ZeroSpace 3e EN:Gifts

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Advantages are exceptional abilities that a normal sentient can have, but that most sentients do not have. The details of each advantage are highly dependent on a character's background, so the player should work with the GM to flesh out these details. Each advantage costs one character point.

Typical Advantages

This is a list of typical advantages found in a ZeroSpace game. This list is not exhaustive. A character may well have an advantage not listed here, subject to GM approval. However, any new advantages should be approximately as useful as these advantages, in order to maintain a sense of fairness with other characters.

Would you like to randomly generate a character's advantages? You can!

Table: Random archetype, Table 1
Roll 1d6 Number of advantages
1 Roll once on Typical advantages
2-5 Roll twice on Typical advantages
6 Roll three times on Typical advantages

Count the number of advantages, and subtract that number from your pool of character points.


Table: Typical advantages
Roll 1d6 Roll 1d6 Advantage Benefit
1-2 1 Animal Empathy Use Manipulation and Social skills on animals
2 Common Sense Get a warning from the GM before doing something stupid
3 Connected Get a favor from people with influence or authority
4 Elusive May base protection rolls on Agility rather than Brawn
5 Exceptional Beauty Get attention, and perhaps favors, from admirers
6 Famous Get attention, and perhaps favors, from strangers
3-4 1 Headquarters The character has one or more bases of operation
2 Lightning Strike Use Agility for damage in hand-to-hand combat
3 Linguist Learn new languages with minimal effort
4 Master Plan Gain an advantage if there is time to prepare for an encounter
5 Mental Calculator Solve complex mathematical operations by thinking about them
6 Minions Minor, mostly nameless lackeys of marginal usefulness
5-6 1 Perfect Recall Remember something perfectly with a Reason roll
2 Secret Identity The character has a second, completely legitimate identity
3 Team Player Spend plot points for others on the same team
4 Tenacious May base protection rolls on Willpower rather than Brawn
5 Unsettling Make people nervous for no real reason
6 Wealthy Solve problems with money

SIDEBAR: No "Veteran"?

You will notice that none of these advantages give the character a bonus to combat skills. That's intentional. Advantages are primarily intended to make characters distinctive and interesting, not to enhance their combat effectiveness. A character with extraordinary combat competence should increase their Accuracy or Prowess, or perhaps buy expertise with a specific weapon or combat maneuver.

Animal Empathy

The character has a bond with animals, and can use Manipulation and Social skills on them. Normal animals are more likely to be calm around the character, although a dangerous, hostile animal might require a successful Manipulation or Social task roll to keep the animal from attacking. A character's Animal Empathy might be limited to a specific type of animal, such as cats or sea creatures. If this is the case, the character gains a task roll bonus (+3) on Manipulation and Social task rolls when interacting with that animal type. As always, only a single bonus (+3) applies to any given task roll.

Common Sense

A character with Common Sense possesses sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation, helping them live in a reasonable and safe way. If the character is about to do something which would be considered stupid or self-destructive by a person with normal intelligence and real-life experience, the GM will warn the player that this is so. The player is not required to heed this advice.

Connected

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.

Elusive

The character is fast on their feet and good at rolling with the punches. The character may base their protection rolls on their Agility rather than on their Brawn (the player may choose which attribute to use on a case by case basis). Note that most armor provides a bonus only to the character's Brawn when the character is making a protection roll.

Exceptional Beauty

The character is naturally, effortlessly attractive. 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 appearance 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 task roll bonus (+3) on relevant Manipulation and Social task rolls.

If the character already has this as an alien trait, or expertise with the Manipulation or Social task currently being attempted, this advantage offers no additional benefit. As always, only a single bonus (+3) applies to any given task roll.

Famous

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 task roll bonus (+3) on relevant Manipulation and Social task rolls. As always, only a single bonus (+3) applies to any given task roll.

Headquarters

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 high-tech base might have an air-tight security system, complete with laser turrets and knockout gas, but this won't keep the base from being broken into by pirates or taken over by a sentient computer virus.

Lightning Strike

A character with Lightning Strike can deal devastating blows using speed and finesse rather than brute force. When in hand-to-hand combat, the character may substitute their rank in Agility for their rank in Brawn when determining the damage they inflict on their opponent. 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, depending on the specifics of the character's archetype and abilities.

Linguist

Universe, an artifical language created thousands of years ago, is the official language of the Imperium. Every civilized being understands Universe, although not every species is physically capable of speaking it. Additionally, every alien species has one or more languages which they speak among themselves: some civilizations have hundreds of indigenous languages. No one but a robot will even attempt to learn more than a dozen of the most common languages.

Barring unusual circumstances, characters are assumed to be fluent in Universe, as well as any other languages they could reasonably be expected to know. A character with the Linguist advantage is fluent in over six million forms of communication, and is capable of quickly deciphering new forms of communication when they encounter them.

If the character already has this as an alien trait, there is no benefit to purchasing this advantage: the benefits do not stack.

Master Plan

With sufficient time and preparation beforehand, a character with the Master Plan advantage 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 advantage useless. Generally speaking, a character should only be permitted to concoct one Master Plan per game session, unless the GM makes an exception.

Mental Calculator

The character can perform complex mathematical calculations in their head in the same amount of time that a skilled mathematician could perform the same calculations on a powerful scientific calculator. Also, the character has an intuitive understanding of higher mathematics, and is able to comprehend and remember intricate formulae and equations after examining them briefly.

If the character already has this as an alien trait, there is no benefit to purchasing this advantage: the benefits do not stack.

Minions

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 (rank 5 in their pertinent attributes). If the character has dozens of minions, however, the best among them would be rank 3, and none of them would have any general 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 never have expertise, and they should never steal the limelight from a player character.

Perfect Recall

The character may perfectly remember any event, document, recording, or picture which the character has taken the effort to study and memorize. The character does not need to understand the items to be memorized, because the information memorized is not stored as text; it is in the character's memory as a picture. As such, the information is not subject to instantaneous retrieval, but the character may mentally "scroll down" or "fast forward" looking for a specific bit of data.

If the character already has this as an alien trait, there is no benefit to purchasing this advantage: the benefits do not stack.

Secret Identity

The character has a second, completely legitimate identity. The character's second identity is completely documented and will withstand even the most focused scrutiny. Alternately, at the player's choice, the character has no documented identity at all: any and all records of their existence have been erased from every database, everywhere.

Team Player

A character with the Team Player advantage excels at working with others, and other people are more effective with the character than they are alone. A Team Player can spend their own plot points on behalf of their teammates and allies. For example, this could be to help an ally do something the Team Player is not in a position to do, or to provide support for a teammate who is in trouble.

Tenacious

The character refuses to admit defeat when others would fall by the wayside. The character may base their protection rolls on their Willpower rather than on their Brawn (the player may choose which attribute to use on a case by case basis). Note that most armor provides a bonus only to the character's Brawn when the character is making a protection roll.

Unsettling

The character puts 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 task roll bonus (+3) to relevant Manipulation task rolls.

If the character already has this as an alien trait, there is no benefit to purchasing this advantage: the benefits do not stack. As always, only a single bonus (+3) applies to any given task roll.

Wealthy

If a problem can be solved by throwing money at it, a character with the Wealth advantage 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.