Gifts are exceptional abilities that a normal person can have, but that most people do not have. The details of each gift are highly dependent on a character's background, so the player should work with the GM to flesh out these details. Each gift costs one character point. We suggest spending no more than 5 character points total on gifts and supernatural traits.
This is a list of typical gifts found in a Rough Magic game. This list is not exhaustive. A character may well have a gift not listed here, subject to GM approval. However, any new gifts should be approximately as useful as these gifts, in order to maintain a sense of fairness with other characters.
Would you like to randomly generate a character's gifts? You can!
|Roll 1d6||Number of gifts|
|1||Roll once on Typical gifts|
|2-5||Roll twice on Typical gifts|
|6||Roll three times on Typical gifts|
Count the number of gifts, and subtract that number from your pool of character points.
|Roll 1d6||Roll 1d6||Gift||Benefit|
|1||1||Blindfighting||The character incurs fewer penalties when unable to see or hear|
|2||Cantrips||Small but useful bits of magic|
|3||Connected||Get a favor from people with influence or authority|
|4||Elusive||May base defense value (DV) on Agility rather than Brawn in close combat|
|5||Famous||Get attention, and perhaps favors, from strangers|
|6||Fascinating||Get attention, and perhaps favors, from admirers|
|2||1||Hard Target||May base defense value (DV) on Brawn rather than Agility in ranged combat|
|2||Headquarters||The character has one or more bases of operation|
|3||Lightning Strike||May use Agility for Close Combat rolls|
|4||Master Plan||Gain a tactical benefit if there is time to prepare for an encounter|
|5||Mind Shield||Resistant to mental attacks and unnatural coercion|
|6||Minions||Minor, mostly nameless lackeys of marginal usefulness|
|3||1||Pro From Dover||The absolute best in their field, whatever that is|
|2||Sharpshooter||Use weapons at longer than usual range|
|3||Team Player||Spend plot points for others on the same team|
|4||Tenacious||May base defense value (DV) on Presence rather than on Agility or Brawn|
|5||Unsettling||Make people nervous for no real reason|
|6||Wealthy||Solve problems with money|
Normally, if an attacker can't see the defender, the attacker incurs a penalty die, and if a defender can't see the attacker, the defender incurs a penalty die. If an attacker has the Blindfighting gift, they do not incur a penalty die when they are unable to perceive the defender. If a defender has the Blindfighting gift, they do not incur a penalty die when they are unable to perceive their attacker.
The character can occasionally produce small but useful bits of magic. The character begins each game with one extra plot point. Cantrips are a particularly good justification for a bonus die, an attribute boost, or even a retcon.
The character is on a first-name basis with people who have influence or authority. For example, perhaps the character is a college buddy of a regional Commissary's and is a childhood friend of a major player in an organized crime syndicate. From time to time, the character can ask these people for favors and have a reasonable chance of having the favor granted. The likelihood of having the favor granted will be much greater if the character does favors in return from time to time. On the other hand, having friends in high places may mean that the character attracts the attention of the friends' enemies.
A character with the Elusive gift is fast on their feet and good at rolling with the punches. When attacked by a Close Combat attack, the character may base their defense value (DV) on their Agility rather than on their Brawn. Equipment and traits which would add to the character's Brawn to determine their defense value may add to the character's Agility, instead. The player may choose which attribute to use on a case by case basis.
The character's name and likeness are widely known, perhaps due to their exploits or achievements, or possibly because they are from a noble or notorious family. It is difficult for the character to pass unnoticed, because paparazzi are often nearby. People who are impressed by celebrity may be more likely to cooperate with the character, and the character can sometimes gain favors from strangers. If this is the case, the character gains a bonus die on relevant Presence rolls.
A character with the Fascinating gift is naturally, effortlessly compelling. It is difficult for the character to pass unnoticed, because they will be the focus of attention in nearly any circumstances. People who are swayed by their instinctive responses may be more likely to cooperate with the character, and the character can sometimes gain favors from admirers. If this is the case, the character gains a bonus die on relevant Presence rolls.
When attacked by a Ranged Combat attack, a character with the Hard Target gift may base their defense value (DV) on their Brawn rather than on their Agility. Equipment and traits which would add to the character's Agility to determine their defense value may add to the character's Brawn, instead. The player may choose which attribute to use on a case by case basis.
The character has one or more bases of operation, equipped with supplies and equipment reasonable for the character's background and skills. If the character is a member of a team, the base(s) might be shared with the other team members, at the player's discretion. A headquarters is primarily a convenience for the GM and a fun asset for the character. It is not generally useful in combat, and is mainly used for flavor and a setting for roleplaying. For example, a base might have an air-tight security system, complete with electric eyes and knockout gas, but this won't keep the base from being broken into by pirates or taken over by a vengeful spirit.
A character with Lightning Strike can deal devastating blows using speed and finesse rather than brute force. When making a Close Combat attack, the character may substitute their Agility for their Brawn when determining their attack value (AV). The player may choose which attribute to use on a case by case basis. This can reflect the character's advanced advanced martial arts training, their superhuman speed, the harnessing of the character's chi, or some other effect.
With sufficient time and preparation beforehand, a character with the Master Plan gift is able to gain a tactical benefit during an encounter at a time chosen by the player. The form this takes can vary, and should be negotiated between the player and the GM, but a relatively typical use of a Master Plan would be similar to the use of a plot point. The amount of time needed to formulate a Master Plan should be long enough to be believable, but not so long that it renders the gift useless. Generally speaking, a character should only be permitted to concoct one Master Plan per game session, unless the GM makes an exception.
A character with Mind Shield is resistant to mental attacks and unnatural coercion. When targeted by an attack which bases the target's defense value (DV) on the target's Presence, the character's effective Presence is doubled.
Mind Shield does not need to be activated: it is always active, as long as the character is alert.
The character has one or more minor, mostly nameless lackeys of marginal usefulness. Such minions might be mooks, agents, armed guards, administrative staff, or technicians to keep the character's equipment in proper working order. There is no set limit to the number of minions a character might have, subject to the GM's approval, but the more minions there are, the less competent they are. For example, if a character has just three minions -- an administrative assistant, a chauffeur/auto mechanic, and a computer expert, for example -- they might be reasonably competent at their respective assignments (3 in their most relevant attributes, with relevant skills). If the character has dozens of minions, however, the best among them would have 2 in their relevant attributes, and none of them would have any skills requiring advanced education or technical expertise.
Minions are primarily a fun asset for the character. They are not generally useful in combat, and are mainly used for flavor and as a foil for roleplaying. Minions should never steal the limelight from a player character.
Pro From Dover
The character is the best in their field, whatever that field is. They may or may not be famous for it -- if not, then they have either taken some effort to conceal their extraordinary knowledge, or perhaps there is a conspiracy to deny them the acclaim that they deserve. A character with the Pro From Dover gift may choose a specific, narrowly-defined professional, scholarly, or technical field in which they are the undisputed expert. When answering a question or performing research related to their specialty, they gain a bonus die.
A character may only be the Pro From Dover in a single narrowly defined specialty, and each player character with the Pro From Dover gift must choose a different specialty.
Weapons and traits that are useful at a distance have an effective range given in their description. Attacking more distant targets is normally more difficult or impossible (at the GM's discretion). If the GM declares that the attack is possible, the attacker normally incurs an attack penalty (-3). With the Sharpshooter gift, the effective range of weapons and traits is doubled. Short range (10 m) weapons and traits have an effective range of 20 meters, medium range (50 m) weapons and traits have an effective range of 100 meters, and long range (500 m) weapons and traits have an effective range of 1000 meters.
A character with the Team Player gift excels at working with others, and other people are more effective with the character than they are alone. A character with the Team Player gift can spend their own plot points on behalf of their teammates and allies, and their allies may spend plot points on behalf of the character with the Team Player gift.
The character refuses to admit defeat when others would fall by the wayside. When attacked, the character may base their defense value (DV) on their Presence rather than on their Agility or Brawn. Equipment and traits which would add to the character's Agility or Brawn to determine their defense value may add to the character's Presence, instead. The player may choose which attribute to use on a case by case basis.
The character is able to put off a disturbing vibe that makes people nervous for no discernible reason. Strangers will find themselves disliking the character without knowing why, and normal animals will avoid the character unless forced to approach by a trainer or some other circumstance. On the other hand, the character may find it easier to intimidate others, providing a bonus die on relevant Presence rolls.
If a problem can be solved by throwing money at it, a character with the Wealth gift can probably solve that problem. Food, clothing, and shelter cease to be concerns for a character with Wealth, but they are still plagued by the same interpersonal issues that are behind the serious problems most people face. In addition, sometimes wealth itself can be a source of problems. The character may have responsibilities related to their source of income, or they might need to fend off attempts to deprive them of their inheritance.
You aren't limited to these gifts, of course. Feel free to make up your own. They should be approximately as useful and powerful as the ones listed here. Abilities that are more powerful are the domain of actual magic, while abilities that are less powerful are likely just roleplaying, or perhaps a creative use of a plot point. Here is an example of a custom gift.
The character can see the invisible emanations around people and things. The character may attempt a moderately difficult (DV 3) Perception (Reason) roll to determine the color of the aura of a person or object (see the "Typical aura colors" table). The character may attempt a remarkably difficult (DV 6) Perception (Reason) roll to sense whether the person or object has actively been in league with entities from beyond the mortal world, and whether the aura is "warm" (positive, life affirming) or "cold" (negative, life negating). A typical person's aura is slightly "warm", but even a person with a "cold" aura is not necessarily wicked: they could just be having a bad day.
The aura of a character with Mind Shield is not able to be read. Their aura isn't missing: from the aura-sensing character's point of view, it has the same impression as a failed Perception (Reason) roll.
|Red||In a positive light, red indicates a healthy ego: someone powerful, sensual, passionate, and energetic. In a negative light, red indicates anger, an unforgiving nature, or anxiety.|
|Orange||In a positive light, orange indicates productivity and creativity: someone sociable, detail oriented, and courageous. In a negative light, it can indicate stress and addictions.|
|Yellow||Indicates optimism, and easy-going nature, inspiration, and intelligence.|
|Green||Indicates balance, growth, and a willingness to change. It is a strong indication of a love of people, animals, and nature.|
|Turquoise||Indicates a sensitive, compassionate nature, that of a healer or a counselor.|
|Blue||Indicates calm and focus. It is a strong indication of clarity, truthfulness, and an intuitive nature.|
|Indigo||Indicates deep feeling: someone of profound intuition and sensitivity.|
|Violet||Indicates a sensitive nature and greater than average psychic potential. May also indicate an artistic temperament.|
|Lavender||Indicates great vision and imagination.|