Physical Flaws

    Sterile/Barren (1): Your character can never have children and is from a cultural upbringing that expects and encourages having children.   No sense of taste (2): Your character either has no sense of taste or everything tastes rather badly. Maybe everything is very salty, tastes rotten, or tastes like wet paper. Eating is a chore and you probably barely eat enough to function healthily. Detecting unsafe foods or poisons is very difficult. This is a common drawback from supernatural pacts (your patron tastes what you do not by proxy) though there can be non-supernatural reasons for having this flaw.   Puny (3): Your character is not a gnome, but gets all the penalties (and bonuses) of being small. +1 penalty Strength rolls, -1 difficulty on Stealth rolls, +1 difficulty to hit at range, reduced carrying capacity and a grappling penalty of +1.   Delicious Aroma (3): Most predators will attack you first. Social rolls with sapient monsters known to eat humanoids are at +2 difficulty. Tracking rolls to find you by scent are at -1 difficulty. On the plus side, dogs probably like you and won’t bite too often.   One Eye (3): Your character is either missing an eye, or is blind in one eye. +1 difficulty Alertness rolls that rely primarily on sight. +1 difficulty ranged attacks rolls.   One Hand (3): You have one hand. You are assumed to be practiced using your remaining hand, but you receive a +1 difficulty penalty on actions that normally require two hands. You can still attach a hook, weapon or even a shield to your stump.   No Natural Healing (3): Your character cannot heal wounds without magical or psionic assistance. For the very rare damage types that specifically bar supernatural methods of healing, you can heal this through bedrest and medical care.   Not an Ambi-turner (3): You cannot turn left. It is recommend that you make your character ridiculously good looking to compensate.   Uncanny Appearance (1-4): Your character has a very distinctive physical feature. Your character may be good looking, average looking, or ugly depending on how many dots you have in Appearance, but your character is not easily forgettable.   1 Eyes have heterochromia, distinctive facial scar, pre-natural silver hair   2 Highly unusual eye color, covered in ritual scars, purple hair   3 Horns or a tail that is somewhat concealable   4 Hideous or obvious supernatural mark that cannot be concealed. Your eyes are empty dark sockets that you can somehow see out of. You are covered in scales or fur.   Infirm (4): Your soak pool against all forms of damage is always one die less, even if you are wearing armor or using magical defenses. Stamina rolls to resist poison and disease are at +1 difficulty.   Mute (4): You cannot speak and you cannot cast spells with a verbal component. If you speak in character you have to write down or pantomime your words. Given the impact on roleplaying, you need special Storyteller permission to take this flaw.   Deaf (5): You automatically fail all rolls based on hearing. Rolls related to speaking and spells with verbal components are at +1 difficulty. Given the impact on roleplaying, you need special Storyteller permission to take this flaw.   Thin-Skinned (5): Your character has one fewer bruise level than normal.      

Mental Flaws

    Frustrated Artist (1): Must have three dots of Expression, Crafts, or Performance. You need to practice your art at least once a week or get a +1 penalty for all social and mental rolls until you get your fix. Your character nearly always hates his own work no matter how excellent it is.   Speech Impediment (1): You have a +1 difficulty on social rolls when dealing verbally with characters who do not know you especially well. Nightmares (1): Your character is regularly visited by horrible nightmares. Upon waking the character needs to roll Willpower difficulty 7. A failure indicates that the character is shaken and receives a one die penalty on all actions for several hours. A botch indicates the character believes to be living his nightmare while awake.   Deep Sleeper (2): Your character sleeps like the dead. Alertness rolls to wake up early are +2 difficulty. If you have to wake up before your normal eight hours, you have a two-dice penalty to all actions for the first scene you act upon being woken up prematurely.   Illiterate (2): You cannot read or write. Not even peasant script.   Loose Lipped (2): You need to roll Willpower during lengthy social interactions to avoid blurting out embarrassing secrets or insults.   Short Temper (3): You need to pass a Willpower roll when insulted to avoid going on the offensive. This does not have to be a literal offense involving pulling weapons or swinging fists. In a social situation going on the offensive could mean throwing a drink in someone’s face or delivering a scathing retort.   Amnesia (2+): Your character has no memory of the time before his/her adulthood or some other specified event, most likely the time you got your supernatural powers. Two points means you basically do not know where you came from. For more points the Storyteller gets to pick interesting surprises for you.   Insane (3): You have a derangement of some sort that can be partially suppressed by Willpower.   Derangement List Catatonia: Characters with this derangement need to roll Willpower in the face of stress to avoid succumbing to a fit where they completely withdraw from the world and become totally unresponsive in the face of stress.   Hysteria: Characters with this derangement tend to fly into a flailing fit of anger or fear in times of stress.   Lunacy: You mood changes severely with the phases of the moon, near laconic on days nights of the bew moon and prone to anger and over reaction on nights of the full moon.   Megalomania: Characters with this derangement believe they are destined to lead and will seek to accumulate power irrespective of skill or attitudes of others. They believe that those who deny their power are merely dangerous and seek to deny them their due. Enemies must be destroyed politically or physically.   Melancholia: Characters with this derangement are subject to lengthy fits of depression, often triggered by failures and setbacks. A character suffering a fit of melancholy has their Willpower rating effectively halved during the duration and it is hard for them to get motivated for anything.   Multiple Personalities: Something in your character’s past has caused her to manifest distinct selves, each with their own traits, outlooks and agendas. The player and Storyteller should agree on how many personalities the character has and what triggers a switch. Different personalities could have radically different skill sets and powers. It’s up to the Storyteller whether these alternate skills are genuine or are pure delusion.   Obsession: Obsessive characters are absolutely fixated on a particular activity, object or person. They may seek to make sure that all objects in their possession are categorized and sorted by type, or they may strive to keep their hands spotlessly clean. Whatever the nature of a person’s obsession it becomes the focal point of their existence and character likely to become agitated if separated from the object of their obsession.   Paranoia: They are jealous of you or scared. They want to end your life! Paranoid characters believe they are victims of persecution either by individuals or a group. Paranoid characters are fearful and/or aggressive in social encounters and suffer a +1 difficulty penalty to social rolls as they tend to react to things in the most negative interpretation.   Of course just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t really out to get you.   Perfectionism: Perfectionists seek to control every aspect of their lives, often following a rigid set of rules to make sure everything “runs to plan.” All efforts are directed at ensuring this happen as intended. Perfectionists tend to react very negatively when their careful plans go awry.   Regression: Under stress the character reverts to a simplistic, often childlike strength. This is rarely funny or cute as a regression character retains his adult strength, combat training, and spell-casting abilities.   Visions: The character believes he or she receives visions from the divine, magical vortices or some other exterior source. The character may enter a canonic state, a fugue like trance or start raving uncontrollably. Characters recall may vary widely, sometimes remembering precise details and other times vague impressions. At the Storyteller’s discretion, sometimes the character can gain real insight into the unknown.     Phobia (1-3): You have to make a Willpower roll to avoid panicking when confronted with the object of your phobia. Flaw value depends on how common the phobic trigger is and how difficult it is to suppress with Willpower.    

Social Flaws

  Ex-serf (1): Your character used to be a serf. Unlike being an ex-slave, it’s a lot easier to disappear into the crowd, but there are probably a least a few places you should not go.   Hated Ancestor (1): You are a direct descendant from a villain of yesteryear. The villain disappeared long enough in the past that no one is likely to demand your death, but this can give you grief in some circles.   Out of Favor Noble (1): You must take the "Noble" Merit. You may walk the halls of power, but you are not fully accepted there. Maybe your character is a bastard of a powerful noble. Maybe you espouse an unpopular political belief. Maybe you are a commoner who married up because you are nouveau riche and/or a noble house wanted your martial or magical prowess at their disposal. Maybe you are trying to live down something embarrassing. Perhaps it’s not your fault, but your House has a poor reputation.   Sheltered Upbringing (1-2): Your character grew up in a remote monastery, academic institution, or perhaps a closed off royal court. Your character probably has an impressive education but more than a little naïve as to how things work in the “real world.”   Ex-slave (2): Your character used to be a slave. You probably have scars, a brand, or tattoo marking your former status. Your former master may or may not be hunting you, but your marks certainly make interacting with your former master’s culture difficult.   Mistaken Identity (2): You have an uncanny resemblance to a well-known person who may be a criminal, noble, or a hero and this can cause complications.   Outcast Dwarf (2): Must be a dwarf. Dwarfs are normally loyal to other dwarfs, but due to a past dishonor of some sort, they don’t like you. You get +1 difficulty on all social rolls with most upstanding members of dwarf society.   Out of Favor Clan (1): Must be a dwarf or honorary dwarf clan member. This is not the same as an outcast dwarf. Outcast dwarves have no clan. You have a clan, it just has a bad reputation, deserved or undeserved. You don't get an automatic dice penalty on social rolls with dwarves but some haughtier dwarves will give you a hard time over your clan.   Outcast Gnome (2): Must be a gnome . Gnomes are normally loyal to other gnomes, but due to a past dishonor of some sort, you get +1 difficulty on all social rolls with most upstanding members of gnome society.   Oppressor (2): Whether deserved or not, the local peasantry has a strong negative opinion of you. The lower classes are going to show you as much disrespect as they think they can get away with. They will not likely chase after you with torches and pitchfork, but are certainly going to rat out your smallest misdeeds to authority figures and report your whereabouts to anyone hostile who comes looking for you.   Uncouth (2): You are from a primitive or barbaric society that is not an enemy of your new society, but your upbringing was uncivilized nevertheless. You get a +1 difficulty on social rolls when dealing with civilized people that do not know you personally.   Wayward Noble (2/4): You must buy the Noble Merit. You were born of the nobility, but are not on good terms with your parents or a significant portion of your house. For two points your character is running away from an arranged marriage or some other unwanted obligation such as being a conscientious objector to your house’s treatment of lower classes. For four points, you are considered a dangerous traitor.   Oath Breaker (2-5): Maybe it was for a good reason, but your character broke a sworn oath to a feudal lord, religious order, guild or something similar. Those who know your reputation are likely to display open scorn, and are certainly likely to be predisposed to be disbelieve your promises now. The more points you take in the Flaw, the more people know about your sin.   Contract Marked (3): A thieves’ guild or similar powerful person or group outside the law has put a price on your head.   Criminal Brand (3): Your character is probably a thief or ex-thief though you could have committed some other serious but non-capital crime. Whatever your crime was, you were branded or scarred visibly with a mark of shame. This means respectable folk are likely to shun you and you are frequently everyone’s first suspect.   Dark Secret (1-3): Your character has an embarrassing or even horrific secret from his/her past, but is almost unknown by those around you, at least for now.   Special Vow (1-3): You took a vow to abstain from a common activity or worldly pleasure of some sort. If you are caught violating this vow, a lightning bolt is not going to strike you down where you stand, but you will be ostracized by your culture or society. A higher Flaw value indicates a more irksome vow or more people watching you hoping they’ll catch you slipping up.   Probationary Member (3): You are a defector or deserter from a race, nation, tribe, religious faction, or political group that is normally considered an enemy by the predominant society you deal with. People may publically admit that you are an exception to the rule, but your words and actions are still scrutinized closely and your motives are questioned often. Not to mention your old side likely views you as a traitor.   Anathema (2 or 4): A priesthood believes you are a threat to the True Faith and therefore you must be destroyed. This is worth two points if a single temple, cult or fringe group is after you. This Flaw is worth four points if you are marked for death by an entire global priesthood.   Marked Outlaw (4): A powerful noble house has put a price on your head.   Heretic (1-5): Your character has religious beliefs that put her at odds with the orthodox leaders of her faith. For one point, you are part of an unpopular faction or order, but you do have friends among your fellow heretics. For three points, you are basically an outcast faction of one. Add a point if your heresy is punishable by death, but your heretical faith relatively easy to practice in secret. Add two points if your heresy is punishable by death and relatively easy for a trained eye to spot. It generally much easier to be branded a heretic by one’s priestly superiors than one’s deity. There are hundreds of heretics in Scarterra that are in perfectly good standing with their divine patron. They usually take that as proof that their beliefs are right.   Reputed Infernalist (7): You have a reputation as being a collaborator with Void Demons. This means pretty much every priesthood in the world is out to get you and most secular authorities would also like to kill you.      

Supernatural Flaws

  Always Cold (1): Your character is always cold. Appropriate clothing and shelter will keep you alive, but you always feel cold. It may make survival in extreme environments more difficult because your body takes damage from extreme heat or cold even if your character doesn’t feel it.   Blood Mark (1): You signed a pact in blood. When you pricked your finger to mark the blood, this wound never healed. Your bandaged finger almost never gives you a penalty, but the perceptive will notice this eventually.   Master’s Voice (1): Your character signed a pact. Your master/patron can speak through you either with its own voice or yours, but doesn’t do this often.   Rip Van Winkle (2): Your character was either in a magical coma, temporarily lost in another plane, brought back from the dead, or lost in a time warp. Whatever the cause, everyone and everything you knew from your life before is dead or at the very least are very old, and your knowledge of current events and politics is woefully out of date.   Soul is forfeit (1): Your soul ultimately belongs to someone else. It doesn’t have a mechanical in-game effect but should be role played.   Twisted Reflection (1): Other people see your normal reflection but you see bad things. Maybe your flaws are magnified, maybe you see yourself as a corpse. Whatever it is, it’s not pleasant and you probably avoid mirrors. If you cannot avoid your own reflection, you receive a +1 difficulty penalty on all rolls due to the distraction.   Animal Attractor (2): A certain species of predatory animal tends to follow you around from a respectable distance. They won’t attack or go against their basic nature, but this is still odd. Anyone capable of talking to animals or reading an animals mind will just sense that the animals are waiting for something. You cannot avoid this by moving out of an animal’s natural habitat because a similar animal will take over in that case. For instance, if you are followed by wolves and you travel to a warmer climate, you may find you are now followed by jackals.   Alien Humors (2): One of your normal body excretions is abnormal and extremely disturbing, but you can hide it most of the time. Maybe your character cries tears of blood or maybe your blood is an extremely unusual color.   Amorous Power (2): Random strangers fall in love with you often. This is sometimes helpful, but is usually not.   Body Switched (2): You made a pact and switched bodies with someone else, possibly taking the body of an aged witch to get her residual powers. This certainly makes interacting with your past friends and family difficult.   Blood Drinker (2): You crave blood, much like a vampire. Animal blood is acceptable, and you don’t have to drink large quantities of blood to survive but people tend to look poorly on blood drinkers regardless. You can still eat normal food too.   Bottomless Stomach (2): You made a pact and your master is feeding off you…literally. You have to eat roughly double the food normally needed to sustain a healthy member of your race. Even then, you never really feel full.   Cassandra Syndrome (2): This has to be paired with supernatural senses or prophetic powers. People don’t believe you when you relay information you received with supernatural means.   Dark Chorus (2): Your character hears disturbing music in his head. This can wear at the sanity. Also, it imposes a +1 difficulty penalty on auditory based Perception rolls.   Elemental Foe (2): Must be an arcane caster. For whatever reason, wild elementals are initially hostile rather than initially neutral. Spells to summon or bind elementals are +2 difficulty. To add insult to injury, elementals are more likely to spawn in your wake than other arcane casters.   Emotionally Dead (2): Either your character experiences all emotions are there but muted somewhat or one particularly emotion is completely alien and unreachable to you. Perhaps your faerie ex-lover cursed you to never love another again.   Energy Magnet (2): Arcane invocation spells and divine magic from level four and five Wrath are at -1 difficulty to damage you.   False Prophecies (2): You periodically predict things that will never happen, but no one can convince you they are wrong. You can take this flaw even if you do not have actual divination magic.   Heirs Endangered (2): Your children are promised to your master in some way, but nothing is stopping you from being celibate and chaste…right?   Luckless (2): You are hopeless at playing cards and dice. Whenever your character is at the mercy of something truly random, he almost always fails or chooses the wrong answer. If you try to outsmart your curse and do the opposite of your initial guess, it turns out your initial guess was right. Fortunately this is in-character. This does not impact dice rolls the player makes.   Monochromatic Vision (2): Your formed a pact and your master took away your color. Your character sees in black and white and cannot distinguish colors at all.   Mystery Pawn (2): Your character was bestowed with supernatural power with no price demanded, but you know your patron does nothing for free. You just do not yet know what your benefactor intends to gain from investing power in you.   No reflection (2): Your character doesn’t have a reflection. Alternatively your reflection is off in some way for all to see.   Offensive to Animals (2): Animals, especially domesticated animals, react negatively to you out of instinct.   Proxy Spy (2): You made a pact with a supernatural being. Everything you see and hear, your patron also sees and hears.   Repulsed by Salt (2): Your character suffers a one-die penalty for a scene after eating especially salty food or if you are covered in salt. You need to pass a Willpower roll to cross a line of salt and suffer five dice of soak-able damage (bypassing armor) when crossing a line of salt. Sea water is not a problem. You can carry a box or bag of salt with no problems as long as you don’t touch the contents directly. This is a common flaw for characters that are descended from mortal-spirit couplings or who have frequent workings with spirits. Resistant to Divine Healing (2): Divine magic heals you at half the normal rate, rounded down.   Requires Invitation (2): You cannot enter a home without invitation or you take one unsoakable level of lethal damage every turn. Public places extend an invitation to all by their nature. This flaw does not prevent you from gaining invitations under false pretenses.   Compulsive Liar (3): Do to a pact or curse, you cannot ever speak the whole truth. You can use obvious sarcasm so people understand what you really mean…usually. You can mostly tell the truth and mix in a relatively small lie. If you are targeted by a spell that normally forces the target to tell the truth, you may lie freely or tell the truth as you see fit.   Compulsive Truth Teller (3): Due to a pact or curse, you cannot speak something you know to be untrue. You can say something true sarcastically and imply that the truth is a lie. You can still lie by omission or refusing to speak. If you are targeted by a spell that normally forces the target to tell the truth, you may lie freely if you wish.   Delicious Soul (3): Demons and undead that feed on the living will usually seek you out first in encounters. Tracking rolls for demons and undead with the “Life sense” power work on you at -2 difficulty. This is a common flaw for divine spell casters and/or those who work with spirits a lot.   Forgettable (1/3): People overlook your character and forget his face and name. Your adventuring party is probably exempt because they are around you a lot and probably have high Willpower scores, but building relationships with others is difficult at best. This is a common side effect of casters proficient in stealth powers.   This flaw is worth one point if it is always in effect. It is worth three points if the flaw magically goes away whenever it’s inconvenient to be found such as when hostile people are asking about you.   Harmed by Sacred Ground (3): You cannot set foot on sacred ground, or you take one unsoakable level of lethal damage every turn. If you are a divine caster you can enter sacred ground specifically sacred to your divine patron, but no one else. If you are an arcane caster and have a mystic patron, you can enter your master’s sacred ground.   No shadow (3): Your character doesn’t have a reflection which very rarely means anything good in most folklore. Alternatively your shadow acts of its own accord for all to see.   Vagabond (3): You mystically compelled have to keep moving. If you sleep more than three nights in the same place you cannot recover Willpower. Worse could happen if you continue to linger.   Vulnerable to Cold Iron (3): Cold iron weapons inflict aggravated damage against you. Touching cold iron inflicts a level of bashing damage which you can soak but do not get to apply armor to. If you want to hold onto a cold iron object, you take one unsoakable level of bashing damage every five minutes you hold it. If you are wearing gloves or gauntlets the damage occurs every ten minutes.   This is a common flaw for characters that are descended from mortal-spirit couplings or who have frequent working with spirits.   Vulnerable to Silver (3): Silver weapons inflict aggravated damage against you. Touching silver inflicts a level of bashing damage which you can soak but do not get to apply armor to. If you want to hold onto a silver object, you take one unsoakable level of bashing damage every five minutes you hold it. If you are wearing gloves or gauntlets the damage occurs every ten minutes. If you wear gloves you can handle silver coins without problem as long as you deposit it in your purse or pocket quickly.   While there are far fewer silver weapons out there than cold iron weapons, vulnerability to silver is considered a mark of being unclean or unholy. This is a common flaw for characters that practice a lot of necromancy.   Mystic Tithe (1-3): Your arcane master or divine patron requires a monthly offering of some sort. The higher the flaw value, the more difficult the offering is to provide. Missing your tithe adds a +1 difficulty to all spell casting for each offering you fail to deliver until amends are made.   Impervious to Divine Healing (4): Your character cannot heal wounds with divine magic at all. This does not impede the magical removal of curses.   Nightmares (4): Your character has horrible nightmares almost every time she sleeps. Regaining Willpower by sleeping is impossible. You can only gain Willpower from accomplishing things.   Permanent Wound (4): Your character starts three health levels in lethal damage down every day or every night usually occurring at dawn or dusk. You can heal this with magic, but it will return the next day. If you do not heal this, you will not continue to take additional damage each day, and your permanent wound will not become infected from not being treated.   Repulsive to Children (4): Children hate you instinctively, either hiding from you or seeking to torment you in some way. No one is understanding or sympathetic to you if you retaliate in any way.

Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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