Traits

TRAIT DESCRIPTIONS

Each trait in this section includes a benefit, a drawback, any special limitations regarding its selection by a character, and roleplaying ideas for how to incorporate it into your character’s personality.

Abrasive

You are difficult and demanding in conversation, which tends to oppress those around you.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Intimidate checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Diplomacy checks and Bluff checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be loud and abrupt or quiet and sinister, but either way, most find them disconcerting or irritating.

Absent Minded

You are fascinated by knowledge and learning and are capable of pursuing complex trains of thought quite quickly. However, your preoccupation with such thoughts makes you a little less aware of your surroundings.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Knowledge checks (although this does not let you use a Knowledge skill untrained).
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks and Listen checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might flit from idea to idea, trailing off in mid-sentence or mumbling their way through complex ideas. Conversely, characters with this trait might be extremely articulate but still allow their thoughts to move faster than the pace of a conversation.

Aggressive

You are quick to initiate combat, and you tend to press the attack once battle is joined. Your enthusiasm makes you a dangerous foe, but you sometimes leave yourself open to blows that a more cautious warrior would avoid.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty to Armor Class.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait are often hotheaded and quick to anger, or simply think that the best defense is a quick offense.

Brawler

You naturally move close to your opponents when fighting, instinctively grabbing and punching rather than striking with weapons. Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on unarmed attack rolls and grapple checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on all other attack rolls.
Special: The bonus from this trait doesn’t apply to natural weapons.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait often disdain the use of weapons entirely, and some eventually learn more refined martial arts based on their instinctive fighting techniques. Many brawlers might not even be consciously aware that they fight differently from other characters; they simply know that the best way to take someone out of a fight is to grab him or punch him in the face.

Cautious

You are cautious in combat, even a bit cowardly, and you take more care to defend yourself than others. However, this caution renders you susceptible to fear effects. Benefit: You gain an additional +1 bonus to Armor Class whenever you fight defensively or take the total defense action.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on your defenses to resist fear attacks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might consistently urge talking rather than fighting, or they might do little to encourage that their companions avoid combat and simply remain as far away from foes as possible, using ranged weapons or spells.

Detached

You maintain a distance from events that keeps you grounded but limits your reaction speed.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Will defense.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Reflex defense.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait are likely to be quiet and restrained, but they might be vocal when others falter in their beliefs.

Dishonest

You are naturally deceitful and insincere with others. You have a talent for lying, but have difficulty convincing others when you do speak truthfully.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Bluff checks.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Diplomacy checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be portrayed as crafty liars, or lying might simply be second nature to them, making actually telling the truth a difficult chore.

_Distinctive You have some distinctive physical feature such as a scar, a prominent nose, a limp, or some similar characteristic that is hard to disguise or conceal. Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Reputation checks (see Reputation).
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Disguise checks.
Special: This trait is available only if your campaign includes the Reputation variant.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might play up its presence to gather attention, sympathy, or notoriety._

Easygoing

You are naturally friendly. Others feel comfortable around you, but this trait also makes it more difficult for you to be pushy or suspicious.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Streetwise and diplomacy checks.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Intimidate checks and Insight checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be more easily manipulated in interactions with NPCs, or they might simply prefer not to argue and instead use their natural talent to learn more about the world around them.

_Farsighted You have difficulty focusing on nearby objects, but your distance vision is more keen than normal.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Spot checks.
Drawback: You have a -2 penalty on Search checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world._

Feral Teachings

Being raised by animals has given you the opportunity to use your ‘claws’ with greater efficiency.
Benefit: You gain the Weapon Foucs(Unarmed)
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty to attack rolls
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters that grew up with animals tend to shun greater forces of power, such as law and rulers. Only those who are strongest deserve to lead, is the general idea amongst those with this Trait.

Focused

You can keep your attention on a task despite many distractions; however, events in the background pass you by.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Casting Rituals.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Perception checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait often seem single-minded or even obsessive in their focus on a specific task.

_Hard of Hearing You have a slight hearing impairment, and to compensate, you have become more in tune with your other senses.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Spot checks.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Listen checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world._

Hardy

You are made of tougher stuff than the average person, but you’re not quite as quick to react to dangerous effects.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Fortitude defense.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Reflex defense.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might see their physical prowess as normal and look down on less hardy individuals, or they might see it as their duty to play the role of protector and help those less able to endure physical hardship.

Honest

You are naturally straightforward and sincere. This quality helps you persuade people to your viewpoint, but you have difficulty telling lies and seeing deception in others.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Bluff checks and Insight checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be naive and too unsophisticated to lie, or they might be aware of worldly matters and simply choose to take a higher ground.

Illiterate You cannot read, but you have devoted yourself to learning other skills. Benefit: Choose any one skill except Knowledge skills. You gain a +1 bonus on checks using that skill.
Drawback: You are illiterate, and take a -1 penalty to all knowledge skills.
Special: You can can eliminate the negative effect of this trait by spending a feat to become literate.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be sensitive about not being able to read, or they might not value “book learnin’.”_
Inattentive

You are skilled at finishing simple tasks quickly, but you have a difficult time dealing with longer, more complex tasks.
Benefit: Choose a skill. You gain a +1 bonus on stand alone skill checks made using the chosen skill.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on any skill checks made with the chosen skill, during a skill challenge.
Special: You can take this trait more than once. Its effects do not stack. Instead, choose a new eligible skill each time you select this trait. This trait is available only if your campaign includes the complex skill checks variant.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might flit from subject to subject in conversation, or they might seem typical in most situations but leave most of their long-term projects perpetually unfinished.

Musclebound

You are good at almost everything that requires strength, but less adept than most at tasks that require coordination.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Strength-based skill checks and ability checks.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Dexterity-based skill checks and ability checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait are likely to solve problems with physical strength rather than through trickery or finesse.

_Nearsighted You have difficulty focusing on distant objects, but your eye for detail is more keen than normal.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Search checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world._

Nightsighted

Your eyes are particularly well suited to using darkvision, but they are less well adapted to what others consider normal light.
Benefit: Add a +1 bonus to perception checks while using darkvision.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Perception checks when in areas of bright light.
Special: You must have darkvision as a racial ability to have this trait.
Roleplaying Ideas: This trait might not affect a character’s personality at all, but it might make the character prefer going on underground or nighttime adventures.

Passionate

You are made of tougher stuff than the average person, but you are highly suggestible.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Fortitude defense.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Will defense.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be gruff and place extreme value on overcoming physical obstacles, or conversely, their weakness against magical enchantments might leave them fascinated and fearful of such things.

Plucky

You have a strength of will not reflected in your limited physical gifts. Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Will defense.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Fortitude defense.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be annoyingly positive-minded, or they might only show their mental resilience in times of dire need.

Polite

You are courteous and well spoken.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Intimidate checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be honestly polite and kind, or they might simply be adept at mimicking social conventions to get what they want.

Quick

You are fast, but less sturdy than average members of your race.
Benefit: Your base land speed increases by one square
Drawback: Subtract 1 from your hit points gained per half-lvl of you maximum hitpoints.
Special: You must have dexterity score of 13 or higher.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait typically try to stay away from physical combat, but a rare few might relish it, striving to see if their superior speed is enough to best hardier warriors.

Reckless

You naturally sacrifice accuracy to put more power behind your blows. Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls after successful melee attacks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on melee attack rolls.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be loudly passionate about entering combat and overcoming foes through strength of arms, or they might be quiet and so desperate to avoid confrontation that they put extra effort into every blow in an attempt to end the encounter more quickly.

_Relentless You don’t know the meaning of the word “tired.” You go all out until you simply can’t continue.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus Endurance checks made to continue tiring activities
Drawback: If you fail these endurance checks, you need a full round to rest.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait may see others as soft or weak, especially anyone who complains about being tired or fatigued. They might openly scoff at others’ weaknesses or might quietly encourage them to “tough it out.”_

Skinny

You are very slender for your race.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Acrobatics to escape restraints checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty to your Fortitude defense to resist forced movement, such as Bull Rush.
Roleplaying Ideas: Skinny characters tend to be pushed around by tougher types, so those with this trait might be shy, or they might be very defensive when faced with such situations.

Slippery

You are less adept at grappling and wrestling than others of your size and strength, but you are adept at slipping out of another’s hold.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus Reflex defense to escape from a grab or restraints. checks to escape a grapple and on grapple checks to escape a grapple or avoid being grappled.
Drawback: You take a -1 on all Grab attacks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might fear close combat, knowing they are less adept grapplers than most opponents. On the other hand, good escape artists with this trait might enjoy baiting larger foes into grappling them, knowing they can easily slip out of the grasp of most foes.

Slow

You are slow, but sturdier than average members of your race.
Benefit: Add +1 to your hit points per half level
Drawback: Your base land speed is 5 feet slower.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait tend to be relatively immobile in combat. They typically prefer to wear strong armor (or other protective devices), since it’s hard for them to flee a fight.

Specialized Knowledge

You have a knack for one kind of study, but other tasks are harder for you to accomplish.
Benefit: Choose one specific Knowledge skill. You gain a +1 bonus on checks using the specified skill.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on all other Knowledge checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait often see themselves as elite experts rather than mere professionals, and they might regard their chosen vocation or study as more useful or interesting than other tasks.

Spellgifted

You have a gift for casting spells from a certain school. Although your spells from this school are more potent than those of other casters, you are not as effective at casting spells from other schools.
Benefit: Choose an elemental(fire, lightning, necrotic, acid, radiant, ...) keyword You do +1 bonus damage on damage rolls when you cast a power with that element.
Drawback: You do less damage with powers which do not have that keyword. You deal -1 damage on damagerolls with those powers.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait might be loudly vocal about the merits of the school of magic that they understand most readily, or they might feel awkward and out of place around “normal” spellcasters as a result of their unusual aptitude.

Stout

You are heavy for your race.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on your Fortitude defense against attacks that would make you forcefully move, for example Bull Rush attempts.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on Acrobatics checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Overweight characters are often bullied, so those with this trait might be shy, or they might be very defensive when faced with such situations. Some turn to humor to defuse such situations, while others become bitter.

Suspicious

You are naturally suspicious of everyone and everything. While this trait makes you hard to fool, it makes others slightly less likely to agree with you or find you threatening.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Insight checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Diplomacy checks and Intimidate checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: This trait might express itself as comic levels of paranoia, or it might make the character quietly cautious about others.

Torpid

You are sluggish and slow to react to danger, but also resistant to others’ commands.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on saves vs dominate.
Drawback: You take a -2 penalty on initiative checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Torpid characters may be seen as lazy, or as methodical and measured in their actions.

Uncivilized

You relate better to animals than you do to people.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Nature checks.
Drawback: You take a -1 penalty on Bluff checks, Diplomacy checks, and Streetwise checks.
Roleplaying Ideas: Characters with this trait are likely to feel awkward in many social situations; that might be expressed as shyness and quiet behavior, or it might be expressed through an overly exuberant need to participate in conversations.

Traits

Espalum, a reshaped world. Zenmah Zenmah