A flaw is a negative qualities that provide a bonus that can be used to gain a bonus feat or feats. You can take as many flaws as you want, but you can only gain the bonus feats for at most two flaws. You can exchange a flaw for another flaw any time you gain a level or you and the DM agree that it makes sense. This is a highly experimental rule chance that if it is unbalanced we’ll toss out, but if it adds cool flavor we’ll keep.
- Bad Humours
- Bad Luck
- Low Pain Tolerance
- Weak Immune System
- Insufficient Income
- Compulsive Honesty
- Delayed Blast Fireball In Your Head
- On The Run
- Magic Impaired
- Missing X
- Leaky Magic
- Interfering Arts
- Debilitating Magic
- Exhausting Magic
- Poor Formulaic Magician
- Night Blindness
A character with the Addiction quality is addicted to alcohol, drugs, or a similar substance with a detrimental effect on the character’s health (note that nicotine, caffeine, and sugar do not count). The value of this quality (how many feats it grants) depends on how severe the addiction is: Mild to Moderate or Severe/Burnout. Additional addiction rules, including listings of drugs and roleplaying guidelines, can be found elsewhere.
Mild to Moderate (1 feat): The addiction at this stage is marked and difficult to overcome. Addicts experience cravings at least once a day, and they are difficult to ignore. The addict suffers a disadvantage to Wisdom and/or Constitution checks to resist the craving.
Severe/Burnout (2 feats): The addiction is out of control. The addict experiences constant cravings (at least twice a day), suffering disadvantage to Wisdom and Constitution checks to keep from giving in. Additionally, the addict has been in this state for some time and is showing the tell-take signs of habitual use on his body (subtract 1 from Constitution permanently).
You have strange lapses of memory; you sometimes forget important things, even things that have only just happened. Once each story, the DM can state you have forgotten something, forcing you to get at least one success on a DC 15 Will or Int Check (whichever is worse) to remember it.
A character with the Allergy quality is allergic to a substance or condition. The value of this quality depends on two factors. First, determine whether the substance or condition is Uncommon (2 BP) or Common (7 BP). Then determine the severity of the symptoms: Mild (3 BP), Moderate (8 BP), or Severe (13 BP). Add the appropriate point values to find the final value.
For example, the value of an Uncommon Moderate Allergy is 10 (2 + 8) points. If the points total 10 or less you gain a single feat, if the points total 11 or more you gain 2 feats.
The Allergy Table gives descriptions of conditions and severity.
|Uncommon||2||The substance or condition is rare for the local environment. Examples: magic weapons, gold, seawater in a landlocked campaign setting|
|Common||7||The substance or condition is common for the local environment. Examples: sunlight, iron, wood, seawater in a coastal setting|
|Mild||3||Symptoms are discomfiting and distracting. Apply disadvantage to all checks (including attacks and saves) made while a character experiences the symptoms.|
|Moderate||8||Contact with the allergen produces intense pain. Apply disadvantage to all Checks (including attacks and saves) made while a character experiences the symptoms. Increase the Damage Value of Weapons/attacks made from this substance by +2 per die when used against the character.|
|Severe||13||Contact with the allergen results in actual physical damage. The character receives 1d6 damage for every minute he touches or remains exposed to the allergen. Apply disadvantage to all checks (including attacks and saves) made while a character experiences the symptoms. Increase the Damage Value of Weapons/attacks made from this substance by +4 per die when used against the character.|
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 get at least one success on an DC 15 Con or Wis (whichever is worse) roll or suffer from fits of retching and vomiting for 4 rounds. When under an attack of bad humours, all rolls are at disadvantage.
This character is cursed, his own luck often turns against him. He is subject to fumbles so that when he rolls a 1 on attacks he will either hit a friend or slip and fall prone (50% either). When he rolls a 1 on his saves he takes maximum damage or does not get another save for 1d3 rounds (as appropriate). If he rolls a 1 on Initiative he not only is the last person to go, but he has disadvantage during the first round of combat.
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 DM and demand more money. Decide on the secret they know (or think they know) and then you can decide whether they deserve any more money or favors.
The Flashbacks quality causes a character to experience vivid memory-based sensory hallucinations. These flashbacks are always triggered by specific stimuli. For example, a character that was tortured by a group of orcs might experience flashbacks of the torture whenever she sees the orcs’ symbol. Any time a character with Flashbacks encounters a potential flashback trigger, she must make a DC 15 Wisdom save. If the save fails, a flashback occurs and the character is stunned for 1 round and has disadvantage for 1d6 rounds afterwards.
Players whose characters have the Flashback quality should confer with the DM to devise an appropriate flashback trigger before beginning play. The trigger condition can be a particular sight, smell, sound, taste, idea and so on. The condition should be something that the character could encounter a few times during a game. If the trigger is too common, the character may end up experiencing flashbacks all the time. If it is too rare, the character may never experience any.
For 1 feat the frequency of the trigger should be at least every other session, but not more than a couple times in one session without a break the next session. For 2 feats the frequency should be at least once per session and a few times per session is reasonable.
A character who is Incompetent possesses a total lack of knowledge or ability with a certain Active skill. If this quality is taken, the player must specify an Active skill in which the character is Incompetent. Incompetent may not be applied to Language or Knowledge skills.
The character is treated as having a skill level of “unaware” for that particular skill, meaning that they may not default to that skill. In some cases, an attribute check may be required to perform certain tasks that most people take for granted (and wouldn’t need to make a check for…climbing a ladder with athletics for example); characters who are incompetent suffer disadvantage on such checks. Characters may not possess that skill even if it seems reasonable from their background, nor may they default on it.
Incompetent may be taken more than once, choosing a separate skill each time.
The Infirm quality represents a character with substandard physical fitness. Infirm characters could be old or simply quite ill, or they may be individuals in poor health who neglect their physical well-being, such as “couch potato” sages or magicians. Infirm characters are treated as “unaware” in any Physical skills and they may not default on skill tests for that skill. In some cases, an attribute check may be required to perform certain tasks that most people take for granted (and wouldn’t need to make a check for…climbing a ladder with athletics for example); characters who are infirm suffer disadvantage on such checks.
Additionally, infirm characters take -2 to two of their physical stats of their choice.
Infirm is worth 2 bonus feats.
Low Pain Tolerance
Characters with Low Pain Tolerance are particularly sensitive to pain; they suffer disadvantage on all checks (including attacks and saves) when they have any damage.
Uncouth characters are antisocial or sociopathic and have a difficult time interacting with others. Uncouth characters are treated as “unaware” in any Social skills. The DM may require the character to make skill checks for social situations that normal people would have no problems with. In some cases, an attribute check may be required to perform certain tasks that most people take for granted (and wouldn’t need to make a check for…purchasing a something from a merchant at the standard price for example); characters who are uncouth suffer disadvantage on such checks.
Additionally, uncouth characters take -2 to Charisma and one other mental stat of their choice.
Uncouth is worth 2 bonus feats.
Weak Immune System
A character with the Weak Immune System quality is more susceptible to infection by disease and to poison than normal. The character suffers disadvantage all saves versus disease and poison, the onset time for any diseases and poisons is half the normal duration, and you gain vulnerability to disease and poison.
A character with the Dependent flaw has a loved one who depends on him or her for support and aid from time to time. Dependents may include children, parents, a spouse, a sibling or an old friend or maybe even an indentured servant! Meeting the needs of a dependent should take up a fair amount of the character’s time, as well as some of the character’s money.
A character with the Gullible flaw is especially susceptible to stories told by others and to magical charm effects. They will believe almost anything unless presented with proof to the contrary. The character has disadvantage on social skill checks related to trusting or believing others. Additionally, they suffer disadvantage on charm spells.
A ghost spirit or even minor demon haunts you or resides in your domicile. If you take this for 2 flaw feats, this spirit is malign and seeks to actively harm you and anyone else around you. If you take this for a single flaw feat, the spirit is relatively benign and embarrasses you more than it tries to harm you. The spirit cannot be killed/dispelled by simple combat (at least not for very long) and will not be exorcised until this feat can be replaced and/or a significant story event takes place to remove the haunting spirit.
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.
This character lies, and sounds insincere even when he’s telling the truth. Every time a character with this flaw addresses someone, the DM rolls 1d6. On a result of 1, the person being addressed assumes that the character is lying. On any other result, the addressee will initially believe the character.
The next time the character meets the person who “caught him lying” (i.e. who rolled a 1), the person refused to believe the character on a result of 1 or 2. The change of being “caught lying” increases by 1 for every encounter with this person thereafter.
Once the person gets “caught lying” on a result of 1-6, the person will no longer deal with the character. The only way to reset the result is for the character to tell the truth and include something of value to the person to give weight to the true story. This can only be done once for an NPC, but can be done any number of times for PCs.
You cannot tell a lie, nor can you behave in a deceitful fashion. You tend to be blunt rather than tactful, even if it means insulting someone who you and your companions are trying to impress. If it is a matter of life and death, you may make a Wisdom save (DC 13) to speak or act out a falsehood. However, if successful, you suffer disadvantage on all attacks, ability checks, and saves for 1d6 hours due to feelings of guilt.
Delayed Blast Fireball In Your Head
Someone has placed an extended Delayed Blast Fireball or similar spell in the character’s skull. The DM decided who planted it and what that person or group wants.
If the character manages to dispel the bomb, the DM may elect to replace with the Extra Enemies, Phobia, or other flaws.
Prerequisite: You must be have cantrips and be able cast spells of 1st level or greater
If you are magic impaired your connection to magic is not as strong as normal for others in your class or perhaps your mind is not as stable and this results in your inability to grasp the details of magic as firmly as other magic wielders. Whatever the reason, your connection to magical forces is disrupted and you don’t have the full complement of magic that others of your station would normally have.
You have two fewer cantrips that normal. You also have one less 1st level spell slot (or just one less spell slot if your spell slots don’t have levels). Lastly, if you memorize spells, you can memorize one less spell than normal; if you know spells, you know one less spell than normal.
You are missing a body part. This could be an eye or an ear or an arm or a leg. Some characters are missing these body parts and it causes them little trouble, they have learned to compensate, but not you. You are assumed to have some sort of prosthetic or similar to assist you, but you are none-the-less still hampered by your missing part. You have one of three options.
- If you are missing one or more sense organs then you have disadvantage on perception checks. If you are in a situation where the missing organ is completely useless then you do not suffer disadvantage (such as missing an eye while in complete darkness).
- The second option is if you are missing an arm or similar “working” appendage. You will suffer disadvantage on attack rolls and physical ability checks.
- The last option is if you are missing a leg or similar “motive” appendage. You will suffer a permanent 1/2 reduction in your speed and a -1 penalty to AC.
This feat can be taken more than once, but each option can only be taken one time.
Prerequisite: You must have some spellcasting class levels
You have less control over your gift then you would prefer, at random moments your gift will manifest itself as weak spontaneous magic in your strongest field (area of specialty or domain). How the magic is used reflects your mood at the time.
For example: occasionally doors will open as you approach (evocation), you leave a morning dew on the ground as you pass (life), a gentle breeze starts up around you (conjuration), plants and trees will bend away from you, sometimes snapping (evocation), wherever you stand water seems to appear, the ground turns to mud, rivers/ponds overflow (tempest), dark clouds seem to follow you, rain falls (tempest).
These effects could be triggered by strong emotions or loss of control (e.g. drunkenness/sleep).
You never quite take the time to make sure that things are as they should be. You leave important things lying around, doors unlocked and windows open. You are always mislaying things that you need. Whenever you have had a crisis of some type you become careful for a few days or perhaps weeks, but quickly fall back to your old ways. If you attune to a magic item you will not lose those items, but any other items important or not you get your hands on might well get misplaced and forgotten.
Prerequisite: A member of a spellcasting class
Due to the way you were trained, your magical arts interfere with each other. Once you cast a spell from one school of magic you are unable to cast a spell from another set of schools until after a round has passed where you do not cast a spell from the interfering school. The DM will work with the player to determine the set of interfering schools as it varies from caster to caster. For one caster it may be that they can’t cast from any school in succession (i.e. can’t cast twice from the same school within getting interference). For another the schools of opposition might be Evocation – Conjuration, Divination – Enchantment, Abjuration – Transmutation, Illusion – Necromancy.
Prerequisite: A member of a spellcasting class
The casting of spells actually weakens you in some way. The value of the flaw is dependent on two factors the severity of the loss and the rate of recovery.
- Severity of the loss: You can either take 1 hp of damage per spell level each time you cast a spell (this is worth 1 cost point) or you can take 1 point of Con drain each time you cast a spell, with all regular effects that come with Con loss such as hit point loss for every two points of Con lost (this is worth 3 cost points)
- Rate of recovery: You can recover the lost hp or Con at a rate of 1 point per hour (this is worth 1 cost point) or does not recover until after a long rest (this is worth 3 cost points)
For 4 costs points you get the full flaw value (i.e. a feat). For 6 points, this is worth 2 feats.
Casting spells is quite tiring for you. Whenever you cast a spell you must make a generic saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + the level of the spell you are casting. If you fail the check you acquire one level of exhaustion.
If you have levels in any non-spellcasting classes this flaw is worth 1 feat, if you only have levels in spellcasting classes this flaw is worth 2 feats.
Poor Formulaic Magician
Prerequisite: spellcaster with access to ritual spells
You are simply not very good at formulaic magic. You are unable to perform ritual spells unless they are on scrolls. It takes you twice as long and costs you twice as much as normal to transcribe any spells into your spellbook (and you suffer a -2 penalty on the check to transcribe the spell when doing so from a scroll). Whenever you cast a spell from a scroll you must make the spellcasting ability check regardless of the spell level (and if the spell is higher than you normally are capable of casting you take an additional -2 on the check).
Your night vision isn’t worth squat, due to a physiological deficiency and/or magical curse. Double the normal penalties for darkness conditions and if you had Low-light or Darkvision, it is gone.
This cannot be healed by any means short of a Wish and if it is, then the flaw would need to be replaced.
Whether due to a vow or natural inclination, you do not fight women (or men if you are female from a Amazon-like society). You may not attack (or use Aid Another in attacking) female humanoids. If you are placed in a life or death situation you may overcome this flaw with a Wisdom save (DC 13), but doing so causes you to suffer disadvantage to all attacks, ability checks, and saves until after your next long rest due to guilt.
You prefer a peaceful resolution to conflict. Whether due to a vow or natural inclination, even if forced into combat you will strike to subdue when dealing with living creatures (you have no qualms against ‘killing’ undead, infernals, or constructs). There are two levels of pacifism.
General Dislike of Killing: You use subdual attacks by default. You dislike killing and must make a Wisdom (DC 15) check to kill someone. If you succeed on this check in addition to being able to kill someone you suffer disadvantage on all attacks, ability checks, and saves for 1d6 hours due to guilt. You cannot use Aid Another to assist anyone else using a lethal attack without making the same Wisdom check. You prefer peaceful resolutions to conflict, but realize that sometimes people need a little sense beaten into them “gently.” This version is worth 1 feat.
Extreme Pacifist: You use subdual attacks by default. You not only dislike killing (DC 20 Wisdom check to kill something) but you dislike using any attack that does damage and must make a Wisdom check to use the attack against an opponent, the check is DC 10 if you have been attacked with a lethal weapon or DC 15 if the opponent either hasn’t attacked or is only using non-lethal attacks. You have no restrictions on using attacks that do no damage (such as charm person for example). If you succeed on these checks in addition to being able to attack or kill someone (as appropriate) you suffer disadvantage on all attacks, ability checks, and saves for 1d6 hours due to guilt. You cannot use Aid Another to assist anyone else using an attack without making the same Wisdom check. You prefer peaceful resolutions to conflict in all situations. This version is worth 2 feats.