Alien or Special Abilities
We all know that in Star Wars, “alien” is a very relative term. Technically, everybody in Star Wars is an alien to someone else, however, the universe of Star Wars is very human-centric. In game terminology, “alien” refers to anything not strictly Human; anything not human or human-norm is alien. This includes all the aliens of Star Wars and it also includes “near-Humans” mutants and genetic experiments that have ended up with special abilities, Humans with psionic powers, and anybody else who doesn’t get neatly pigeon-holed in the “Human” category.
Each Alien or Special Ability is listed with its roleplaying effects.
Special Abilities (1-5 points)
These of course are abilities that make an individual special. Because the Alien Encounters sourcebook has some Alien Abilities, these have to be covered first.
Alien Encounters Sourcebook
The Special Abilities in the Alien Encounters Sourcebook can be integrated here as well. They are simply purchased at 3 points per ability (equivalent of 1D) but from the Advantages/Compensation pool. The player is not forced to balance out any Alien Encounters abilities with compensations, however, this definitely make the character a non-human species. The point cost is balanced because the player is forced to take Compensations where as in the Alien Encounters system you are not. Use the system there to develop aliens. Below are additional Alien or Special abilities that can be purchased for the listed cost in points.
Some Abilities from Alien Encounters are repeated (perhaps even with different point costs) below,if the GM wants to not use the Alien Encounters system at all.
More Special Abilities available in Additional Special Ability List
General Point Value Guidelines
|Point Value||Game Effect and Examples|
|1||An ability that is only of limited usefulness. Examples include gills for breathing under water; resistance to one environmental extreme; a very long lifespan.|
|2||An ability that gives the character a distinct advantage in certain limited situations. Examples include the ability to “put off” a bodily function like eating, sleeping (or even breathing) for a comparatively short amount of time, extra appendages.|
|3||The character has a very useful advantage. The ability to regenerate Stun damage at a rate of one point per round; self-powered wings; the character has an “extra” wound level before deathlike “coma.”|
|4*||The advantage is almost always a factor. Natural “armor” that increases outward (or inner, but not both) Strength by up to +1D energy; virtual immunity to one specific form of damage (electricity, gamma radiation, etc.); the ability to make healing rolls at an hourly rate instead of the normal rate; the character is immune to one sort of non-physical, specific form of attack (taunt, trick, intimidate, etc.)|
|5*||A “special effects” sort of ability that gives the character a distinct advantage. This is a very powerful ability natural to the character – perhaps the character can teleport over very short distances; has the ability to change shape or size; can transform a very limited amount of energy to matter or back again.|
|* These abilities are very hard to keep under control. The gamemaster should not allow a character with these abilities to have other very powerful Advantages without some major Compensations being present. You may not wish to choose these abilities at first.|
Psionic Powers (5 – 8 points)
For a full explanation of Psi in Star Wars and a table of Psi Powers listed there, go to Special Abilites: Psionic Powers
This category covers knowledge and information possessed by the character – to her benefit – that is not “common knowledge.” These are not skills, and nothing needs to be rolled for them. They are knowledge recourses or pools that the character has in some respect.
Contacts (1-4 Points)
When a character purchases Contacts for a variable Advantage point cost, the character gets a contact or several contacts that regularly provide the character with information and/or “help” during the campaign. These contacts can be friends, associates, just people the character “knows of” who will respond to the character’s plea for knowledge, or even enemies. The character may not always know who these contacts are. They could be a secret society or group that knows who the character is, but who choose to “remain anonymous.” The player should tell the gamemaster how many points to devote to this Advantage and let the gamemaster work out the details.
This gives a great resource to the GM throughout the campaign. Contacts can be used for many things, from starting an adventure or ending a subplot, or just getting the main plot to move along. Use the table below to determine what sort of “power” your contact has by point value. The gamemaster will then “set it up’ so that your contacts are part of the game. Remember that Contacts have their own motivations, they are not always out for your own good, and they are influenced just as easy by other. Most have some sort of vested interest in keeping the character informed.
Contact Value Chart
|1||The contact has a very limited sphere of influence/knowledge. Examples: a local barkeep with “an ear to the ground”; a group of friends with their eyes open; a bureaucrat who gives “juicy tips at modest prices”; a computer nerd who knows “everything” about one sort of computer|
|2||The contact has a moderately extensive sphere of influence/knowledge. A small underground or low-level information net running throughout a city, base, or ship; an low-ranking Imperial or Rebel officer who “keeps in touch”; the head of a local law enforcement agency; a weaponsmith who has access to not-quite-legal weapons and underground information|
|3||The contact has a wide range of influence/ knowledge, but may be difficult to get in touch with. A band of “gypsies” who travel around and have some way of contacting the character; extensive ties to a megacorporation’s personnel who feed the character information when it suits them; a crime boss who “owes the character a favor” and pays it back occasionally with information|
|4||More than one contact, with extensive knowledge on many subjects. Lots of “old acquaintances” keep their eyes peeled for information the character might be interested in; a whole species (small species) feels friendly toward the character for past favors; people show up out of the shadows and tell the character things for no apparent reason.|
Cultures (1-4 points)
The character has unusual knowledge of a species, culture, or society other than his or her own. This knowledge is not a skill – it is “natural” to the character. For example, it may “occur” to a character, while he is dealing with a culture he has knowledge of, that something “isn’t right.” Maybe someone is acting in a manner not consistent with the culture, or someone is about to commit a serious breach of etiquette. The table below shows possible point costs and examples of uses of this Advantage.
Culture Value Chart
|1||The character’s knowledge is limited to one culture and is not very reliable. The character remembers small items and details of cultural significance but may not remember them all the time. The gamemaster has control over when this knowledge helps the character. Exmaples includes: anecdotes from the culture’s history, table manners, etc.|
|2||The knowledge may be focused on one culture or spread out over a few and is useful in proportion to its focus. The character may know much of what is “common knowledge” within the culture. Either that, or perhaps the character has limited knowledge (like option one) of several cultures through limited contact, similar to the one-point Cultures but for a few cultures.|
|3||The character has exhaustive knowledge of one culture, or “passing knowledge’ of several. The character probably speaks the native language of the culture in question (free skill, like native language) and probably knows quite a bit about the culture and the culture’s secrets. Or the character may have fairly good knowledge of several cultures (as option two).|
|4||The character is practically a native of the alien culture, perhaps raised in another culture that is not common to his species.|
Secrets (1-6 points)
The character knows something. Either he has ‘something on’ someone of importance, or just knows something that will benefit him during play. Examples include: inside information on stock or mineral prices; the secret location and password for a hidden Imperial base; how to forge Imperial registration papers perfectly, every time (until they change the format); or the name of a Moff’s mistress( and theMoff’s wife’s phone number). All information has to be treated differently. Some of it is one-shot information (like the location of a secret treasure), while other information can be milked indefinitely, while others can seem one shot but only lead to more secrets. Other information may vary in value – if the Moff doesn’t care whether his wife knows about his affairs, blackmail won’t work, but the character may be able to become friends with the mistress himself … thereby acquiring more information. Because of the incredibly variable nature of the information, there is no table for assigning Advantage points just some explanation. Secret information that is of limited usefulness or has a “one-shot” application should be worth about one or two points. It is not information that will affect the character’s career that much. Information that has a long-standing effect on the character and those around the character is worth three points, and one that could make the character very, very powerful is a four point. advantage.
Keep in mind, when choosing the “Secret” Advantage, you may be opening up your character for some obvious Compensations. For example, if your character has a three point “Secret” that he or she can use to blackmail a local Imperial officer, then the character may also attract something like the “Enemy” Compensation. Also remember, even if you rationalize something like this away (because you don’t want the Compensation), you may get it anyway as the game goes on.
Secrets can serve the character in many ways, good and bad. The point value should be determined by the GM.
Supranormal Knowledge (3 points)
The character with Supranormal Knowledge knows how to do something nobody else (at least nobody else in the campaign) knows how to do. Or, perhaps, the character knows how to do something everyone else knows how to do – only better. This is a combination of “Knowledge” and “Numbers.”
Purchasing this Advantage gives the character two pips in any skill that is applicable to the Supranormal Knowledge. These skills shouldbe noted somehow as being related to the character’s supranormal knowledge.
There is an additional effect when the character performs the skill. Usually, it will benefit the character. At the very least, it will be impressive. THis efffect could be used to initimidate or in some way, emotionally effect a Gamemaster character. Note that this option can also be used to introduce “alien” skills into the game.
Latent Abilities (1-5 Points)
Latent Abilities is used when the player needs a little breathing roomn. The character can “reserve” an unspecified Advantage “to be determined” at a later time.
Later, the GM or the player may come up with something appropraite. If the gamemaster approves, the “Latent Ability” is replaced with whatever Advantage the gamemaster approved of. In the game, the character suddenly displays some ability or skill no one (not even the character) knew she had. From then on, that ability is part of the character.
Note that the point cost for “Latent Abilities” and the point cost for the Advantage “to be named later” should be the same. So the player decides how power the Latent ability should be initially, then the GM does some judgement work when the Advantage ability comes up. For example, a two point Advantage could actually be two one point Advantages (if preferred) and could be selected at different times. The point values must get GM approval, because the higher the Latent Ability is, the more imbalanced the ability could be later.
One exception to this rule is “Psionic Powers.” If a character wants to be a “Latent Psi,” then she can “find out” during an adventure by “giving up” the “Latent Abilities” and choosing the Psionic advantage. However, the character then has to purchase at a cost of 6 Character points per power, up to 2, to get 1D in the power. And this usually means finding a Psionic teacher who is willing to instruct the character.
Cybernetics (1-5 points)
This is best used when the player takes hte Compensation Handicap, and ops for a lost limb or something along those lines. Also, in order to begin the game with unusual or powerful cybersystems, the character must acquire the “Cybernetics” advantage. The Point Values depend on the relative value of the cybernetics – in credits and in “roleplaying relevance.”
The Equipment table below gives some guidelines to what cybernetics and/or are available – and at what point cost.
(See The Shatterzone to Star Wars Cybernetics conversions)
Equipment (1-5 points)
Acquiring basic starting equipment is something every player character can do as a normal part of character generation. However, this Advantage allows the character to obtain restricted, unusual, expensive, and/or alien equipment to use during the game.
Things that a character might “purchase” with Advantages include powerful weapons, prototype equipment, or military-issue armor. Other things are available as well, but most characters will probably be looking for this type of stuff here. Expensive vehicles are also a popular choice. For space-faring vessels, see “Ships,” below. The table below gives you some idea of what sorts of equipment can be purchased with Advantage points.
Keep in mind that there are many good ways to Compensate for equipment – such as “Advantage Flaws,” “Criminal,” and “Debt.”
Equipment/Cybernetics Value Chart
|1||The equipment is just above standard, either in value or effect. A military-issue weapon (such as a heavy weapon) of not unremarkable power; a fairly expensive piece of non-combat equipment (like a nice car or hovercraft); above-average armor; a really nice object of value. Maximum credit expense should not exceed 20,000 credits in any case|
|2||The equipment is well above standard and is not normally available to even the less-general public. A military-only piece of equipment (such as a Brodie Mark IV Armored Combat Suit or a plasma gun); a very expensive piece of non-restricted (but still unusual) equipment; an object of extreme rarity and value. Maximum cost should not exceed 30,000 credits in any case|
|3||The equipment is not available to any but a select few. Top-of-the-line weaponry or armor;aprototypepieceof non-combatequipment; a one-of-a-kind object of value. Maximum cost is no more than 60,000 credits.|
|4*||The equipment is not available to anyone else. A prototype or alien weapon; an artifact with strange abilities or powers; a legendary object of value. Max cost cannot be determined|
|*||The gamemaster is encouraged to limit the occurrence of this option in his campaign. One character in the whole history of the campaign might begin the game with something like this – and the player better come up with a good reason why.|
Patron (1-3 points)
The odds are that most player characters are not independently wealthy. But they might have access to wealth in the form of patrons. If the characters are treasure hunters, patrons might include museums, universities, private philanthropists, newspapers or even retired adventurers.
1-point Patron means the character has a backer who will fund one expedition, with all proceeds going to the patron. All of the costs (room, board, travel, expenses) are covered by the patron, with the understanding that the player character is basically just a worker-for-hire. Anything that the adventurer discovers or purchases becomes the property of the patron.
2-point Patron expects much less from those he backs. The character may receive less financial support, but will have greater freedom of action. A newspaper publisher looking for hot stories is a common example of an organization qualifying for 2-point Patron. They cover a character’s travel expenses and any legal fees in exchange for hot stories. Anything that the character finds on his own (like artifacts) remain his own.
3-point Patron will give a character a limited stipend and cover expenses, then offer to purchase whatever the character recovers. Without consistent results, the funding could be cut off.
One suggested Compensation for this is Employment.
Ships (3 or 6 points)
This option allows your character to begin the game with access to a space- or starship (which type of vessel is up to the gamemaster). The Advantage only costs three points for a very good reason – unless there is some special circumstance, only one character per campaign should begin the game with a ship (and, most of the time, not even that many). The ship chosen shouldn’t cost more than 250,000 credits and should be of comparable size and strength.
It was mentioned that your character does not own “the ship”,using this option. To own the ship completely, the character must spend another 3 Advantage points to own it free and clear. Otherwise, there is some sort of “Debt,” “Criminal,” or “Advantage Flaw” on it (of at least 2-3 points). See the section on “Compensations”.
Wealth (2-5 points)
The character has a lot of money or negotiable funds. “Wealth” starts the character out with ready cash – but does not necessarily give the character access to everything he or she might want to buy. Unless a related Compensation is chosen, “Wealth” is the result of good fortune, hard work, or a combination of both. As a general rule, two points of “Wealth” is worth 10,000 credits. The option may be purchased more than once – up to five times, in fact.
This category of Advantage allows you to play with the numbers you decided upon during basic Character Generation. You can increase skill pips, Attribute points, and mess around with your character’s abilities in this section – purchasing those skills you wanted but just didn’t have enough points for.
Increased Attribute Points (3 points)
By choosing this Advantage, you,can purchase more Attribute points for your character. This allows you to go beyond the maximum number of points you started with. It does not allow you to have Attributes that exceed the species limit. For every three Advantage points you spend here, you can increase one Attribute by one pip – up to its highest possible value. This option may be purchased for one Attribute several times or for several Attributes – the only restrictions are your Attribute limits and the number of Advantage points you have.
Gamemaster Note: You may wish to limit the use of this advantage if the character in question rolled for Attribute points and got the maximum or close to it. It should not affect play balance all that much – as the character has very few skill points – but it may. Usually, this “Increased Attribute” reflects extra training and motivation on the part of the character – and should be reflected in the character’s background description.
Increased Attribute Limit (2 points)
By spending two Advantage points, you may permanently increase the Maximum Limit of one of your character’s Attributes one pip. This may be done as many times as you have Advantage points, but it does not confer Attribute points on the character. They may be increased normally to this new level, or you may purchase “Increased Attributes” with other Advantage points. No Attribute may have its limit raised by more than 1D using this option. Note that all characters who have “Increased Attribute Limit” Advantages come under the definition of “Alien.” They may not be actual aliens – but they are not “normal” according to what the majority of society calls “normal.” This increased ability, however, may not be noticeable. But, if it is, you may want to purchase “Alien Prejudice” as a Compensation to balance the character.
Increased Skill Pips (1 Point)
For one point, the character may have “Increased Skill Pips.” This means the character can increase the number of pips in any one skill by one pip, any one specialization by two pips, or any two specializations by one pip. This Advantage may be purchased several times, though the recommended limit is five. Gamemaster Note: No character may purchase this option more than three times for any individual skill or specialization.
More Force Points (5 points)
By using this option, the character can spend 5 points to get one more additional Force Point at the beginning of the game. This option can only be purchased twice by any one character.
Quirks, Perks, and Oddities
This category encapsulates personality traits, strange effects, social pirks, and minor “stuff” that doesn’t quite work its way into any other category.
Authority (1- 3 points)
The level of the Advantage is based on the character’s rank, duties, and power in his local “jurisdiction.” An 1-point Authority Advantage might belong to someone who, because of circumstance, does not have a lot of opportunity to use his authority or someone who is very low in rank. This represents low-level or local authority in a village, or just in a cantina.
2-point Authority is the same as 1-point, but the character has more influence, possibly commanding a small number of troops or being in charge of a small company or town.
3-point Authoity is the same as 1-point Authority, except that the character has a great deal of power and influence. The head of a large company or someone whose authority is simply never questioned would have this Advantage.
Fame (1-3 points)
The character is famous to some extent or another. Depending on how many points are spent, the “Fame” Advantage benefits the character in different ways. The table below gives examples and point costs for different levels of “Fame.”
The Advantage can be bought more than once. A character might be famous for more than one reason (and more famous for one thing than another).
“Fame” is also good when used with the Compensation “Reputation.” The Compensation explores the down side of being famous. You might want to pick it, as your gamemaster will almost certainly introduce it at some time. Also remember, “Fame” can be used like “Reputation”.
There is also a reverse of “Fame” known as “No Fame.” The character is virtually unknown to anyone. The character is probably some sort of criminal or outcast who has managed to “slip through” the social cracks. There are no records on the character and the character enjoys absolute anonymity – for 2 Advantage Points.
Fame Value Chart
|Point Value||Effect and Examples|
|1||The character is moderately famous – a ‘local celebrity’ – and the benefits are limited. A local newscaster who can get into most semi-sensitive areas just by hiring a cameraman; a writer who is recognized occasionally by name; an upperlevel executive of a corporation who commands respect from those associated with the corp.|
|2||The character is pretty famous and will be recognized by most ‘up to date’ people. A former (or present) holovid actor who has made interstellar features; a champion-level jock; a rich playboy; a corp or Imperial-proclaimed “hero”|
|3||The character is very famous and will almost always draw attention. A supermodel; an influential politician; a megacorp exec who has spent time in the spotlight|
Note that most of the “Fame” options above require that the character have some sort of skills or background that makes his notoriety believable. Just about anyone can be famous, however, and you can create a background that justifies this.
Good Luck (1 Point)
Good Luck acts in different ways. The 1-Point advantage gives the player 3 “Luck” Points. These points do one of the following, players choice depending on the circumstances, once per adventure.
- It allows the character to “take back” an action occasionally, or to “get lucky” even when the dice don’t agree. The Character can “re-Do one action during a gaming session or an adventure. The player must get GM permission before re-doing.
- Once per adventure, the character have another player redo and re-roll an action.
- Once per combat session, the player may re-roll 5s and 6s on the Wild Die.
- Once per Adventure, the GM should allow for a “lucky break” in some way.
Always, however, the “Good Luck” should be worked into the game in a storytelling sense. Don’t engage in long rewinds and fast forwards of the story – deal with incidents as they happen. And, remember, a little “Good Luck” doesn’t go that long a way. Only one Advantage of “Good Luck” may be purchased by a character.
Law Enforcement (2-4 Points)
The Law Enforcement Advantage gives adventurers some measure of abilities associated with being a deputized agent of the law; gives the prestige of being “ordained” by the legal system.
2-Point Law Enforcement means the character can carry a firearm and has limited authority to enforce the law. Private investigators, bounty hunters and bail bondsmen would qualify as 2-point Law Enforcement professions. If the game is held during the Imperial-era of Star Wars, this is required for Bounty Hunters, etc.
With 3-Point Law Enforcement the character is actually a police officer, or security and is allowed to make full arrests and reasonable search and seizures.
With 4-point Law Enforcement, the character can be a Imperial agent and have authority over local police for the purpose of investigations.
Money Management (1-Point)
The character has the “knack” for hanging on to money – or getting it when it is needed. While this should not be confused with the “Wealth” option, it can sometimes be more useful. Characters with “Money Management” always seem to have money for docking fees, minor armor repairs, replacement parts, etc. Essentially, what this 1 point Advantage does is let the character ignore the tedious bookkeeping for minor expenditures (anything below about 100 credits) – as long as this doesn’t get abusive. However, when it comes to major purchases, the character is pretty much like anybody else. But if this character is roleplayed well, he should have a firm idea about how much money he should have, how much the characters should get for a job, and how much “expenses” should run. It is up to you to plague your gamemaster with questions about costs and fees, making certain that you “get the most for your money.” Choose how you want to play this character and go with it.
Noble Birth (1-3 points)
This character fell into luxury, born into a wealthy, perhaps noble, family. He wanted for nothing, attending the best schools, ordering servants around, and having everything she desired. The character begins play with double the amount of funds normally given to starting characters. This is best used with the
Lords of the Expanse
supplement in Star Wars.
The amount of points spent is a general measure of the title and political power the player has. 1-point Noble Birth would put the player extremely low on the political latter, perhaps a Baron of very low standing, or just a Baronet. a 2-point can perhaps be a more powerful Baron or a low level Count of Earl. 3-points could be a very high powered Baron, or a moderate to high level Count or a low-level Marquis. It is recommended that the GM not alow any higher point values, but it is left to teh GM to allow 4, 5 or 6 point Noble Birhts, which give the player even higher standing in the aristocracy. Here is a general list of Noble titles adopted into the Tapani sector. This is expanded from the original title list published in the Tapani Campaign sourcebooks:
Highest Ranking Noble in a house, the atend the High Council meetings and form House policy. They rule the House as a whole as and serve the High Council. They are usually chosen from the most powerful Lords.
There are only a few Lords to a house (under a dozen or so) and they serve the High Lord and rule over their own portions of the House. They hold and control the vast majority of the Houses wealth, ruling over large sections of planets, industries, corporations and remote colonies. Lords oversee many Marquis, sometimes some Dukes.
Dukes and Dutchesses are in direst relationship with the High Lord, but do not hold a Lordship title. If someone related to the High Lord is does not have a Lordship title, they can petition the High Lord for a Duke-title. The High-Lord can grant the title, but sometimes assign a Lord to oversee the Duke. Dukes hold and control smaller portions of a House ownings than the Lords, although many times are treated equally. However, teechnically, in Tapani, a Duke is lower than a Lord. Their ownings can include a large portion of a single world or control of a few corporations. Some Dukes are meaningless outside of the title while others have great autonomy. Some Dukes can become so powerful that they can vie for Lordship. Promotions from Duke to Lord are rare events that usually are accomapnied by a lot of overt and covert maneuvering. Once the Bid for Lordship is public, the High Council oversees the promotion.Dukes oversee one or many Marquis
Marquis are below Dukes. The Marquis is climbing the political latter within the power structure of the aristocracy, gaining his title by honoring either a Duke or a Lord with his actions. Marquis are promoted to Dukes when they have enough power and financial backing. They control several properties on many worlds or the same world, and over see portions of a particular portion of business. Marquis oversee one or many Counts/Earls.
Count or Earl
Below Marquis is a Earl or a Count. They oversee several Barons. They usually control a smaller portion of House ownings than the Marquis. They usually serve the Marquis in local court sessions and small events on specific worlds. Counts are commonly promoted to Marquis, as the House business grows.
The Baron controls a single small portion of House property or business, reporting to the Count or Earl. They are the Noble connection to the commoners. They usually have a manor, and a small property holding.
Baronet and Knight
Baronet is roughly equivalent to a Knight. It is given to a commoner as an honorary title. It is herdeitary. They are referred to as Sir as are Knights. Knights are usually the warriors of a House, while the Baronet is simply a civilian with equivalent honor.
Trademark Specialization (1,2 points)
This Advantage mixes this category with “Numbers.” It costs either one or two points, and allows your character to be “the best” he or she can be, almost. A”Trademark Specialization” is a cross between an affectation and an obsession. The character has one skill that he or she practices a certain way constantly and is pretty good at. The way this works is, the player selects a specialized skill – it may not even be one the character currently has – and uses the Advantage cost to purchase a “Trademark Specialization” in that skill. For every point of Advantage spent, the character can increase that skill by 1D points – but on the following conditions:
- The character only gets to use these “Trademark” adds when performing the skill in the manner specified.
When several options for performing the skill are available, the player agrees that the character will almost always choose the “Trademark” option, even if it is not the most advantageous.
The “Trademark Specialization” may not have more than 2D in it at the beginning of the game (this does not count any adds in the general skill). When skill purchase is performed normally, the character develops Trademark Specializations as if they were normal specializations – and at the same costs.
Here are some sample “Trademark Specializations”:
- For firearms skill – one particular form of slugthrower.
- For stealth (tailing) following a person through a particular city
- For medicine – the character performs medicine (surgery) with the same tools every time
- � For climbing – the character selects mountain climbing as specialization and uses only “lucky gear”
A character that attempts a general skill use that does not go along with the specialization or the “Trademark Specialization” must use any skill Dice he or she has in that skill (if any) without benefit of the “Trademark Specialization” Dice.
A character that attempts a skill use similarto the “Trademark Specialization” can add half the specialization adds to the general skill value.
No character may have more than one “Trademark Specialization.” Note that characters with “Trademark Specializations” tend to have either “Fame” or “Reputation” (or both) if they are really good at what they do.
Personality Quirks (1-5 Points)
This is a wide-open field of Advantages that should spark some interesting ideas. These are minor psychoses and traits that give the character an unusual “edge.” Each costs from one to five points, depending upon how strong it is:
“Healthy” Paranoia (1-3 points): The character always feels a little suspicion. As a result, he or she receives a +1 to +1D (1 to 3 points) to resist any attempts at stealth against him or her. In addition, at three points, the character is seldom (gamemaster’s option) completely surprised in combat (+1D to Perception in combat). Likewise, the character has unpredicatable habits and routines that make it very difficult for potential enemies (or even friends) to predict his or her actions.
Skepticism (1-3 points): The character never takes anything at face value. He or she always wants to “check things out a little” first. This allows the character a +1 to +1D when actively or passively resisting any form of con, charm, or persuasion, or any elaborate tricks. Unfortunately, the player must also roleplay this within his or her group of friendly characters. Even the character’s teammates are not above suspicion.
Gullible (1-3 points): The character is very sincere. He receives a -1 to -1D to all attempts to resist trick, con, charm, or persuasion, but gains a +1D when performing any of these actions they are not expected from him or her.
Unfazable(1-5 points): Nothing surprises you-at least, nothing that is not obviously a threat. The universe is full of strange things, and as long as they don’t bother you, you don’t bother them. 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.
The amount of Background points the player invest in it determines the bonus to Willpower for fright and intimidation checks. 1 point: +1D, 2 point: +2D, 3 point: +3D…etc. (to Willpower or any other applicable skill check)
This advantage is incompatible with all phobias. A character with this advantage is not emotionless – he just never displays strong feelings. This advantage must be roleplayed fully, or the GM can declare that it has been lost. The sterotypical Maine Yankee or English butler has this advantage. E.g., two fellows in rocking chairs on the porch of a general store:
Ed: “What’d that little feller with them orange tentacles on his head want?”
Burt: “Just another lost summer tourist. Took a wrong turn at Mars.” (Looks up at the sky.) “Looks like it’s gonna rain tomorra.”
Ed: “Ayuh. Looks like.”
Fearlessness (3 points): Strong willed when the odds are against you, fear diesn’t often enter your mind. +1D Command, Con, Bargain, Seduction
Presence(1-3 points): Everyone notices you when you walk into a room. Some fear you, some envy, but all respect you without knowing you. +1pip per Point Bargain, Command, Con, Bureaucracy, Seduction
All of these psychoses have negatives, and counterparts strictly on the Compensation side of the scale. If “Quirks” is selected, you must consider selecting related Compensations – roleplaying the character as described above is going to be a challenge as it stands; you might as well get to use up some Compensation points for it. Create your own “Quirks” basing the modifiers on the ideas above. They are a little hard to quantify, but make for interesting characters. A character should not have more thant three points in “Quirks,” but may have more than one “Quirk” at a time – as long as both can be roleplayed.