(Proposal) Character Traits

Zerith

Visitor
As is apparent, I’m proposing adding Character Traits to EN World.
Details, as well as basic ones are givens and I assume most are already familiar with, so I’ll just make a few I think might be interesting.

[Sblock= Character Traits]
[As seen here]

Traits are aspects of a character's personality, background, or physique that make him better at some activities and worse at others. In many ways, traits resemble feats: A character can have only a limited number of traits, and each trait provides some benefit. Unlike feats, however, traits always carry a corresponding drawback. In addition to their game effects, traits suggest characteristics about the character's personality that might lead to interesting roleplaying opportunities. Together with a character's class and feat selection, traits offer a way for game mechanics to encourage deeper character backgrounds and consistent roleplaying.
Traits serve as an interesting starting point for roleplaying, reminding players of their characters' most prominent strengths and weaknesses. However, roleplaying a certain aspect of a character's personality does not require possessing the trait. For example, a paladin can be honest and forthright without the Honest trait. The player should roleplay the character consistently even though the character's honesty has no effect on his skill checks.
A character can begin play with up to two traits, chosen by the player at the time of character creation.
As characters advance in level and ability, they might want to get rid of the traits that they chose at the beginning of play. Although characters cannot rid themselves of a trait directly, specific feats, skill ranks, or magic items can compensate for the penalties imposed by a trait. For example, an abrasive character can work on becoming more personable by spending skill points to gain a rank in Bluff and a rank in Diplomacy, thereby offsetting the drawback from the Abrasive trait.
Metagame Analysis: Designing Traits

Although this section provides a large number of character traits, a player who wants to create a character with a distinctive personality may propose a new trait. If that happens, the [Character Judges] should keep in mind that the traits variant is only effective if the benefits and the drawbacks of the traits are related. If the drawback and benefit of a trait apply to disparate or unrelated aspects of the game, it becomes too easy for a player to choose a trait for her character that provides a bonus on a commonly attempted ability check or skill check while the corresponding penalty applies to a rarely used or never used aspect of play. For example, a trait that gave a bonus to Armor Class and a penalty on attack rolls would be poor design because spellcasters make very few attack rolls (making the penalty far less severe) yet continuously gain the benefit-of the increased Armor Class.
As long as the [Character Judges] and player talk about a new trait ahead of time and view it in light of what skills and abilities the character uses most often, this potential pitfall is easy to avoid.
Roleplaying Of Traits

If a player creates a character with one or more of the traits described here, she has three basic choices for how that trait affects the character's personality.
First, the character might view the trait as a weakness. A character with this view might try to hide the trait or make excuses for his behavior. On the other hand, he might seek out others with the trait to feel better about his own idiosyncrasy.
Second, the character might view the trait as a strength. A character might call attention to the trait, encourage others to act in ways that mimic the trait, or simply assume that those without the trait are less worthy than those who possess it.
Finally, the character might not acknowledge the trait at all. A character might adopt this attitude toward a trait for several reasons, each suggesting something different about the character's background and personality.

  • The character might not be aware of the trait; for example, a nearsighted character might not realize that others see better at a distance because his impairment is mild and the onset was so gradual that he never noticed the change.
  • The character might be aware of the trait but not want to admit that he possesses it. For example, an abrasive character might realize that his mannerisms affect others, yet find more solace in putting the blame on those whom he offends rather than on himself.
  • The character might know but simply not care.
Trait Descriptions

Each trait in this section includes a benefit, a drawback, any special limitations regarding its selection by a character, and roleplaying ideas for how to incorporate it into your character's personality.

Abrasive

You are difficult and demanding in conversation, which tends to oppress those around you.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Intimidate checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Diplomacy checks and Bluff checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be loud and abrupt or quiet and sinister, but either way, most find them disconcerting or irritating.

Absent Minded

You are fascinated by knowledge and learning and are capable of pursuing complex trains of thought quite quickly. However, your preoccupation with such thoughts makes you a little less aware of your surroundings.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Knowledge checks (although this does not let you use a Knowledge skill untrained).
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks and Listen checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might flit from idea to idea, trailing off in mid-sentence or mumbling their way through complex ideas. Conversely, characters with this trait might be extremely articulate but still allow their thoughts to move faster than the pace of a conversation.

Aggressive

You are quick to initiate combat, and you tend to press the attack once battle is joined. Your enthusiasm makes you a dangerous foe, but you sometimes leave yourself open to blows that a more cautious warrior would avoid.
Benefit

You gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty to Armor Class.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait are often hotheaded and quick to anger, or simply think that the best defense is a quick offense.

Brawler

You naturally move close to your opponents when fighting, instinctively grabbing and punching rather than striking with weapons.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on unarmed attack rolls and grapple checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on all other attack rolls.
Special

The bonus from this trait doesn't apply to natural weapons. A character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat can't select this trait (if a character with this trait later gains that feat, he loses the trait).
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait often disdain the use of weapons entirely, and some eventually learn more refined martial arts based on their instinctive fighting techniques. Many brawlers might not even be consciously aware that they fight differently from other characters; they simply know that the best way to take someone out of a fight is to grab him or punch him in the face.

Cautious

You are cautious in combat, even a bit cowardly, and you take more care to defend yourself than others. However, this caution renders you susceptible to fear effects.
Benefit

You gain an additional +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class whenever you fight defensively or take the total defense action.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on saving throws made to resist fear effects.
Special

You cannot select this trait if you have immunity to fear or fear effects. If you later gain immunity to fear, you lose the benefit of this trait.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might consistently urge talking rather than fighting, or they might do little to encourage that their companions avoid combat and simply remain as far away from foes as possible, using ranged weapons or spells.

Detached

You maintain a distance from events that keeps you grounded but limits your reaction speed.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on will saves
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Reflex saves.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait are likely to be quiet and restrained, but they might be vocal when others falter in their beliefs.

Dishonest

You are naturally deceitful and insincere with others. You have a talent for lying, but have difficulty convincing others when you do speak truthfully.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Bluff checks.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on Diplomacy checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be portrayed as crafty liars, or lying might simply be second nature to them, making actually telling the truth a difficult chore.

Distinctive

You have some distinctive physical feature such as a scar, a prominent nose, a limp, or some similar characteristic that is hard to disguise or conceal.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Reputation checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Disguise checks.
Special

This trait is available only if your campaign includes the Reputation variant.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might play up its presence to gather attention, sympathy, or notoriety.

Easygoing

You are naturally friendly. Others feel comfortable around you, but this trait also makes it more difficult for you to be pushy or suspicious.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Gather Information checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Intimidate checks and Sense Motive checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be more easily manipulated in interactions with NPCs, or they might simply prefer not to argue and instead use their natural talent to learn more about the world around them.

Farsighted

You have difficulty focusing on nearby objects, but your distance vision is more keen than normal.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Spot checks.
Drawback

You have a -2 penalty on Search checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world.

Focused


You can keep your attention on a task despite many distractions; however, events in the background pass you by.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Concentration checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks and Listen checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait often seem single-minded or even obsessive in their focus on a specific task.

Hard of Hearing


You have a slight hearing impairment, and to compensate, you have become more in tune with your other senses.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Spot checks.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on Listen checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world.

Hardy

You are made of tougher stuff than the average person, but you're not quite as quick to react to dangerous effects.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Reflex saves.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might see their physical prowess as normal and look down on less hardy individuals, or they might see it as their duty to play the role of protector and help those less able to endure physical hardship.

Honest

You are naturally straightforward and sincere. This quality helps you persuade people to your viewpoint, but you have difficulty telling lies and seeing deception in others.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Bluff checks and Sense Motive checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be naive and too unsophisticated to lie, or they might be aware of worldly matters and simply choose to take a higher ground.

Illiterate


You cannot read, but you have devoted yourself to learning other skills.
Benefit

Choose any one skill except Decipher Script or Forgery. You gain a +1 bonus on checks using that skill.
Drawback

You are illiterate.
Special

You can eliminate the negative effect of this trait by spending 2 skill points to become literate. Unlike with the barbarian, you cannot become literate by taking a level in any class other than barbarian.
You can't select this trait if your character is already illiterate because of race, class, or any other reason.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be sensitive about not being able to read, or they might not value "book learnin'."

Inattentive

You are skilled at finishing simple tasks quickly, but you have a difficult time dealing with longer, more complex tasks.
Benefit

Choose a skill that allows complex skill checks. You gain a +1 bonus on simple skill checks made using the chosen skill.
Drawback

You take a -4 penalty on any complex skill checks made with the chosen skill.
Special

You can take this trait more than once. Its effects do not stack. Instead, choose a new eligible skill each time you select this trait.
This trait is available only if your campaign includes the complex skill checks variant.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might flit from subject to subject in conversation, or they might seem typical in most situations but leave most of their long-term projects perpetually unfinished.

Musclebound

You are good at almost everything that requires strength, but less adept than most at tasks that require coordination.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Strength-based skill checks and ability checks.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on Dexterity-based skill checks and ability checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait are likely to solve problems with physical strength rather than through trickery or finesse.

Nearsighted

You have difficulty focusing on distant objects, but your eye for detail is more keen than normal.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Search checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world.

Nightsighted

Your eyes are particularly well suited to using darkvision, but they are less well adapted to what others consider normal light.
Benefit

Add 10 feet to the range of your darkvision.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks when in areas of bright light.
Special

You must have darkvision as a racial ability to have this trait.
Roleplaying Ideas

This trait might not affect a character's personality at all, but it might make the character prefer going on underground or nighttime adventures.

Passionate

You are made of tougher stuff than the average person, but you are highly suggestible.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Will saves.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be gruff and place extreme value on overcoming physical obstacles, or conversely, their weakness against magical enchantments might leave them fascinated and fearful of such things.

Plucky

You have a strength of will not reflected in your limited physical gifts.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Will saves.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Fortitude saves.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be annoyingly positive-minded, or they might only show their mental resilience in times of dire need.

Polite

You are courteous and well spoken.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on Intimidate checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be honestly polite and kind, or they might simply be adept at mimicking social conventions to get what they want.

Quick

You are fast, but less sturdy than average members of your race.
Benefit

Your base land speed increases by 10 feet (if you don't have a land speed, apply the benefit to whichever of your speeds is highest).
Drawback

Subtract 1 from your hit points gained at each level, including 1st (a result of 0 is possible).
Special

You must have a Constitution of 4 or higher to select this trait.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait typically try to stay away from physical combat, but a rare few might relish it, striving to see if their superior speed is enough to best hardier warriors.

Reckless

You naturally sacrifice accuracy to put more power behind your blows.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls after successful melee attacks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on melee attack rolls.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be loudly passionate about entering combat and overcoming foes through strength of arms, or they might be quiet and so desperate to avoid confrontation that they put extra effort into every blow in an attempt to end the encounter more quickly.

Relentless

You don't know the meaning of the word "tired." You go all out until you simply can't continue.
Benefit

You gain a +2 bonus on Constitution checks and similar checks made to continue tiring activities (see the Endurance feat for all the checks and saves to which this benefit applies).
Drawback

Any effect or condition that would normally cause you to become fatigued instead causes you to become exhausted.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait may see others as soft or weak, especially anyone who complains about being tired or fatigued. They might openly scoff at others' weaknesses or might quietly encourage them to "tough it out."

Saddleborn

You are a natural in the saddle, but you have little patience for handling animals when not riding them.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Ride checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Handle Animal checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait rarely bother to consider animals as good for anything other than mounts, but they are extremely confident about their riding abilities.

Skinny

You are very slender for your race.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Escape Artist checks.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on Strength checks to avoid being bull rushed or overrun.
Roleplaying Ideas

Skinny characters tend to be pushed around by tougher types, so those with this trait might be shy, or they might be very defensive when faced with such situations.

Slippery

You are less adept at grappling and wrestling than others of your size and strength, but you are adept at slipping out of another's hold.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Escape Artist checks to escape a grapple and on grapple checks to escape a grapple or avoid being grappled.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on all other grapple checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might fear close combat, knowing they are less adept grapplers than most opponents. On the other hand, good escape artists with this trait might enjoy baiting larger foes into grappling them, knowing they can easily slip out of the grasp of most foes.

Slow


You are slow, but sturdier than average members of your race.
Benefit

Add +1 to your hit points gained at each level.
Drawback

Your base land speed is halved (round down to the nearest 5-foot interval).
Special

You must have a base land speed of at least 20 feet to select this trait.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait tend to be relatively immobile in combat. They typically prefer to wear strong armor (or other protective devices), since it's hard for them to flee a fight.

Specialized

You have a knack for one kind of work or study, but other tasks are harder for you to accomplish.
Benefit

Choose one specific Craft, Knowledge, or Profession skill. You gain a +1 bonus on checks using the specified skill.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on all other checks using the same skill (Craft, Knowledge, or Profession, based on the skill chosen).
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait often see themselves as elite artists or experts rather than mere professionals, and they might regard their chosen vocation or study as more useful or interesting than other tasks.

Spellgifted

You have a gift for casting spells from a certain school. Although your spells from this school are more potent than those of other casters, you are not as effective at casting spells from other schools.
Benefit

Choose a school of magic. Add 1 to your caster level when casting spells from that school.
Drawback

Reduce your caster level by 1 whenever you cast a spell that is not from your chosen school.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait might be loudly vocal about the merits of the school of magic that they understand most readily, or they might feel awkward and out of place around "normal" spellcasters as a result of their unusual aptitude.

Stout

You are heavy for your race.
Benefit

You gain a +2 bonus on Strength checks to avoid being bull rushed or overrun.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Escape Artist checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Overweight characters are often bullied, so those with this trait might be shy, or they might be very defensive when faced with such situations. Some turn to humor to defuse such situations, while others become bitter.

Suspicious

You are naturally suspicious of everyone and everything. While this trait makes you hard to fool, it makes others slightly less likely to agree with you or find you threatening.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Sense Motive checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Diplomacy checks and intimidate checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

This trait might express itself as comic levels of paranoia, or it might make the character quietly cautious about others.

Torpid

You are sluggish and slow to react to danger, but also resistant to others' commands.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on saves against enchantment (compulsion) effects.
Drawback

You take a -2 penalty on initiative checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Torpid characters may be seen as lazy, or as methodical and measured in their actions.

Uncivilized

You relate better to animals than you do to people.
Benefit

You gain a +1 bonus on Handle Animal checks and wild empathy checks.
Drawback

You take a -1 penalty on Bluff checks, Diplomacy checks, and Gather information checks.
Roleplaying Ideas

Characters with this trait are likely to feel awkward in many social situations; that might be expressed as shyness and quiet behavior, or it might be expressed through an overly exuberant need to participate in conversations. [/Sblock]


Pro: Allows more character customization, adds more character flavor.
(Possible) Con: Also allows increased specialization.

Painless
You feel no pain. You can feel only vague sensations; such as pressure, warmth, and cold, and never in enough detail to know if you were just pricked in the back by a needle, shot by an arrow, or ran through back to front by a lance; in a cozy room, too close to a fire you skin is being slowly cooked, or even on fire; slightly chilled, slowly freezing to death, or in the mitts of full blown hypothermia. You can also feel wetness.
(And could be very wise to keep an eye on were the sun is to avoid embarrassment; regularity is your friend ^^; )

Effects
You can fight on unhindered even with negative HP, so long as you have not been killed, but you still lose one hit point per around until you stabilize, additionally, your chance to stabilize drops to 5% when you are making actions while dying.
You are also immune to pain, and spells, abilities, etc, that work off of similar premises. Also, you ignore penalties from fatigue, but not exhaustion.

Drawback
Your current HP and condition(Ability damage, poison, etc) is hidden from you, as is just how much damage you take from any given sorce, but you, or someone else, may examine your body to check for wounds, infection, or other signs of illness, an activity taking several minutes in full. During battle, an ally glancing at you, as a free action, can gage, roughly, how wounded you are; assuming your wounds are visible to them, and it is at the DM’s discursion how wounded you appear. But as a general guideline the fallowing is generally accurate
at 91-100% max hp you appear to be Fine
at 71-90% max hp you appear to be Lightly Wounded
at 41-70% max hp you appear to be Wounded
at 6-40% max hp you appear to be Heavily Wounded
at 5% max hp or less you appear to be Dying
[sblock]Painless lakes a stat changing negative, a major oddity for a trait, however, it does have a considerable offset to what are diminishingly beneficial positives; being able to fight while in negative hp is a large benefit at low levels: an extra 10 hp of combative(0 through -9) can be a life saver, but never knowing just now much life a character has left can lead to dire decisions: a player has no way of knowing if they have large portion of their hp left or if they are at the raver's edge.

However, this would be a hard trait to use day to day, as it requires more work from the GM to work. Might not be the best thing to add, but I figured I might as well add it to list anyways ;3 [/sblock]

Neutral energy alignment
unlike most, that are either positively or negatively aligned (living or undead respectively) you are neither and are completely immune to both.

Effect
you are immune to both positive and negative energy, and any spell, ability, extraordinary ability, etc, that notes reliance on either positive or negative energy cannot affect you. (spells like cure wounds and inflict wounds are prime examples)

Brutal Combatant
You focus intently on killing strikes and sacrifice defense while making them

Effect
You gain +1 on melee damage rolls.

Drawback
You take -1 armor class when making a melee attack, and until the start of your next turn

Special
If you attack with a two-handed weapon, or with a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands, instead add 2 to damage rolls. You can’t add the bonus from Brutal Combatant to the damage dealt with a light weapon (except with unarmed strikes or natural weapon attacks), even though the penalty on attack rolls still applies. (Normally, you treat a double weapon as a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. If you choose to use a double weapon like a two-handed weapon, attacking with only one end of it in a round, you treat it as a two-handed weapon.)

Roleplaying Ideas
Characters with this trait tend to be, in attest some way, berserk; they may love combat,a feral nature when threatened, or just believe the best best defense is a better offense.
 
Last edited:

orsal

LEW Judge
OK, first a couple of specific issues:

A character can begin play with up to two traits, chosen by the player at the time of character creation. Alternatively, the [Character Judges] can require players to roll on Table: Character Traits to determine the traits possessed by their characters.
The sentence I just struck, should be deleted. LEW does not use any random methods in character creation. It wouldn't make sense, since nothing in our rules prevents you from doing the equivalent of taking 20: creating a character, and if it doesn't come out as desired, discarding it and trying again until you get the one you want. Much simpler to do what we do in every other aspect of character creation: if it is a starting character that could be created, you can choose to create it.

Besides, I really don't like the idea of forced traits. Traits will be roleplayed best if they are intrinsic to the player's character concept. Players (like me!) who like some randomness in character creation as a way to get the creative juices flowing, can always roll a random trait and choose to give it to their character. But any player with an idea for a character that a particular trait would fit, should have the option of using it.

If the [Character Judges] allows it, players may add traits to their characters after 1st level. The [Character Judges] might allow a player to assign a trait to her character after she has roleplayed the character in a manner consistent with the trait in question, or after a traumatic or life changing experience (after dying, a character might develop the Cautious trait or the Aggressive trait). If the [Character Judges] includes this option, a character should gain a new trait no more frequently than once every five levels.
I'd rather not allow this option at all, for the same reasons as for flaws.

Although this section provides a large number of character traits, a player who wants to create a character with a distinctive personality may ask the [Character Judges] to design a new trait.
Nope. It's not the job of the character judges to design house rules -- it's the job of the community. You demonstrated that with your homebrew traits in this very proposal - judges (not just character judges) will vote on them, but any player with an idea for a trait submits it.


Now, if the deletions I recommend above are a friendly amendment, my thoughts on this are pretty much the same as my thoughts on flaws. I like the idea, and am likely (after a bit more discussion) to support both the general idea and the examples from d20srd.org, while reserving judgement (and possibly being a little more selective) about your homebrew traits. My preliminary thoughts on those:

Painless
You feel no pain. You can feel only vague sensations; such as pressure, warmth, and cold, and never in enough detail to know if you were just pricked in the back by a needle, shot by an arrow, or ran through back to front by a lance; in a cozy room, too close to a fire you skin is being slowly cooked, or even on fire; slightly chilled, slowly freezing to death, or in the mitts of full blown hypothermia. You can also feel wetness.
(And could be very wise to keep an eye on were the sun is to avoid embarrassment; regularity is your friend ^^; )

Effects
You can fight on unhindered even with negative HP, so long as you have not been killed, but you still lose one hit point per around until you stabilize, additionally, your chance to stabilize drops to 5% when you are making actions while dying.
You are also immune to pain, and spells, abilities, etc, that work off of similar premises. Also, you ignore penalties from fatigue, but not exhaustion.

Drawback
Your current HP and condition(Ability damage, poison, etc) is hidden from you, as is just how much damage you take from any given sorce, but you, or someone else, may examine your body to check for wounds, infection, or other signs of illness, an activity taking several minutes in full.

[...]
An interesting idea. Besides the balance question, I'd like everyone to put themselves in the position of a DM with a player with this trait. Would you find it inconvenient? It wouldn't be an issue for me, but for some DMs who like to roll enemy attacks publicly (on invisiblecastle.org or the new ENworld dice program) it might be a nuisance.

Neutral energy alignment
unlike most, that are either positively or negatively aligned (living or undead respectively) you are neither and are completely immune to both.

Effect
you are immune to both positive and negative energy, and any spell, ability, extraordinary ability, etc, that notes reliance on either positive or negative energy cannot affect you. (spells like cure wounds and inflict wounds are prime examples)
The drawback seems to me to far outweigh the benefit. A character who makes a habit of fighting greater undead would no doubt like this, but how likely will you get to the level where you can fight greater undead, if you cannot benefit from instant healing?

Of course, a trait that's biased to the bad side isn't a game-breaker, just not likely to be popular with optimizers.

Brutal Combatant
You focus intently on killing strikes and sacrifice defense while making them

Effect
You gain +1 on melee damage rolls.

Drawback
You take -1 armor class when making a melee attack, and until the start of your next turn
There's a feat (Power Attack) that lets you trade -X attack for +X damage, and another (Combat Expertise) that lets you trade -X attack for +X AC. That would suggest that damage and AC are fairly well-balanced, since everyone likes a good AC.
 

Zerith

Visitor
Removed the first two and amended the second (made the remaining part of the paragraph, just look silly if I simply hit D on it :D )

as for my homebrew traits.

Painless: Yes, it’s a butt of a trait, that demands special attention from the GM. Personally I'm a nefarious amateur math whiz, so being able to horrify players with arrows tipped in green goo that have just nicked the guy who can’t feal a wound festering is just lovely to me and demands some direly nefarious rats! :D

That said, I’ve admitted it can be an :):):):):):):) of a trait as well; honestly, I don’t plan on using it,or even care if it gets a yay or a nay, I just think it was an interesting idea to toss around.


Natural energy aligned: but if you’re undead it means that nasty Cleric can heal you to redeath! :D
But honestly, I thought of making it into strait up magic immunity, or saying X amount of extra Resistance and not allow the character to be able to let any spell work on them without first besting their spell resistance. But the first is a huge edge on any caster, and I don’t know just how much resistance would be comparable to the trait’s downside. Thus, we have the simplified energy neutral trait. Lucky for any character with this; they can still be healed with spells like regeneration and goodberry. (any druid should be foraging for berries as they move through plains, enchant them, and give one to each ally as a last ditch stabilizing item! :3 )



Brutal combatant: Honestly, Power attack was the inspiration for this trait, but it translated to :I’m going to swing at you with my shoulder, and not my whrist, for grater force at the expense of finesse; B.C. translates to: If you don’t kill me first, I’m going to Butcher you, or “Death or Glory!” :D
(Originally, it was +2 Damage and -1 Attack and -1 Armor, but I thought that mod was a bit too aggressive for a trait, besides, if stacked with a two handed weapon and power attack, I really don’t know what would happen, so yesh.)
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
becareful with curse words. as you see that there are smilies where the curse word was typed, that can get to be a neusens with too many of those.

Morris, the owner of this thread, carries the grandma clause from the original creator of this thread, Eric Noah (thus the EN of en world) Basicly, if your grandma is looking over your should, would you type that word? of alternatively, if ANY grandma were looking over your shoulder.
 

covaithe

Visitor
Besides the balance question, I'd like everyone to put themselves in the position of a DM with a player with this trait. Would you find it inconvenient? It wouldn't be an issue for me, but for some DMs who like to roll enemy attacks publicly (on invisiblecastle.org or the new ENworld dice program) it might be a nuisance.
I'd find it to be more work, to handle status differently for one character than for the others.

As an aside, I recently played with a DM who insisted that all PCs be treated this way: not allowing us to talk in terms of HP at the table. If an enemy hit you, you'd lose 10 HP as usual, but you weren't allowed to tell other players your current HP total. If they asked how you were, you had to say "winded" or "badly wounded" or whatever. I have to say, it did add a certain amount of verisimilitude...
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
I kindf of like that. I am in a game With Thanee as the dm, Pool of radience, where we do not know what our hp is during times of 'non-full health' We use the titles of winded wounded, bleeding . . . to indicate a percentage of damager taken.
 

Trouvere

Visitor
Unlike flaws, which mess about with the fundamental game engine, I rather like traits. Traits seem a quick and easy means of adding some simple customization to a build, a +1 here, a -1 there. Or a -2... it seems quite a few of them are slight downgrades.

It's very easy for 2 skill point per level PCs, like two Fighters or especially two Paladins, to be almost mechanically identical, and traits - assuming they didn't choose the same ones, of course - would be a nice way to differentiate them slightly. At low levels, a +1 on a roll can make a fair bit of difference.

In world, most traits, unlike flaws, seem plausible as personality shifts, so I'd have no problem with higher level PCs taking them too.

Distinctive and Inattentive wouldn't see play.

There are three traits which I think need closer inspection:

(1) Aggressive. Slightly too attractive for spellcasters? Once some combination of Blur, Mirror Image or Displacement or Fly+Protection from Arrows is available, wizards don't really care about their AC as much as they care about going first. Possibly very attractive for sneak attacking archer rogues, too. It's almost certainly a disadvantage for melee PCs other than chargers, though.

(2) Quick. Very attractive to a Barbarian with good Con. 50 ft base speed, still with 8+Con HP/level? I'd consider it. The +10 foot speed bonus is unnamed, so stacks with all other speed increases. I'm dubious about this one.

(3) Spellgifted. Not so much an objection, just an observation. You can't cast a spell at a caster level less than the minimum required. At 1st level a spellgifted caster could only cast spells of her chosen school, since her caster level would be 0 in all other schools. At every level when a new level of spells is gained, again only spells of the chosen school could be cast. Interesting. Troublesome for Sorcerers, who are perhaps the archetypal 'spellgifted', but have to be very careful in their spell selection; quite flavourful for specialist Wizards.
 

Zerith

Visitor
Quick, Ack, I've been found out; I wanted a crazy fast character.

that said; I think it favors Dwarfs: wearing heavy armor with 30 speed is nice. But 40 speed as a barb with med armor is also nice. (A Barbadian human with quick would only have 35 speed, up from 30 without quick (quick only adds 5 speed if a, none dwarf, character is wearing med/heavy armor :3)

that said limiting it to med/light loads/armor could work if the judges think it is too strong as is, also, I think the HP lose hurts at lest as much as the speed gives, even for tanks light fighters and barbs. (mages like not being in the middle of things I tend to think) Sure, at 50 speed the barb is Fast, but it is only upping its speed by 25%
A fighter can up their speed by 33.333-% by taking it, both are just as durable, and the fighter needs the speed boost more then the barb.
Also, I think barbs are generally, more lightly armored, and so needs to focus a smidgen more on Dex then a fighter who can lean more onto Con by using heavy armor, but that is a preference thing.

And if we want to say, "Noo! moving around as fast as a horse is evil!" Monks should be out lawed. Sure, they gota have no armor, but they get other bonuses for having no armor: less cost to equip, faster, and good AC? That is evil!!! O_O; *end sarcasm*
But rely, if somone, like myself, plans to make their character weaker in a head to head brawl for the ability to chase their foe down, or "R.T.H.A." I don't see what is roung with that. But I get what I want if quick is allowed in, so yesh, I'm a little twerp on this matter.
(also, my character is going to be an odd ball, you'll see what I mean when I make him)
[which could be a very long time if I don't/can't get Lycans revamped: working a character up to level 8 to make the character I want sounds a little silly to me, but reworking Lycans into a balanced templet that can be grown from ECL 0 to ECL 13 seems smarter to me :3]
 

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