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Virtues (Personality Traits)

Virtues is the new term for what were Personality Traits (and prior to that, Passions).

Personality traits are a way to mechanise a character's personality. Ultimately, this should be roleplayed, but there are situations where it is useful to check whether a character can resist their base impulses. Providing a personality trait for characters means that players who want to play a character in a particular way can get more control over how their character behaves.

For this reason, personality traits are used as 'saving throws' against conditions, and they are always a measure of how well a character resists certain behaviours. Success in a trait check means that the character may behave as the player desires, failure means they behave as the GM rules. For example, the Bravery virtue allows a character to resist fear, and stand their ground in the face of danger.

Traits aren't common in all genres and settings for YAGS, and their number and details may well vary between settings that they appear in.

Defining Virtues

All virtues default to a value of 4, and are used with Will. A typical trait check will therefore be Will x 4 + d20 against a target difficulty number. A target of 20 is considered to be something reasonably exceptional, which has a good chance of causing a normal person to act irrationally.

Virtues will normally be open to modification at character generation, allowing +1/-1 changes to any virtue from 2 to 6, i.e. increasing one trait by +1 means lowering another by -1.

Advantages/disadvantages may allow traits to be increased/decreased outside of these bounds. Normally, a +1 advantage will add +2 to a trait (maximum 8); a -1 disadvantage will drop a trait by -2 (minimum 2).

Typical Traits

Typical traits may be as follows:

  • Bravery - How brave a character is, how good they are at resisting fear and horror checks.
  • Chastity - How good a character is at resisting sexual temptation.
  • Temperance - How good a character is at staying sober and not over indulging in food and drink.
  • Discipline - How likely a character is to ignore insults or hold back on violence.
  • Sanity - How well grounded the character is in the real world. Most likely to be used in horror or fantasy settings where loss of sanity is common.

Example Levels

Level Examples
2 Coward. Will rarely take risks.
3 Will tend to hang back if danger is present. Will only take risks if really important.
4 Typical person. Will try to avoid danger, though will take risks if it is important.
6 Heroic.

Animal Traits

Animals tend to have the following traits:

  • Bravery - As for characters.
  • Cunning - How likely to plot and plan
  • Orneriness - How likely to ignore instructions

Using Traits

Target difficulties. Generally, the idea is that a character will succeed unless it is an unusual situation or they have a low trait. Die rolls shouldn't dictate character actions except in extreme circumstances.

10 - Very easy.

15 - Easy.

20 - Moderate. A situation likely to kill the character. A party where all your friends are getting drunk and there's no reason for you not to join in.

25 - Difficult.

30 - Very difficult.

rules/personality_traits.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/04 22:40 by

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