Advantages are a third type of characteristic, defining the little things that make a character unique and give them an edge. Some advantages represent intense training, while others simply represent quirks of personality or chances of nature, out of the control of the character and at the whims of fate. Regardless of the source, however, advantages represent a powerful tool in any character’s arsenal.
Take note that some advantages, primarily physical, are required to be purchased at character creation. This is not because of the cost but because the advantage in question is something intrinsic to the character, like their height, that they were either born with or they weren’t.
|Common Sense||Once per episode get guidance||2|
|Danger Sense||Free Insight roll before ambush||2|
|Encyclopedic Knowledge||Get roll Logic +2 for any Expertise roll||10|
|Language||Know other languages||1|
|Perfect Mind||Bonuses to certain tasks||1|
|Sneak Attack||Tricky moves give bonuses||10|
These advantages focus on the power of the mind and the edge that a keen intellect and cunning insight offers a character. These types of advantages are great for those characters who derive their powers from mental acumen, like engineers, doctors, and scientists, although they are also good fit for any character who takes a more cerebral approach to their problems.
Common Sense is the innate ability to judge whether a course of action is foolish or not, and a character with this advantage has been graced with this talent. Perhaps it’s inborn, or perhaps it’s hard-won after a lifetime of mistakes, but either way, a character with Common Sense can, once per episode, ask the GM whether they are heading in the wrong direction, or about to start a series of events that might have unforeseen consequences. The GM may only answer with a single word response. Common Sense is 2 CP.
Some characters have a knack for sensing a trap or other danger. Maybe it’s a certain smell in the air, or the sudden quiet where there had just been birds singing, or just a simple feeling that something isn’t right. Whatever it is, a character with Danger Sense gets an automatic Intuition + Insight roll just before a trap or ambush is sprung, regardless of if it is a physical danger like a literal ambush or a social trap, like a trickster trying to get the character to speak ill of the King in his own court. This roll should be made by the GM so as to not tip the players to the dangers if they fail. Danger Sense costs 2 CP.
A character with the Encyclopedic Knowledge advantage has the remarkable ability to remember large amounts of information. Rarely is this information as well ordered and thoroughly memorized as an expert in the field would have, but it is enough to remember the answer to the obscure riddle or that in the Cthulhu mythos being buried face down means they were a witch. The character acts as if they have 2 ranks in any Expertise skill. If a character already has ranks in a Expertise skill, this gives them a +2 bonus. Encyclopedic Knowledge costs 10 CP
The Language advantage gives the character the ability to communicate in different dialects and tongues. Language allows the person to both read and speak the language. Just as real people can know multiple languages, characters can also purchase the Language advantage multiple times, each representing a different language known. A character can know a number of languages equal to twice their Logic.
Every character gets their native language free at character creation, which includes literacy unless the setting would prohibit that, such as a historical or sword and sorcery style settings. Languages that use alternate character sets, such as Russian or Chinese also includes the ability to read and write those characters as well, again unless it is not normal for the setting for some reason. Language costs 1 CP per Language.
Language and Linguistics
Languages are naturally arrayed into language families based on similarities between the languages, both in grammatical structure and the glossary of words. Languages that are close enough to be in the same language family can be partially understood by other speakers of the same family through common words and syntax. This is represented as a Linguistics roll at a -4.
Likewise, multiple families can be grouped together into a larger family (or super-family). This larger group is more tenuously connected than a family, but all the languages in that super-family still come from a common ancestor language, and share enough similarities that with difficulty (an Intuition roll with a -8 penalty) communication can be achieved. Collections of super-families also exist. These macro-families are linguistically important or interesting, but mechanically do nothing.
Sometimes when two languages come into contact for a long time they mix and form a new language, often referred to as a pidgin or a creole. These languages are distinct from both of their parent languages, but can be understood by a speaker of either with effort (an Intuition -2 roll). Each setting should define its language tree, and an example for Earth is included in the appendices.
With Perfect Mind, the character has an innate sense for some commonly occurring but difficult knowledge, such as time, distance, pitch, direction, calculations, or even memory. The character must choose one of these things (or something similar) as the subject of their perfect knowledge, and they get a +2 bonus to any roll that involves that subject (GM discretion). Perfect Mind costs 1 CP, and can be purchased multiple times, once for each type of knowledge.
Surprise attacks, like ambushes and feints have the added bonus of not just hurting an opponent but confusing and demoralizing them as well. A character with the Sneak Attack advantage who successfully manages to attack an unaware target or succeed on a Deception (or similar) roll to feint gets half of the physical damage they do to both Focus and Morale. Sneak Attack costs 10 CP.
|Ambidexterity||Use either hand equally well||1|
|Brawler||Deal Lethal damage with fists||2|
|Fleet Footed||+3 meters base Movement Speed||3|
|Gigantic||Be more than 2 meters tall||3|
|Light Sleeper||Remain partially alert while asleep||2|
|Perfect Body||Bonuses to certain tasks||1*|
|Tiny||Be less than 1.3 meters tall||3|
The following advantages describe extraordinary capabilities a character may have that derive or primarily impact their physical natures. Some of these advantages may be from great training while others may be inborn knacks.
Ambidexterity is the ability of being able to use either left or right hand equally well. While this typically has little effect on gameplay, it does enable a character to throw off their opponents with a quick switch of sword hand, possibly qualifying for a Focus attack, or maybe still being able to do things without penalty if injured, etc. Ambidexterity costs 1 CP.
A character with the Brawler advantage is skilled with fighting unarmed. Perhaps this is from a long life full of bar-room brawls or the hard childhood of an unfortunately named child, or maybe a life of training under various masters. Whatever the reason, unarmed attacks made by the character can do lethal damage if the character so chooses. Brawler costs 2 CP.
Not all character’s are as slow as they look. Perhaps she trains for speed, or is just a natural athlete. The only thing that matters is that she is faster than average for others of her build and skill. A character with the Fleet Footed advantage gains an additional +3 meters to their base movement speed and an additional +2 to Athletics rolls related to running. Fleet Footed costs 3 CP.
A character with the Gigantic advantage is huge, standing more than 2 meters tall. This is reflected by the character having a Size of 1 (the average person has a 0). This affects the character’s starting (and maximum) Strength, movement rate, and reach. The downside is that the character has to duck to fit inside most buildings and normal clothes will not fit them. Gigantic costs 3 CP and must be purchased at character creation.
Sleeping is a dangerous endeavor in the wilderness (or a haunted house). One never knows when they may be awakened by wolves, bandits, or perhaps never awaken again. For this reason, most travelers take turns keeping watch so that each can sleep some and all can stay safe. Some characters are in less danger, however, because they have a tendency to sleep lightly.
A character with the Light Sleeper advantage gets to make a Perception roll at a -4 to avoid being ambushed in their sleep. On a success, they are awakened, although they do not necessarily understand the reason for their awakening. The character also has a chance of sleeping poorly through the night, being awoken by non-threatening noises, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, and nearly anything else. The GM can call for the character to make a Resolve + Stamina roll to determine if the character had a restful sleep. Failure means the character starts with 1 point of Focus and Morale damage. Light Sleeper costs 2 CP.
With Perfect Body, the character has a constitution particularly suited to dealing with certain common but negative scenarios, such as lack of sleep, consuming questionable food or drink, holding their breath, resisting diseases, resisting toxins (including alcohol), or the fatigue of a hard day’s labor. The character must choose one of these things as the subject of their Perfect Body, and they get a +2 bonus to any roll that involves that situation (GM discretion). Perfect Body costs 1 CP, and can be purchased multiple times, once for each type of resistance.
A character with the Tiny advantage is small, standing less than 1.3 meters in height. This is reflected by the character having a Size of -1 (instead of 0). While this affects the character’s starting (and maximum) Strength, Movement, and Reach, it also makes them harder to spot at a distance (+1 on Stealth rolls), able to get into tight spaces others can’t, and harder to hit when attacking them. Chairs and beds are too tall for her to sit in comfortably, and she has trouble reaching items on top shelves. The character requires special clothing and possibly other accommodations due to her size. Tiny costs 3 CP and must be purchased at character creation.