View Full Version : Character Traits

Doom Crow
07-30-2009, 10:55 AM
I will be using the Charcter Traits concept that Paizo created for Pathfinder RPG. Here is a quote from their Character Traits Web Enhancement to best illustrate just what Character Traits are:

"At its core, a character trait is approximately equal in power to half a feat—in fact, at one point, we considered calling them “Half Feats” but abandoned that idea when we realized it implied a point-based system that didn’t really
exist (there’s no such thing, for example, as a “Double Feat”). Yet a character trait isn’t just another kind of power you can add on to your character—it’s a way to quantify (and encourage) building a character background that fits into the world... Think of character traits as “story seeds” for your background; after you pick your two traits, you’ll have a point of inspiration from which to build your character’s personality and history. Alternatively, if you’ve already got a background in your head or written down for your character, you can view picking his traits as a way to quantify that background, just as picking race and class and ability scores quantifies his other strengths and weaknesses." - Character Traits Web Enhancement, James Jacobs and F. Wesley Schneider, Paizo Publishing (2009).

I will be creating my own Character Traits for this campaign so bear with me as I go through the process of tailoring them to the campaign. I will get them out to you ASAP so you can look through them and select two. Also, if you have an idea for a character trait please let me know so we can perhaps collaborate on creating it for your character! This story is about the characters so I want you to feel energized about their backgrounds and excited about their development.

07-30-2009, 12:00 PM
Sounds good. Will do.

Doom Crow
08-06-2009, 03:18 PM
As promised, here are the traits! Some of them are taken from Pathfinder RPG while others I've developed on my own. These traits represent remnant skills from your first life that you managed to hang onto when the Ebonlands drained your soul of the rest of its abilities.

You can choose two traits, but you cannot select more than one trait from the same list.

Traits are divided into five types, but we're only going to deal with three of them: Basic, Campaign and Religion traits.

Basic traits are divided into four categories: Combat, Magic, Faith and Social.

Combat Traits

Killer: You made your first kill at a very young age
and found the task of war or murder to your liking. You
either take particular pride in a well-placed blow, or vile
pleasure in such a strike as you twist the blade to maximize
the pain. You deal additional damage equal to your
weapon’s critical hit modifier when you score a successful
critical hit with a weapon; this additional damage is added
to the final total, and is not multiplied by the critical
hit multiple itself. This extra damage is a trait bonus.

Armor Expert: You have worn armor as long as you
can remember, and you’ve grown used to moving in such suits with relative grace. When you wear armor of any sort, reduce that suit’s armor check penalty by 1, to a minimum check penalty of 0.

Resilient: Living in violent conditions or in the unforgiving wilds all of your life often forced you to subsist on food and water from doubtful sources. You’ve built up your mettle as a result, and gain a +1 trait bonus on
Fortitude saves.

Deft Dodger: Your life of danger and adventuring has honed your senses. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Reflex saves.

Reactionary: Over the years, you became adept at anticipating sudden attacks and reacting to danger quickly. You gain a +2 trait bonus to
Initiative checks.

Master of Pain
You really knew how to inflict the most amount of pain in your victims with as little damage as possible. Your sadism knows no bounds, allowing you to deal extra damage when you inflict nonlethal damage, equal to half your hit die.

Faith Traits

History of Heresy: You were raised with heretical views
that have made it not only difficult for you to accept most
religious beliefs, but you also have had to live with the fact
that you or those you love were often treated as pariahs. As
a result, you have turned your back on religious teachings,
and as long as you do not possess any levels in a class that
grants divine spellcasting power, you gain a +1 trait bonus
on all saving throws made against divine spells.

Magic Traits

Mathematical Prodigy: Mathematics has always
come easily for you, and you have always been able to “see
the math” in the physical and magical world. You gain a
+1 bonus on Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (architecture
and engineering) checks, and one of these skills
(your choice) is always a class skill for you.

Magical Lineage: One of your parents was a gifted
spellcaster who not only used metamagic often, but developed
many magical items and perhaps even a new
spell or two—and you have inherited a fragment of this
greatness. Pick one spell when you choose this trait.
When you apply metamagic feats to this spell, treat its
actual level as 1 lower for determining the spell’s final
adjusted level.

Social Traits

Pathological Liar
You never tell the truth, and it stems from an inability to do so or the desire to deceive. You gain a +2 trait bonus to all Bluff checks and it is always a class skill for you.

Campaign Traits are tied to character background and add flavor to the character in that regard. Here are a couple I've comne up with.

Your lunacy delved deep into an abyss from which you never climbed out of again. This break from reality helped you see things beyond the scope of what is and what is not, and gave you some measure of defense against magic intended to fool the normal person’s perception of reality. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against illusions and perception altering effects.

Fear Tactician
You always had a knack for inspiring fear in your victims, whether it be by physical or mental means, and gain a +2 on Intimidate checks as a result, and the Intimidate skill is always a class skill for you.

Soul Bargain
You dealt your immortal soul as part of a deal or pact made by a fiend in order to get some kind of advantage in life, or to avoid a very ugly situation. As a result your sheer gall has given you extra resistance against those who would try to control you. You gain a +1 trait bonus to will saving throws.

You betrayed someone important to you or someone who trusted you in your past life, ending in their death. When an opponent is denied their Dex bonus to armor, you deal extra damage equal to half the weapon’s damage dice. For instance, you’d deal +2 dmg when wielding a dagger, +3 with a shortsword, etc.

You once commanded a vast network of informants and spies, allowing you to know secrets men would die to keep from others discovering. You know how to glean information, and gain a +2 trait bonus to gather information checks and this is always a class skill for you.

Drug Addict
In your previous life you used drugs to kill the pain in your heart every day or just to escape reality and feel the high. As a result, you’re more resistant to these kinds of substances. You gain a +2 to saves against poisons and toxins.

I will post more as soon as I can.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
I also encourage you to design traits specific to your character's personality or background, much like Fuzzy Alchemist has done. If you choose to do this, PM me with your ideas.

Doom Crow
08-07-2009, 10:54 AM
Character Traits updated, I added a few more.