant -- abnormally large for your species. Determine your height normally (p. 15), and then increase it by 20%; if you are still less than 7 feet tall (for humans), increase your height to that minimum. Minimum size for giants in other races is left up to the GM. Weight is in proportion to height, as per the tables. Strength and health are unaffected. You suffer a -2 on reaction rolls except in potential combat situations, where you receive a +1 from either potential allies or enemies. You are considered to be a foot above normal-
sized foes, automatically. Since giants live in an undersized world, they have many small problems...clothes, chairs, etc., simply don't fit them.However, this is not an especially disastrous disadvantage.
G-Intolerance -10/-20 points
This disadvantage means that a character (or race!) can function only under a narrower range of gravities than a normal human being. Normal human G-tolerance is measured in increments of .2 G . For an increment of .1 G, pay -10 points. For an increment of .05 G, pay -20 points.
Gliding 20 points
This is a limited form of Winged Flight . Gliders cannot gain altitude while flying. Individuals descend at 1 hex per turn. Enhanced Move does not affect speed, but each time it is bought, it halves the descent rate.
Special Enhancement: Gliders can gain altitude by riding warm air currents, or "thermals" (assuming, such currents are present!), for +5 points. A normal thermal will raise a glider at 1 hex per turn. If thermals are present, a member of a race with this advabtage can locate them on a successful IQ roll (one attempt per minute).
Glory Hound -15 points
This is an advanced case of Overconfidence ; a character may not have both Glory Hound and Overconfidence. You will always take time to talk to the press, pose for photographs or sign an autograph. You insist on being in the limelight -- you will always take the greatest risks, create complex plans that feature your abilities, lead the charge, etc. You get a +1 reaction from the press, small children, teenagers, etc. and a -1 reaction from co-workers, fellow heroes, etc. If the glory-hounding is successful, it can lead to an improved Reputation with the general public; buy this separately during character creation, or earn it free during the course of a campaign.
Gluttony -5 points
You are over found of good food and drink. Given the chance, you must always burden yourself with extra provisions. You should never willingly miss a meal. Presented with a tempting morsel or good wine which, for some reason, you should resist, you must make a successful Will roll to do so. Gluttony is not a terrible weakness, but by its nature it will soon be obvious to everyone who meets you.
Greed -15 points
You lust for wealth. Any time riches are offered -- as payment for fair work, gains from adventure, spoils of crime, or just bait -- you must make a Will roll to avoid temptation. The GM may modify this roll if the money involved is small relative to your wealth. Small amounts of money will not tempt a rich character (much), but a poor character will have to roll at -5 or even more if a rich prize is in the offering. Honest characters (see
below) roll at +5 to resist a shady deal and +10 to resist outright crime. However, almost any greedy character will eventually do something illegal.
Gullibility -10 points
There's one born every minute, and you're it. A gullible person believes everything he hears; he'll swallow
even the most ridiculous story, if it's told with conviction. In order to not believe a lie -- or an improbable truth, for that matter -- you must roll against IQ, modified by the plausibility of the story. A lie well-told, or involving something the character has no familiarity with -- "My father is, the chief of police in this town, and he won't stand for this!" -- calls for a -6 penalty to IQ.
A lie concerning a topic the gullible character is familiar with -- "Didn't you know they bred ducks in your village Torg?" -- calls for a -3 to the roll; and even a totally outlandish tale -- "Of course the Eskimos are descended from Spanish conquistadors; everyone knows that!" -- will be believed if the victim fails a roll against unmodified IQ. Furthermore, a gullible character suffers a -3 penalty on any Merchant skill roll, or in any situation in which his credulity might be exploited. A gullible person can never learn the Detect Lies skill.
Hard of Hearing -10 points
You are not deaf, but you have some hearing loss. You are at -4 to IQ on any Hearing roll (so your roll is IQ-4, rather than IQ). You are at -4 to your language skill roll for any situation where you must understand someone (if you are the one talking, this disadvantage doesn't affect you).
Hard to Kill 5 points/level
This is a "cinematic" advantage, and the GM is free to forbid it in a realistic campaign. On the other hand, the life expectancy of an adventurer in a fully realistic campaign can be depressingly short...You are incredibly difficult to kill. Each level of this advantage confers a +1 on all HT rolls made for survival. If you miss your normal HT roll, but make it with your Hard to Kill bonus added in, you appear dead (a successful Diagnosis roll will reveal signs of life), but will come to in the normal 1 hour per point of negative HT. Example: Blackthorne has HT 12 and 4 levels of Hard to Kill. He is hit by an LAW rocket doing 30 points damage, reducing his HT to -18. This will require him to make two HT rolls to stay alive (one at -12, then one at -17). He rolls an 11 for the first one - no problem, still alive. On the second roll, he gets a 14. This is above his regular HT (12), but below his modified HT (12 + 4 levels of Hard to Kill). He passes out, and is left for dead by his foes. Roughly a day later, he'll regain consciousness -- still injured, but not dead!
Healing 25 points
The user must be in physical contact with the subject. On a successful Healing roll, he call restore lost HT up to 1/2 his own health. Failure costs the healer 1d of Fatigue; critical failure also causes 1d damage. The Fatigue cost of successful healing is equal to twice the hits healed. The healing roll is at -2 when the victim is unconscious, and -2 or worse to cure disease. It can't restore a lost limb.
Freshly broken limbs should be carefully set before healing is attempted, otherwise the healing will result in a crippled limb. Crippled limbs are restored at a -6, and each healer only gets one try at any one limb. Healing cannot bring back the dead. Special limitation: If a race's healing ability can only be used on members of the same race, the Healing advantage costs 15 points. If it can be used on only biologically similar races (for instance plants, or warm-blooded vertebrates) it costs 20 points.
Hemophilia -30 points
You are a "bleeder." Even a small wound, unless well bandaged, will not heal -- and you may bleed to death. Any untreated wound will bleed at a rate equal to its original damage every minute. For instance, an untreated 3-point hit will do another 3 hits of damage after the first minute, and so on until stanched. A hemophiliac may not have a basic HT over 10. First Aid will be satisfactory to treat most wounds. However, any impaling wound to the torso will cause slow internal bleeding. Such a wound will do damage as above until it receives First Aid. It will continue to do damage equal to its original damage once per day until properly treated. Only a Surgeon, or magical/psychic healing, can cure this injury or restore the HT lost to internal bleeding. If proper treatment is not available -- you die.
High Pain Threshold 10 points
You are as susceptible to injury as anyone else, but you don't feel it as much. If you are hurt in combat, you are not stunned and do not have the normal DX penalty on your next turn (exception: a head blow or critical hit will still stun you). If you are tortured physically, you are at a +3 to resist. The GM may let you roll at Will +3 to ignore pain in other situations.
High Technology Variable
This applies only if the race's overall technology is significantly better than the Galactic average. The greater the technology gap, the more this advantage is worth. GMs should be cautious with this advantage, since it will give some PCs better tools and weapons than others. +1 TL: 20 points / +2 TLs: 50 points / +3 TLs: 100 points
An advantage of more than 3 TLs is not appropriate for a PC race, and will make even an NPC race into demigods, especially if the campaign's base TL is 10 or above.
Honesty -10 points
You must obey the law, and do your best to get others to do so as well. You are compulsive about it; this is essentially another type of Code of Honor (see above). In an area with little or no law, you will not "go wild" -
you will act as though the laws of your own home were in force. This is a disadvantage, because it will often limit your options! Faced with unreasonable laws, you must roll against IQ to see the "need" to break them, and against Will to avoid turning yourself in afterwards! If you ever behave dishonestly, the GM may penalize you for bad role playing.
You may fight (or even start a fight, if you do it in a legal way). You may even kill in a legal duel, or in self-defense -- but you may never murder. You may steal if there is great need, but only as a last resort, and you must attempt to pay your victims back later. If you are jailed for a crime you did not commit, but treated fairly and assured of a trial, you will not try to escape. You will always keep your word. (In a war, you may act
"dishonestly" against the enemy, but you will not be happy about it!) You will also assume others are honest unless you know otherwise (make an IQ roll to realize someone may be dishonest if you haven't seen proof).
Honesty has its rewards, of course. If you stay alive and in one place long enough for your honesty to become known, GMs should allow you a +1 on any non-combat reaction roll, or a +3 if a question of trust or honor is actually involved. This is essentially a free "reputation" reaction bonus. You are allowed to lie if it does not involve breaking the law. Truthfulness is a separate disadvantage.
Ice Dex 5 points
The race can move normally on ice -- no DX penalties are incurred for bad or slippery footing. Note that if the race moves normally on ice but not on land, this Reduced Move disadvantage will probably more than cancel out the Ice Skates cost.
Illiteracy -10 points
This is the normal condition in a low-tech culture, and gives no bonus in such cases. In a TL5 or later culture, where the printing press is common, it is a disadvantage.
Immortality 150 points
Members of the race will never die of natural causes and are tough to kill unnaturally! This advantage includes Instant Regeneration, Immunity to Disease, Immunity to Poison, and Unaging.
Immunity to Poison 25 points
The race is immune to the effect of any toxins. This doesn't confer immunity to a corrosive substance such as acid -- just to bona fide biological or chemical poisons. If there is a question, GM's decision, as always, rules.
Immunity to Disease 10 points
Your body naturally resists all disease organisms. You will never catch any infection or disease "naturally." If you are forcibly injected with a disease organism, your body will throw it off immediately. Virus and fungus invasions are also considered "disease," though larger parasites are not. You may not take this advantage unless you also start with a HT of 12 or better. However, the immunity will remain, even if HT is reduced below 12.
Improved G-Tolerance 5/10/15/20/25 points
This advantage allows a character (or race!) to function under a wider range of gravity than a normal human being. Normal human G-tolerance is measured in increments of .2 G.
For an increment of .3 G, pay 5 points. For an increment of .5 G, pay 10 points. For an increment of 1 G, pay 15 points. For 5 G, pay 20 points. For 10 G, pay 25 points.
Impulsiveness -10 points
You hate talk and debate. You prefer action! When you are alone, you will act first and think later. In a group, when your friends want to stop and discuss something, you should put in your two cents' worth quickly -- if at all and then do something! If it is absolutely necessary to wait and ponder, you must make a Will roll to do so.
Increased Life Support -10 points/level
This race has more environmental and sustenance needs in a life-support situation. The GM should compute the levels of this disadvantage based on the following guidelines. If a race needs to eat twice as much per day as a human, that's one level. Three times as much is two levels. If the race requires a separate pressurized compartment for their atmosphere, that's a level. If the race requires a normal temperature above 200 degrees or below 0 degrees, that's a level. If the race is radioactive or requires a radioactive environment, that's a level. In general, if a member of the race requires more than a ton of additional weight in order to survive in space, it takes 1 level for each ton over the first.
Incompetence -1 point
A character may be defined as incompetent in any one skill, for -1 character point. He cannot learn that skill, and any attempt at default use is at an extra -4. An Incompetent is considered a mental disadvantage, even if
the skill is physical. The character is simply inept, or has a mental block against learning this type of skill.
You cannot be incompetent in a single specialization; if you are incompetent with Guns, for instance, you are incompetent with every type of gun. No character should ever be allowed more than -5 points in Incompetence.
The GM may disallow any incompetence that seems silly or abusive in his particular campaign. Likewise, the GM can allow an incompetence or two to count as quirks, if a character is already at the maximum point value allowed for disadvantages.
Inconvenient Size Variable
The race is of a size radically different from the campaign norm. The race is unable to effectively use most tools and implements basic to day-to-day life unless they are specially made. This disadvantage assumes that the race's ability to function is seriously impaired whenever they're away from their own communities.
As a rule of thumb, a race must be over 8 feet (-10 points), or under 2 feet tall (-15 points), on the average, to qualify for this disadvantage. The GM might also allow this advantage for an extremely heavy race (more than 1,000 pounds) or a race with an exceptionally large and awkward form (e.g., Centaurs). Individuals of a race with this disadvantage can still take Dwarfism or Gigantism -- in relation to their race!
Increased Speed 25 points/level
The race's Basic Speed is increased by 1 for each level, which also increases Move and Dodge.
Increased Strength 50 points/level
The race's strength is doubled. Racial Strength bonuses are added in before doubling (individual strength adjustments are added or subtracted from the races final total). Additional levels of this advantage increase the multiple by one each: i.e. ST can be tripled for 100 points, quadrupled for 150 points. (Note that it is much cheaper, in terms of points, to make a whole race strong than it is to make an individual strong.)
Special limitation: This advantage only costs 30 points/level when taken in conjunction with the No Fine Manipulators disadvantage (the race also still gets full point value for the disadvantage).
Independently Focusable Eyes 15 points
The race can focus in two separate directions, allowing an individual to aim two weapons at once, for instance, or to take full advantage of extra limbs. Races with more than two eyes can buy this advantage again for each additional eye to be focused independently. Three Independently Focusable Eyes cost 30 points; four cost 45 points, and so on.
Infravision 15 points
The race's vision extends into the infrared portion of the spectrum, allowing the individual to see varying degrees of heat. Individuals can even see in absolute darkness if the temperature is above 70 degrees. No matter what the temperature, the individual suffers only a -1 when fighting at night due to the heat emissions of its opponent (assuming the opponent is of a race that emits heat!). Individuals are +2 to see any living beings
during daylight if you are scanning an area visually.
This advantage also allows the race to follow a heat trail when tracking. Add +3 to any tracking rolls if the trail is no more than an hour old. A sudden flash of heat, such as an explosion, acts as a Flash (see p. 18) to anyone with Infravision. Infravision can be taken in conjunction with the Blindness disadvantage. Blind creatures with Infravision always operate as though at night. They can only track if the trail is less than one hour old.
Insubstantiality 80 points
The race can phase into a different dimension or another vibratory plane. Insubtantial individuals move at a normal rate, but pass through solid objects as though they weren't there. They cannot pick up normal objects or affect them in any way while insubstantial.
The GM may rule that certain types of energy barriers impede the Insubstantial individual's progress, however. Physical and energy attacks can't harm the race, but they're still vulnerable to psionic attacks. Physical and energy attacks from an insubstantial individual will only affect insubstantial members of the same race, or creatures under a similar sort of insubstantiality (GM's determination). Psi skills function normally.
Although it can pass through solids, the individual must still breathe. When moving through a solid object, treat it as if swimming underwater for purposes of suffocation. Insubstantial races must take the Invisible advantage to be unseen when insubstantial. Insubstantial creatures cannot become substantial inside a solid object.
They are unaffected by gravity, and can move up or down at their normal Move. Special enhancement: The race has abilities which can affect the substantial world even while the individual remains insubstantial. 5 levels. Special limitation: The race is always insubstantial and cannot become substantial. -5 levels.
Intolerance -5/-10 points
You dislike and distrust some (or all) people who are different from you. A thoroughly intolerant character (-10 points) has a -3 reaction against anyone not of his own race and/or class. On a "good" reaction, he will tolerate the person and be as civil as possible (but will be stiff and cold toward him); on a "neutral" reaction he will still tolerate him, but make it plain in words and deeds he doesn't care to be around him and considers him inferior and/or offensive; on a worse reaction, he may attack or refuse to associate with the victim at all. Intolerance directed at only one specific race or class is worth from -5 for a commonly encountered victim, to -1 (just a nasty quirk) for a rare victim.
Members of a disliked group will sense intolerance, and will normally react to the intolerant person at -1 to -5.
Intolerance may manifest itself in other ways as well. Religious intolerance may take the form of a -3 reaction against those of a particular faith (-5 points) or to anyone not of your own faith (-10 points). On a "neutral" reaction or better, an intolerant person will attempt to convert unbelievers to his own faith.
Intuition 15 points
You usually guess right. When you are faced with a number of alternatives, and no logical way to choose between them, you can use your intuition as follows: The GM adds your IQ to the number of "right" choices, subtracts the number of possible "wrong" choices, and rolls against the resulting number. A successful roll means he steers you to a good choice; a roll of 3 or 4 means he tells you the best choice. A failed roll means you are given no information. A critical failure means he steers you toward a bad choice . . . your intuition failed you.
The GM can modify this system as he sees fit for other situations in which intuition might logically help.
Only one roll per question is allowed. Note also: The GM cannot let this advantage be used to short-circuit adventures by letting the intuitive detective walk into a room, slap the cuffs on the guilty party, and close the case. At the most, intuition would point the detective in the direction of a good clue. GMs who don't think they can control this advantage should not allow it at all.
Involuntary Electrical -15 points
Works as the advantage Electrical, but can't be consciously turned off. All non-insulated electrical devices in range are subject to the effects of Dampen.
Invertebrate -20 points
The race has no spine, exoskeleton or other natural body support. An individual can use ST normally to push and strike, but (unless it is aquatic) the amount that it can lift, carry or pull is only 1/4 normal. On the upside, the race will be more flexible than species with shells or bones. In particular, it can squeeze through much smaller openings than its size might suggest.
Invisibility 40 points
The race is invisible to normal sight. Anything an invisible individual carries remains visible. Invisible creatures still make noise, leave footprints and can be smelled. If carrying nothing, an invisible individual gets a +9 to Stealth in any situation where being seen would matter.
The individual cannot be photographed, but can be detected by mechanical devices. The individual doesn't show up in mirrors. Invisibility works against only one sort of vision. Types include electromagnetic vision (which includes normal human vision by light, as well as radar and infravision); sonar; magnetic fields; and anything else the GM can invent.
Special enhancement: The race is normally visible, but can become invisible at will. +1 levels.
Special enhancement: The race is invisible to more than one type of vision. +2 levels per added type.
Jealousy -10 points
You have an automatic bad reaction toward anyone who seems smarter, more attractive, or better-off than you! You will resist any plan proposed by a "rival," and will hate it if some- one else is in the limelight. (This disadvantage goes well with Megalomania.) If an NPC is Jealous, the GM will subtract 2 to 4 points from his reaction to the victim(s) of his jealousy.
Jinxed -20/-40/-60 points
A Jinxed character is to bad luck as a plague-carrier is to disease. It does not affect him, but it gets everyone else around him. If you are Jinxed, anyone in your immediate vicinity suffers a -1 through -3 penalty (depending on the severity of the jinx: -20 points per -1) on any roll that the GM makes for them. They have no penalty on rolls they make themselves. Thus, there is no way for the rest of the party to be sure that a jinx is present without
keeping track of failed "sure-fire" attempts over a period of time.
A jinx gets everybody, friend or foe. Ulysses was a perfect example. He was tough, clever and determined, and he survived everything thrown at him, but none of his shipmates made it. Part of his own survival was due to the fact that when he was around, things went wrong for his foes as well. Polyphemus, for example,
missed some easy IQ rolls when dealing with Ulysses.
Kleptomania -15 points
You are compelled to steal -- not necessarily things of value, but anything you can get away with. Whenever you are presented with a chance to steal, you must make a Will roll, at up to -3 if the item is especially interesting to you (not necessarily valuable unless you are poor or Greedy, just "interesting").
If you fail the roll, you must try to steal it. Stolen items may be kept or sold, but not returned or discarded.
Lame -15/-25/-35 points
You have some degree of impaired mobility. The point bonus depends on the damage, as follows:
crippled Leg: You have one bad leg; your Move is reduced by 3. You suffer a -3 penalty to use any Physical skill that requires walking or running. This definitely includes all hand- weapon skills and all martial arts (missile weapon ability is unimpaired). -15 points.
One leg: You have lost a leg. You are at a -6 penalty to use any physical skill that requires the use of your legs. You cannot run; using crutches or a peg leg, you have a maximum Move of 2. (Otherwise, you cannot walk at all.) If you have access to TL6 (20th-century) prosthetics, you can reduce the effect to that of a crippled leg, but you must buy off the point difference in some way. (TL8 + technology could replace the leg, possibly with one
that was better than the original, but then it's no longer a disadvantage.) -25 points.
Leg less or paraplegic: You are confined to a wheelchair or wheeled platform. If you power it with your own hands, its speed is 1/4 your ST, rounded down. Alternately, you may be carried piggyback or on a stretcher. The GM should assess all reasonable penalties for this handicap. Examples: you cannot pass through narrow doors, navigate staircases or steep curbs, travel except in specially-equipped vehicles, fight effectively (except with guns or crossbow), etc. If you have to fight with a sword, etc., you will be at a -6. -35 points.
Language Barrier -20 points
The race has some difficulty with two-way communication between members of other races. Typically, this is due to the inability to pronouce the other's race's language correctly because of the langauge's infections or voice box limitations. The character is able the learn the other race's language, just not speak it. Speech among members of the same race is unaffected.
Language Talent 2 points/level
You pick up languages quickly. This talent is cumulative with others; if you have Eidetic Memory and Language Talent, you will probably be speaking 20 languages before long. Whenever you learn any language, add your level of Language Talent to your IQ. Example: Your IQ is 10; your Language Talent is 2. You learn languages as though your IQ were 12! You get the same bonus on Linguistics skill. See Language Skills . Cost: 2 points for each level.
Laziness -10 points
You are violently averse to physical labor. Your chances of getting a raise or promotion in any job are halved. If you are self-employed, your weekly income is halved. You must avoid work -- especially hard -- at all costs.
Lecherousness -15 points
You suffer from an unusually strong desire for romance. Whenever in more than the briefest contact with an attractive member of the opposite sex, you must roll vs. Will (at a -5 if the other person is beautiful, or a -10 if very beautiful). A failed roll means you must make a "pass," using whatever wiles or skills you can bring to bear.
You must then suffer the consequences of your actions, successful or not...physical retribution, jail, communicable disease, or (possibly) an adoring new friend. Unless the object of your affection is Very Handsome or Beautiful, you need not roll more than once a day to avoid making a pass. If a specific character turns you down very firmly (e.g., a black eye, or an arrest for sexual harassment) the GM may allow you a bonus on further rolls... Note also that a Lecherous person may change his/her standards of attractiveness if no truly attractive members of the opposite sex are available!
Legal Enforcement 5/10/15 points
You are an officer of the law, with all the accompanying rights, powers and restrictions. In some times and places, this amounts to a license to kill; in others, it's little more than the right to carry a badge and write parking tickets. The point cost is determined by the rights and privileges of the character's branch of law enforcement.
Generally, a policeman with local jurisdiction, the ability to arrest suspected criminals, the right to perform searches with an appropriate warrant, and possibly the right to carry a concealed weapon, has 5 points worth of Legal Enforcement Powers. Examples would be a Victorian bobby or a modern policeman. Someone with national or international jurisdiction, or not obligated to respect the civil rights of others, or free to engage
in covert investigations, or able to kill with relative impunity, must pay 10 points for his powers. Examples would be a modern FBI agent or a medieval Royal Guardsman.
An officer with three or more of the above abilities has 15 points of Legal Enforcement Powers. An example might be a top agent of the CIA or KGB. Legal Enforcement Powers usually go hand-in-hand with an appropriate Duty disadvantage, and with a Reputation which may be an advantage, a disadvantage, or both.
Legal Immunity 5/10/15/20 points
You are a diplomat, a cleric, a privileged noble, or otherwise outside the traditional legal structures of your society. You cannot be arrested or charged with a crime by the "temporal authorities" that is, by the normal government. Only your "own kind" your own church, your own government, your own social class --
can imprison or judge you. Cost of this advantage depends on how sweeping the immunity is. For 5 points, the character is not subject to temporal authority, but the rules which govern his behavior are still strict, as determined by the GM. On the other hand, if the laws that apply to the character are less strict than the temporal ones, this is a l0-point advantage. And if the character can do pretty much what he pleases as long as he doesn't injure his own nation, church or organization, that is a 15-point advantage.
For an extra 5 points, you also have "diplomatic pouch" privileges. You can send or receive mail or objects that may not be stopped or examined by the temporal authorities. 20th-century diplomats have the full 20-point version of this advantage, as Diplomatic immunity. Many medieval noblemen, and the very rich in some countries today, have this advantage at the 15-point level. Clerics will normally have this advantage only if their churches are so powerful that they have their own religious law outside the bounds of the state. The GM determines this when a religion is created, and may simply add the cost of this advantage to the value of the religion.
Lightning Calculator 5 points
You have the ability to do math in your head, instantly. If you have this talent, then you (the player) may use a calculator at any time, to figure anything you want -- even if your character is fleeing for his life at the time! Alternatively, for simple math problems, the GM may just say the character knows the answer.
Literate 10 points
Although in real life this is a skill, it is treated as an advantage for reasons which are explained above .
In general, you are assumed to be literate if your world is mostly literate, and illiterate if your world is mostly illiterate (TL4 and below). Being literate in a world where most people cannot read is an advantage worth 10 points. Being illiterate in a world where most people can read is a disadvantage, worth -10 points.
Longevity 40 points
Your life span is naturally very long. You will fail aging rolls only on a natural 17 or 18. A character with its advantage gets no points by taking Age as a disadvantage!
Low Pain -10 points
You are very sensitive to pain of all kinds. Double the "shock effect" of any injury -- e.g., if you take 3 points of damage, DX is at -6 on your next turn. You always roll at -4 to resist physical torture. Whenever you take a wound that does more than 1 hit of damage, you must make a Will roll to avoid crying out (possibly giving away your presence). Barbarians, soldiers, thugs, and so on will react to you at -1 if they know you have this disadvantage.
Luck 15/30 points
Some people are just born lucky. Once per every hour of play, you may make up to three rolls for some one thing, and then take the best one! If the GM is rolling (e.g., to see whether a certain NPC arrives, or to see if you notice something), you tell him you are using your luck, and he must roll three times and give you the best result. Cost: 15 points. Extraordinary Luck works the same way, but it is usable every 30 minutes, instead of every hour. Cost: 30 points. Your luck only applies on rolls for your character to try to do something, or on outside events that affect you or your whole party, or when you are being attacked (in which case you may make the attacker roll three times and take the worst roll!). Luck cannot be shared. If Strong Sam is trying to kick open
a door, Lucky Lou can't stand behind him and transfer his luck. He'll have to kick that door himself. Note that Luck cannot be saved up. You cannot play for hours without using Luck and then use it several times in a row!
Maniac-Depressive -20 points
Your moods are on a see-saw - you bounce back and forth between bubbling enthusiasm and morose withdrawal. At the beginning of each play session, roll one die. On a 1-3, you are in your maniac phase; a 4-6 indicates depression. Every five hours of game-time thereafter, roll 3d. A 10 or less indicates that you begin
a mood swing. Over the next hour, you will shift from your current phase into its opposite. You will remain in the new phase for at least five hours (after which you again roll 3d). In the Manic phase, you suffer from Overconfidence .
You will be friendly, outgoing and excited about whatever it is you're doing. In the Depressive phase, the Overconfidence is replaced with Absent Mindedness and Laziness . You will not be interested in doing anything other than lying in bed, sitting in a dark room and moping, or other equally exciting pastimes. If your companions force you to do something, you will be at a -5 on all skills.
A mood-swing may also be caused by an emergency; in that case, the switch is immediate. On a roll of 10 or less on 3d, you change phases. This can be good (an emergency jars you into action) or bad (a problem triggers depression and you become worthless).
Manual Dexterity 10 points/level
Each level of this advantage gives the race a +1 to DX, but only on tasks requiring fine motor skills. This skill would help an individual repair a Swiss watch, for example, but not dodge thrown rocks.
Mathematical Ability 10 points
This gives you a +3 on any math or computer skill except Computer Operation, and a +2 to any Engineering skill at Tech Level 6+.
Megalomania -10 points
You believe that you are a superman, or that you have been chosen for some great task, or that you are destined to conquer. You must start by taking the Fanatic disadvantage -- but you are fanatic for yourself! You must choose some great goal -- usually either conquest or the completion of some fantastic task.
You may let nothing stand between you and this goal. You may attract followers who are also Fanatics; nobody else will enjoy hearing you talk about your brilliance and your great plans. Young or naive characters, and Fanatics looking for a new cause, will react to you at +2. Others will have a -2. This is a better disadvantage for NPCs than it is for player characters.
Metabolism Control 5 points/level
The race can control normally involuntary biological functions such as pulse, blood flow, digestion and respiration. This skill allows the individual to enter a deathlike trance; a physician unfamiliar with the race's metabolism must win a Quick Contest of Skills (Physician -2 versus HT) to realize the individual isn't dead. While in this state the individual is unaware of its surroundings. The individual may set a mental "alarm clock" that will awaken it after a certain amount of time has passed. The individual will automatically awaken if it takes any damage. Each level of Metabolism Control reduces by 10% the amount of oxygen (or appropriate breathable gas) it normally needs to stay alive. Each level doubles the time that it can safely go without food or water.
Microscopic Vision 4 points/level
The race's eyes can magnify tiny details that might otherwise only be visible under a magnifying glass or microscope. Each level doubles the race's magnification factor: i.e., 4 points = 2x, 8 points = 4x, 24 points = 64x.
Military Rank 5 points/level of rank
Just as Status reflects your position in society, Military Rank (also called "grade") reflects your position in a military or paramilitary organization. Each rank has authority over those of lower ranks -- regardless of personal ability. Cost: 5 points per rank, up to Rank 8.Titles of ranks vary between organizations. Typical examples :
Rank 8: Corps-level command or higher (Lieutenant General, General or Admiral)
Rank 7: Division-level command (Brigadier or Major General)
Rank 6: Brigade/group/regimental command (Colonel) or Captain of a capital ship
Rank 5: Battalion command (Lieutenant Colonel)
Rank 4: Company command (Captain or Major)
Rank 3: Platoon command (Lieutenant or Warrant Officer)
Rank 2: Non-commissioned officer /NCO) associated with platoon, company, or battalion commands (Sergeant 1st Class, First Sergeant or Sergeant-Major)
Rank 1: Squad/platoon NCO (Sergeant or Staff Sergeant)
Rank O: Enlisted man (Private, Airman or Ordinary Seaman)
In good professional armies, field-grade officers (rank 5 or 6) must have a Leadership skill of at least 12; general officers (rank 7+) must have a Leadership skill of at least 13. This prerequisite can be satisfied by its default of ST-5. Incompetence in the higher ranks is not tolerated under any circumstances. (But in many less professional or politically dominated forces, incompetent officers are common.)
It is strongly recommended that no PC be allowed to start the game with a Military Rank above 5, since high rank is normally bestowed only on leaders of proven ability. Military Rank, unlike social Status, costs no money to maintain. But insubordination, extreme cowardice, or stupidity can cause a permanent or temporary loss in rank, depending upon your superior's reaction (as played by the GM).
Brevet ranks are given by superior Officers (usually of Rank 6 or higher) to temporarily increase your rank for a predetermined amount of time -- until the end of a battle, campaign, or the like.
To keep a brevet rank, you must meet the requirements of that rank as well as pay the point cost .
In some armies, rank may be purchased for money. In such a case, a PC who is wealthy or better gets Rank 3 automatically if desired. Higher levels still cost the character points as well as cash. A Wealth level of Average or less doubles the point cost to start with a Military Rank from 1 to 6. Once a character has been
created, rank can be bought for the normal point cost, if the cash cost for the campaign is met.
In many lands, Military Rank carries some automatic Social Status, which need not be paid for separately and has no cash cost to maintain. The "default" here is one level of Status for every 3 levels of Rank, rounding to the closest number. Where this varies, it will be mentioned in society descriptions. Note Military Rank is almost always accompanied by a significant Duty .
Mind share Varies
A race's individuals may each "share" consciousness between several bodies. A personality may be shared by several telepathic bodies who seem like individuals, or each individual may be a central mind-unit controlling many "drones." In an extreme case, a whole species is, mentally, a single individual.
Cost for the race's mental characteristics is based on personality. Cost for physical characteristics is based on the cost for an average "drone" -- the central body, if any, is disregarded. Several options are available when building a Mindshare race. First, the GM must decide what type of link the race has.
Type of Link: Hive Mind: 20 points / Racial Memory: 40 Points / Global Consciousness: 60 points
A hive mind creature consists of a single central organism that controls the actions of many individual bodies. The central mind is usually large and well-protected; if the brain dies, the drones, and the character perish with it. The drones (see below) of a hive mind can never be intelligent -- by definition all its bodies are controlled by the central brain.
PCs or NPCs that are members of a hive cannot always have the full attention of the central mind. Instead, the drone must purchase the hive mind as a Patron -- roll each time a significant decision must be made by the drone. A creature with a racial memory has access to the accumulated memories of every individual body. There must be some sort of physical act to transfer memories between bodies direct contact, a pilgrimage to the character's home, an hour of meditation, or something else non-trivial. Otherwise the link is really a global consciousness .
A global consciousness link means that the bodies are sharing knowledge in real-time. Whenever something happens to one of a character's bodies, all other bodies are aware of it. All memories and experiences of one body are available to all. If there is a range factor involved (see below), any intelligent drone must
make a Fright Check at +4 any time he moves out of contact range with the rest of his "self."
Type of Drone: Mindless: -10 Points Maintenance: 5 Points
Defense: 15 Points Intelligent: 25 points
The first three types are only appropriate to a hive mind. A mindless drone is just that -- if cut off from the controlling brain, it cannot do anything at all. It will quickly die, as it won't eat, drink or defend itself. A maintenance drone will only take the most rudimentary actions when out of touch with the brain -- eating, drinking, seeking shelter, etc. It is not capable of any true thought or activity, and will not defend itself if attacked.
A defense drone will act as above, but will also protect itself if attacked. A group of defense drones that have been isolated from the central mind will act together to protect their existence. Other than self-preservation, however, the drones won't initiate any independent actions.
A sentient drone is a bit of an oxymoron. It is fully cognitive, and can continue to function as a PC or NPC even when isolated from the brain. A race of intelligent drones might just be telepathic individuals sharing a mass mind, or perhaps there is a central figure that is the repository of the "memory banks"
The range at which Mindshare is maintained varies from species to species.
Touch only: -15 points / 1 mile: 0 points
100 miles: 10 points / 1,000 miles: 20 points
Planet-wide: 30 points / System-wide: 40 points
Galaxy-wide: 50 points / Universal: 60 points
Number of Drones
2-9: -10 points / 10-99: 0 points
100-999: 10 points / 1,000-9999: 20 points
Cost increases by a further 10 points for each power of 10. If the number of drones is large enough, it is possible for the whole race to be a single individual. If the number of drones is small, the race will be made up of a large number of individual, each of whom owns several bodies.
Several options are available to customize a particular Mind sharing race. Any species that Mindshares in a way that can be detected by non-telepathic means (radio, laser, microwaves, etc.) receives a 2-level limitation on total cost. If the communication can be blocked or jammed, this is an additional 1-level limitation.
If racial communication is limited by the speed of light, this is a 1-level limitation. This will cause a serious time lag when communicating over interplanetary or intergalactic distances.
Finally, if the communication is implemented by normal telepathic means (and can therefore be blocked by a psi shield, for instance), this adds a further 1-level limitation .If replacement drones are exceptionally easy or exceptionally hard to acquire, the GM may define an appropriate enhancement or limitation.
Miserliness -10 points
Like Greed (p. 33), except that you are more concerned with holding on to what you already have. You may be both greedy and miserly! You must make a will roll any time you are called on to spend money, and you must always hunt for the best deal possible. If the expenditure is large, the Will roll may be at a -5 (or even greater) penalty. A failed roll means you will refuse to spend the money -- or, if the money absolutely must be spent,
you should haggle and complain interminably.
Morph 40 points
The race is able to assume the form of any creature. The creature being duplicated must be physically present (a high-quality holographic image may suffice at the GM's discretion) or memorized. A morph can memorize a number of forms equal to its IQ. A memorized form can be "overwritten" with a new one. Mass does not change, although the morph can still take the appearance of a much larger or smaller creature by increasing or
decreasing its body density.
The morph gains the physical appearance of the target (including its voice), but not the knowledge, skills or memories. The morph retains all its own skills, and its attributes remain unchanged. It takes a full turn for morphing to finish, and the same amount of time to change back into its original form.
Normal clothing can be mimicked (GM's determination when clothing is "abnormal"), but cannot be removed because it's part of the Morph's body.
When impersonating someone, there is a chance that the morph will be discovered by his associates, friends or family. Every time the morph encounters someone who is familiar with the person being imitated, that person gets an IQ roll to spot the difference modified as follows.
Casual acquaintance: -4
Daily acquaintance: -2
Close friend: +4
Close family: +6
Empathy advantage: +3
If the morph has Acting skill at 12+, viewers roll at -2. If it
has Fast-Talk at 12+, viewers roll at -1.
Millionaire 25 points/level
A character with the Filthy Rich advantage can buy additional levels of Wealth, at 25 character points per level. Each level of the Multimillionaire advantage increases total wealth by a factor of ten (the first level would increase total wealth to 1,000 times the average, two levels would increase this to 10,000 times the
average, and so on). For every level of Multimillionaire, the character also gets a free level of Status, to a maximum bonus of +2 over the free level already given for high Wealth .
Musical Ability 1 point/level
You have a natural talent with music and musical instruments. Your level of musical ability adds to your IQ when you study Singing or a musical instrument. That is, when you learn a musical skill, learn it as though your IQ were equal to (IQ + Musical Ability). Cost: 1 point for each +1 bonus.
Mute -25 points
You cannot speak. All your communications with others (and the player's communication with other players!) must be in writing, or with sign language. (It is all right for the GM and the player to go into a separate room, if necessary, and talk about what the character is doing.)
A mute character gets a +3 on any Gesture or Sign Language skill roll (see p. 55). However, no roll is required (or allowed!) when you try to communicate with
other player characters who don't know your sign language;
Night Membrane 15 points/level
The race has a transparent lens cover over its eyeballs. This allows them to see normally under water, and will help protect the eyes from sand, gas and so on. Any time an individual is hit in the eyes with a gaseous or liquid attack, the lens provides the eyes, only, PD 2, DR 1 per level (to a maximum PD of 6). The lens also adds +3 per level to all HT rolls concerned with eye damage, and can be opened and closed just like an eyelid.
Night Vision 10 points
Your eyes adapt rapidly to the darkness. You cannot see in total dark -- but if you have any light at all, you can see fairly well. Whenever the GM exacts a penalty because of darkness, except for total darkness, this penalty does not apply to you
No Breath 30 points
The race absorbs the oxygen (or other atmospheric gas) it needs through osmosis. Individuals can't be strangled, and are immune to most gases (their bodies won't absorb anything harmful). Individuals will still suffocate in a vacuum, or anywhere else where there is no oxygen available to absorb, unless they have an oxygen supply and special equipment. The race can
live underwater as long as the water has thr propcr gases in it.
No Eat or Drink 30 points
The race does not require food. Their bodies are powered in some other manner (solar power or radiation, for example note that a sufficiently rare power source would qualify the race
for the Dependency and Increased Life Support disadvantages).
No Fine Manipulators -30 points
The race has nothing more agile than paws or hooves at end of its limbs. The race has nothing that approaches the human hand in terms of manual dexterity. The race cannot use its paw/ hooves to make repairs, tie knots, or even grasp firmly. This disadvantage qualifies the race to buy the Increased Strength advantage at a bargain rate.
No Manipulators -50 points
The race has no limbs. The only way for the race to manipulate objects is to push them around with their bodies or "heads."
No Sense of Humor -10 points
You never get any jokes -- you think everyone is earnestly serious at all times. Likewise, you never joke, and you are earnestly serious at all times. Others react at -2 to you in any situation where this disadvantage becomes evident.
No Sleep 10 points
The race does not need regular dormancy periods. Individuals can operate at full efficiency with only periodic normal breaks.
No Sense of Smell/Taste -5 points
This is a rare affliction...Anosmia. You can smell and taste nothing. Thus, you are unable to detect certain hazards that ordinary people spot quickly. However, the disability has its advantages ...an anosmic character never worries about skunks, and can always eat what is set before him.
Night race - 10 points
The race is descendant from a nocturne predator active during night cycle . They need regular rest periods at day. This involves they can operate without limitations during night periods, but during the normal day periods they suffer sense limitation due to daylight or noise. During day periods all physical and mental actions will suffer a -2 penalty.
Obsession -5 to -15 points
Your will is fixed upon a single goal. Everything you do is intended to further this goal. This differs from Compulsive Behavior in that it is not a daily habit, but an overpowering fixation which motivates all your actions. It differs from Fanaticism in that it does not necessarily imply a single belief or system of beliefs.
To play an obsessed character, you must be able to rationalize all of his actions as an attempt to reach his goal.
A Will roll is required any time the character is requested (or forced) to do something that does not further the goal. The point cost depends on how short-term or long-term the goal is. Assassinating someone or successfully seducing a particular person would be -5 points, while larger goals like getting to a hard-to-reach place or becoming President would merit higher point values. Some obsessions may cause others to react badly; if so, an Odious Personal Habit or Delusion may also be required (the Obsession cost only covers the obsessive
behavior). If and when the goal is reached, the character must substitute a new goal or buy off the Obsession.
Odious Personal Habits -5/-10/-15 points
You behave, some or all of the time, in a fashion repugnant to others. The worse your behavior, the more bonus points. You may specify the behavior when the character is first created, and work the bonus out with the GM. Some samples: Body odor, constant scratching or tuneless humming might be worth -5 points apiece. Constant bad puns or spitting on the floor would be worth -10 points apiece. -15-point habits are possible, but are
left to the imagination of those depraved enough to want them.
For each -5 points your habit is worth, subtract 1 from all reaction rolls made by someone in a position to notice your problem. Example: Ragnar Foulbreath, who has halitosis worth -10 character polnts, suffers an automatic -2 on reaction from anyone who comes face-to-face with him.
Note that certain sorts of disgusting behavior will not bother non-humans. A Person with a constant drool will irritate other humans, but a Martian would not even notice, and a troll might think it was cute. The reaction penalty for an odious personal habit is for members of your own race; it is up to the GM to handle differing reactions from other races.
Odious Racial Habits -5/-10/-15 points
Your race behaves, some or all of the time, in a fashion repugnant to members of other races. The worse your behavior, the more bonus points. Some samples: Body odor, drooling, constant scratching or tuneless humming might be worth -5 points apiece. Constant bad puns, eating sentient species, or spitting on the floor would be worth -10 points apiece. -15-point habits are possible, but are left to the imagination of those depraved enough to want them.
For each -5 points your habit is worth, subtract 1 from all reaction rolls made by someone in a position to notice your problem. Example: a member of the Kaa race, whose diet includes the bodies of slain enemies, (-10 character points) suffers an automatic -2 on reaction from anyone who sees him enjoy a victory feast. Note that this sort of disgusting behavior does not bother members of the same race. A Person with a constant drool will irritate other humans, but a Martian would not even notice, and a troll might think it was cute. The reaction penalty for an odious racial habit is for members of other races; it is up to the GM to handle differing reactions from your race.
One Arm -20 points
You have lost an arm (or you were born without it). It is assumed that you lost the left arm if you were right-handed, or vice-versa. You cannot use sword and shield simultaneously, or any two-handed weapon, or do anything requiring two arms GM's ruling is final in case of argument. Anything requiring only one hand can be done without penalty. In borderline cases, it is best to allow the character to attempt the action at a -4 DX
penalty, or to try a quick reality check if possible!
On the Edge -15 points
Sometimes you don't care whether you live or die. You are not actively suicidal, but you will take unreasonable risks in the face of mortal danger. When you face a life-threatening situation (piloting a burning vehicle, staring down an entire street gang while armed only with a toothbrush), you must make a successful IQ
roll before you can retreat (attempt once per turn; 14 or higher fails automatically). Each turn that you are in combat, make an IQ roll (again, 14+ fails) to avoid making an All-Out attack (or the near-insane, suicidal behavior of your choice). Most sensible people avoid you (-2 reaction from anyone who realizes that you're crazy). Primitives and low-lifes will mistake your disregard for your own life for bravery, giving +2 reactions.
One Eye -15 points
You have only one good eye; you may wear a glass eye, or cover the missing eye with a patch. You suffer a -1 DX penalty on combat, and on anything involving hand-eye coordination, and a -3 on anything involving missile weapons, thrown objects, or driving any vehicle faster than a horse and buggy. You will also suffer a -1 on any reaction roll except with utterly alien creatures. Exception: If you have Charisma, or are Handsome or
Very Handsome, the patch just looks romantic, and does not affect reaction rolls.
One Fine Manipulator -10 points
Most races have two or more hands/fine manipulators that they can use in concert. A race with this disadvantage has only one. They cannot, for instance, repair a device while holding it. An elephant is an example of a creature with this disadvantage.
One Hand -15 points
You have lost a hand; it may be replaced by an appropriate prosthetic (hook, mechanical grabber or bionic hand). A fully bionic replacement (TL8 or higher) is just as good as the original, and is therefore worth no bonus points. An obviously mechanical replacement will cost you -1 on all reaction rolls, and -2 DX (for a mechanical grabber) or -4 DX (for a claw). However, a hook or claw counts as an undroppable large knife in combat (use Knife skill). This can be very intimidating if waved at the foe.
Overconfidence -10 points
You feel yourself to be far more powerful, intelligent and/or competent than you really are, and you should behave that way. Any time (in the GM's opinion) you show an unreasonable degree of caution, you must roll against your IQ. A failed roll means you may not be cautious, but must go ahead as though you were able to handle the situation. An overconfident character will receive +2 on all reaction rolls from young or naive individuals (they believe he is as good as he says he is), but -2 on reactions from experienced NPCs. This is like Megalomania (above) but on a smaller scale. Robin Hood was overconfident -- he challenged strangers to quarter staff duels. Hitler was megalomaniac -- he invaded Russia! Heroes are rarely megalomaniac but often overconfident. This characteristic requires roleplaying. An overconfident character may be proud and boastful, or just quietly determined .
Overweight -5 points
You are not truly fat -- just somewhat heavy for your race. Determine weight normally for ST, and then increase it by 30%; this adds to encumbrance as for Fat (above). Overweight characters get a +2 bonus to their Swimming roll. Being overweight carries a reaction penalty of -1 among health-conscious societies -- like that of the 1980s yuppies -and in areas where food is in especially short supply . There are no other bonuses or penalties; you can easily get clothes, and blend into a crowd, because many people are overweight.
Pacifism -15/-30 points
You are opposed to violence. This opposition can take three forms, each with its own point value. Total non-violence is just that: you will not lift a hand against another intelligent creature, for any reason. You must do
your non-violent best to discourage violent behavior in others, too. You are free to defend yourself against attacks by animals, mosquitoes, etc. -30 points. Self-defense only means that you will only fight to defend
yourself or those in your care, using only as much force as may be necessary (no pre-emptive strikes allowed!). You must do your best to discourage others from starting fights. -15 points. Cannot kill means that you may fight freely, and even start a fight, but you may never do anything that seems likely to kill another.
This includes abandoning a wounded foe to die "on his own!" You must do your best to keep your companions from killing, too. If you do kill someone (or feel yourself responsible for a death), you immediately suffer a nervous breakdown. Roll 3 dice and be totally morose and useless (roleplay it!) for that many days. During this time, you must make a Will roll to offer any sort of violence toward anyone, for any reason. -15 points.
Paranoia -10 points
You are out of touch with reality. Specifically, you think that everyone is plotting against you. You will never trust anyone except old friends...and you keep an eye on them, too, just in case. Other characters, understandably, react to paranoids at -2. A paranoid NPC has an automatic -4 reaction against any stranger, and any "legitimate" reaction penalty (e.g., unfriendly race or nationality) is doubled. This goes very well with
Delusions, which of course have their own disadvantage value!
Parasite -15 or -30 points
The race depends on another host race for survival. The host race can survive without the parasite, but not vice versa. For 15 points thc host race can fall within certain very broad biological categories, like "any warm blooded vertebrate" or "any fish". The 30-point disadvantage is absolutely race specific -- the parasite can survive on one and only one host race. Thus the individual must bring a member of his host race with him wherever he goes.
Passive Defense 25 points/level up to 6
It is much harder to hit this race. This advantage might be related to speed, a "sixth sense" that warns against upcoming attacks, or simply natural armor. Each level adds 1 to PD. If external armor is worn, the individual's own PD will not add to the armor's PD; take the PD of the outer layer.
A patron is a non-player character, created initially by the player but controlled by the GM. A patron can be a big help, as friend, advisor, protector or employer. (You can have a job without having a patron ). A patron is more than an ordinary boss.) The GM may limit or prohibit Patrons if they would disrupt the flow of the campaign. The point cost of a Patron is determined (a) by his/her/its power, and (b) by the frequency with which that Patron appears to help you. Power is a GM determination; the scales below are examples, and some Patrons won't fit neatly on them.
Power of Patron
If the Patron is a single powerful individual (created with at least 150 points), and/or a group with assets of at least 1,000 times starting wealth for the world: 10 points. If the Patron is a an extremely powerful individual (created with at least 200 points) or reasonably powerful organization (assets equivalent to at least 10,000 times starting wealth: 15 points. Example: The Los Angeles police department.
If the Patron is a very powerful organization (assets equivalent to at least a million times starting wealth): 25 points. Example: a large corporation or very small nation.
If the Patron is a national government or multi-national organization (net worth incalculable): 30 points.
Example: Chinese government, Tobacco Industry
Equipment and Patrons
If a Patron supplies useful equipment, that increases its point value only if the character can use the equipment for his own purposes, while other characters in the same campaign have to buy it. So, in an Illuminati campaign, the Network is a costly patron because it supplies computer equipment. But a soldier in a military campaign doesn't pay character points for his weapons; if he goes off duty, he can't take them along.
In most cases, this adds 5 points to a Patron's cost. If the equipment is worth more than the standard starting wealth of the campaign, it adds 10 points.
Special Qualities of Patron
Referees may adapt point values if necessary. For example, if a player's patron is an extra-dimensional creature with demonic powers, or a super, or the Governor of New York, the patron should cost 20 to 25 points -- because, even though the patron is a single individual, he wields great power. Extra-special abilities should add 5 or 10 points -- GM's discretion. Some examples: Patron has technology much better than the world's norm or
Patron has unusual reach in time or space.
Frequency of Patron's Appearance
The point cost of a patron is modified by the frequency with which he appears. Use the frequency of Appearance modifiers described for Ally, above. The GM rolls at the beginning of each adventure. If the
number rolled is within the range for the patron, then the GM may design the adventure to include an assignment, or just aid, from the patron. He may also choose to leave them out. However, if the GM determined that the patron could have appeared, and if you try to contact them during the adventure (for help, advice or whatever), then the contact is likely to be successful, and help may be offered. (Be reasonable. If you're lock-
ed in a dungeon without a radio or other means of communication, you're not likely to be contacting anybody.)
You will not know whether your patron is "available" on a given adventure until you try to reach him, and, as a rule, you should only be able to reach your patron for help once per adventure.
Some Possible patron/character relationships for a continuing campaign:
A powerful wizard as patron to warriors (or young wizards) who he sends to find magical items or slay foes.
A crime lord as patron to freelance thieves or assassins. A minor deity as patron to a traveling Righter of Wrongs. A local police department as patron to a private detective. They may resent him, but he helps them out, and vice versa. A local ruler (in any world) as patron to an adventurer. A large company as patron to a troubleshooter or spy. A super crime fighter or politician as patron to a news reporter. Any intelligence organization as occasional patron to a freelance operative, or full-time patron to its own agents. (The difference between this and ordinary jobs is that you can't quit...)
The GM is the final authority on the cost of a patron. The GM may also simply reject a proposed patron if he feels that he/she/it is unworkable within the frame of the campaign, or just too silly.
It will often prove useful to have several characters share the same patron (they are all agents of the same government, servants of the same cult, etc.). This is an advantage to the players, too; if the patron appears for one of them to give an assignment or offer help, the GM will usually find it reasonable to assume that the patron is available for the other characters as well, regardless of their rolls at the beginning of the adventure. However, the cost of the Patron is not split; each character pays full price. Players and GMs should both remember that a powerful patron can be helpful without actually intervening! A Chicago hood who can say, "I'm from Big Eddie," or a crime fighter who can flash a Q-clearance card, may carry some extra weight in a tough spot.
Drawbacks of Patrons
If your patron is an employer, feudal lord, etc., you may owe him a duty. This is considered a Disadvantage
A sizable duty can cut the cost of a patron considerably, and turn him from a benefit to a considerable liability !
A Patron may have powerful foes who are now your foes, too. This can give you the Enemy disadvantage -- .
Employers and Patrons
Not every employer is a patron. If your employer can be depended on to get you out of trouble (at least sometimes), then that might really be a patron. Otherwise, it's just a job. For example, a small police department is a l0-point Patron if, as most do, it takes care of its own. But the U.S. Army, though powerful, is not a likely patron, at least for an ordinary trooper. You could say "The Colonel takes care of his men." But you could
just as easily say "I'm on my own if I get in trouble," and be a soldier character who pays no points for a Patron.
Perfect Balance 25 points
The race has no problem keeping its footing, no matter how narrow the walking surface, under normal conditions. The individual can walk on tightropes, ledges, tree limbs or any other anchored surface without having to make a DX roll. If the surface is wet, slippery or otherwise unstable the individual is at +6 on all rolls to keep its feet. In combat the individual receives a +4 to DX on any rolls to keep its feet or avoid being knocked
down. This advantage adds +1 to the Piloting, Flight and Acrobatics skills.
Peripheral Vision 15 points
You have an unusually wide field of vision. Whenever something dangerous or interesting happens "behind your back," the GM rolls against your IQ. A successful roll means you saw it, or saw enough to alert you to danger in case of an attack. If you are playing with a game map, you can attack into your right and left hexes as well as front hexes. (Note that with a one-handed weapon, an attack to the left is clumsy and is still considered a "wild swing" ). If you are attacked from the right or left hex, you defend without penalty. Your active defense is at only -2 against attacks from the rear. You still cannot attack a foe directly behind you (without a wild swing).
Furthermore, you have a wider "arc of vision" for ranged attacks. The figure shows the arc of vision for a normal character (white) and for someone with Peripheral Vision (gray plus white).
A "phobia" is a fear of a specific item, creature, or circumstance. Many fears are reasonable, but a phobia is an unreasonable, unreasoning, morbid fear . The more common an object or situation, the greater the point value of a phobia against it. Fear of darkness is far more troublesome than fear of left-handed plumbers. Phobias may be
mild or severe; the severe version is worth twice as much. If you have a mild phobia, you may master it by a successful Will roll. This is also called a "Fright Check".
For example, if you have acrophobia (fear of heights), you may still go onto the roof of a tall building if you can first make your Will roll. However, the fear persists. If you successfully master a mild phobia, you will be at -2 IQ and -2 DX while the cause of your fear persists, and you must roll again every ten minutes to see if the fear overcomes you. If it does (that is, if you fail your fright check) you will react badly, rolling on the table on p. 94.
If you suffer from a severe phobia (worth double points), you are deathly afraid. Under normal circumstances, you must simply refuse contact with the feared situation. If forced into contact with the object of your fear, roll a fright check...at -4 to Will! You will be at -3 IQ and -3 DX while the cause of your fear persists, rolling again every 10 minutes.
If a phobia victim is threatened with the feared object, he must immediately make a Fright Check at +4 to Will (whether the phobia is mild or severe). If enemies actually inflict the feared object on him, he must make the normal fright check (as above). If the roll is failed, the victim breaks down, but does not necessarily talk - see the Interrogation skill. Some people can panic and fall apart but will still refuse to talk, just as some people will not talk under torture. A phobic situation is, by definition, stressful. Anyone who is prone to personality-shifts, berserking, , is likely to have these reactions when he encounters something he fears and fails his fright check.
Some common phobias:
Crowds (demophobia): Any group of over a dozen people sets off this fear unless they are all well-known to you. Roll at -1 for over 25 people, -2 for a crowd of 100 or more, -3 for 1,000, -4 for 10,000, and so on. -15/-30 points.
Darkness (scotophobia): A common fear, but crippling. You should avoid being underground if possible; if something happens to your flashlight or torch, you may well lose your mind before you can relight it. -15/-30 points.
Death and the dead (necrophobia): You are terrified by the idea of death. Will roll is required in the presence of any dead body (animals don't count, but portions of bodies do). This roll is at -4 if the body is that of someone you know, or -6 if the body is unnaturally animated in some way. A ghost (or apparent ghost) will also require a roll at -6. -10/-20 points.
Dirt (rupophobia): You are deathly afraid of infection, or just of dirt and filth. You must make a Will roll before you can do anything that might get you dirty; you must roll at -5 to eat any unaccustomed food. You should act as "finicky" as possible. -10/-20 points.
Enclosed spaces (claustrophobia): Another common, crippling fear. You are uncomfortable any time you can't see the sky or at least a very high ceiling. In a small room or vehicle, you feel the walls closing in on you...You need air! A dangerous fear for someone who plans to go underground. -15/-30 points.
Heights (acrophobia): You may not voluntarily go more than 15 fcet above ground, unless you are inside a building and away from windows. If there is some chance of an actual fall, all Will rolls are at an extra -5. -10/-20 points.
Insects (entomophobia): You are afraid of all "bugs." Large or poisonous ones subtract 3 from the self-control roll. Very large ones, or large numbers, subtract 6. Avoid hills of giant ants. -10/-20 points.
Loud noises (brontophobia): You will avoid any situation where loud noises are likely. A sudden loud noise will require a Will roll immediately, or panic will ensue. Thunderstorms are traumatic experiences. -10/-20 points.
Machinery (technophobia): You can never learn to repair any sort of machine, and you will refuse to learn to use anything more complicated than a crossbow or bicycle. Any highly technological environment will call for a control roll; dealings with robots or computers will require a roll at -3, and hostility from intelligent machines will require a roll at -6. -15/-30 points in a culture of TL5 or better; -5/-10 below TL5.
Magic(manaphobia): You can never learn to use magic, and you react badly to any user of magic. You must make a self-control roll whenever you are in the presence of magic. This roll is at -3 if you are to be the target of friendly magic, and -6 if you are the target of hostile magic. (The magic does not have to be real, if you believe in it!) -15/-30 points in a culture where magic is common, -10/-20 if it is known but uncommon, -5/-10
if "real" magic is essentially unknown.
Monsters (teratophobia): Any "unnatural" creature will set off this fear -- at a -1 to -4 penalty if the monster seems very large or dangerous, or if there are a lot of them. Note that the definition of "monster" depends on experience. An American Indian would consider an elephant monstrous, while an African pygmy would not! -15/-30 points.
Number 13 (triskadekaphobia): You must make a self-control roll in order to do anything with a 13 in it -- visit the 13th floor, buy something for $13.00, et cetera. This roll is at -5 if Friday the 13th is involved! -5/-10 points.
Oceans (thalassophobia): You are afraid of any large body of water. Ocean travel, or air travel over the ocean, will be basically impossible, and encounters with aquatic monsters will also be upsetting. -10/-20 points.
Open spaces (agoraphobia): You are uncomfortable whenver you are outside, and become actually frightened when there are no walls within 50 feet. -10/-20 points.
Reptiles (ophiophobia): You come unglued at the thought of reptiles, amphibians and similar scaly-slimies. A very large reptile, or a poisonous one, would require a roll at -2; a horde of reptiles (such as a snake pit) would require a roll at -4. -10/-20 points.
Sharp things (aichmophobia): You are afraid of anything pointed. Swords, spears, knives and hypodermic needles all give you fits. Trying to use a sharp weapon, or being threatened with one, would require a Will roll at -2. -15/-30 points at TL5 and below; -10/-20 points above TL5.
Squeamishness (no technical name): You are afraid of "yucky stuff." You are upset by little bugs and crawly things, blood and dead bodies, slime and the like. But this is not just a combination of the standard fears of insects, reptiles, dirt and the dead. Huge bugs or reptiles don't bother you unduly; neither does ordinary "clean" dirt; neither do ghosts. But nasty creepy things, filth, and bits of grue will get to you. Mild squeamishness, as a "dislike," is a common quirk that is fun to roleplay.-10/-20 points.
Strange and unknown things (xenophobia): You are upset by any sort of strange circumstances, and particularly by strange people. You must make a Will roll when surrounded by people of another race or nationality; this roll will be at -3 if the people are not human. A xenophobe who loses control may very well
attack strangers, simply out of fear. -15/-30 points.
Weapons (hoplophobia): Any sort of weaponry upsets you; the presence of weaponry is stressful, and using any weapon, or being threatened with one, would require a Will roll at -2. -20/-40 points.
To give your character depth, you may take any of the above phobias, in a very mild form, as "dislikes." These are quirks, worth -1 point each, and have no specific penalties; they are merely an opportunity for roleplaying. Or, if you suffer from a real phobia, you may try to pass it off as a mere dislike -- until the crunch comes and you fail a Will roll! The GM may be requested to make your rolls in secret, to help conceal your phobia
as long as possible.
The race requires certain environmental conditions which cannot be duplicated away from its home planet. Thus, individuals must return to the planet periodically or die. The value of this disadvantage depends on the amount of time an individual can stay away from the home world, and the time that it takes to lose each point of HT after it has been away too long. This must be described in terms relative to the average travel times in the
campaign! The times listed below assume that the average time for a journey between two planets is one month; vary them as appropriate.
One month (cannot leave system safely): -40 points
3 months (can make short trips only): -30 points
One year (can make all but long trips): -20 Points
2 years (can make long trips by planning carefully): -10 points
Loses 1 HT per day after time limit is exceeded: double values
Loses 1 HT per week after time limit is exceeded: listed values
Loses 1 HT per 2 weeks after time limit is exceeded: halve values
Special enhancement/limitation: The GM may vary the value of this disadvantage to fit the race story. For instance, if the race can survive on more than one "home planet," but such planets remain very rare, the value of the disadvantage might be halved. If the effect of staying away was to lose IQ rather than HT, the value would also be halved (unless IQ loss was permanent!)
Psi Aptitude 15 points
You have a special sense to learn psi. Of course, if you are from a non-psi culture you will not start with any spells,but you can still learn them more easily if you ever find an opportunity. And when you enter a psi world, those who can detect your aura will recognize you as a potentially powerful, though untrained, psi. They may want to teach you -- or kill you. When you learn any spell, you learn it as though your IQ; were equal to (IQ + aptitude). Example: You have an IQ of 14 and a Psi Aptitude of 3. You learn spells as though your IQ was 17! In addition, the GM will roll vs. your(IQ + aptitude) when you first see any psi object, and again when you first touch it.
If the roll succeeds, you will know intuitively that it is psychic. A roll of 3 or 4 will also tell you whether the aura is positive or dangerous, and about how strong it is. Example: If you have IQ 13 and 3 levels of aptitude, you will recognize a magic item on a 16 or less. If the GM misses the roll, he will simply tell you nothing. Note that use of this advantage becomes tricky for a character from a non-magical background -- like 20th-century Earth. Such a character will still have the ability to sense magic, though until he gains experience with magic the GM should not say, "That idol is magical," but "That idol looks very strange to you, very sinister. You sense there is something special about it." Characters without Magical Aptitude don't get any roll to sense magical objects. Cost: 15 points for the first level ; 10 points for each subsequent level up to a maximum of 3 levels.
Psi Resistance 2 points/level
You are less likely to be affected by magic of most kinds. Note that this advantage cannot be combined with Magical Aptitude. You cannot be both magically apt and magically resistant. Indeed, if you have Magical Resistance, you can't cast spells at all (though you can still use magic weapons).
Magical Resistance and its precise level, can be recognized by any mage who looks at your aura, or by anyone who casts a spell against you. The level of your Magical Resistance is subtracted from the caster's skill with the spell. If you have a magical resistance of 3, and the caster has skill 15, his effective skill is 12.
Your Magical Resistance also adds to your ordinary resistance against spells that can be resisted.
Your Magical Resistance thus protects you from having a spell thrown directly on you. It does not defend you against (a) missile spells; (b) attacks by magical weapons; (c) information-gathering spells in which the spell is not thrown directly on you, like Aura.
Polarized Eyes 5 points
The race's eyes adjust instantaneously to changing light conditions. If the individual has Dark or Night Vision, it can instantly adjust from bright light to darkness. If the individual is caught in a bright flash of light, its eyes will automatically adjust so that the maximum time it is blinded or stunned from the flash is 2 turns.
Poverty -10/-15/-25 points
You were born poor, relative to the norm of your culture, or lost your money somehow. You start with only a fraction of the money normal for a beginning character, and your income is limited. The various degrees of poverty are discussed under Wealth .
Dead Broke (x0) -25 points
You have no job, no source of income, no money, and no property other than the clothes you are wearing. You are either unable to work, or there are no jobs to be found.
Poor (x1/5) -15 points
Your starting wealth is only 1/5 "average" for your society. You spend 50 hours per week at your job. Some jobs are not available to you, and no job you find will pay you very well.
Struggling (x1/2) -10 points
Your starting wealth is only 1/2 "average" for you society. You spend 40 hours per week at your job. Any job is open to you (you can be a struggling doctor, or a struggling movie actor), but you don't earn much. This is appropriate if you are (for instance) a 20th-century student.
Pressure Support Variable
For 5 points, the race can stand up to 5 times its native pressure. For 10 points, it can stand 20 times normal pressure for 15 points, it can stand 100 times normal pressure. For 20 points, the race is effectively immune to pressure; it can survive the crushing pressure of the ocean depths, or the core of a gas giant. This advantage doesn't convey any combat advantage unless the attack form directly manipulates barometric pressure.
Primitive 5 points per level
You are from a culture with a lower TL than that of the campaign. You have no knowledge (or default skill) relating to equipment above your own tech level. You can start only with skills or equipment from your local culture. (To play a character of a primitive race withour this disadvantage, assume he is from an area near "civilization.")
Value of this disadvantage is 5 points for each TL by which your native TL is less than that of the campaign. If the ruling race or culture looks down on your people, that is a separate Social Stigma disadvantage.
You may not acquire Mental skills relating to high-tech equipment until you buy off this disadvantage. Physical skills (driving, weaponry, etc.) may be acquired at no penalty if you find a teacher.
Pyromania -5 points
You like fires! You like setting fires, too. For good role playing, you must never miss a chance to set a fire, or to appreciate one you encounter. When absolutely necessary, make a Will roll to override your love of flame.
A "quirk" is a minor personality trait. It is not an advantage, and is not necessarily a disadvantage -- it is just something unique about your character. For instance, a major trait like Greed is a disadvantage. But if you insist on being paid in gold, that's a Quirk.
You may take up to five "quirks" at -1 point each...so, if you do, you will have 5 more points to spend on advantages or skills. These do not count against the maximum number of disadvantage points allowed in your campaign. The only drawback to a quirk is this: you must roleplay it. If you take the quirk "dislike of heights," but blithely climb trees and cliffs whenever you need to, the GM will penalize you for bad roleplaying. The points you lose this way will cost you much more than you earned for taking the quirk. So don't choose a quirk you aren't willing to play! A quirk can also be "bought off" later by paying one character point. But as a rule, you shouldn't do that. The quirks are a big part of what makes your character seem "real." You may change quirks (with GM approval) if something happens to justify a change in your personality. You may also leave two or three quirks "open" when you first create your character, and fill them in after the first couple of play sessions -- letting your character design himself!
Beliefs and goals. If a belief or goal is strongly held, important and/or irrational, it may be an important disadvantage. Religious fervor, greed and lust are examples of important goals. But a minor belief or goal makes a good quirk. Examples: Your life objective is to get just enough money to buy a farm (or boat, or spaceship, or castle) of your own. Or you insist on exhibiting "gentlemanly" behavior to all females. Or you insist on spurning "chauvinistic" behavior from all males. Or anything else you can think of!
Dislikes. Anything on the Phobia list can be taken as a mere dislike. If you dislike something, you must avoid it whenever possible, though it does not actually harm you as a phobia would. But dislikes don't have to come from the phobia list. There is a whole world full of things to dislike: carrots, cats, neckties, the opposite sex, violence, telephones, income tax...
Likes. Pick anything you can think of. If you like something, you will seek it out whenever possible. This is not a compulsion -- just a preference. Gadgets, kittens, shiny knives, ceramic owls, fine art...whatever.
Habits or expressions. Saying "Jehoshaphat!" or "Bless my collar-button" constantly, for instance...or carrying a silver piece that you flip into the air...or never sitting with your back to the door. (If you push one of these too far, the GM may decree that it has developed into an Odious Personal Habit that causes others to react badly. So don't overdo it.)
Anything else that you can think of that will make your character into a "real person"! Peculiarities of dress...choice of friends... unrequited love...hobbies (perhaps backed up by a few points in a hobby skill)...favorite entertainment...it's up to you.
Racial Memory 40 points
A member of this race can access the memories of its direct genetic ancestors. If the individual wants to know something, the GM first determines whether the individual's ancestors knew the answer. Then the GM rolls vs. the individual's IQ (do not use the "rule of 12") to see if he accesses the information. If the ancestors didn't have the answer, the individual will know that if the roll succeeds. On a critical failure, the individual will
believe his ancestors didn't know, even if they really did. This Advantage requires one turn of absolute concentration (GM may require more elaborate preparations to recall very ancient memories.)
Radar Sense 50 points
The individual perceives a complete radar "picture" of everything going on around it. It can sense shapes and objects, but not colors. The denser an object is, the easier it is to see. The individual must make a Vision roll to make out details about a non-dense object. On the other hand, radar can look right through water, clouds, leaves, and so on. Special enhancement: You can see inside any object within your radius. +4 levels. Special enhancement: You can see colors. +2 levels.
Radio Hearing 15 points
The race can hear emissions on all radio frequencies. Individuals must make a roll versus IQ or 12, whichever is higher, to "tune" to a particular frequency. Each attempt requires 10 seconds.
Rapid Healing 5 points
This advantage is only available if your basic HT is 10 or above. You recover rapidly from all kinds of wounds. Whenever you roll to recover lost HT, or when you roll to see if you can get over a crippling injury, add 5 to your effective HT. This ability does not help you get over stunning, etc.
Recovery 10 points
The race recovers from unconsciousness very quickly. Instead of staying unconscious for hours, recovery time is measured in minutes.
Reduced Move -5 points/point of Speed
The race moves more slowly than its characteristics would normally entitle it to. The race cannot take more points of this disadvantage than it would take to reduce its racial average speed below 1.
Reduced Hit Points -5 points/ Hit Point
The race has fewer Hit Points than its health. This is written HT 10/7, for example. Very small races often have the disadvantage.
Regeneration 25/50/100 points
The race recovers from damage much faster than normal. The individual automatically has the Rapid Healing advantage at no extra cost. Cost of this advantage depends on the speed of regeneration. Regular Regeneration: the individual recovers 1 HT (or Hit Point) per hour. 25 points. Fast Regeneration: the individual recovers 1 HT per minute. 50 points. Instant Regeneration: the individual recovers 1 HT per turn.100 points.
Regrowth 40 points
The race regrows lost limbs! A lost ear, finger or toe (claw, pseudopod, tentacle tip, etc.) will regrow in 1d weeks, a lost hand or foot in 1d+1 months, and a lost eye, arm or leg in 2d+2 months.
Special limitation: The race cannot regrow hands, feet or limbs, only small extremities: 20 points.
Some characters are so well-known that their reputation actually becomes an advantage or a disadvantage. For game purposes, reputation affects the reaction rolls made by NPCs . The details of your reputation are entirely up to you; you can be known for braven, ferocity, eating green snakes, or whatever you want. If you have a reputation, either your name or your face will be enough to trigger a "reputation roll" to see if the people
you met have heard of you. Roll once for each person or small group you meet. For a large group, the GM my roll more than once if he likes.
There are three components to your reputation: Type of Reputation, People Affected, and Frequency of Recognition. Type of Reputation affects the reaction roll modifier that you get from people who recognize you. For every +1 bonus to a reaction roll (up to +4), the cost is 5 points. For every -l penalty (up to -4), the cost is -5. People Affected modifies the value of your reputation. The larger the "affected class" -- the people who might have heard of you -- the more your reputation is worth, as follows:
Everyone you will meet in your campaign: use listed value. Large class of people (all people of a particular faith, all mercenaries, all tradesmen, all autoduelling fans, etc.): 1/2 value (round down). Small class of people (all priests of Kor, all literate people in 12th-century England, all wizards in modern Alabama): 1/3 value (round down).If the class of people affected is so small that, in the GM's opinion, you would not meet even one in the average adventure, your reputation doesn't count at all. This is entirely based on your own campaign; for instance, mercenary soldiers will be very rare in some game-worlds, and very common in others.
Frequency of Recognition also modifies the value of your reputation. The more often you are recognized by members of the "affected class," the more important that reputation is, as follows: All the time: no modifier. Sometimes (roll 10 or less): 1/2 vaIue rounded down. Occasionally (roll of 7 or less): 1/3 value, rounded down.
Example: Sir Anacreon has a reputatian for fearless monster-slaying -- which earns him a +2 reaction from those who recognize him. Everyone has heard of him (no modifier); he is sometimes recognized (1/2 value). This is a 5-point advantage.
Example: Snake Scarsdale is a cheap crook and part-time stoolie. His name is good for a -3 reaction (-15 points). He is only recognized occasionally (1/3 value). And he is known to a fairly large group (the underworld -- 1/2 value).15 x 1/2 x 1/3 is 2.5 -- rounding down to a big 2-point disadvantage.
Note that it is possible to have more than one reputation. For instance, a crimefighter might be well-known, earning a +3 from honest citizens and a -1 from the underworld. In terms of point value, this would cancel out. But if you want to record it on your sheet and play it...more power to you! If you have overlapping reputations (especially if one is good and one is bad), the GM should check each one before determining how an NPC reacts to you. Of course, your reputation extends only within a certain area. If a character travels far enough away, the GM may require him to "buy off" the disadvantage points that he took for a bad reputation. (There is no corresponding bonus for losing a good reputation.)
Sadism -15 points
You delight in cruelty...mental, physical, or both. (This is a particularly "evil" trait, more appropriate to NPC villains than to heroic characters.) The GM may completely prohibit this disadvantage (or any other advantage or disadvantage) if he does not want anyone roleplaying it in his campaign. People react to a known sadist at -3, unless they are from cultures holding life in little esteem. When a sadistic character has an opportunity to indulge his desires, but knows he shouldn't (e.g., because the prisoner is one that should be released unharmed) he must make a successful Will roll to restrain himself. Note that it is possible, to be both a bully and a sadist.
A Secret is some aspect of your life (or your past) that you must keep hidden. Were it made public, the information could harm your reputation, ruin your career, wreck your friendships, and possibly even threaten your life! The point value of a Secret depends on the consequences if the Secret is revealed. The worse the results, the higher the value, as follows:
Serious Embarrassment. If this information gets around, you can forget about ever getting a promotion, getting elected, or marrying well. Alternatively, your Secret could be one that will simply attract unwelcome public attention if it is known. -5 points.
Utter Rejection. If your Secret is discovered, your whole life will be changed. Perhaps you would lose your job and be rejected by friends and loved ones. Perhaps you will merely be harassed
by admirers, cultists, long-lost relatives, or the press. -10 points.
Imprisonment or Exile. If the authorities uncover your Secret, you'll have to flee, or be imprisoned for a long time (GM's discretion). -20 points.
Possible Death. Your Secret is so terrible that you might be executed by the authorities, lynched by a mob, or assassinated if it were ever revealed - you would be a hunted man. -30 points.
If a Secret is made public, there will be an immediate negative effect, as described above, ranging from embarrassment to possible death. There is a lasting effect - you suddenly acquire new, permanent disadvantages whose point value equals twice that of the Secret itself! The points from these new disadvantages go first
to buy off the Secret, and may then (at the GM's option only) be used to buy off other disadvantages or (rarely) to buy new advantages. Any unused points are lost, and the character's point value is reduced.
The new disadvantages acquired must be appropriate to the Secret and should be determined (with the GM's assistance) when the character is created. Most Secrets turn into Enemies, Bad Reputations and Social Stigmas. They might also reduce your Status or Wealth - going from Filthy Rich to merely Very Wealthy is effectively a -10 point disadvantage. Some Secret could even turn into mental or physical disadvantages, though it is to be rare.
Similarly, if the GM allows you to buy off old disadvantages with the new points, these too must be appropriate to the Secret. The most common disadvantages that could be bought off are
Duties and Dependents.
In general, a Secret appears in a particular game session if the GM rolls a 6 or less on three dice before the adventure begins. However, as for all other disadvantages of this type, the GM need not feel constrained by the appearance roll - if he thinks the Secret should come into play, it does! When a Secret appears in play, it is not automatically made public. The character must have the chance to prevent the Secret from being revealed. This may require him to cave in to blackmail or extortion, to steal the incriminating documents, or even to silence the person who knows the Secret. Regardless of the solution, however, it's only temporary -- the Secret will appear
again and again until it is finally bought off. Secrets may be bought off either automatically through exposure (see above) or with earned character points over the course of play.
Secret Communication 20 points
The race has a method of communication that cannot be perceived by other races -- telepathy on a weird band, ultrasonic speech, extra-dimensionally transmitted radio, or just race- specific empathy. The only telepathic race in a non-telepathic universe would have this advantage. The GM may allow an individual to buy the ability to
comprehend another race's private communication as an advantage. Cost would depend on the importance of that advantage to the campaign.
Special enhancement: Other races cannot even perceive when communication is going on. +4 levels.
Special limitation: Only general concepts and emotions can be sent. -5 levels.
Sense of Duty -5/-10/-15/-20 points
This is different from a real Duty (see above). A real Duty can be enforced upon you. A Sense of Duty comes from within. It is not the same as Honesty (see p. 33). A dishonest person may still have a sense of duty. Robin Hood was dishonest; he stole! But he felt a strong sense of duty, both toward his men and toward the poor folk he met. If you feel a sense of duty toward someone, you will never betray them, abandon them when they're in trouble, or even let them suffer or go hungry if you can help. If you are known to have a sense of duty, others will react to you at a +2 to trust you in a dangerous situation. If you have a sense of duty, and go against it by acting against the interests you are supposed to feel duty toward, the GM will penalize you for bad roleplay.
The player defines the group to which the character will feel the sense of duty, and the GM sets its point value. Examples: only toward close friends and companions (-5 points); toward a nation or other large group (-10 points); toward everyone you know personally (-10 points); toward all humanity (-15 points); or toward every living being (-20 points...and you are a saint, and very hard to tolerate).
Sensitive Touch 15 points
The race's fingertips (or equivalent organs) are extremely sensitive. For instance, an individual can by touch notice residual heat in a chair, faint vibrations in the floor as someone approaches, similarities or differences between two pieces of fabric, etc. The individual must roll his IQ to use this advantage successfully (note: low IQs do not default to 13 when using this advantage).
Note that if this much sensitivity is normal to the race, a highly trained individual, buying "extra" Acute Touch as per normal human Acute Hearing, would seem miraculous indeed.
Sessile -50 points
The race can't move. They can be moved (although this might require major excavations), and they can have manipulators, but their base is anchored where they sit.
Short Life span -25 points/level
The race's lifespan is significantly shorter than average. Each level decreases the lifespan by 25%. A race with one level of this disadvantage would reach maturity at 13 1/2, begin to age at 38, and roll every 9 months thereafter. A race with three levels (the maximum) reaches maturity at 4 1/2, begins to age at 12 1/2, and
rolls every 3 months thereafter.
Shyness -5/-10/-15 points
You are uncomfortable around strangers. This disadvantage comes in three grades: Mild, Severe and Crippling. You must roleplay your shyness! This disadvantage can be "bought off" one level at a time. Mild Shyness: Somewhat uncomfortable around strangers, especially assertive or attractive ones. -1 on any skill that requires you to deal with the public -- in particular, Acting, Bard, Carousing, Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Leadership, Merchant, Politics, Savoir-Faire, Sex Appeal, Streetwise and Teaching. -5 points.
Severe Shyness: Very uncomfortable around strangers, and tends to be quiet even among friends. -2 on any skill that requires you to deal with the public. -10 points. Crippling Shyness: Avoids strangers whenever possible. Incapable of public speaking. May not learn any skill that involves dealing with the public; -4 on default rolls on such skills. -15 points.
Silence 5 points/level
The race can move around noiselessly. Individuals get an additional +2 per level to their Stealth skill if perfectly motionless, or +1 if moving (even in armor, etc.). This advantage helps only in the dark, or against listening devices, blind creatures, etc.
Skinny -5 points
You are notably underweight. After figuring your height, take "average" weight for that height (see p. 15) and cut it by 1/3. You may not take Handsome or Very Handsome appearance, and your HT may not be more than 14. Normal clothes and armor will not fit you. You will also be at -2 to your ST when you make (or resist) any Slam attack, and -2 to Disguise, or to Shadowing if you are trying to follow someone in a crowd.
Slave Mentality -40 points
The race has no initiative of its own. Individuals become confused and ineffectual without a "master" to give them orders. This does not necessarily imply a low IQ. A race might be quite intelligent enough to obey the command "plot a course to Cygnus, then pilot the ship there," but if the same being was starving and found money it would be hard pressed to decide to pickup the money and go buy food -- unless somebody told it to.
A member of a race with Slave Mentality must make a roll vs. IQ-8 before taking any action that's not either obeying a direct order, or part of an established daily routine . As a rule, such a character will always fail Will rolls. In a case where thc GM thinks a roll might be reasonable, it is at -6.
Slow rest Variable
The race needs more sleep than average (humanity, taken here as average, sleeps 33 % of the day). The more time it must spend asleep, the greater the value of the disadvantage: 50% of thc time: -10 points - 66% of the time: -20 points - 75% of the time: -30 points - 90% of the time: -40 points
Note that the race's precise schedule is a "special effect." A species, for instance, might be awake and active for 3 days and then sleep for 9 days. This could also be used to represent hibernation. For instance, if a race is awake and active on a basically human schedule for 6 months, and then hibernates for 2 months straight, then on the average it is asleep half the time.
Slow Healing -10/level
The race heals naturally slower than normal. With 1 level, the race gets a HT roll to regain lost HT every two
days. Each additional level increases the time between rolls by one day. When under the care of a competant physician , each level also increases the time allowed between the healer's Physician rolls by one base increment (the base increment is one week for a TL 3 campaign, less for higher TLs).
Slow Metabolism -10 points/level
A disadvantageous form of Extended Lifespan. Each level increases lifespan by a factor of 10, but reaction time and cognition times are slowed down by the same factor. It is difficult and frustrating to communicate with a member of a race with one level of this disadvantage. Some scientific or psionic enhancement would be necessary to communicate with a race with two levels. Any race with three levels or more would probably not
perceive normal creatures at all, and normal creaturcs could only tell the race was alive if a team of scientists made a concentrated effort to find signs of life.
Smoke 15 points
The race can cause an area to fill with thick smoke (creator chooses color). For line of sight and vision purposes treat this as 3 hexes of the Darkness spell .Anyone inside this cloud must roll against HT or be temporarily blinded for 1d-3 turns after leaving the smoke. Individuals with the Nictating Membrane advantage are immune to the blinding effects of the smoke cloud. Area affected -- 3 hexes, all of which must be adjacent to
each other and one of which must be adjacent to the individual.
Social Stigma -5/-10/-15/-20 points
You are of a race, class or sex that your culture considers inferior. The "stigma" must be obvious to anyone who sees you; otherwise, it is merely a bad reputation (p. 17). The point bonus depends on the reaction penalty:
Second-class citizen (e.g., a woman in 19th-century America, or members of some religions): -5 points, -1 on all reaction rolls except from others of your own kind.
Valuable property (e.g., a woman in 18th-century America or 16th-century Japan): -10 points. GMs and players may work out the details , it usually takes the form of limited freedom or lack of intellectual respect.
Minority group (at GM's discretion): -10 points. -2 on all reaction rolls made by anyone except your own kind, but +2 on rolls made by your own kind.
Outsider, outlaw, or barbarian (e.g., a 19th-century American Indian in white man's territory, a Goth in Imperial Rome, or an Untouchable in India): -15 points. (Note that there is no bonus for a "barbarian" created and played within his own culture, for there he is not a barbarian at all. This requires judgment on the part of the GM.) You also get -3 on all reaction rolls, but +3 from your own kind when met outside your home culture.
In all cases, a character who takes a Social Stigma disadvantage must be bound by it. For example, a medieval Japanese lady must pay for her l0-point bonus by giving up her freedom of movement in many cases, and must defer to older male relatives when they are present. And a black slave in the 19th century will be allowed to learn very little, can own almost no property, and will have little freedom of any kind unless he manages to escape north. (If he does escape, he will have traded off his Social Stigma disadvantage for a powerful Enemy!)
Sonar Vision 0/25 points
The race can "see" by emitting sound waves which bounce off the surroundings. No light is required. Sonar can be "jammed" or fooled by very loud sound, but not otherwise. It is color-blind, but can "see" the interiors of living things and other objects of equivalent density.
Effective range is typically a few hundred yards. It is useless in vacuum. As a race's sole form of vision, this is worth no points. As an adjunct to another form of vision, it is worth 25 points.
Sonic Blast 35 points
The race can emit a burst of focused, high-frequency sound that can pummel flesh and shatter brittle objects. Crystalline objects (and most metals are crystalline unless specifically alloyed to be amorphous) are vulnerable to a Sonic Blast; treat it as an armor-piercing attack bypassing 1/4 of the target's DR.
Space Sickness -10 points
You are miserable in free fall; you may never gain Free Fall skill, but will always operate at your default of DX-5 or HT-5, whichever is better. A spacesick character must roll vs. HT the moment he enters free fall. If he fails the roll, he chokes -- treat as drowning (p. B91). Furthermore, he will be nearly incapacitated during the entire time he is in freefall -- effectively -5 on all subsequent rolls (including DX, HT, ST and IQ). On a successful roll, he will have a mere -2 penalty to everything. In campaigns in which PCs are mainly planetbound, this disadvantage is no handicap, and should not be allowed.
Spectrum Vision 40 points
The race can "tune" its vision to any portion of the spectrum. Individuals can see radio emissions, gamma rays, UV radiation or any other portion of the spectrum they desire. Note that just because an individual can see radio or microwaves doesn't mean it can understand them...but he can see by their reflection. A TV or microwave tower would be a beacon to this sense.
Split Personality -10/-15 points
You have two or more distinct personalities, each of which may have its own set of mental problems or behavior patterns. This allows you to have mental disadvantages that would otherwise be incompatible (e.g., pacifism and berserk rage, or paranoia and lecherousness). Each personality should have his or her own character sheet. There should be at least 50 points' worth of differences. Even their basic stats may vary somewhat (ST, DX, and HT being artificially lowered for personalities that "think" they're weak, clumsy or sickly).
IQ and skills may be different, and personality traits can be totally different. The personalities' character point values should average to 100 when you start, but they need not be the same! Distribution of earned character points between the personalities is up to the GM. In any stress situation, the GM rolls against your IQ; a failed roll means a switch to another personality. No more than one roll per hour (game time) is required.
Any NPC who is aware of this problem will feel (possibly with justification) that you are a dangerous nut-case, and will react at -3 to you. If your personalities are facets of a single "individual," this is a l0-point disadvantage. If the personalities are largely unaware of each other, interpret their memories differently, and have different names, it is a 15-point disadvantage.
Status is much like reputation, except that it reflects your social standing rather than your personal popularity. Anyone can determine your status by looking at you, your dress, and your bearing. If you have very high status, your face may be easily recognized -- or perhaps the gaggle of servants that surrounds you will get the
message across. (If you disguise yourself successfully, you can change your apparent status, but this is a good way to get into a lot of trouble!)
Status is measured in "social levels," ranging from 4 (worthless scum) to 8 (you are considered literally divine). For a sample chart of social levels, see p. 191. The point cost is 5 points per "level" of status. So a status of 5 costs 25 points, and a status of -3 is a disadvantage worth -15.
High status means that you are a member of the ruling class in your original culture. Your family may be hereditary nobles (e.g., Plantagenet, Windsor), successful businessmen and/or politicians (Rockefeller, Kennedy), or some other type of big-shots.Or you may have achieved status by your own efforts. As a result,
others in your culture only will defer to you, giving you a bonus on all reaction rolls. Your Savoir-Faire skill for your own culture defaults to your IQ+2; for other cultures, it defaults to your IQ.
High status carries various privileges, different in every game-world. If you are not using a specific game-world book, these are up to the GM. Because of the common relationship between status and wealth, a wealth level of Wealthy or above lets you pay 5 fewer points for high status. In effect, you get one level of status free. But note that any high-status person is a likely target for kidnappers and status-seeking nuisances, and some criminal types hate "the ruling class."
You are a servant, criminal or slave. Note that this is not the same thing as the disadvantage of Social Stigma . In medieval Japan, for instance, a female could have very high Status (and the associated cost of living), but still get a -1 on reactions due to the Social Stigma of being female. The interaction of Status, Social Stigma and Reputation can give interesting results. For instance, a person who is obviously from a lower social class, or even a disdained minority group, might earn such a reputation as a hero that others react well to him.
Status as a Reaction Modifier
When a reaction roll is made, the relative status of the characters involved can affect the reaction. The GM can roleplay his non-player characters as he likes, of course, but some general guidelines would be:
Higher status usuaIly gives you a reaction bonus. If you have status 3, for instance, those of status 1 would react to you at a +2, and those of status 0 would react to you at a +3. (Except, of course, for criminals who resent status.) Negative status usually gives a penalty. If your status is so low that it's negative, those of higher status will react badly to you. Take the difference between your status and the NPC's as a reaction penalty, but no worse than -4. Lower status may give a penalty. If you are dealing with an NPC who is basically friendly, your status won't matter (as long as it's positive). After all, the King has a far higher status than his knights, but he reacts well to them...most of the time. But if the NPC is neutral or already angry, lower status makes it worse.
Stretching 15 points/level
Each level of stretching allows the race to stretch a limb, or their entire bodies, up to twice its normal size. Human-sized creatures normally cover 1 hex, so a creature of that size with three levels of Stretching can cover 2x2x2x1 8 hexes, or stretch a limb up to 8 hexes away. The speed at which an individual can stretch is equal to its Move. E.g., if a creature can stretch 12 hexes, but has a Move of 7, that creature can only stretch 7 hexes in one turn.
If a limb can strike an aimed blow (rolling vs. DX) but cannot manipulate or be used for walking (a tail, for
example), it is a "striker." Strikers cost 5 points apiece. Unmodified strikers do thrust/crushing damage, in close
combat only (e.g. horns). Increased range costs 5 points per striker per hex.
To increase the damage done by a striker, arm, or leg, the Claws Advanatage (see p. 17 Fanatasy Folk) may be added. This may also represent fangs, pincers, horns, etc. For +15 points, the limb does an extra +2 damage: punch+2 for arms, kick+2 for legs, and thrust+2 for strikers. For an +40 points, talons let the limb do both swing/cutting and thrust/impaling damage. For +55 points, long talons do swing +2/cutting or thrust+2/impaling. Note that this advantage only has to be purchased once -- no matter how many limbs it modifies! If a race has 8 arms, 15 points will buy +2 damage for all the arms (of course, Full Coordination, p. 17, is needed to attack with more than one). Aiming Strikers: Some strikers (e.g., tails) cannot be aimed well. If a striker attacks at a penalty to DX, subtract a point from its cost for every -1 to DX.
Strong Will 4 points/level
You have much more "willpower" than the average person. Your level of Will is added to your IQ when you make a Will Roll for any reason, including any attempt to affect you by Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Sex Appeal, Interrogation (with or without torture), Hypnotism, or psionic or magical attempts to take over your mind. However, this advantage does not help against combat shock, and so on. In questionable cases, the
GM's ruling is law. Example: You have 3 levels of Strong Will. An enemy spy is trying to seduce you. The GM rolls a Contest of Skills: the spy's Sex Appeal vs. your IQ. But you have a +3 in the contest, because of your willpower. Cost: 4 points per +1 bonus.
Stubborness -5 points
You always want your own way. Make yourself generally hard to get along with -- roleplay it! Your friends may have to make a lot of Fast-Talk rolls to get you to go along with perfectly reasonable plans. Others react to you at -1.
Stuttering -10 points
You suffer from a stammer or other speech impediment, which the GM may require the player to act out. -2 on all reaction rolls where conversation is required, and certain occupations and skills (e.g., Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Public Speaking, interpreting, news casting) are impossible.
Subjugation -20 points
The race has been subjugated by a more powerful race. The race has no rights and only those privileges which the overlords choose to extend. It is possible for an individual member of the race to escape to freedom, but that individual will be wanted in the overlord race's territories. If caught in Overlord territories the individual is subject to re-enslavement or sterner penalties. Any member of the overlord race is considered an enemy, even
outside of overlord territories (the individual can also buy the Overlord race as an Enemy disadvantage -- that indicates that the overlords are actively seeking the individual). Note: a race with Slave Mentality cannot also take the Subjugated disadvantage races with Slave Mentalities serve willingly.
Surge 15 points
The race can cause a power surge in an electrical device. For every two points by which the individual makes his IQ roll, there is a cumulative 1 in 6 chance that the item will short-circuit. If the individual makes the IQ roll by more than 10, it automatically shorts. On a critical success, the equipment catches fire. Range -- 3 hexes.
Many heroes and villains, especially in cinematic campaigns, have a special symbol - a Trademark that they leave at the scene of action, as a way of "signing their work." Perhaps the classic fictional example is the carved initial Z of Zorro. No character may have more than one Trademark. Multiple actions (e.g., binding your victims with purple phone wire, painting a frog on the wall and wrecking every computer in the building) simply makes your Trademark more distinctive - it is not multiple Trademarks.
-1 point: Your Trademark takes very little time to leave and cannot be used to trace your identity; it is essentially a Quirk. A typical example is something left at the scene - a playing card, a small stuffed animal, and so on - as long as it can't be traced and takes little time.
-5 points: Your Trademark is still simple, but you absolutely must leave it. You cannot leave the scene until you do, even if your enemies are breaking down the door.
-10 points: As above, but leaving your Trademark increases your chances of capture - initial carving, notes, traceable clues, and so on. Leaving this sort of Tradernark takes a minimum of 30 seconds. Anyone searching the crime scene and examining your Trademark receives a +2 to their Criminology roll.
-15 points: Your Trademark is so elaborate - dousing the captured thugs with a certain cologne, painting the entire crime scene pink, writing a long poem to the police - that it virtually assures your eventual capture (with this disadvantage, the GM may give clues without a successful Criminology roll).
Remember that a Trademark is an action separate from capturing the crooks or committing a crime. It's the particular way that it is done. Destroying files on a computer is not a Trademark; trashing them by substituting a "7" for each "5," is.
Telescopic Vision 6 points/level
The race can "zoom in" visually, allowing individuals to out perform even the best binoculars. Power is figured as for Microscopic Vision. The normal horizon for an Earth-sized planet on flat ground is three miles. Beyond the horizon, the curvature of the world will block Telescopic Vision.
Temperature Tolerance 10 points/level
The race can withstand a remarkably wide range of temperatures without loss of Fatigue or HT. For game purposes, a temperature "comfort zone" of about 50 is considered normal (the GM determines where this comfort zone is centered for each race). For each level of this advantage, the race multiplies HTx5, and adds that number of degrees to both ends of the comfort zone. Special limitation: The race's extra tolerance is only in one
direction -- either toward heat or toward cold, but not both. -4 levels.
Terminal illness -50/-75/-100 points
You are going to die...soon. This could be due to some sort of nasty disease, an unremovable explosive device embedded in the base of your skull, a potent curse, an unbreakable suicide pact or anything else that will result in your death. Point cost is determined by the length of time remaining. One month (or less) is worth 100 points (and you'd better work fast!). More than one month but less than one year is worth 75 points, and from one to two years is worth 50 points. More than two years is worth nothing -- anyone might be hit in two years!
If the GM is running a one-shot adventure where the characters aren't going to be reused, he should disallow this disadvantage as meaningless. If, during the course of a campaign, the character acquires a "miracle cure," has himself cloned or cyborg, or anything else that extends his life past his termination date, he must buy off the disadvantage. If he doesn't have enough points to buy it off, all earned character points should go
to this purpose until he does.
This disadvantage is straight out of the "existential despair" school of literature. It is best fitted either to a character whose player really intends to roleplay a doomed man, or to a character
who will struggle nobly to beat his fate, right up to the last minute.
Toughness 10/25 points
Your skin and flesh are tougher than the average human's. Your body itself has a Damage Resistance score. This DR is treated just like the DR from armor: you subtract it from the damage done by any blow, before you multiply the damage done by a cutting or impaling weapon. Toughness does not make you any harder to hit -- it just lets you survive more injury. Toughness does not let your skin "turn" weapons. They still break the skin -- they may even draw blood. But you're not hurt. However, if a poisoned weapon breaks your skin, the poison will do its normal damage. Note also that your eyes are not tough! A hit there will do normal damage. Cost: 10 points for DR 1, or 25 points for DR 2. Higher bodily DRs are not possible to a "natural" human. But some creatures have natural Toughness, or even natural armor that can stop weapons.
Truthfulness -5 points
You hate to tell a lie -- or you are just very bad at it. In order to keep silent about an uncomfortable truth (lying by omission), you must make your Will roll. To actually tell a false-hood, you must make your Will roll at a -5 penalty! A failed roll means you blurt out the truth, or stumble so much that your lie is obvious. (If someone is using Detect Lies on you, you are also at a -5 penalty.)
Tunneler 40 points
The race can dig through the ground like a worm, spewing dirt and sand behind. This skill lets the individual dig a passage, sized for its race, through dirt or stone. Movement through rock or stone is half normal tunneling speed. The GM may wish to assess a chance that the tunnel collapses behind the tunneler.
The individual must roll each minute vs. IQ to dig a stable tunnel. This can be modified upward for hard rock and downward for soft rock or dirt. Each halving of tunnel speed gives the individual a +1 on this roll.
Ultrasonic Speech 25 points
This advantage includes the Ultrasonic Hearing advantage. The race can converse in the ultrasonic range. Note that many species of terrestrial animals find it intensely annoying, or even painful, to be in earshot of sustained ultrasonic pitches. There is no cost when Ultrasonic Speech is the race's only form of communication.
Ultrasonic Hearing 10 points
The race can hear tones far higher than human ears can detect. (This assumes that they can also hear within the normal human range. If not, this is not an advantage, but just a different mode of hearing.)
Unaging 60 points
Individuals in this race never grow old. Age is fixed at maturity and will never change. Individuals never have to make aging rolls. Members of this race cannot take the Age disadvantage.
Unfazeable 15 points
Nothing surprises you - at least, nothing that's not obviously a threat. The world is full of strange things, and as long as they don't bother you, you don't bother them. You are exempt from Fright Checks, and almost no reaction modifiers affect you, either way. You treat strangers with distant courtesy, no matter how strange they are, as long as they're well-behaved. You will have the normal reaction penalty toward anyone who does something rude or rowdy, but you will remain civil even if you are forced to violence. Intimidation (p. 246) just does not work on you.
This advantage is incompatible with all phobias. A character with this advantage is not emotionless -- he just never displays strong feelings. The stereotypical Maine Yankee or English butler has this advantage. This advantage must be role played fully, or the GM can declare that it has been lost. In a campaign where Fright Checks are an hourly occurrence, the GM can charge 20 or more points, or disallow the advantage.
Universal Digestion 15 points
The race possesses remarkably hardy intestinal processes which allow it to derive nutrition from any animal or vegetable protein, no matter how alien the biochemistry. It does not confer any advantage against normal poisons.
Unluckiness -10 points
You just have bad luck. Things go wrong for you and usually at the worst possible time. Once per play session, the GM will arbitrarily and maliciously make something go wrong for you. You will miss a vital die roll, or the enemy will against all odds) show up at the worst possible time. If the plot of the adventure calls for something bad to happen to someone, you're the one. The GM may not kill a character outright with "bad luck,"
but anything less than that is fine.
Unusual Background 10 or more points
This is a "catch-all" advantage that can be used whenever it is needed. For instance, if your parents were traveling merchants, you could reasonably claim to have two or three "native" languages. But that is clearly an unusual background, which costs points. Similarly, if you have access to skills not available to the people around you, that is Unusual. In general, any time a player comes up with a "character story" that would reasonably give
him some special benefit, the GM should allow this, but require Unusual Background to cover it.
The GM may charge extra points if he rules the background is very unusual. "Raised by aliens" or "trained from birth by a mysterious ninja cult" might be considered "very unusual" in most game-worlds. Psi-users, supers or wizards are Very Unusual if they appear in a game-world where their special talents are unique.
Vacuum Support 60 points
The race can survive in space. Individuals in a vaccuum suffer no damage from internal pressure and temperature, and do not need to breathe. This advantage does not protect from attacks or damage of any kind (except, of course, an artificially-created vaccuum). The individual can survive underwater or in any
Venom 15 points/level
The race secretes a venom, either corrosive or poisonous, which can be delivered by various means. Corrosive venoms, such as acids, do damage quickly. A corrosive venom does 1d of damage per level when it is delivered,
and may continue to burn for several turns. At the end of every subsequent turn the venom does 1d less damage than on the turn before, until the number of dice reaches 0.
It is possible to wash off a corrosive venom, preventing damage on subsequent turns. This requires at least a liter water and a full turn. Armor, toughness and damage resistance will protect against corrosive venom for a number of turns equal to DR. There is no HT roll
to resist a corrosive venom.
Poisonous venoms work more slowly. They do 1d damage per level when delivered, but may continue to affect the victim for several hours. Every hour after the poison is delivered, the victim makes a roll against HT minus the number of levels of the poison. If the victim fails this roll, he takes 1d damage per level of the poison; if he succeeds, he takes no further damage from the poison, and does not need to roll again. Armor may protect
against the delivery of the poison, but has no effect once the poison is in the bloodstream.
Venoms may be delivered in a number of ways. Corrosive venoms could be defined as saliva, delivered with a bite, or a skin secretion, delivered with a bare-handed punch or touch. A character must make a successful close-combat attack based on DX in order to deliver a corrosive venom. A poisonous venom must enter the blood to harm the victim. Usually this is done by making a successful bite attack on the victim.
Any successful hit which penetrates the victim's armor, whether it does damage or not, delivers the venom. Fangs, or similar organs to deliver the venom, are includcd in the cost of this advantage. Note that this does not increase the normal (1d-4) damage of the bite. Special enhancement: For +10 points a poisonous venom may be defined as a skin agent, which enters the bloodstream through the skin. A skin agent cannot be washed off. Special Enhancement: For +5 points a venom may be delivered at range -- spit or squirted. This is a ranged attack, based on DX, with a SS 12, Acc 12, 1/2D n/a, and Max 5. Poison venoms must strike open wounds or mucous membrance (eyes, open mouth, inner nostril) to be effective, unless bought as a skin agent.
Ventriloquism 10 points
This is the ability to disguise and "throw" your voice for a short distance. A successful roll will let you throw your voice well enough to fool your audience. Modifiers: +5 if you have a dummy or confederate to distract your audience (it's easier to "see" a face talk than it is to believe the voice comes from an immobile object); -3 if the audience has reason to be suspicious.
Voice 10 points
You have a naturally clear, resonant and attractive voice. You get a permanent +2 bonus on all the following skills: Bard, Diplomacy, Performance, Politician, Savoir-Faire, Sex Appeal and Singing. You also get a +2 on any reaction roll made by someone who can hear your voice.
Vow -1 to -15 points
You have sworn an oath to do (or not to do) something. This disadvantage is especially appropriate for knights, holy men, and fanatics. Note that, whatever the oath, you take it seriously. If you didn't, it would not be a disadvantage. The precise value of a vow is up to the GM, but should be directly related to the inconvenience it causes the character. Some examples:
Trivial vow: -1 point (a quirk). Always wear red; never drink alcohol; treat all ladies with courtesy; pay 10% of your income to your church. Minor vow: -5 points. Vow of silence during daylight hours; vegetarianism; chastity. (Yes, for game purposes, this is minor). Major vow: -10 points. Use no edged weapons; keep silence at all times; never sleep indoors; own no more than your horse can carry. Great vow: -15 points. Never refuse any request for aid; always fight with the wrong hand; hunt a given foe until you destroy him; challenge every knight you meet to combat.
If you make a "vow of poverty," you may not also take points for being dead broke. Neither may you make a vow not to kill and then take points for Cannot Kill pacifism...and so on. Most vows end after a specified period of time. You must buy off a vow's point value when it ends. Vows for a period of less than a year are frivolous! If a character wants to end a vow before its stated time, the GM may exact a penalty; in a medieval
world, for instance, a quest or other penance would be appropriate. (A quest can itself be a vow, too.)
The race takes extra damage from certain forms of attack, or are weakened and hurt every time they come within a certain distance of a substance. For each level of Vulnerability purchased, individuals take an extra 1d damage (for attacks doing less than 1d damage, multiply the damage times the level of vulnerability).
The value per level depends on how common the substance is. GM decides the value of substances.
Rare: 3 points per level
Infrequent: 5 points per level
Occasional: 10 points per level
Common: 15 points per level
If affected by merely being near the substance, add 10% per hex of range to the cost per level. If damage comes off of Fatigue rather than hit points, the value is halved.
Walk on Liquid 20 points
The race can walk on the surface of any liquid as if it were solid ground. This does not protect individuals from any damage they would normally take from coming in contact with the stuff, though -- you can't walk across volcanic lava or boiling acid without taking damage. Move is normal. The GM can rule that this advantage doesn't work while carrying more than light encumbrance.
Warm 15 points
The race can raise the temperature of an area, up to a maximum of 5 degrees. This cannot be done repeatedly in the same area by the same individual. Extra individuals raise the temperature by +1 degree each. The temperature rises at no more than 5 degrees per turn. Special enhancement: The race can turn Warm on and off.
+3 levels. Area affected -- 3-hex radius.
This is like a Vulnerability, but less severe. A Weakness is a sensitivity, not to any kind of attack as such, but to the presence of a common substance or condition. It cannot be a food item or something easily avoided. The more quickly the individual takes damage, the more the Weakness is worth:
1d per minute: 20 points
1d per 5 minutes: 10 points
1d per 30 minutes: 5 points
Halve the value if the damage done is only Fatigue.
The rarity of the weakening condition also affects the value of the weakness.
Rare: (exotic radiation or minerals) half value
Somewhat common: (microwave radiation, intense normal cold, airborne pollen): listed value
Very common: (sunlight, living plants) triple value
Weak Will -8 points/level
You are easily persuaded, frightened, bullied, coerced, tempted and so on. For every level taken, your IQ is effectively reduced by 1 whenever you make a Will roll, including attempts to resist Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Sex Appeal, Interrogation, Hypnotism, or magical or psionic attempts to take over, read, or affect your mind. Weak Will also affects all attempts to master phobias, to make Fright Checks, and to avoid giving in to Addictions, Berserk behavior, and the like. A character cannot have both Strong and Weak Will.
Wealth 10/20/30/50 points
Wealth can be a truly wonderful advantage. See p. 16 for the point cost for different levels of wealth. Remember that wealth is relative, and determined by the game-world you start in. The precise meaning of each level will be defined, for each game-world, in that world's book.
Comfortable (x2) 10 points
You work for a living, but your lifestyle is better than average. You spend forty hours a week at your job.
Your starting wealth is twice the average.
Wealthy (x5) 20 points
Your starting wealth is five times average; you live very well indeed. Your job takes only 20 hours per week.
(In a badly-paid job, such as "servant," you don't make any more than anyone else, but you still have your high
initial wealth, and you still work only 20 hours a week.)
Very Wealthy (x20) 30 points
Your starting wealth is 20 times the average. You spend only 10 hours a week looking after business (this
is hardly a "job").
Filthy Rich (x100) 50 points
Your starting wealth is 100 times average. You spend 10 hours a week on business pursuits. You can buy almost anything you want without considering the cost.
Weapon Ability 2 points/level
You have a natural talent with arms and fighting. What the legends call a born-warrior . Your level of weapon ability adds to your DX when you study martial arts or a weapon. That is, when you learn a fighting skill, learn it as though your DX were equal to ( DX + Ability). Cost: 2 points for each level. You can gain up to three levels
Winged Flight 30 points
The race has functional wings which allow individuals to fly at a base speed of twice normal Move. The Enhanced Move advantage can be taken to increase flight speed. Wingspan is typically at least twice height, more if the race is especially large or heavy. In order to take off, land or maneuver, the individual must have an open area with a radius equal to its wingspan in all directions.
Thus, an individual with a 12-foot wingspan could not take off if there were any obstructions within 12 feet, on the ground or above. Needless to say, if a winged flyer loses a wings (or more than 1/3 of its wings, for multi-winged creatures), it cannot fly.
Youth -2 to -6 points
You are underage by your culture's standards: 1 to 3 full years underage, at -2 points per year. You suffer a -2 reaction roll whenever you try to deal with others as an adult; they may like you, but they do not fully respect you. You may also be barred from nightclubs, vehicle operation, war parties, guild membership, etc., depending on the culture and game-world. You must keep track of time, and "buy off" this disability when you reach "legal age" (usually 18) for your time and place.
Zeroed 10 points
As computer information networks become more comprehensive, there are many times when it is an advantage to be an unknown. You are the sand in the gears, the wrench in the works. Whether through an accident of birth, a record keeping mess, a computer crash, or something else, the authorities (and their computer systems) know nothing about you. You do not officially exist.
No records of you exist in any paper or computer files at the time play begins. Thus, you are immune to most varieties of government (or corporate) enforcement or harassment. To maintain this status, you must deal strictly in cash or commodities. Any credit or bank accounts must be blind (the account isn't keyed to an individual, but to whoever knows a certain pass code) or set up through a Temporary Identity
If you are investigated by the authorities, they will at first assume that there is a computer malfunction when they can't find days as no information can be found about your life. They will then try to pick you up. If they can't find you, they're likely to shrug and give up. But if they apprehend you, you will be in for a long, drawn-out
questioning session, possibly involving truth drugs and/or torture. After all, a non-person has no civil rights!
Unless you have taken the right precautions in advance, no one can prove that you are being held, as you don't officially exist! It is possible to become Zeroed, but it's not easy; the national databanks are well-guarded and multiply redundant. Treat cost and difficulty as to gain an Alternate Identity .
360-Degree Vision 25 points
The race has a complete 360-degree field of vision. If the individual knows the Karate skill, it call attack foes behind it at no penalty. Otherwise, treat "off hand" hexes and back hexes as -2 to hit. Note that in humans the "off hand" is usually the left. Every bilaterally symmetrical race is assumed to have an "off" and "on" side unless the Ambidexterity advantage is bought.
However, the GM can rule that it's impossible for certain tentacle or multi-limbed races to have off hand hexes). Individuals suffer no penalties when defending against attacks from the side or rear, and opponents gain no bonuses when attacking from behind. Extra eyes are merely a special effect of this advantage a race can possess it and have none, one or a hundred eyes and the cost remains the same
3D-Spatial Sense 10 points
This advantage is a heightened form of Absolute Direction , and includes that advantage. On an IQ roll, the user may retrace a rough path through space, and know which way is Galactic Up, which way the Core is, and so on. It is useless during a hyperspace skip or when traveling through a stargate, though it can be used in warp travel at -1 and in hyperspace "skip" at -2. It also adds +2 to Astrogation skill, and +1 to any type of starship or spaceship Piloting.