Werks within Werks.
You have strange lapses of memory; you sometimes forget important things, even things that have only just happened. Once each session, the Gamemaster can state you have forgotten something, forcing you to suffer a -2 penalty on a relevant roll while you try to remember it.
Your landlord hates you; he is looking for any excuse to get you out of his property and is always complaining about something.
You have a problem, whether its cheap ale or expensive wines that you overindulge in, overindulgence is the key. You may be after something a little stronger if you know where to look. Every time you are under mental or emotional stress you must pass a DC 18 Will power roll or feel a powerful need to satisfy your addiction immediately! If you do nothing to try to curtail your addiction, the Gamemaster may rule it is getting worse…
You have long-term amnesia. You can’t remember anything from the distant past, but can recall anything that happened recently. In game terms, you remember everything since character creation. You still have the past occupation and experiences that were decided upon in character creation, but have no earthly idea why you know how to do what you do. As far as you’re concerned, it’s all instinct…the Gamemaster may have other ideas…
Annoying House Mate
You share your property with a house mate, or an unwanted family guest. They constantly have their nose in your business, criticise, borrow thing without asking, don’t pay their way – the list of the annoyances could be endless, but for some reason you’re stuck with them – why?
Bad Humours *
You are beset by nausea when in stressful situations. When beginning combat, or any other stressful situation, such as encountering an angry nobleman or trying to lie to get past guards, you must pass a DC 18 Will Power Roll or suffer from fits of retching and vomiting for 4 rounds. When under an attack of bad humours, all rolls you make are at a -2 Modifier.
People “know” about you. At least, everyone in the area has heard a story or two, even if untrue. When you are mentioned or seen, you are frequently recognised as a traitor or untrustworthy criminal of the direst kind. All social rolls in places you are recognized are at -4.
Someone knows something about you that could threaten your position or even get you killed. They may know of some social indiscretion, or how it was you that cheated the local crime lord. Either way, things would be bad if they got out, and this person wants money to stay quiet. The blackmailer can crop up on the whim of the Gamemaster and demand more money. Work with the Gamemaster on the secret they know and then you can decide whether they deserve any more money. Note that you are giving the Gamemaster the keys to Pandoras box with this!
You are a black sheep among your family, profession, or union There has been some argument, some perceived slight or dishonour around you – real or imagined. Your family/union watches you closely and will disown you if you embarrass them again.
Bon Vivant *
You cannot resist a party. There is something about you that ensures you always do everything to excess. While you are not addicted to anything, you fi nd it hard to stop doing anything you enjoy, such as drinking and gambling. You are usually the life and soul of any party, but your
behaviour will be considered shocking, no matter what your class.
Code of Honour *
These are the personal rules you will not break, no matter what. A code of honour might be a code against killing, never attacking from behind, or never suffering an insult without an answer in blood.
Rightly or wrongly you have been tried and served time as a criminal. Maybe you owed a merchant some money, or have been accused of murder or rape. Whatever the crime, whether guilty or not, you are constantly hounded and harassed by servants of justice, the city guard and bounty hunters alike.
You are afflicted by a terrible curse. This curse could be directed at you personally, or be something you have inherited from an ancestor or one or both of your parents. The nature of the curse is up to you to choose, but it should be something that inhibits you frequently,
and probably inflicts a -2 or greater Modifier to one or more of your core starting skills. It could even be far less statistical, with the Gamemaster targeting random acts of fate at the character on a whim. A personal curse is something you have gained because of who you are and what you have done. Perhaps you insulted the wrong person, or perhaps you are destined to do great good deeds, and evil forces seek to plague you for it. The alignment of the stars themselves might have cursed you at the moment of inception or at birth, a curse that will be very hard to counter. Maybe you are cursed because of your forefathers and what they did, and revoking the curse will redeem your entire family (which should be an epic undertaking). Curses grow stronger, yet more subtle, for each generation that passes. A good curse will include a well defined reason, a restriction or a condition for the curse to manifest itself and some challenging way of countering the curse and freeing the character.
These are those who need your protection and help. They could include children, family, or friends.
Though you were once a noble son, your family name has been cast down in shame. This could be due to the actions of a family member, or perhaps a nefarious plot against you. The only possessions you have are starting equipment and your family signet ring. All cash is forfeit.
You stand out and are noticed in any crowd. Attempts to disguise your striking or stunning features suffer a penalty of -4.
There is someone out there who just plain doesn’t like you. It may be an old rival, or perhaps someone you crossed as part of your job. They may even have taken a dislike to you without your knowledge, and secretly masquerade as your friend! It may be they loathe you for doing the right thing, but perhaps they seek revenge for a mistake you made. Even though you said sorry,
that wasn’t good enough for the pain you caused them. It is up to the Gamemaster to determine this enemy, how hungry they are for your downfall, and whether or not you know who they are. However, you might offer suggestions from your background as to who it might be.
The Evil Eye
Something about you seems to throw curses and ill fortune on those in the vicinity. It may not actually be the case, but people have a tendency to blame you when accidents occur. They see something unnatural about you, real or imagined and this manifests as a certain unease around the you. This might have dire social consequences for you, or it might even have a very violent outcome. You wouldn’t be the first one lynched by the mob for giving someone the Evil Eye.
The exact effects are up to the Gamemaster, but she may make social rolls with people you don’t know (especially superstitious ones) at a -4 modifier.
Some would say having an exalted twin is worse than having an evil twin. The exalted twin gives great sums to the poor, cares for the sick and helps priests across the street. This causes you no end of problems, as you’re constantly besieged with requests for help, money, and a sturdy shoulder.
Your family is locked in a dire feud. Perhaps they are noble families fighting over territory, or maybe fishing families fighting over waters. Whatever the background you must further the feud at all costs or be disinherited – they started it but you’ll finish it.
You are easy to knock out in a fight. When rolling to see if you are knocked out from a blow you suffer a -3 penalty modifier
A ghost spirit or even minor demon haunts you or resides in your domicile. If you choose this as your first complication (for 5 option points), this spirit is malign and seeks to actively harm you and anyone else around you. If you choose this as your second or third complication, the spirit is relatively benign and embarrasses you more than it tries to harm you.
You have not made an enemy, you have made several. Somehow, you have offended a whole organisation. They want you found and punished for what you did. Their agents range far and wide so nowhere is safe for long. You might have annoyed anything from a street gang to a world spanning order. You should work with the Gamemaster on more details for who this organisation is and why they want you (if you even understand why). The size of the organisation determines how hard they are looking for you. A small gang is spending almost all its waking hours seeking you out but has less resources, agents and influence over a small area. A larger organisation considers you are a minor thorn to be crushed whenever they cross paths with you but they have agents everywhere on the lookout, as well as vast resources and influence.
While we assume the heroes can all read, you cannot. This is not a rare flaw, as many people
(especially in the lower classes) never learn. However, fora hero it can be a burden. Maybe you never learnt to, or you just found it difficult and managed to avoid it. You cannot learn any academic skills and the Gamemaster may rule that some other skills are barred to you.
You are among the lower ranks of your class, making you almost pass for (and be treated as) the one below. Lower upper class characters have little but their nobility, having lost most of their money and status. Lower middle class characters run a failing business or even work for someone else. Lower lower class characters are certainly unemployed and have nothing but the gutter to sleep in. You begin the game with 50% less starting money than you usually receive, and a far lower social position than your peers, for which the Gamemaster may add a few other effects.
You actually don’t earn enough to meet your lifestyle, and have amassed a sizable debt. These might be bar tabs, and gambling debts accrued from your spendthrift lifestyle or just loans from unscrupulous people you took out to feed your family. As you always have a line of debts to
pay, 20% of all the cash you gain in the game or from your income goes straight to paying off your debts. If you refuse to pay this tithe you can expect a visit from your creditors, who
may break more than just a few of your possessions.
Your neighbours dislike you; there are constant complaints about the noise or smells coming from
your home. Also your activities are the subject of incessant observation and gossip.
You are jealous to the extreme. Obsessive and watchful of the one you “love”. Whenever you observe them socialising you must pass a DC 15 will power check not to invent and assume the worst.
You steal things compulsively. You can’t help it; whenever you are close to property that you can lift, you must pass a DC 15 will power check to resist.
A true butter fingers, you have trouble walking, holding on to things and sometimes even standing. Whenever you are in combat, trying to run, or trying to do any detailed, delicate work, the Gamemaster can rule that you need to get at least one success on an Average Dexterity roll to not drop your gun, fall on your face, or smash your test tube.
You are a lot older than the other characters, having begun your adventuring career a lot later. Instead of being a teenager or in your twenties, you are in your mid to late years. Maybe you are a bored widow or perhaps now the children are older you have decided to see more of the world. You are not decrepit by any means, but you aren’t as young as you were either, and other
people may well see your behaviour as a little more scandalous as, being older, you should be wiser!
Somehow you are wrapped up in an extensive legal case. Such a case usually involved money or estate, but you could be trying to clear your good name from slander and deceit (or the truth!). The cost of the lawyers drains 40% of your on cash at the start of every story arc.
You can’t resist grabbing or pawing someone you find attractive, or at least making lewd comments. You must pass a DC 15 will power check to resist these base urges.
You smell bad.
Regardless of how often you bath, the odour soon begins to permeate all around you. You can lather yourself in perfume or cologne, but the odour squirms through; in any case, too much perfume and cologne can be as unpleasant
You have lost a reasonably vital body part, either to injury or illness. It is most likely a leg, which simply reduces movement rates by a half and makes things like climbing a lot harder. However, you may have lost a hand or arm, which would be even more problematic. Your Gamemaster can assign penalties as and when they seem appropriate to him.
Regardless of how much money you have in the bank, the banks won’t let you access it for some reason. When you attempt to withdraw money, you’re put through all sorts of embarrassing interrogations, and when you’re finally able to withdraw the money, it’s always less than you wanted.
You are obsessed with your good looks, and the steady creep of age and decay. You must pass a DC 15 will power check to resist flattery.
Odious Personal Habits
People just can’t stand you. Maybe it’s the bad breath or the nose picking, but they frequently find you annoying.
You have a phobia; an unreasoning fear of some common thing, such as dogs, heights, confined spaces, sounds or colour. When faced with your phobia, you become irrational and must attempt to end the exposure as soon as possible.
City Guard Harassment
The local city guard frequently taunt and harass you over trivia, and blame you for things that are obviously nothing to do with you.
Policy of Truth *
You are honest to a fault. Whenever you should lie you must pass a DC 15 will power check
or the truth comes flooding out.
Proper Sensibilities *
You are so genteel that any mention of uncouth activities such as gambling, theft, fighting or murder sets you all a flutter. If you are involved in a conversation where subjects of such a base matter are being discussed, you must get at least one success on an Average Resolve roll or be too embarrassed to offer more than occasional stammering and murmurs to the conversation.
You are newsworthy and your activities rate an article if a reporter is nearby, no matter how unwelcome their intrusion.
You’re just irritable, all the time. When your temper flares you must pass a DC 15 will power check or lose all perspective and burst into a violent outburst.
Either due to your job or position, you have certain responsibilities that might get in the way of adventuring. You might be a city guard who has to go on a beat, or a servant who must run errands for their master. However, you might have society functions you have to attend or dine with important nobles to maintain your business interests.
The Sins of the Father
You are the direct descendent of someone despised by good society, and this overshadows your
accomplishments. The vile acts of this person are still remembered and taint your name and reputations. The acts in question were particularly brutal or treacherous perhaps a vicious murder, or treason towards their class or even the King. You are believed to be tainted by
your lineage and you will fi nd it hard to be trusted or respected by good society. This incurs a -2 Modifier for social interaction in polite society. Most rewards or good reputation gained by your heroic acts will be diminished by slanderous talk and suspicion. Climbing the social ladder will be hard, if at all possible. On the upside though, some groups might consider the villain a hero or at least someone to be respected, and this will reflect positively on you in these groups. The GM might grant you a +1 bonus when interacting with these groups.
You hate dealing with others and must pass a DC 15 will power check to overcome your nature in intense social situations.
You just hate to give in to anyone, and when someone disagrees with you, you must pass a DC 15 will power check or go to amazing extremes to prove you’re right (especially when you know you are wrong!).
There is a deep and bitter theological argument between you and the church of Morrow. You are branded a rebel and a heretic; the clergy may send troops loyal to the church after you whenever your presence is known and certainly won’t offer assistance, sanctuary or healing to you.
For some reason, unbeknownst to you, you are being hunted by a some fiendish undead creature. This pernicious undead creature will hunt you until either you or it are dead, and since the vengeful dead is already there, you’re in big trouble. If the characters manage to somehow slay the hunter, it merely re-manifests in a short while for further mayhem.
This is a promise you must keep, no matter what. It could be to protect someone, follow an ideal, or just get that stupid ring into that distant volcano.
There is a group that is keeping an eye on you. It might be the city guard or the government, who suspect you are up to something criminal. Maybe it is the Guild who believes you dabble in dark magic. It could even be a criminal gang who believe you owe them a favour or might be working for the authorities. Whoever it is, they believe you are guilty of something but don’t have enough evidence. You must be careful not to give them what they want.