Core Rules: Talents - Negative

Negative talents aren't necessarily bad, they are listed as negative because they will restrict the character in some manner. Most negative talents have positive counterparts, and taking both the positive and negative version of a talent is unnecessary as they will cancel each other out.

Some negative talents may be bought off by the character, so that the talent's effects no longer apply. If this is the case, the entry for the talent will state so, and how many days of training it will cost.

Some negative talents are moral codes. As these are self-imposed by the character, these talents may be bought off during play if the player wishes to do so by spending a number of days of training, representative of the time wasted during the existential crisis the character will go through.

Some other negative talents can be resisted with self control using a discipline test. The difficulty of the test affects the point refund, with more difficult penalties yielding more significant refunds. Any talents that can be resisted will state so in their description.

Addiction

2 point refund per level

[Specific Narcotic Substance]

The character is addicted to substance that they must imbibe daily, or suffer ill-effects from withdrawal. The substance in question could be anything addictive, from alcohol, opium, cocaine or even patent medicines. This talent may be taken more than once, up to 4 times with each level representing a more intense addiction. Exactly what the character is addicted to can be left to the player and GM to work out. Here are a few examples:

Addiction LevelExample substances
1Caffeine, Tobaco
2Alcoholism
3 
4Opium, Cocaine

Generally, if a substance is toxic enough to cause poisoning if enough of it is imbibed (like Alcohol for instance), it will be a level 2 or high addiction.

If the character does not acquire their daily dose(s) of this substance, they will start to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. At a level 1 addiction, the effects are fairly mild - irritability, anxiety, and/or restlessness amongst others. Above that, the character can expect to also suffer physical symptoms.

For each level of addiction, the character suffers a cumulative -2 penalty to all tests; and for levels 2, 3, and 4, the character will also take 2, 4 or 6 permanent fatigue; until either the substance is consumed again or enough discipline tests have been passed to kick the addiction.

To kick an addiction the character can either buy off the talent for 300 days per level, or attempt to quit the habit through discipline. Passing 10 consecutive discipline tests, once daily, will successfully kick the habbit - remember that these tests will be affected by the withdrawal symptoms.

If a discipline test to kick the habit is failed when the character is in the percieved vicinity of the addictive substance, the character must make all effort to partake of that substance. If the substance is not immediately available, the character is likely react illogically and unpredictably in their desire to sate their cravings. The GM should adjudicate how the character reacts.

Blind

4 point refund

A synonym for inactive sense - sight. See sense: inactive for complete information.

Bloodlust

3 point refund

The character has a tendancy to go beserk and rampage out of control when either themselves or someone that they care for is attacked or injured. A character with bloodlust will, when aggrevated, go out of their way to make attacks against who or what the cause of the issue is.

If they take an injury level in combat, or whenever they witness equivalent harm to a loved one, the character must pass a discipline test or go beserk. Characters under the effect of bloodlust:

  • must only make attack actions if in engagement, or move at full speed to engagement if within charging range.
  • must move towards the nearest known enemy at full speed, if not armed with a ranged weapon.
  • may elect to make shooting actions at the maximum rate of fire if already armed with a ranged weapon, until the weapon has no remaining ammunition.
  • are immune to stun.
  • will automatically pass any constitution test caused by the effects of injury.
  • must pass a discipline test after each enemy has been defeated to return to normal control.
  • must pass a discipline test after combat has ended to return to normal control
  • treats allies as enemies if there are no remaining enemies to target until they return to normal control. They may make a discipline test to stop attacking an ally at the start of each combat turn.

Charitable

3 point refund

Similarly to empathy, charitable characters have a compunction to feel acutely for others' pain and misfortune and have a compulsive urge to help those in distress. Whenever a charitable could help another character or creature, or is asked to help, they must pass a discipline roll in order to resist the urge. If they fail, they must render all assistance that they are able even if it puts the character in danger.

This talent may be bought off for 450 days of training.

Clueless

2 point refund

The character is utterly inept with jokes, seduction and complex social manners. The irritating habits that a clueless character has means a -2 penalty to any camraderie based tests. The character also gains a +2 bonus for any defence against charm with the intent to seduce.

Clumsy

3 point refund

This (anti-)acrobatic talent means that they're dreadful at landing on their feet from a fall, often tumbling an coliding with things after landing, landing poorly and giving their legs all manner of abuse from awkward landings.

Any balance and climb tests that they make have a -2 penalty.

If falling over 4 yards in height, double the height that they're falling from for working out damage.

If jumping (as distinct from falling) from under 6 yards in height, or jumping down a similar distance from a run or a sprint, they must pass an acrobatics test to see if they can land at all. If they pass by a small margin (4 or so), they will fall prone but will suffer no damage. A better pass will let them land on their feet. If they fail, they fall and will take damage normally.

Characters may not take this talent with acrobatic.

Combat Paralysis

3 point refund

The character is indecisive enough in combat situations that it is a danger to them, and possibly others. They gain a -1 penalty to their assault tests and -1 to any initiative roll they take.This

This talent may be resisted.

Characters may not take this talent with combat reflex.

Contemptuous of Authority

2 point refund

This character holds authority figures in poor regard, especially with those who demand respect not worth giving. When interacting with someone of higher social status or rank, this character has a -1 penalty to all social tests.

This talent may be resisted.

This talent may be bought off for 300 days of training.

This talent cannot be taken with socially crafty.

Craven

3 point refund

Said simply, this character is easy to frighten off, much like a dog coming up against a vaccuum cleaner. All fear inducing tests (being on the receiving end of an intimidate test for example) are at +2 to work against them.

This talent may be bought off with 450 days of training.

Characters may not take this talent with balls of steel.

Cynical

2 point refund

[Religion]

The character believes that religion is a bunch of hokey superstition. This manifests in a number of ways.

Firstly, a character gains a -2 bonus when interacting socially between obvious members of any organized religion, such as priests and those in the act of worship.

They may also gain penalties to particular actions if the circumstances relate strongly to religion, with the GM to adjudicate. For example, a character may likely gain penalties to nerve tests whilst defending a shrine.

This talent may be bought off with 300 days of training.

Characters may not take this talent with blessed.

Deaf

4 point refund

A synonym for inactive sense - hearing. See inactive sense for complete information.

Depressed

3 point refund

This character has had the lust for life sapped from them utterly, leaving them emotionally hollow and capable of only tasks necessary to survive.

As they lack motivation to do anything beyond the minimum to survive, a depressed character must roll a discipline test every time that they need to do something beyond that. For example: go to their job, reading a few books for clues, or even for keeping appointments with others.

When someone else appears and makes demands or requests of a depressed character, a discipline test will also be needed. A failure means that the character will apathetically acquiesce to those demands. For example: a close friend of the character may arrive at their home and demand that they accopmany them to the public house.

This talent may be bought off for 450 days training, or at the GM's discretion may be swapped for equivalent point talent(s) if the character improves beyond depression.

This talent may be gained as a result of other scenarios. For example: the death of close friends or family, or acting outside a code of conduct.

Die Easy

3 point refund per specialization

[Death / Stun]

This character is a surprisingly easy to kill or knock out.

For death: they lose a level of Fatigue needed before they die from negative fatigue. For example - if they have 12 health, then at -11 they will perish, rather than -12.

For stun, they only need to be taken to 1 fatigue in order be knocked unconscious. They will still lose conciousness in any situation that would cause an automatic loss of consciousness (often noted as being reduced to 0 fatigue), being placed at 0 fatigue as usual.

Disorganized

2 point refund

This character is continually misplacing or losing their posessions. Once per game session (the GM to adjudicate), when the disorganized character wishes to unpack an item they must pass a search test with a varible bonus. If they fail by a small degree (up to perhaps 4, depending on the item), then they cannot use that item at the present time as it is not in the correct place - further searching will be necessary to obtain it. If they fail by a larger margin, they have lost or misplaced the item in question.

GM Tip: you may wish to roll this in secret to keep the player guessing if they have truly lost it or not.

The bonus or penalty to their search test should be based on the item's size and to some degree its importance to that character. A smaller item would be more easily lost, whilst an entire sword would be hard to casually misplace. A special keepsake would be more attentatively looked after than something more disposable.

Extremely Unfit

2 point refund

The character is a glut of physical form, either from obesity, poor health or other reasons. Whenever they take a physical exertion test (of any kind), they gain a -2 penalty to that test.

This talent can be bought off for 300 days training.

This talent cannot be taken with extremely fit.

Feeble Will

2 point refund

The character is an easy one to coerce, by any means. It would not take a very compelling argument to influence them. All charm, intimidate and command tests used against them have an additional +2 bonus.

This talent cannot be taken with iron will.

Ill-Fated

6 point refund

The character seems to have destiny against them at every turn. Every time a character uses an intervention they must roll 1d10 - on a 1, 2, or 3, their intervention does not work and is wasted.

Illiterate

1 point refund

This character cannot read in their native language, usually as a result of lack of education. Illiterate characters cannot take any levels in deciphering,

Illiterate characters may recognize a very few writen words, such as "inn", "church" and so on. If so, they may attempt decipher tests with a suitable penalty at the GM's descretion when presented with writing.

Characters may be illiterate in a second language, if they know little beyond how to greet people and complain about the weather. Illiteracy in second languages affords no point refund, but may make for interesting roleplay.

This talent may be bought off for 150 days of training.

Inefficient Metabolism

2 point refund

They require more to eat to subsist normally. Increase the amount of food that they need to eat by ¼. If they don't eat enough, they do run the risk of getting exhausted, faster.

Inflexible

2 point refund

The character is simply unable to bend or flex very well, due to some congenital issue. They gain a -2 penalty to all escape and climb tests, and at the GM's descretion may not be able to squeeze into spaces much smaller than they are.

This talent may not be taken with flexible.

Notable Appearance

2 point refund

This character is the epitome of striking in appearance, beyond the normal average. So striking that it is very easy to pick them out in a crowd. They could be significantly above or below average height for their race, tremendously overweight, or have distinguishing mannerisms or blatant physical characteristics. Anyone attempting to describe the character will find it very easy to be precise in doing so.

Anyone trying to locate a notable character through social means, or whilst the character is amongst a group or small crowd, will gain at least a +2 bonus to their tests. Characters is notable appearance gain a +1 bonus to either charm or intimidate tests, chosen when the talent is taken.

Characters may gain this talent as a result of injuries. The GM should adjudicate when this applies. For example: losing an eye, thus gaining a mean scar and needing to wear an eyepatch, would count for this.

Depending on the specifics behind the notable appearance, this talent might be able to be bought off for 300 days of training. The GM will offer a ruling whether a character may buy this talent off or not (training out of a habit vs. a lost eye, for example).

Characters may not take this talent with average appearance.

Miserable

2 point refund

This character is a naturally dour person and people react unfavourably to them as result. Miserable gives them -1 to all tests involving social interaction. If in doubt, the GM has final say on what counts.

Sense: Dulled

2 point refund for sight or hearing
1 point refund for touch, taste or smell

[Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell]

The character has a sense that doesn't function well in some manner. For example, dulled sight would inhibit them from spotting things more easily. A dulled sense gives -2 to any awareness or search tests (and anything else the GM rules applicable) that involves that sense.

A dulled sense does not cover issues that aids can correct - for example, glasses cannot retify dulled sight. This talent represents an issue with the processing of the information the character recieves from their senses, not the quality of the information itself.

This talent cannot be taken with heightened sense or inactive sense of the same specialization.

Sense: Poor

1 point refund per specialization

[Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell]

The character has a sense that is worse than average in some manner. For example, poor sight would inhibit them from spotting things more easily. A poor sense gives -2 to any awareness or search tests (and anything else the GM rules applicable) that involves that sense.

A poor sense can be corrected with aids - for example, glasses will retify poor sight as long as they are worn.

This talent cannot be taken with inactive sense of the same specialization.

Sense: Inactive

6 to 12 point refund for touch
4 point refund for sight or hearing
1 point refund for taste and smell

[Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell]

The character has a sense that simply doesn't function. They may be blind, deaf, and so forth. An inactive sense cannot be used for any tests.

Inactive touch presumes catastrophic nerve damage and paralysis of some degree. If the character cannot use their legs, this talent refunds 6 points. If they cannot use their arms or legs, it refunds 12. Obviously the character will need an alternative form of locomotion and likely a tremendous amount of care.

This talent cannot be taken with dulled sense or inactive sense of the same specialization.

Soft Skull / Soft Body

5 point refund per specialization

[Skull / Body]

A character seems to have a very weak skull or resistant body. Any stat loss that effects any of their mental stats is double for soft skull; and any stat loss that effects their physical stats is doubled for soft body.

This talent cannot be taken with iron skull or iron body

Speechless

3 point refund

"Hodor."

For whatever reason, this character cannot talk or communicate verbally. They could have a physiological problem, may be mute, or simply be incapable of articulating more than a few different noises. Any complex communication must be non-verbal: for example signing, or writing.

This talent cannot be taken with large ham,or razor sharp wit.

Substance Suceptability

2 point refund per specialization

[Specific Poison / Drug / Alcoholic beverage]

This character is particularly susceptable to intoxication or inebriation from a substance. They will get a -2 penalty to resist the specific substance if it is imbibed. The GM should adjust the refund upwards appropriately for particularly poisonous substances, or downwards if it is unlikely that the characters would ever encounter the substance in question.

This talent may not be taken with substance resistance of the same substance.

Unsteady Hands

2 point refund

This character is either clumsy or shaky - in both cases they find fiddly work challenging. For any difficult and fiddly activity (e.g. picking locks, making jewellery, sewing, sleight of hand, clockworking, surgery, etc.) the character suffers a -3 penalty.

Unsteady Stomach

2 point refund

This character's stomach is easily perterbed in unsteady situations. They suffer badly from the effects of motion sickness from being on a boat, flying or any other vehicle, and will always lose their balance whilst being thrown around by the elements.

During any episode where characters would need to test for balance or nausea as a result of environmental factors whilst they are on a form of transportation of some sort, the character will automatically fail such tests.

Weak Pain Threshold

2 point refund

The character is far too delicate for battlefield situations - as a result their ability to deal with pain is much worse than their peers. They gain a -2 penalty to resist torture of any sort and a -2 penalty to any tests called for as the result of injury.

This talent cannot be taken with pain threshold.

Ugly Appearance

1 point refund per level

This character can be regarded as 'ugly looking' to such a degree that it affects the interactions they have with others. This can range from merely 'unattractive' to 'hideous'. This talent can be taken up to 5 times.

Each level gives a -1 penalty to all social interaction tests: command, charm, inquire etc.

On the upside, being ugly might shield the character from unwanted attention - they will be the least likely chosen by others when amongst a group, for good or for ill.

A character may not take this talent with average appearance or attractive appearance

Xenophobic

2 point refund

The character stoicly adverse to cultures and norms outside their own. Any tests that would normally be hampered by cultural barriers double the penalty. The GM should adjudicate on when this applies, but would ordinarily cover most social tests when dealing with new or differing cultures or people of those cultures.

This talent may be bought off with 300 days of training.

Characters may not take this talent with cosmopolitan.