Writing Distracted

Traits

 
 

After completing the game mechanics included in the races, roles, skills, and story, players are able to add some finishing details in the form of reputation, motivation, personality, and family. Everything up until this point is to establish what the character can do, this step defines why they are who they are.

 

Whether its fear or respect, players want a reaction, it's fun and enhances the roleplay experience. The reputation system has two components Notoriety and Reputation Rank.

Notoriety is the manner in which they are viewed by the populace, i.e. how they act in public. The examples include stereotypical traits that can be built upon. It determines how the character will be perceived by the NPCs during roleplay and combat.

Players may choose a notoriety example or create something unique. As play progresses, a notoriety can be changed at any time with no penalty, and characters can be known by different notorieties in different areas. This list is not complete, rather it is a general list of common mannerisms.

Examples
  • Adventurous
  • Ambitious
  • Beneficent
  • Bold
  • Callous
  • Clever
  • Courageous
  • Cutthroat    
  • Disruptive
  • Egotist


  • Feared
  • Ferocious    
  • Flamboyant
  • Generous
  • Impetuous
  • Ostentatious
  • Prestigious
  • Proud
  • Revered
  • Shrewd

Reputation Rank represents the characters level of fame and/or their authority, as determined by the starting Social Status. Each rank has a modifier that affects NPC reactions and any Influence attack skills (non-psionic) that they possess, based on their notoriety, i.e. characters who have a feared notoriety will get a bonus modifier to the Intimidate skill, but not to the Endear skill.

As characters level up, they gain Reputation Points that may be used to increase this rank. It is possible to have a separate rank for groups and individuals.

 

  • Foresaken (-4/+4)
  • Loathed (-3/+2)
  • Shunned (-2/+1)
  • Avoided (-1)
  • Unknown (-0-)
  • Rumored (+1)
  • Recognized (+1/-1)
  • Respected (+2/-1)
  • Renowned (+2/-2)
  • Celebrated (+3/-2)
  • Famous (+3/-3)
  • Legendary (+4/-4)

These options may be recorded in the Motivation section located on the back side of the character sheet.

 

Three factors establish the character's motivation, the Primary Motivator, Political Stance, and Religious View. Within each are options that can be used to define how and why characters behave, act, or react in specific ways during roleplay and combat encounters.

Primary Motivator
This is their ultimate goal in life. Why choose a life of adventure?

Examples
  • Achievement    
  • Acquisition
  • Beneficence
  • Chaos
  • Creation
  • Destruction
  • Discovery
  • Education
  • Enslavement
  • Jocularity    
  • Harmony
  • Hedonism
  • Liberation
  • Nobility
  • Order
  • Power
  • Recognition
  • Service
  • Torment
  • Understanding

Political Stance
Governments are everywhere. What style does the character prefer or despise? What is their attitude towards law?

Style
  • Anarchy
  • Aristocracy
  • Dictatorship
  • Republic
  • Monarchy
  • None
  • Theocracy

Attitude
  • Autocratic
  • Apathetic
  • Insurgent
  • Lawful
  • Scofflaw

Religious View
Belief can be powerful. What is the character's religion? To what degree do they adhere to it? How tolerant are they of others? How do they express their beliefs?

Religion
  • Atheist
  • Agnostic
  • Deity
  • Philosophy

Adherence
  • Casual
  • Devout
  • Faithful
  • Indifferent
  • Zealous

Tolerance
  • Inclusive
  • Intolerant
  • Tolerance

Expression
  • Excited
  • Fearful
  • Judgemental
  • Humble
  • Proselytizer

These options are recorded in the Personality section located on the back side of the character sheet.

 

A Personality is as unique as a fingerprint; the nine factors presented here can help to define how the character sees and interacts with the world. The examples presented here are to offer players some direction and inspiration.

Quirks
Peculiar mannerisms or habits, these traits add a layer of individuality that typically reinforce other aspects of a personality, allowing players to more easily immerse into the character role, and show rather than tell.

Hobbies
Activities or interests that the character engages in for pleasure or to relax. While characters rarely engage in such activities during game play, they can often make for good talking points during roleplay scenarios.

 

If a person is the sum of their experiences, family, or the absence of family, is a big factor in defining a character. Between these five factors, family can be very detailed or comprised of just a few lines; there are no specific rules about family development.

 

Birth Place
This can be either where the character was born or where they grew up. There is a great deal of information that can be included, from the general to the specific, which can link with a variety of other factors. A great way to begin is with a general idea of the type of locale.

 

Examples
  • Asteroid
  • Capital City
  • Community
  • Forest World
  • Hidden City
  • Moon Base


           • Mystery
           • Space Station
           • Starship
           • Underwater City
           • Village
           • Water World

 

Relations
Everyone starts life with someone and those people are going to have a strong influence on the character's life for good or ill. A character may have been raised by:

  • Parents
  • Adoptive Parents
  • Single Parent
  • Family Relation
  • Sibling
  • Family Friend

  • Step Parent
  • Nanny
  • Local Priest
  • Orphanage Matron
  • Crime Lord
  • Street Vagabond

...who were:

  • Adventurers
  • Criminals
  • Cruel/Unkind
  • Enslaved/Indentured
  • Explorers
  • Hard Working

  • High Class
  • Professionals
  • Sickly
  • Sociopaths
  • Supportive
  • Wanderers

...and are now:

  • Imprisoned
  • Missing
  • Murdered
  • On the Run

  • Alive (place)
  • Being Hunted
  • Dead/Dying
  • Enslaved

Siblings, extended family, childhood friend, etc, can all be detailed in this same way.

Family Events
All families have drama, whether positive or negative, leaving vivid and lasting effects. This can add a layer of complexity to the character that can be incorporated into the game, becoming ongoing subplots and spawning adventures. Some examples are:

Family Mysteries
There's nothing like a mystery to make things interesting and one that involves a characters family not only adds some depth, but it can also show up in a campaign. These can be well known or only known to family members. Some examples are:

Notable Influences
People outside the family can also shape a character's life; there are many people that have the capacity to leave a lasting impression. In any good story, incidental characters offer depth and scope, especially if they play a part in the campaign setting. Some examples are: