|Heroic Action Role-Play|
Limitations are negative traits, things that limit your character's usefulness, options, and behaviors. Some limitations are inherent to Methods; these affect your use of Powers. The limitations described here are more generic in nature and can affect any aspect of your character.
Types of Limitations
- Hindrances are handicaps. They do not directly affect your role or personality, tough they can certainly affect how you are able to express yourself.
- Quirks are psychological traits; idiosyncrasies and motivations that shape how you play your role.
- Subplots: are social limitations or background elements that put demands on you and direct your actions.
- Deviancy: are more radical limitations, both physical and mental. These cannot be considered natural and are usually tied to your Powers. Deviance is so severe that they count as two limitations each.
- Power Loss means you lose access to your Powers under certain circumstances. It is identical to the limitations of Methods but not tied to tradition and not associated with any focus conditions.
Hindrances are handicaps. They do not directly affect your role or personality, tough they can certainly affect how you are able to express yourself.
You are physically addicted to some substance - usually a drug or medicine. When you don't get your fix, you become Glitchy and get a Short Fuse. You are willing to go to almost any length to avoid this. Snakeyes rolls always fail for you - either because of your craving for your addiction, or because of the stupor of that which addicts you.
You do not remember your past. While you can recall simple facts, the associations and personal memories are not there. Your past is blank, and your motivations uncertain. You will begin building a new persona, relationships and so on during play. Of course, your past is not dead, and now and then it will pop up and cause you trouble.
This usually means you have a dangerous and exiting past, perhaps as an enemy of your current cause, perhaps as an important hero or champion that was defeated. You might have been a very powerful character but have lost some of your abilities along with your memories, only slowly "rediscovering" them as you spend experience. It can be used to reintroduce an old favorite character with the GMs permission - you play your character from a previous game who somehow blundered into this story, but cannot remember anything of the old one and who might have forgotten a whole slew of abilities.
Your sight is heavily impaired, to the point of blindness or near-blindness. Of course, this being Action, you are not helpless in a fight - you have developed means to compensate. However, you still cannot discern images, read text, or "see" things other than rough shapes. Anything beyond your Mind in meters away from you is "out of sight" for you. Snakeyes rolls on actions where your lack of sight could impede you always fail.
Someone blinded and who has not had time to adjust to his condition cannot move along with a Basic Action, and only moves his normal Move with a Full Move action. Similar to the Static weapon disadvantage.
You carry distinctive marks on your face and body; tattoos, branding, or the brand names of your cyberware. Some people have looks distinctive enough to qualify as branding. This makes you easy to identify and describe, and gives people a +5 bonus on any checks to recognize who you are, remember things about you, or do research on you.
You are deaf or very hard of hearing. You cannot hear what people say, but you are a reasonably good lip reader and can read a lot from posture - not enough to carry on a normal conversation but enough that you do not need to have everything constantly explained to you. You are fluent in sign language. In situations where hearing is important, you can't use your Spot skill and have to rely on raw Mind instead. If hearing is critical to as task, you automatically fail. Snakeyes rolls on actions where your lack of hearing could possibly impede you always fail.
You cannot (or absolutely will not) speak. You can emote and write, but not form words. For stunts that rely on language, you have to use your Mind instead of your Charm and Impress skills; if speaking is critical the task automatically fails.
At double the points, you are also unable to write.
Even if you are nimble, you sometimes make awkward mistakes and trip over your own feet, especially in tense situations. Whenever you roll a Snakeyes result on an action, that action fails and you fall on your face.
Note: Standing up is not an action in Action, you failed because you fell but the fall itself is not an additional penalty.
You are old, for all the drama and cheap laughs it's worth. You have a poor short-term memory, tending to forget where you put your glasses (and other gear). You tire easily under physical stress, though your physique might otherwise be excellent. You look old, and are no longer as sexy as you once were - tough you can still be dignified. Actions that are penalized by this limitations are Stymied.
Anyone damaging you with a knuckle sandwich will knock you out cold. This applies only to basic punches, not fancy Fu moves.
Your suffer from glitches and unnecessary setbacks. Your abilities rarely fail outright, but plenty of annoyances makes your life difficult.
This may not put you in direct danger, but it makes your life a living hell. Usually it is just a sort of comic annoyance, but it truly acts up on a Snakeyes result, causing whatever action you were attempting to fail and any power or tool you were using to become unavailable until fixed - generally a Basic Action and a difficulty 12 skill roll.
You are very young, early teen or preteen. You are small, and might have a difficult time using adult gear. You will not be admitted to nightclubs, bars or other places "unsuitable" for kids. Your Body can be no higher than 4. Any contacts checks against adults are Stymied.
Your movement is impaired; you might be using crutches or a wheelchair. Your Move can be lower than the norm for your Race and you cannot take a Full Move action. Snake eyes rolls on any action where you moved as a part of the action makes the action and movement fail.
Your suffer from a recurring setback, humorous or otherwise. Chose a theme of the setbacks you suffer. Examples include tripping, losing gear, power failures, or missing the obvious. Usually it is just a sort of comic annoyance, but it truly acts up on a Snake eyes result, causing a proper Setback.
You got your face smashed by the ugly stick. People shy away from you on the streets, and their initial reaction to you is often negative. You can't get causal sex except by paying for it. Snake eyes rolls on social checks cause a fumble - your appearance somwhow made the interaction impossible.
Quirks are psychological traits; idiosyncrasies and motivations that shape how you play your role.
After you've been in action, once its quiet again, you get a stress reaction. It takes you some time to recover, an awful time where you are shaky and weak as a baby. You can just barely stutter or walk slowly, and can take no actions. If forced into a fight at this time, something snaps inside you and you lose sight of the true objective; once a fight has begun you focus completely on what is directly ahead of you and get a kind of tunnel vision making you unable to react to events around you. This might leave you as the last man around when your friends escape. You are sensitive to your immediate situation and can realize when things turn south for you personally, but you are unable to grasp the overall tactics of a situation once the action starts.
It is hard for you to stop fighting when you run out of enemies. At the end of a fight, make a Dodge roll against the highest Mind among your former opponents. If you fail you lose control and go berserk.
When this occurs, you go wild with your lust for violence; you start attacking bystanders, your friends or even yourself, generally in that order. If confronted, people can try to make Charm rolls against a difficulty equal to your Dodge; success brings you out of the killing spree. Otherwise, you are out of control for one round per point of negative outcome on the initial roll.
This is a villain-style limitation.
You are tough only until you meet resistance. You use your Mind as a defense against Impress stunts rather than a skill or other value. You can overcome this against people who you have personal experiences with, but if this happens too often the GM can make you pay off the limitations.
For whatever reason, you don't prepare yourself for adventures. You disdain outfitting and consider adventuring gear to be for sissies. You tend to run off with only what you have at hand - which includes your favorite weapon and any signature items or other schtick-related gear.
You can pick up gear as you go along and use what others have, but such acquisitions are temporary and generally lost if they don't come up each a session.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You cannot resist a challenge or competition. As long as a contest is even remotely in your field of competence, you have a compulsive need to win. Accepting a challenge lets you Focus. When a scene has a challenge or contest at it heart, you can focus at the very start of it.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You are a thrill seeking devil-may-care, always looking for dangerous ways to test your mettle. You seek adventure for the danger involved. You still don't play suicidal odds, but you always choose the risky path over the safe bet. When this makes you take a foolhardy action you would not otherwise have taken, you can focus.
Trigger Action (Focus)
This is mainly a flaw for villains, though a hero with this flaw could be an interesting change of pace.
You crave drama, and love being the center of attention. There is nothing so refreshing as the dramatic entrée. You pick fights with people over the smallest things just to grab attention. You have a need to tell other people about your exploits, past and present. You swagger and brag about what you have done, and perhaps more dangerously, what you are about to do. No plan is so secret you cannot give hints of your activities or tell a helpless prisoner about it. You can never resist the chance to gloat over your enemies, and give them a few hints and pointers, to give them a "sporting chance". You actually feel sorry when your opponents cannot match your abilities — if it's difficult or catastrophic, it is almost always good drama.
When this makes you take a stupid but grandiose action you would not otherwise have taken, you can focus.
You have some signature that you leave at action scenes - usually an object such as a rose, playing card, or emblem but sometimes something you carve or otherwise mark the spot with.
An ego signature generally makes it easier for others to recognize your handiwork. People will recognize you more easily and react accordingly. It can serve as an alibi (I could never have done that; everyone knows I leave a rose behind) or as a lead for an investigator. It is possible to fake your ego signature, so it is generally not enough to count as evidence against you.
If you manage to use this creatively in a scene while there is still action going on, you can focus.
Foot in Mouth
Despite being witty, you have a way of saying just the right thing to make people annoyed or angry. You must have the Charm skill at 10 or more to take this limitation. When you try to do a Common Ground, Gather Information, Good Cop Routine, or Seduction stunt, you use an unskilled value of 8.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You have an inherent sense of heroism, a desire to do good and help the weak through heroic action. You enthusiastically seek out opportunities for adventure, and gladly take on daunting tasks in order to help the "small guy". Whenever this makes you take a stupid but heroic action you would not otherwise have done, you can focus.
Despite being charming, you have a way of saying too much to really fool people. You must have the Charm skill at 10 or more to take this limitation. When you try to do a Acting & Disguise, Sistraction, Gambling, or Trick stunt, you use an unskilled value of 8.
You subscribe to one or several codes of honor. Each code is a fairly arbitrary set of rules and ethics that shape your behavior - usually into a somewhat archaic but very respectable gentry.
Depending on you code, this usually requires you to deal openly and fairly on a personal level. You are not required to uphold the laws of the land in detail, but must generally participate in duels, even if they are forbidden by law. Many honor codes also require chivalrousness towards the other sex and all include a couple of nuisances such as the knight's phobia against riding mares.
You are innocent in the ways of the world and the wiles of men. You use your Mind as a defense against Charm stunts rather than a skill or other value. You can overcome this against people who you have personal bad experiences with, but if this happens too often the GM can make you pay off the limitations.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You have some overriding loyalty. This could be a lawman's respect for law and order, a soldier's loyalty to his country or a knight's loyalty to his liege. It can be a clansman's or brave's loyalty to tribe and clan. Whatever it is, you always watch out for the interests of whoever you are loyal to. Whenever your loyalty makes you take an irrational action you would not otherwise have done, you can focus.
You must have the Impress skill at 10 or more to take this limitation. You lack the forceful personality usually associated with the Impress skill. When you try to do a Browbeat, Upstage or Scare stunt, you use an unskilled value of 8.
You abhor personal violence and try never to start a conflict. You realize violence is sometimes the only way, but seek non-violent means whenever possible. If you have combative friends, you will point out nonviolent solutions, but need not go overboard to force the others to avoid violent methods. You will never accept the pointless killing or mistreatment of prisoners. You are not necessarily a pacifist, and can even be a master of personal combat, you just believe very strongly that violence is a means of last resort.
There is no end to your ambition. You wish to do things, own things, lead things. In the end, you may become a megalomaniac, but in most cases the overambitious never achieve their goals, and continue to struggle throughout their lives.
You should define some goal you strive for, something that the GM can use as an adventure hook. Most of the overambitious strive for money and rank, but some might strive for fame, excellence, divine grace or some other, lofty, goal.
You have an irrational fear of something - snakes, spiders, heights, and crowds are typical examples. You try to avoid this thing as best you can. If forced to confront it, you get shaky and cannot act unless you spend a Fortune point each round to keep yourself under control. You can spend this Fortune point at any point in the round, saving it until really needed. If you don't spend the Fortune, all you can do is Full Move and Trigger Actions.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You do anything to save and improve face. You are not necessarily honorable, but you wish to appear so. You disdain mundane chores, and seek excellence and nobleness in what you do. To you, nothing is ever good enough, and you set even higher standards for yourself than for others. You hate it when others try to cheat you of your glory. Whenever you take an irrational action to save face and succeed, you can focus.
You have some great purpose which you strive for. This can be world revolution, liberating your country, a family feud or anything that involves more than just yourself. It should not prevent you from participating in normal adventures (that would make you an NPC), but whatever you do you think of, talk about and strive for your Great Purpose.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You live your life for romantic love. This can be one true love, or a series of romantic encounters, but it is more important to you than anything else. You may be a seducer, but then you feel madly for each new passion, even if it is only for a short while. You never mistreat or overuse your lovers. Whenever you take a selfless action to help or protect someone you are romantically involved with, you can focus.
Trigger Action (Focus)
You know you're good and like to test yourself against possible equals. In competition and combat, fairness in paramount. You like fair challenges and one-on-one contests. You may refuse something that is to easy or much too hard. You will not fight a foe if you have an advantage or gang up on someone unless he is immensely powerful. When you manage to level the odds in a conflict, most often by convincing others to stay out of it, you can focus.
A villain with this flaw needs to be powerful, or he will quickly become humorous.
You know you are the best at the things you do, and a few of the things you don't do as well. You are cocksure of your abilities and gladly test them. You never chicken out ahead because the opposition seems too tough. If beaten, you either ignore the defeat "next time, he won't have the sun at his back" or flip over and become underconfident for a while.
You are so sure of your abilities and superiority that you don't take your opponents seriously. You think of yourself as superior, not only in a physical sense, but also in a moral and ethical sense; you try to impress this fact upon others. In fact, opponents are childlike things that you wish to correct and put in their place, so that they will admit your superiority. You never consider an opponent to be a real danger or adjust your plans because of the opposition. You try hard not to kill those few opponents who show some promise, you punish or teach them a lesson instead, so that they can learn the ultimate folly and despair of any path but yours.
You believe in the supernatural, in a rather primitive form. You have some occult authority that you believe firmly in, and will go to great lengths to follow any occult advice you get. Certain times and days are “unlucky”, and you cannot spend Fortune points. Nor can you spend Fortune when facing an unusually supernatural adversary, unless you have been appropriately "blessed".
You are out to score it big. You want to make that big strike, and then retire. Hard work and long hours is not the way to riches; you want it all at once. Any rumor or suggestion of treasure, gold or opportunity for wealth is worth investigating.
This limitation makes you bait for certain adventure hooks, but you need not be greedy, stingy or selfish; amounts lesser than the "great strike" is no more and no less appealing to you than to other people. And once you get the gold, you need not retire; either you spend it real quick, or it just wasn't as good as you had hoped. But this new treasure map might…
Subplots: are social limitations or background elements that put demands on you and direct your actions.
You have NPC close friends or family that tend to get involved in the plot. These can sometimes be an advantage for you as contacts, helpers, or emotional support. The limitation is that they sometimes become involved in the action and need help and protection - which gives the GM story hooks.
There is something about you that make you stand out in a crowd. When belligerents look for victims, when the major looks for volunteers, when the police need witnesses or journalists interview the "man on the street", it tends to be you. When adventure just happens to a random person, that person is you. This can either be because of looks and style or just an ephemeral quality.
You have a duty to uphold. This is a job you take seriously, and comes with both everyday and adventuring tasks. Examples include a dutiful police officer, solider, knight, or family man. Other depend on you and you take your duty to them seriously. This can serve both as a motivation, an adventure hook and as a reason why you are sometimes too busy busy to adventure (in cases where you as a player cannot be there).
You are well-known and well-recognized. Any check to recognize you or your handiwork gets a +5 modifier. People contract you for help and your name carries weight in many circles - tough your detractors say you have too high a profile to touch.
You have a group of followers who look up to you and want to hang around you, but who do not work for you. They will turn up and offer to help, fawn over you, or just hang around. This is sometimes helpful, but mostly annoying, making it hard for you to keep a low profile. They will not generally accompany you on adventures and never willingly enter danger. Whenever you roll Snakeyes and are in a place where your fans could possibly turn up, they do - which can turn a normal situation into a hostage crisis right quick.
Most of your fans are Victims with a maximum skill two lower than yours or lower. All details are determined by the GM. Rarely, a powerful person or even a monster might turn out to be a fan, in which case he or she is likely to be extra pushy and demanding.
I'm his daughter-in-law elect! - He'll marry his son - (He's only got one) - To his daughter-in-law elect!
- THE MIKADO by William S. Gilbert
It is well known that Something Marvelous is coming your way. People know you are the heir apparent and fawn over you accordingly. You get involved in plots and intrigues where people try to bank on your future position or play you out against rivals or even the current title-holder. Whenever you roll Snake eyes on a social roll your future title becomes the focus of the action.
You are in debt, and always need cash to pay off loans. You need to watch over your shoulder for repo men and other possible agents of your loan shark(s). If mismanaged, this can turn into a nemeis. You do have ready cash to use in day-to-day situations, but you always need more money to keep the wolves at bay.
Legally speaking, you are not a living person. You may be written off as dead, or maybe you are a machine, summoned creature, clone, "inferior" species, or otherwise legally a non-person. In any case, you have no legal rights whatsoever, and the law cannot protect you or punish anything done to you. Nor are you eligible for social security, communal hospital care or any of the other benefits or rights of being human.
You don't fit into your social context. You may be a foreigner, belong to a persecuted minority, carry some visible disease, or otherwise be a pariah. There is usually a small subgroup where you do fit, but most of society looks down on you. The contacts elements of your skills don't work outside your small group.
You are known for traits and abilities you do not possess, based on misinterpretation, rumors, or just plain lies. People assume you are someone who you are not, with dramatic consequences. They might think you are the cyber messiah, world-famous terrorist, heir of the lost empire, or otherwise have grand expectations on you. A Snake eyes roll in a social context makes the mistaken identity into a critical part of the action.
Your fate and purpose is linked to a particular non-player character. You and your nemesis are bound to run across each other again and again, and have a mysterious way of ending up in one-on-one encounters. Your nemesis advances in power as you do, and has an amazing ability to survive and return to fight another day. And should he die, there is always someone else on the sidelines, ready to step in.
The GM has to approve your choice of nemesis; it is generally best to pick a nemesis you've met during play and that proved particularly interesting, memorable, and loathsome.
A Nemesis need not be out to kill you, or even cause you harm. It might be a rival who demands a duel, a one-sided romance, a bumbling cop that causes chaos, or a colleague that is out out to impress you but ends up as a constant obstruction. As long as the nemesis is an NPC foil that pops up to complicate your life and the plot, this is a relevant limitation.
You are being manipulated or outright ordered about by some outside agency. This is an organization with a great deal of clout, which can make life very bad for you if you refuse to do as they say. They might enforce their control by social means, or have direct power over you, such as a Oathbinding or one of the nasty options under Imbue Tech.
In the basic version of Pawn, you are under the control of the organization, and it can be harsh and treat you cruelly, but you and the organization have overreaching goals that align. A typical example is a soldier or spy working for his own country. For two points, you can be the pawn of an organization whose strategic goals are completely strange to you or that you object to - like being the pawn of an alien sorcerer or hostile nation.
Somehow, you are always out of cash. Even if you make a break, you still don't manage to hang on to it; perhaps you have sworn a wov of poverty, are a poor gambler or have expensive habits, perhaps you pay a lot of money to charities or have a family to support. Whatever the reason, money is a hassle for you. You can't pay taxi fare, opera tickets, or casino chips. You eat at cheap places and may sleep in the open. This does not mean you cannot have basic adventuring gear; your stuff might be old, worn, and not have a sale value, but it sure works. But you can't afford luxuries of any kind.
You are owned by someone - a slave or bondsman. In many cases, you might not even be considered a person at all, such as if you are a Robot or Monster. You have no legal rights of your own, but a certain protection as the property of your owner - which can be another player, an organization, or a non-player character. If you run away, you become Legally Dead.
You have some secret identity that you must keep private. This can be a background, such as the fact that you are a wanted man, or you might be trying to protect your loved ones and relatives. You must spend time and effort maintaining your identity. Enemies might try to disclose your identity and use your secret against you. A Snakeyes roll in a social context makes your identity into a critical part of the action.
You have a secret but significant identity, and this identity is destined to become known and/or play a part in upcoming events. You can be the long-lost child of the old king, the destined savior of all lizardfolk, or a dragon bound to human form and abilities by a curse. The DM has to approve your choice, and its usually best to pick your true identity in play, once you know what the campaign is all about. A Snakeyes roll in a social context makes the identity into a critical part of the action.
You adhere to a distinctive dress code, generally because you belong to an organization. Your uniform might be police, nurse, military, chivalric (a coat of arms), superheroic or otherwise distinctive of who you or your organization are. You almost always wear this uniform, and when out of uniform you lose any perks or privileges of your position.
This differs from Costume in that a uniform is not personal; it identifies you as a part of an organization. You can only take Uniform if it carries meaning and you belong to an appropriate organization or group to which the uniform is relevant.
You have a tendency to end up as a victim; when someone is to be captured, mugged, or otherwise fall victim to a subplot, it tends to be you. Taking this trait means you'll accept that the DM hand-waves situations where you fall into peril and have to be rescued or work to escape.
Whenever you take damage or suffer a setback, you can use this schtick to negate that damage or setback. Whenever you are reasonably alone and vulnerable, the GM can use this schtick against you. It can also trigger on any Snakeyes roll when you are alone or cut off from your friends.
When Victim is activated, you are captured, often unconscious. You will soon re-enter the action, but then as a captive of the enemy - as a hostage, sacrificial victim, caged decoration, or just tossed into a corner. You will either be central to this scene, where it revolves around your rescue, or you'll find it very easy to escape and enter the action.
You are not poor, but neither are you economically independent, and your adventuring activities do not provide for your living for some reason. You have a job you need to work at you maintain your lifestyle. You need to spend time and effort to maintain this job; you might have to ask for favors to get time away from work to partake in an adventure. Often, you can be a part of the action on the job - people in occupations like journalist, military, medical, emergency services or private detectives often get involved in the action.
Deviancy: are more radical limitations, both physical and mental. These cannot be considered natural and are usually tied to your Powers. Deviance is so severe that they count as two limitations each.
You leave at least some of your victims alive, and to them, your powers are highly erotic and addictive. They seek you out to get more and have a mystic, intuitive sense of how to find you. When they do find you, they usually desire more of your attention. Some may decide that you are a perversion, to evil to exist, but are still be highly attracted to you. They may also lead hunters and other enemies to your door.
You are afflicted with one or more Curses. These are long lasting powers that affect your behavior. Having a curse as a part of your concept naturally means it is extra hard to remove, or perhaps you attract a new curse once the old ones are lifted.
Typical curses include the following:
You have a preordained fate. There is some task or confrontation in your future, and try as you might, you cannot avoid this fate. Your exact actions are not predetermined, but you might be forced into a role or position you are uncomfortable with. The GM is free to fudge to bring this outcome apart, doing more and more obvious things the harder you try to fight your fate.
You have some condition that causes enforced sleep. When triggered, should try to seek out a safe place to rest as you will fall asleep within the hour and cannot awaken once you have fallen into dormancy.
The conditions are almost always predictable and regular, something no group of investigators can induce. Vampires commonly have dormancy weakness during the day, ghosts may have a dormancy weakness at all times except the hour after midnight etc. You always know ahead of time that you will become dormant, giving you time to seek shelter.
When forcibly awakened from dormancy (such as by an attack) something snaps inside you and you lose sight of the true objective; once a fight has begun you focus completely on what is directly ahead of you and get a kind of tunnel vision making you unable to react to events around you. This might leave you as the last man around when your friends escape. You are sensitive to your immediate situation and can realize when things turn south for you personally, but you are unable to grasp the overall tactics of a situation once the action starts.
A geas absolutely prevents you from or forces you into doing certain things. Some vampires cannot enter a dwelling unless invited inside and devils cannot go onto holy ground. A cursed oathbreaker might be geased to seek out those she harmed and take on a mission from each.
It is normally impossible for you to break this geas on your own, but if forced or fooled into breaking your geas, you lose the use of all your Powers until you have somehow atoned or the end of the adventure.
You cannot contain the corruption within your body. For whatever reason, you leave a disgusting stench and drop off bits of yourself wherever you go. This can be blood, slime, pus, maggots, feces or whatever. The stench can be obvious but temporary, or subtle but lingering.
Gore is not immediately apparent, you don't look disgusting unless you have other flaws as well. It is only the trail you leave that is disgusting. People might not realize this is from you if you are otherwise unremarkable, but they will certainly realize something is amiss. Detectives have a field day with your trail.
You are bound to a specific domain or locale, perhaps even a person or item. You cannot go far from your haunt. You cannot move or otherwise directly affect your haunt in any way.
It is absolutely impossible for you to break this haunting on your own, but if forced to break it (if bound and taken away) the haunt is temporarily broken.
You have strong hunting instincts that manifest in a particular situation of in the presence of a certain type of victim. A werewolf hunts under the light of the full moon, serial killers have their triggers, and succubi chase priests and virgins.
If you have a very strong reason not to follow your instincts you may make an opposed Mind roll against your potential victim. If this fails you are overcome by instinct and will hunt, no matter the cost.
Hunting always involves conflict and may involve cannibalism, murder, rape, mutilation, or kidnapping.
You are an incarnation of some archetype; generally a common type of monster, but other themes are certainly possible. This can also apply to more narrow magical traditions. All your Powers must relate to this theme, and the theme must be fairly specific.
Incarnate is a build limitation; it does not affect how you in play. Typically an incarnate has access to either a number of Forms equal to their Maximum Value -10. Some characters are limited by technique instead and can use a number of skills equal to half this.
Some incarnates have both forms and skills limited, or even fewer forms or skills available (half of the above, with a minimum of one) - in both cases this is a two-point limitation.
You have a hard time understanding and communicating with normal people; you are either too strange, too bestial or too stupid to understand human speech and behavior. Powers can be used to communicate with you, and you can talk to other creatures of a similar background - you can speak to others of your kind, but if 'your kind' is common in the campaign, this is not really a flaw at all. Otherwise you are entirely incommunicado. For stunts that rely on language, you have to use your Mind instead of your Charm and Impress skills; if speaking is critical the task automatically fails.
At double the points, you are also unable to read and write.
You cannot use or learn any Powers and cannot have a Tradition. You can sill use Items that confer powers and benefit from powers used by others. If you are so mundane that you cannot even use powers from Items, this limitation is worth 4 points.
You fight like an animal, using instinctual tactics. You can overcome these limitations if trained and ordered.
- You cannot perform an active defense against an attack from more than Mind meters away.
- You always attack the most obvious threat unless ordered otherwise.
- You have an attack/defense pattern that you follow, which is suitable to your form and powers. Big cats pounce, wolves harry and pursue, sharks circle and brush by, dolphins ram, pack beasts trample or defend their young, and so on.
- You have a fixed relation to prey or predator; you always flee certain foes and consider other creatures prey. You have trouble relating to creatures in neither of these categories, or which behaves inappropriately for its niche.
There is some way to in which you can be paralyzed, totally preventing any action on your part. It is generally quite difficult to achieve, but a Setback on an appropriate stunt will do the trick. Examples include the classic staking of a vampire.
You lack the ability and/or understanding to use human tools, machines, and other devices. It can be a matter of physical form, but also a mindset; technology and magic devices are simply beyond your comprehension. This is especially common among Animals.
You are not a living creature with a natural metabolism. You will never recover Wounds naturally, and cannot be healed with Medicine. You do not regain Fortune points in the normal fashion either, instead having some alternate method of restoring Fortune that you somehow manage to use between most sessions. You should specify how you do this; sometimes it might be impossible.
You have a hard time moving about normally. It may be because you are unusually large, heavy, or because your powers have extreme side effects, but whenever you move about things tend to break, doors jam, floors collapse, and people get pushed about.
This can inconvenience you as dictated by the game master during interaction and investigations scenes. In addition, whenever your specific trouble has reason to come into play and whenever you roll snake eyes on you suffer some kind of appropriate Setback.
This can be triggered either by the type of attack used, by who is using the attack, or by come extraneous circumstance. Examples include:
- One specific Form or Technique.
- Any attack from a specific type of animal or other creature (dog, bird, demon, etc).
- An attack by a specific type of weapon (Sword, Laser)
- A specific interaction (seduction, death-threats)
- Interactions by a specific type of person (blonde women)
A certain item or material causes additional damage to you. Add an additional of attribute the attacker has to the damage rating, in this order Mind, Body, Reflexes. An attack cannot add the same attribute twice, so an attack that already uses Mind fro damage adds Body and an attack that already uses both Mind and Body adds Reflexes.
If you are vulnerable to interaction Stunts of a certain kind, any successful interaction of the type you are vulnerable to causes an automatic setback.
Your vulnerability can be to almost anything. Examples follow:
- Holy symbols.
- Some metal (e.g. silver, gold, cold steel).
- Specific flowers or herbs (wolvesbane, garlic).
- Types of wood (ash, jew).
- Certain books (bible, koran, torah, pulp novels).
- Certain weapons.
- Specific words.
- A portrait of an old love.
- The bones of a former victim.
- Direct sunlight.
- Running water.
- Dogs with angel eyes (dark circles around the iris).
When suffering from Power Loss, you cannot use any Powers, but you can still use Schticks that are not powers. The exception is Trigger Action (Focus) powers, that you can use even when suffering from power loss.
You must have at least one Power for these limitations to have meaning.
You need some unusual or exotic substance to survive. This can be a continuous need like the vampires blood-thirst, or you can be something you must keep, such as dirt from your grave or a fetish where your soul is kept. If denied this substance for a full day, you gain the Unliving limitation and suffer Power Loss. If the substance is rare enough that acquiring it is a challenge, you can manage a week between uses.
You have two distinct forms; a powered form and a normal form. You can this as a power to change between these forms as a basic action. This might change your appearance, but any major change involves Transformation. You spend most of your non-adventure time in your mundane form.
Sometimes you may have trouble transforming. The transformation is normally subtle enough to perform under even light cover, but transforming in public is embarrassing and shows your identity. If you have a transformation that is so troublesome that it is hard to achieve this is worth two limitations. Some examples:
- You need some special and cumbersome item; a power armor to wear, a vehicle that transforms, or a huge demonic sword that is hard to conceal.
- You need some special environment, such as being submerged in water, wrapped in flames or buried.
- You transformation is highly spectacular, and attract the attention of the nearest block (at least). Perhaps you create the image of a a huge fire bird as you transform.
- You need some unusual and limited substance; a rare drug, shamanic medicine or even physical contact and permission from another (usually non-powered) character.
- Your powers are triggered remotely by someone else; an agency, sorcerer, or mad scientist involved in your origin. This gives them a great deal of control over you.
- Anyone can trigger the transformation by doing some prescribed action, such as saying a magic word. This can make you powerless at inopportune times. Doing so requires knowing how to do it, and generally requires a Setback as well.
There is a way in which your Powers (or most of them, anyway) can be taken away from you, one at a time. This is a relatively easy stunt (like cutting of the eyestalks of a Beholder), and generally requires only simple success on a stunt, but only negates one of your powers, and only for the session.
You have a large an unwieldy object you need to use to maintain your powers. At least once per day you must meditate for one hour using this object, or you lose your powers. Typical objects are spellbooks, shamanic circles, thrones of power, and so on. The object is portable, but heavy, cumbersome, and/or frail. It is a unique object; substituting another similar object does you no good, tough you might be able to recreate a lost recovery focus trough weeks of work. If your focus is irreplaceable it also has script immunity; it can be taken away from you, but the plot will always put it withing your reach again.
Situational Power Loss
You cannot use your Powers under certain circumstances. Any sort of circumstance can trigger this weakness, but it is commonly tied to your Tradition or theme. Examples include a zombie that cannot use its powers except at night or an invisible supernatural creature that cannot use its powers once it has been spotted. It should apply about half the time - and you are assumed to be able to chose when you are active to commonly avoid this flaw.
If Power Loss happens because of something that is random or cannot be predicted, such as the direction and presence of wind or the tolling of church bells, the flaw only occurs about one sixth of the time. You should still specify the condition and it should apply when reasonable, but the GM can often just roll a single die and say the limitation comes up on a roll of one.
If Situational Power Loss restricts you to using your powers only on certain occasions, one time in six or so, it is worth two limitations.
Your powers depend on the use of an item or substance you must periodically use, usually a drug or potion. You can manufacture this substance yourself, but it takes some unusual ingredients. Acquiring these ingredients are usually not a hassle, but they can be used to trace you and sometimes require a montage to assemble and brew.
Alternatively it can be a place you must visit and perform some ritual actions, such as a shrine to your god.
If you cannot use your power elixir for 24 hours, you lose access to your powers.