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House Disadvantages


Disadvantage Chart

Note: Before you take a disadvantage, read the fine print in the House Disadvantages section!

Disadvantage Charp Bonus Disadvantage Charp Bonus Disadvantage Charp Bonus
Albino 5 Powerful enemy/fugitive 10/15 Self-sacrificing 10
Alergies 2/8 Phobia: crowds 4/10 Slave 3/8
Big spender 1-9 Phobia: darkness 5/11 Sight-impaired: —Blind 15
Bigot 3/6 Phobia: enclosed spaces 5/11 —Colorblind 3
Bruise easily 8 Phobia: fear 6 —Shortsighted 7
Clumsy 4/8 Patriot 3

Single-class focus

Code of Behavior 4/10 Phobia: heights 5/10 Terminal Character 9
Colorblind 3 Phobia: insects 5/10 Tongue-tied 6
Debt 1-5 Phobia: magic 8/14 Unlucky 8
Deep sleeper 7 Phobia: monster (specific) 4/9
Distrust/distance   4 Phobia: psychic contact 7
Family duties 2/4 Phobia: snakes 5/10
Phobia: spiders 5/10
Phobia: undead 8/14
Phobia: water 3/6


Albino: For each hour in direct sunlight, or four hours in indirect sunlight, the albino loses d4 constitution. Constitution points are recovered at a rate of d4 per day of rest in the shade. If Con dips below three, the albino passes out for d12 hours and must make a system shock check or die.

Allergies: This disadvantage is typically a hay fever problem, where the character is subject to sneezing outdoors. The actual campaign environment makes a great deal of difference—in winter settings, this isn't much of a problem, for example. The DM should be careful to create some settings where the character's allergies are in fact a disadvantage.
The game effects of allergies can come up in several ways. A Wisdom/\w check can be called upon to stifle a sneeze when the character's party is setting up an ambush along a forest trail. If the character suffers from severe allergies, his Strength/Stamina score and Constitution/Health scores must be reduced by 1–6 points when the pollen count is high.
Other allergies can be created. A character who is allergic to mold, for example, might suffer these same effects when in a damp, underground location. As well, he might suffer double damage from mold-based attacks. An allergy to bee stings or to certain types of food or animals are less likely to affect the game, but the DM could offer to negotiate a lower character point bonus for the character who has a lesser allergy as a disadvantage.

Bruise Easily: This disadvantage can be a real drawback for a character who spends a lot of time in harm's way. Every time the character suffers damage from a blunt weapon, or a mishap such as a fall, he suffers 1 extra point of damage for each die of damage rolled. This damage is not as long-lasting as normal damage, recovering at a rate of 1 hit point per turn after the fight. However, if a character's hit points are reduced to zero, and some of the points of damage are bruise damage, he is rendered unconscious but not dead—much like the damage inflicted by punching.

Clumsy: The character with this disadvantage has the unfortunate habit of dropping things, tripping, or knocking things over at inopportune times. The DM will occasionally require the character to make a Dexterity check. Failure means the character loses his grip, stumbles, or trips. The check can be required as often as the DM desires, though as a general rule two or three times a gaming session probably will be adequate.

Colorblind: This relatively innocuous disadvantage means that the character cannot distinguish colors. For game purposes, he sees things in black, white, and shades of gray.

Debt: The PC begins play in debt, d12 x 10 cp per charp. The lender is intent on collecting. The greater the debt, the higher the interest—and the more powerful and determined the lender.

Fugitive: Different from powerful enemy in that an entire organization actively seeks the character’s life, even placing a bounty on the character’s head. The character’s life is one big chase scene.

Deep Sleeper: The character with this disadvantage will only awaken when disturbed by a very loud noise, or by physical prodding, shaking, etc. When the character does wake up, it will take d6 rounds before he is capable of any action other than groggily sitting up and trying to figure out what's going on. Thri-kreen cannot take this disadvantage.

Phobias: A character who is consistently afraid of one particular thing (or category of things) can have a real problem while adventuring. The phobia disadvantages are worth varying degrees of character points, based on the frequency of encountering that which the character fears, and whether the player chooses a disadvantage that is moderate or severe.
The effects are generally the same. If the character is threatened by a violent encounter with the object of the phobia, he must roll a Wisdom/Will check (Wisdom/Will, if the phobia is severe). If successful, the character can function normally, but if the check fails he must flee or otherwise seek to avoid the encounter for 1–6 rounds. After this time, check again, and continue to do so each 1–6 rounds until a check succeeds.
The DM can modify the Willpower checks for phobic characters. Someone who hates enclosed places but is being pursued by a dragon, for example, might overcome the phobia in favor of saving his life—perhaps gaining a +5 modifier to the phobia check.

Phobia—Crowds: The character becomes panicked when surrounded by people, demihumans, humanoids, etc Shopping in marketplaces, dining at massive feasts, and celebrating at festivals are all problems. The character must make a successful Wisdom/w check to enter such a setting. If a crowd gathers, the character must check as soon as the DM judges that the PC is in the midst of a throng. If the character fails the Will check, he will seek a private nook or cranny to get out of sight, or try to leave the premises altogether. Even if he passes, the success only lasts 2–12 turns—then the character must make another check.

Phobia—Darkness: A real drawback for a dungeon crawler, this disadvantage compels a character find or create, some source of light when surrounded by utter darkness. The character will be reluctant to enter darkened settings, only doing so after a successful Wisdom/Will check. He can repeat the check every 1–6 turns, if necessary, perhaps modified by persuasion or cajolery by comrades. The check is not necessary if some light is present, though the character still will be nervous and uncomfortable in a role-playing sense.
If the character passes the check, he can force himself to enter the darkness. He also must check if suddenly immersed in darkness—for example, if the party's torches are suddenly doused within the dungeon. Failure of this check can result in the character fleeing headlong down a corridor or freezing, terrified, in place (clinging to a subterranean cliff, perhaps). If circumstances do not dictate one or the other, flip a coin to determine which reaction the character suffers.

Phobia—Enclosed Spaces: This has effects similar to the darkness phobia, though of course the presence of light is immaterial—this phobia can strike in a lighted room or in a narrow, winding tunnel. In general, when the ceiling is no more than two feet overhead, and the walls are within two feet of the character's outstretched hands, he'll have trouble. As with the fear of darkness, the character must check Wisdom/will before entering an enclosed area.

Phobia—Heights: This character has difficulty climbing ladders and ropes, perching on walls, and negotiating steep, cliffside trails. He will be eager to look for another way around if such a climb is called for, but if he makes a successful Wisdom/Will check he can overcome his fear. If the check fails, however, the character will do everything possible to avoid the climb. Another check is allowed 2–12 turns later.

Phobia—Insects: Fairly self-explanatory. Among the obvious effects of the phobia, this disadvantage prevents the PC from riding a kank. Thri-kreen cannot take this disadvantage.

Phobia—Magic: The character with this fear is nervous about all things magical—spells, creatures, and items. Although he may wear and use magical items that do not have visible effects (including magical weapons and armor, rings of protection, and the like), he will not ingest potions, wear a ring of invisibility, or learn or cast spells.
If attacked by a magic-wielder using a spell with visible effects, the character must make a Wisdom/will check or flee as described in the introduction to the phobia section. The appearance of a magical creature, such as a genie, Iycanthrope, or undead, will also force this check.

Phobia—Monster: The player and DM must agree upon a specific monster the character fears. It must be a not-infrequently encountered creature in the campaign world—perhaps goblins, orcs, ogres, trolls, giants, etc. When the character encounters the feared monster, a check as described above is required.

Phobia—Psychic Contact: The PC refuese t0 accept psychic contact under any circumstances, even from a friend. The character is horribly afraid of being psychically attacked, and must make a wisdom check or flee upon being psychically attacked. If their defenses are broken, they must repeat this check at -4.

Phobia—Snakes: This is similar to the monster phobia, except that it relates to all sorts of snakes and worms. It includes creatures, such as medusae, which have snake like parts.

Phobia—Spiders: Like the monster phobia, this character has a problem with arachnids of all shapes and sizes, naturally including the monstrous varieties. Additionally, the character must make a Wisdom/\w check with a –4 modifier if ensnared in a web spell. Failure means the character panics to such an extent that he enwraps himself in the web for the maximum duration of the spell's effect.

Phobia—Undead: As with the other specific creature phobias, this fear requires a Wisdom/\w check at the beginning of an encounter. Further, the character must pass a check before he can enter a location where he reasonably expects undead to be. This latter check can be repeated at 2–12 turn intervals, if necessary.

Phobia—Water: This character cannot have a swimming proficiency. He fears boats and narrow footbridges, and he will not be compelled to enter water that is much deeper than his waist.

Powerful Enemy: A powerful enemy is a disadvantage that must be incorporated into the background and story of a campaign—obviously, with a lot of input from the DM. A character with a powerful enemy acquired that bitter foe before the start of the campaign. The enemy can be a monster, or perhaps a high level wizard or cleric, or it can be a nobleman, demihuman ruler, or perhaps a bandit chieftain. The reason for this vendetta should be determined by the DM, and can go back even to before the character's birth—a family feud, for example, or a need to remove the last heir to a line.
Whatever the enemy's nature, it must be powerful and pervasive enough to affect the character wherever he goes in the campaign. While this does not mean that the PC's life is one long chase scene, he will need to keep a wary eye over his shoulder. The enemy will routinely send agents after the character. Also, the enemy should have good conduits of information, being able to keep general tabs on the PC in cities, town, and perhaps even wilderness environments.

Shortsighted/blind: Shortsighted characters cannot identify faces beyond 30 feet, and beyond 60 feet everything is a blur. Beyond shortsightedness, there are different levels of blindness; work out the charp bonus with the DM.

Tongue-Tied: This disadvantage crops up when the character tries to discuss important topics with companions and NPCs. The character has the tendency to incorrectly state facts, forget names, and just generally say the wrong thing. The main effect of the disadvantage is to enhance role-playing, though the DM should modify NPC reaction rolls, typically by –2.

Unlucky: The character with this disadvantage does not suffer penalties on his die rolls. However, he has the knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. He can be in a city of 10,000 people, and if there's one person he doesn't want to see, chances are good that individual is approaching around the next corner. If this character makes a pass at a young woman, she turns out to be the Captain of the Guard's daughter. And if only one member of the party loses his bedroll in a downpour, the unlucky PC is naturally the one to sleep on the cold, muddy ground.

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