Scion Disadvantages

   Per a special request, here’s a quick Disadvantage system for Scion. This is actually a slightly cut-down version of my old Amber disadvantage system:

   Disadvantages can provide a Scion character with up to six additional Freebie points to spend – although they’re generally more trouble than they’re worth. Characters generally cannot “buy off” disadvantages later, although events in the game may modify, eliminate, or inflict them.

.

Disadvantage Values:

Personal Weakness:

 

Value

 

 

Mental “Quirks”:

 

Value

 

-Minor

0

 

-Minor

0

-Major

1

 

-Major

1

-Disastrous

2

 

-Disastrous

2

-Obvious

+1

 

-Well Known

+1

-Compensated

-2

 

-Irresistible

+1

         

Distorted Perceptions:

 

 

 

 

Odd Behavioral Traits:

 

 

-Minor

1

 

-Three

1

-Major

2

 

-Seven

2

-Lock-Me-Up

3

 

-Twelve

3

-Variable

+1

 

-Dozens

4

-Insight

-2

 

-Compulsive

+1

         

Social Handicaps:

 

 

 

 

Personal Commitments:

 

 

-Minor

1

 

-Minor

1

-Major

2

 

-Major

2

-Disastrous

3

 

-Exploitative

+1

-Broad Spectrum

+1

 

-Compulsory

+1

-Reputation

+1

 

-Emotional Charge

+1

         

Enemies:

 

 

 

     

-Enemy (Or Rival)

1

   

 

-Major Enemy

2

     

-Horrendous Enemy

3

     

-Dedicated

+1

     

-Known

-1

     

.

   Personal Weaknesses include a wide variety of Physical Handicaps (although given a Scion’s healing abilities these may require a good explanation), Attribute Flaws (that make attributes less effective in particular fields or applications), a Vulneribility to some particular mode of attack or normally-harmless effect, Seizures (the character could be an epileptic or just tend to freeze under stress), an Inability (the character just can’t deal with something, such as heights, magic, or high technology. He or she will never be able to evaluate it, and certainly won’t be able to comprehend or use it), an Addiction or some form of Dependence on something, or even a Restriction on the use of one of the character’s powers. An Obvious weakness will be readily apparent to anyone with appropriate skills or epic attributes and can be figured out by others in short order. The Compensated modifier applies when the character has some power or device that can “cover” or compensate for his weakness.

   Mental “Quirks” include the usual mental disorders, as well as things like Absent-Mindedness, Berserker Rage, being Chivalrous, Gullible, or Honorable, Hypochondria (also exaggerates the effect of injuries), the various Compulsions, Manias, Philias, Phobias, and Obsessions (I don’t suggest taking many of these), Overconfidence, Pacifism, Phobias, and Soft-Heartedness, Vengefulness, and simply having a Weakness for something. Unlike most of the disadvantages, the character can ignore any mental quirk without the “Irresistable” modifier – but doing so very often will penalize their experience-point awards. Irresistable quirks cannot be ignored, the character is stuck with them.

   Distorted Perceptions are run by the GM who, acting as the characters senses, will feed the player a “warped” version of the characters surroundings and events. This can simply be a result of being an optimist or pessimist, but often includes actual delusions, hallucinations, and paranoid fancies. The severity of the disadvantage is a measure of how much reality “gets through”, and to how distorted it is. While the effects are usually fairly consistent, they can vary if the character so chooses, either in type, in intensity or both. The effect can be subtle. If the GM decides a character is paranoid, he may simply relay descriptions and data in a way calculated to arouse suspicion. Some few people find supernormal Insight in madness, perceiving hidden truths and making incredible deductive leaps. This odd facility is usually coupled with variable effects, but can be taken alone.

   Odd Behavorial Traits are weird little habits, such as constantly tossing a coin, wearing flamboyant clothes, making continious wisecracks during combat, talking to yourself, drinking nothing but brandy, or even patting computers and saying hello when you pass them. Leaving a trademark, speaking only in rhyme, collecting purple ceramic owls, quoting some favorite author, or undying hatred of green vegtables would all qualify. These may limit your behavior in minor ways and serve as a “tag” on the character, making him easily identifiable. They are rarely serious unless they have become Compulsive, in which case it takes a major effort of will to overcome them even briefly. Like the Mental Quirks listed above, the GM will reduce a characters XP awards if they ignore their behavorial traits too often.

   Social Handicaps are troublesome. Like the other disadvantegous, the precise nature of any given social disadvantage is negotiable, but whether it’s due to noxious habits, an odd aura, personality, truly weird looks, a total lack of emotion, having an alien brain, tactlessness, being a useless barbarian, a feral upbringing, being classed as a “creature”, or whatever, the effects are similar. A character with any social handicap will have trouble being accepted, getting information, recruiting allies or making friends, and so on. In extreme cases they may have trouble getting anyone to accept them. While they usually only apply to social interactions with humans, a Broad Spectrum handicap indicates that the character is somehow capable of offending animals, aliens, self- aware computers, and anything else with volition. If a character has a Reputation it also applies to attempts to secure interviews, send letters, and otherwise make contact and may well cause everyone else to prejudge the character.

   Personal Commitments are obligations, responsibilities, debts, emotional bonds, “vows”, dependents, vendettas, personal codes – and anything else the character feels responsible for. The driving force is usually a sense of duty, but can also be conscience, a sense of shame, a horde of large men named Guido, or an emotional commitment. Compulsory comitments carry some penalty if the character fails to fulfill them, in the form of anything from guilt-driven “Seppuku” to broken bones, courtesy of the aforementioned men named Guido. If the character survives, so does his obligation. An Exploitative commitment has no attachment on the other side, who / which will have no qualms about exploiting the character for its own purposes -“But if you really loved me you’d…”. Emotionally Charged bonds are the most powerful, since they bypass rational response. A character with major emotional commitments many have a group of friends or relatives he wishes to protect, be a victim of unrequited love, be lovingly married, have a deeply respected mentor, or whatever. In every case the character can be easily manipulated by a threat or situation involving his emotional fixation. Note that not all emotional bonds are positive; you can be united in hatred at least as easily as in love. A Commitment can rarely be both Compulsory and Emotionally Charged, but can easily be either – and Exploitative.

   Enemies are fairly obvious – someone out there doesn’t like you. Who varies with the level of disadvantage and how “serious” they are. A one-point enemy is normally either relatively weak or of relatively mild intent. A two-pointer can be powerful – if with better things to do – or relatively weak but more enthuiastic, or maybe powerful and enthuiastic, but who just wants to make you miserable. “Horrendous” enemies are often powerful, a group, or deadly serious in intent, but are rarely all three. Dedicated enemies have settled on their enmity with you as a major project and can be expected to spend a great deal of their time working against you. Known enemies are easier to deal with, and hence provide fewer points. Enemies can be disposed of, but unless the GM allows you to buy this off, another will appear.

   Positive backgrounds and advantages can be hired by Epic Attribute Knacks, Boons, and Birthrights. You want connections in the state department? That’s a minor Guide. You want Wealth? You could get it from a guide, take some stock-broker followers, get a bottomless purse relic, or take an Epic Knack. Some minor special power? Create a relevant purview or a secondary power for an existing one. Want ot be a brilliant scientist? Get some Epic Intelligence and a few points in science.

.

   Weird Services were used in writing this article.

 

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